I encourage you to forward your thoughts, concerns and suggestions. Email or call me at 720-5761.
Deep Thoughts, Cheap Shots and Bonbons… by Jim Shirk | May 9, 2016
The Nevada Appeal had a letter-to-the-editor (dated May 1, 2016) stating:
The Downtown Project is more than aesthetics and declared: “Seventy percent of the total expenditures of the downtown project, currently underway, are for vital infrastructure improvements that are failing and run right down the middle of Carson Street under the medians.”
Here are the most up-to-date facts on funding amounts presently available for this project:
Downtown Streetscape Funding:
The total set aside for infrastructure utility improvements equals $3,318,253.00 (or 29.5% of the overall budget) leaving $7,952,000.00 (or 70.5%) of the budget for the narrowing of Carson Street and sidewalks, etc.
The statement: “This vanity project was crucial to keep the water running.” is utterly wrong.
Furthermore, it stated: “That vital infrastructure improvements are needed as they are failing, and they run right down the middle of Carson Street under the median.” This, too, is wrong.
Points of interest: Are the underground utilities failing? That would be an unanswerable question in the context as it is stated; however, at some point in time, all underground utilities will need replacement regardless of where they are located in the community.
Only the water line is per say 100% located under Carson Street.
The water line is NOT located under the medians.
The water line is located along the western edge of the medians.
The sewer and storm lines mostly run west/east, and they do have connections to existing lines running north/south.
The letter went on to say: “Carson City citizens would be wise to remember that Supervisor Jim Shirk voted against these vital improvements, as well as against the new, sorely needed animal shelter, and the MAC, and against the vital water/sewer improvements at our wastewater treatment plant.”
Hopefully, citizens will remember that I, Jim Shirk,did vote against the narrowing of Carson Street.
Regarding the other multi-million dollar projects:
Multi Athletic Complex (MAC). I voted NO.The only funding source should have been from the Question 18 Quality of Life initiative. Imposing another tax upon the citizens (the 1/8th of a cent sales tax) is simply wrong. Two separate taxes to build this complex are not right.
Water/Sewer Improvements. I voted NO.The huge increases in fees set upon citizens to pay were unfair and created a financial hardship. Restructuring the fees at lower increments over time, would still have allowed the improvements to occur.
This letter states that I was against the much needed Animal Shelter. This is completely FALSE.During discussions at the Board meetings, I repeatedly stated that this is the only project I would support that draws from the 1/8 cent sales tax.
In another letter to the editor (dated May 5, 2016) it was stated: “that Downtown Retail has struggled.” The number of retail outlets downtown is not significant and that in itself might be the demise.
This letter went on to say: “There’s a lot of grumbling right now over the work being done on Main Street. The majority of the work is infrastructure and necessary for you to be able to flush your toilets and have clean water coming out of your tap.”
Let’s be perfectly clear – narrowing Carson Street is NOT so that you can flush your toilets and have clean water coming out of your tap. Know this, and this is a fact: the street did not need to be narrowed to accomplish these tasks, and anyone who tells you differently, is wrong.
This letter went on to say: “Change is hard. Doing nothing is easy” and, “For you naysayers out there, what are you doing to make a difference?”
Those statements do not hold an ounce of creditability. Standing up for what is right, even if you’re standing alone takes much more courage than simply going along just to get along.
My NO vote reflects that of the majority of citizens in this community who were denied the opportunity to vote for or against the Downtown project, and the implication of a new tax to pay for it.
I stand proud of my voting record, even knowing full well that campaign consequences have been employed against me and more will be forthcoming.
Will the action of narrowing Carson Street lead us to a bright and fulfilling future? One would hope so; however, it does not matter at this point, it is a done deal.
The street narrowing is a sophisticated approach to impose a boot print on the buttocks of the majority of citizens who voted against the previous Downtown ballot issue.
The term “Naysayer” is fast becoming a battle cry, and offensively brands fellow citizens living in Carson City who disagree. Its use demonstrates a complete lack of respect for anyone whose opinion differs with yours. The right to have a voice or to have an opinion is no longer allowed by this influential and elitist group, or they will apply a label to anyone who opposes them.
