My vision for Carson City is a safe, secure and financially-sound community. We must work together to build on what our City is today and make tomorrow better. I know my dream for the City is the same as yours – we want it better for our children.
My concerns when I first ran and what I’ve accomplished since:
Then - The City should honor its commitments to the public. The Board of Supervisors has approved a financial policy that provides a framework for decisions. We have a contingency fund that should only be used for emergencies. We need this funding to protect our City in the event of a disaster.
- Now - We are following our board policy and have improved our bottom-line savings account. We used to have 16 days reserve in our budget– we now budget for 30 days.
Then - The Board increased water and sewer rates due to failing equipment and infrastructure at the plants. The money in these funds must be spent according to the promises made.
- Now - We created a Utility Financial Oversight Committee to review planned spending in the water, sewer, and stormwater accounts to ensure all expenditures are within the budget.
- Now - We are creating an ordinance to allow donations via your utility bill to be used to help defray utility costs for those in need. We hope to have this program developed in the next few months.
Then - Quality of life also means quality jobs. And I want to create a climate that encourages businesses and entrepreneurs to follow their ingenuity and invest in their ideas. That's why I propose a review of our contract processes to find ways to award more contracts to local businesses. Keeping our tax dollars in Carson City will help local business hire some of our 2,100 unemployed.
- Now - We have successfully added our local car dealers to our vendor list and now purchase new vehicles locally (if the vehicle is available – heavy equipment trucks still must be purchased out of town).
- Now – Carson City unemployed as of December 2017 is 1,217 with the construction industry indicating a need for more workers.
Then - As a member and chairman of the Redevelopment Advisory Citizens Committee I certainly see the need to focus on the charge given to the committee, addressing development and fixing blight. During the recent economic downturn the focus became special events that are great but changed the use of the monies available. I propose that we bank some of those funds to address specific infrastructure and blight issues. The old Scolari’s Market on U.S. 50 is a great example of what must happen to all of our vacant and unsightly buildings. Even vacant lots and unmaintained parking lots bring down the City by presenting an appearance of blight.
- Now - We have started repairs and visual improvements of the exterior of buildings (façade program) to address blight.
- Now - We have also began inspecting the long term stay hotels to improve their appearance and safety for those residing.
- Now - We implemented a policy to provide no more than four years assistance to special events as they need to become self sufficient (with the exception of Nevada Day and Silver and Snowflake as these are considered ongoing City events).
Then - Our infrastructure and City buildings are deteriorating rapidly. We took responsibility for miles of State highways during the building of the bypass. We are over a million dollars short of our yearly needs to maintain what we have without the extra pressure that those roads will place on an already stressed road budget. We need to beginning planning to meet these needs now. It will only become more and more expensive.
- Now - This has proven to be a very difficult task. We have implemented a fund to save for long-term infrastructure needs and asset management. We are funding this with a dedicated nickel from property tax (about $700,000 annually). We continue to pursue grant opportunities to help meet road needs, but admittedly this is not a solution. We will have to work together to develop more strategies to meet this issue.
I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail. I will be talking with you about the City’s future. Your thoughts are important to me. If you would like me to address a group of your friends or organization, please let me know.