Voters take a step toward future

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Local voters took a step for the future Tuesday. Granted, it may have been a hesitant step, but it was a step forward, nonetheless.

We're talking about the new city facility, which unofficial tallies show gained approval by a slim 127 votes or a little more than 3 percent.

We used this space to endorse the project -- the only endorsement this newspaper made this election year -- as the best deal local property tax payers are likely to get in the near future. Part of our local sales tax receipts will be dedicated to paying off the project, a use voters agreed with when they passed the last sales tax issue.

The project is sorely needed, especially by the fire and police departments, and will make good use of the lot now occupied by the old West Ward building.

The vote leaves the problem of the county's obligation to provide jail facilities as the next major question to be answered, one that we hope is addressed soon.

A question just as urgent, but harder to answer, is now one of the main items facing four new members of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District and two returning incumbents. Challengers Bill Hoyt, Blaine Stinson, John Palic and Steven Cappel defeated Josh Friesen, Benjie Loomis, Daniel Nelsen and Marty Shurr for seats on the board. Kevin Fornoff and Brad Randel were re-elected. We trust cooperation for the good of the entire district will be the first order of business for the board.

The Republican River conflict will be the most important issue facing State Sen. Mark Christensen, who was re-elected to the Legislature by a wide margin over former State Sen. Tom Baker. Baker had hoped to return to the 44th District seat he was forced by term limits to vacate, a fate that will befall Christensen in four years.

The McCook City Council is perhaps one of the youngest in history, with Shane Hilker narrowly winning a four-year term over incumbent Lonnie Anderson. Hilker will join Mike Gonzales and Mayor Dennis Berry as they return to the council.

Like their national counterparts, locally elected officials face the difficult task of making the best use of limited resources while doing what they can to encourage growth. Now that a difficult, sometimes contentious election is behind us, let's work together for the good of us all.

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