Deep Thoughts, Cheap Shots and Bonbons… by Jim Shirk | July 28, 2015
Doing the right thing is not determined, because one consistently votes with the majority. One should always vote on the principle of what is right and fair. A vote maybe lone vote, if so, just say and repeat as needed: “You can't break me. I don't have a breaking point”.
From the Board of Supervisor meeting held on July 16th
Agenda item #11 This dealt with directing staff to examine the feasibility of the Carson City joining Nevada League of Cities (NLC). This is somewhat problematic. How could any Board member not consent and give the go-ahead to a feasibility study?
The agenda item stated that: Mr. Wes Henderson, President of NLC, would present a proposal to join (NLC) for the cost of $12,273.05 as it would complement the City’s membership in the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO).
I asked staff to submit Mr. Henderson proposal to Board members prior to the meeting so that members could have the opportunity to evaluate/learn about NLC.
The Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) and Nevada League of Cities (NLC) should not be confused with The National League of Cities (NLC) which is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents. If your confused, know this, there are numerous other similar organizations that provide parallel benefits, so choosing one over there other is perplexing.
Supposedly our paid Lobbyist (Walker*) and Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) will undoubtedly be asked to work with Nevada Association of Cites (NLC) for the greater good of Carson City. We (Board) would need to hear from each of them what benefits another paid Lobbyist group will this bring.
*Point of interest: If Walker’s contract of $24,999.00 (+/-) did not need Board approval, why does Nevada League of Cities contract need Board approval when it is for half of that amount? Agenda item #13The abandonment of the Public Right-of-Way, of East Sophia Street between Carson Street and Plaza Street. In the 35 page packet that staff submitted, all of which backed their recommendation as to why there should be NO charge to the applicant for this right-of-way. This 66 foot wide by 170 foot long area totaling 11,220 square feet all of which will be sub-divided between three parties that applied for the abandonment and each will acquire as real property - free of charge. Then, this newly acquired property will then be added to their existing parcels.
This hypothetical new drive way off of Carson Street has already been incorporated into the Downtown Corridor plans even though the Board had not approved this abandonment. One has to wonder how staff anticipated the Board would vote to approve.
I alone voted against this abandonment. This right-of-way was created as part of the Carson City plot map in the 1800’s. A map was recorded in 1963 and the City started maintaining this street.
Yes, the city will obtain additional property taxes and reduce the total amount of street maintenance. However, the applicants gain financially from this endeavor, and the cost saving to the City is - insignificant.
Agenda item#16ETo approve the reclassification of a Grants Program Coordinator (CCEA 41/P1) to Grants Administrator (P2) would increase position funding by $7,200.00. This position would now be under the supervision of the Finance Director.
I voted in favor of this, as the City received $7,061,070 in Federal Grant Funds, and $666,220 in State Funds for Fiscal Year 2014.My perception of this change: it will bring more Grant Funding to the City, as this position will oversee ALL such Grants for all city departments and elected official offices as well.
Agenda item#17BDiscussion regarding policies and procedures for the City’s Boards, Committees and Commissions –ironically, I have asked numerous times that this doctrine come before the Board.
When it did finally arrived on our agenda, I was quite surprised by how many questions and topic related issues were raised by Board members that dealt with this manual that was originally approved on September 6, 2012. There are many mistakes and inappropriate wording throughout this important document. Hopefully, staff will make all the corrections, so that this will better serve our community. \
Prior to this meeting:I had a conversation with the Mayor, to seek his input on how we could best inform ALL Board members of events that he would attend acting as the Mayor in ceremonial capacity.Possibly in the near future, these types of events could be posted on the City Website so that the public can be informed as well. Previous Board meetings I asked staff:1. For the total dollar amount the City has spent on the Brewery Art Center building last year for: building upkeep, maintenance and or replacement of equipment and other paraphernalia. No response, to date no action taken.
