Our three Port Washington Police District Commissioners - Chairman James Duncan, Roy Smitheimer and Bob Persons - deserve our hearty thanks for voting to extend the voting times for the police district election by nine hours (see front page article). Now, instead of only being able to vote from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., voters will be able to vote from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in our police district annual elections.
Our police commissioners have talked of extending the hours for months, and Police Commissioner Persons has tried to get the other special districts to join them. The other special district commissioners have responded that they think additional hours are too costly and unnecessary for their districts, (And of course, the other special districts have not the same voter concern and interest as the police district has had. Primarily because they have not had the same degree of problems that have plagued the police district... though it must be said that the current board of commissioners has made great strides in changing their policies and practices and appear to be working constructively as a board rather than complicating matters, and wasting time and energy, with political machinations.)
However, even though it is true that the longer hours will cost more, now more taxpayers will have a voice in determining how their tax dollars (almost $8.7 million for the police district) will be spent... perhaps on occasion having the opportunity to vote to get taxes reduced!
While democracy is a cumbersome and costly process, our police commissioners bit the bullet. So now, whole new segments of the population will be able to vote - commuters who don't get home by 9 p.m., mothers who are too strapped with duties after the school bus arrives, workers who have the 2 -10 p.m. shift, people who want to avoid the post-3 p.m. crowd, etc.