Be a knowledgeable and prepared voter.
Look at your Real Property Tax statement. You will see the different places where your assessed property goes — to a number of tax supported groups for services they provide every day.
Realize that the local public schools receive the most of your money.
A local tax levy is created for each group requesting money for their specific budget. The county treasurer, acting as caretaker for all groups, sends you the total bill, collects the money and distributes the amounts, according to the agreed sum.
The major part collected for the county, which is the responsibility of the elected commissioners, pays for salaries and services provided by the elected county employees. The employees have shown concern for taxpayers and kept their requests reasonable.
Any non-elected department reports several times a year to the commissioners. They too are very budget conscious and strictly comply with its rules.
I’ve attended many county commissioner meetings and find each of the three commissioners are open minded, aware of your interests and concerns, very willing to listen to you, graciously answers questions before ending their meeting, welcomes anyone at the meetings each Monday morning at 9 a.m. in the commissioners room at the east end of the Lincoln County Courthouse.
It takes time to absorb the many segments of the duties of being a commissioner. Bill Henry has successfully reached this level. I urge you to allow him another term to continue the projects in progress.
School board meetings
I also have attended many North Platte Public School Board meetings. They meet the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at McKinley Education Center, and the meetings are public.
Unlike the open, respectful atmosphere at the commissioners meetings, there is a limit of five minutes each for public comments near the end of the school board’s lengthy meetings. No dialogue is allowed with the board. They listen but always have predetermined conclusions.
When the meeting is adjourned, everyone leaves, with little-to-no discussion.
They have admitted that currently they will rely more on the property tax receipts to fulfill their non-limited, fruitful budget that you pay for!
The public needs help in making the meetings more taxpayer friendly. Is there a candidate who is willing to recognize that it is the local property tax that pays a major share of the pre-K-12 “free” education? And one who is willing to publicaly acknowledge that contributions come from the rich and the poor?
I have heard no candidate to give my support.
Choose wisely — someone to represent your affordability and your principles, and who is willing to do so at all the meetings of the tax supported group for which you vote. That individual represents you.
Primary Election Day is May 15.
Bernice Ziegler is a North Platte resident who attends most county commissioner and school board meetings.