2. Enacting a Noise Ordinance for Carson City. No response, to date no action taken.
In other related buzz stories of hot topics that I discussed at the Board meetings during the non-action period: 1. I specify brought up the Nevada Human Society who oversees our animal shelter – and their (NHS) relationship with Oversight Committee. What is most interesting about this: the Nevada Human Society is allowed to select person(s) that will serve on their own Oversight Committee. My opinion: this wrong on every level and could potentially have serious consequences for the City should events occur at the facility. 2. The City website should have links to all televised Board of Supervisors meetings, along with all citizen Boards, Committees and Commissions meetings. 3. There should Spanish link on our City website. 4. Both the Sheriff and Fire Department have included a letter in the previous Board agenda packet stating: “Each are having difficulty in providing services in an efficient and timely manner". My concern is that this will go unacted upon.
Deep Thoughts, Cheap Shots and Bonbons… by Jim Shirk | June 29, 2015
In the movie Dances with Wolves there is a line one of the characters says, and it goes something like this: “Somebody back east is saying, why don’t he write?” Many of you might be wondering the same thing about me. Why I haven’t written for a spell? I could list numerous reasons, some might be worth mentioning, and others would be insignificant.
In simple true-to-life terminology – I’m back.
A few of the hot topics from the June 18th Board of Supervisors meeting.
Agenda item #17A Discussion and possible action to accept the 2015 Legislative Summary. Here are few of the most interesting Bills:
SB 482 Elected Officials Salary Bill - 3% per year increase for all elected officials. This encompasses all city elected officials, including Board members.
AB 191 Fuel Tax Indexing - passed and will be put on the 2016 Ballot. Citizens will be voting to approve that taxes collected from Fuel Sales will go towards road maintenance within the community where they are collected.
SB 29 NACO Home Rule (for operations only) This replaces Dillon Rule. Essentially this is giving the Board more local authority-- could be a positive for our community.
My short and snappy overview: This had been a very informative hearing, it would very beneficial if the Board could have received these types of updates during the Legislative Session rather than when the Session is over.
Agenda item# 24C To accept Staff's recommendation to approve Amendment No. 1 to Contract No. 1314-203 with Marathon Staffing, titled "Temporary Staffing Services" to increase the contract term from June 30, 2015 to June 30, 2017 and allow access to temporary staffing for a not to exceed cost of $1,500,000.00 annually.
Behind the scenes: This agenda packet came without a shred of back up material supporting how the spending of $1,500,000.00 is justifiable.
It is debatable how the Board could approve spending this amount of money without any data to support this proposal. That was my argument and the reasoning behind voting against this proposal.
Agenda item # 27 For Possible Action: To conduct a public hearing and take public comment regarding a proposed plan amendment to the Plan of Expenditure for a one-eighth of one percent (0.125%) sales tax that was originally approved by the Board of Supervisors on February 20, 2014, for public infrastructure projects pursuant to NRS 377B, including but not limited to construction of an animal services facility, a multi-purposes athletic center, and street and pedestrian improvements in the downtown area and Carson Street and William Street/Highway 50 East commercial corridors, and/or other projects as directed by the Board of Supervisors.
The Carson City Board of Supervisors originally approved the Plan of Expenditure for a one-eighth of one percent (0.125%) sales tax pursuant to NRS 377B on February 20, 2014. Because of additional costs required to build the Animal Services Facility, staff is requesting the Board amend the plan to increase the proposed budget of the Animal Services Facility to approximately $4.5 million. Of this amount, sales tax proceeds would account for $4.247 million and contributions the remaining $253,000. The $4.5 million would be used to construct the Animal Services Facility and related site improvements and fund related contingencies.
Personal Commentary: This had been the most monstrous of all agenda items ever discussed. From the open bell to the final curtain call, this should be memorialized as how not to conduct a Board meeting.
2014 Flashback: Main Street, North & South Carson Street, MAC and the Animal Shelter were first voted on within a combine package that fell under the 1/8 of a cent sale tax increase. So the Board voted on ALL of these projects that fell under these parameters. Then each project was voted on separately.
June 18, 2015: What recently transpired at the recent Board meeting was a just a series of serious mistakes and it all boiled down to: “show me the money”.
