January 24, 2007

Valuing our Lyon County youth

It has become increasingly clear to me that the residents of Lyon County don't give a crap about the youth in Lyon County.

  • We have Senior Centers in Dayton, Fernley, Silver Springs (brand new shiny one!) and Yerington, but very few places for our kids to go. Yerington has a Boys and Girls Club, but Fernley and Silver Springs/Stagecoach are going all over the place to find funding for their Boys and Girls Club facilities.
  • We need to expand the size of our libraries. Have you been in the Dayton, Fernley or Silver Springs libraries? They are the size of postage stamps. But no, Lyon County voters turned down Question 15 in 2006 which would have raised sales tax one quarter of one percent (0.25%) to help provide funds for library expansion.
  • There is no transportation (public or school district) available to our youth who wish to take part in after-school activities. School busses leave immediately after school to whisk kids home. So, unless they have a stay-at-home parent or some other such means of getting from point A to point B, kids are stuck at home to play video games or just get in trouble.

One simple solution to the library / youth center dilemma in Silver Springs would be to convert the old senior center to a larger library, and give the old library to the Boys and Girls Club. But gee, that might actually require some giving a little on all sides for the community good.

I guess the priority given to senior centers vs youth centers could be directly linked to which of these groups has the power of the vote. Seniors vote, kids aren't allowed to. But gee, aren't we adults supposed to be looking out for our kids? Every politician I've seen gives lots of lip service to education. But my goodness, they are SO ignoring the reality of much of these kids' after-school lives wherein working parents leave home for work in Reno or Carson City before the sun comes up and rarely make it home before 6 or 7pm. School runs from what, 8am-3pm?. The reality is, we are letting our kids twist in the wind.

It would be nice if Lyon County residents would get over the idea that any tax is bad, bad, bad and start looking at taxes as an investment in our communties' future. A lot of us moved here with plans on retiring here. Great. But a lot of families have moved into our county, and it's time we stuck up for our kids. Let's quit relying on bake sales and get serious about developing a community that serves all of its residents.

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