During this Board meeting, staff made a presentation showing how 3.7 million dollars had been approved by the previous Board (with John McKenna) using the 1/8 of a cent sale taxes to build the Animal Shelter. Staff’s presentation had been a twist of fate. Why? Because, now they (staff) were seeking approval for extra funding from the Board. Why? Because, when the Animal Shelter went out to bid with numerous late change-orders to the original drawings, guess what? Bids came in higher than the $3.7 million dollars that had been approved to build the Animal Shelter. Staff recommendation: increase taxes to make up the difference.
More from that Board meeting: From the very beginning only one Board member asked staff questions – as most of you guessed – yes, it was me. This led to the discovery that the originally $4.0 million dollars that was formerly set aside could be today accessible and used for the Animal Shelter.
Essentially this story has kind of a Hocus-Pocus type ending, as you shall see. Remember, some of the present day Board members are on the record as saying: “we have needed an Animal Shelter for last 20 years”. This is a true and factual statement. Oddly, not one penny has been set aside in the last 19 years 11 months 29 days for an Animal Shelter.
End result: We had to break from the meeting, why? So that staff could make a new ledger showing exactly how much money there was and where it is located.
Here is a brief outline of how the money added up:
$3,999,999.99 of the originally $4 million was pledged by a motion.
This new funding ledger now includes additional contributions made by the Nevada Humane Society (NHS) at the Board meeting. High praise goes to this organization for their donation.
When added to the funding that CASI (another great organization) pledged, and the public contributions made – then - to the PENNY – all the funding now was shown on the ledger.
There was no bargaining; there was no compromising; there was no negotiating; and not one pennycame from Carson City General Fund or any other city accounts.
What is the next step in this process: The Animal Shelter has gone out to bid; HOPEFULLY it will come back at or under budget. If so, then ground breaking could occur this year. No member of the Board of Supervisors can serve on the Animal Oversight Committee without Board approval. The proper way is for each member of the Board to appoint a citizen to serve, just as the Board did for the Utility Financial Oversight Committee.
Postscript: The end result is, yes – Carson City is getting a much needed Animal Shelter. Here is the Hocus-Pocus ending – if the Board previously approved $3.7 million to build the Animal Shelter and had every intention of going that route but then the present day Board amended that amount to $3,999,999.99 million – then - that is without a doubt an increase in taxes, period.
Wrapping up: Your water rates are scheduled to be increased July 1st and, ironically, on June 30th the Utility Financial Oversight Committee will be re-considering the rates they previously approved for commercial (water and sewer) connection charges. Why? Because, three Board members requested it. They believed that some organizations did not have sufficient time or opportunity to appear before the Utility Committee at the previous meeting. Even though this agenda was posted in similar fashion as every other agenda packet has been posted for the last 30 years. How many organizations will give testimony at this hearing and how will these organizations affect the previous ruling of the Oversight Committee will be most interesting.
Carson City Supervisor Jim Shirk seeks input from citizens… by Jim Shirk | June 22, 2015
My goals are to: Improve communication between government and citizens; Help to solve the real problems that people are frustrated about.
Meeting members of the community on their terms will help to build community confidence. For that reason I am personally available 6 days a week (excluding Sunday), to meet here at my office, or at a location of your choosing.
We need to find ways to broaden and deepen the community access to information, the first step is communicating. Engaging citizens encourages participation. Proactive communication to keep constituents informed, will allow citizens the opportunity to have a significant role in Carson City’s future.
I want to engage with citizens to understand the desires and expectations of community residents. Contact me to set up a meeting; I look forward to hearing from you, your group or your organization.
John Barrette said to me: “If someone doesn’t throw stones (criticize, whatever) at me at least once a day I don’t figure I’m worth much.”
Surprisingly, I do have something in common with John.
The Capitol Mall Project This project has not been presented to me. What I have learned on my own and from the Appeal’s recent articles: It is to be privately funded and built on private property owned by a foundation/business. If this is the case, then I would support such a project. If City owned property is involved, then it is no longer a private project, rather it is a private/public project and complete objectivity may no longer exist. Change is inevitable and will continue to occur in Carson City. The attraction of new businesses seems to have spurred the acceleration of change. Approved projects include the narrowing of Carson Street, Animal Shelter, Multi-Purpose Athletic Center and the planned Capitol Mall project now looms on the horizon. Soon there will be a number of ribbon-cutting ceremonies. There are many unmanageable influences that impact Carson City’s economy. However, policymakers can help the economy prosper by assisting entrepreneurs, employers and taxpayers who live here or move to Carson City.
Property Tax Rate Reduction The reduction in property tax rate, is being sold as a tax cut. The majority of citizens believe that since the Board lowered the property tax rate that property owners will see a reduction in their property taxes. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Prior to 2005, property taxes were determined by multiplying the assessed value by the tax rate.
In 2005, the Nevada Legislature passed AB489 or the property Tax Cap Law, which declared that property taxes on a single-family (owner occupied) residence, may not increase more than 3 percent from one year to the next. Today, property taxes are calculated by first multiplying the assessed value by the tax rate. This figure is then compared to the amount of taxes that were paid previously, plus the 3 percent increase. The lower amount is due. Example: a home sold in 2014 for $121,500 has a taxable value of $95,646; the taxes are $1,178.36 without a cap. With last year’s tax rate of $3.54 per $100 of assessed value, the capped taxes on this home would have been $1.019.16. This year’s tax rate of $3.52 per $100 of assessed value and with a 3 percent increase would make the taxes $1,049.73.
The capped taxes of $1,049.73 are lower than the $1,178.36 without a cap; therefore, $1,049.73 would be the taxes for 2015/2106.
Basically, lowering your tax rate did nothing to put money in your wallet.
Citizen Boards, Committees & Commissions It has been said: “Who the President of the United States appoints to the Supreme Court will affect the entire country.” The same can be said of the Board of Supervisors appointments, as they will affect the entire community. Carson City citizens interested in voluntarily serving on the Visitors Bureau, Cultural Resources, Debt Management, Planning Commission or one of the other many advisory boards, committees and commissions, can have that opportunity if appointed by the Board of Supervisors. As representatives on one of these committees, they will perform a valuable a community service by using their skills, interests and initiatives to make recommendations to the Board.
Volunteers are one of the most important support groups in a successful community. Citizens who take on these positions are essential to the well-being of the community. The Board relies heavily on citizens to attend these meetings and make comments on key projects, as their input is valuable.
All meetings should be held in the Sierra Room and televised with a start time of 5:30 p.m., which allows citizens the best window of opportunity to attend. On Jan. 20, 1961, at his inaugural address,John F. Kennedy said:“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.” To volunteer for your community call City Hall at 887-2100.
Become Educated, Involved in Local Government… by Jim Shirk | March 22, 2015
For this column I will state personal views on a few topics: education, city employees, the Sheriff Department, the Board of Supervisors, ending with a little insight about Jim Shirk.
Education We need a strong University presence in our community to support student success in career development. WNC, strategically, is the sleeping giant that will help students meet the ever-changing workforce demands of our community.
City Employees Rank and file city employees work long and hard. Many of our future managers will come from this pool of talent and bring with them insight on how to improve service and reduce costs.
Sheriff Department A recent ride-a-along with a Sheriff’s deputy changed my perception of the department and the challenges our officers face daily. There is a need for new equipment to meet the modern day demands of their jobs. We, the Board, need to proactively support our Sheriff’s Department.
The Board of Supervisors Five very different individuals make up the Board; each with a unique view and set of priorities. At times this creates an action packed discussion over certain “hot topics”.
While this position at times can be complicated by a wide range of topics, it can also be very time consuming and, if done right, it can be surprisingly full of rewards. Agenda items that come before the Board are NOT allotted enough time to study and this places a burdensome limit on both Board Members and citizens for meaningful analysis and input.
Because we operate under the constraint of time, I encourage citizens to review upcoming agenda items (available online) and become involved by voicing their opinion. To some degree the priorities, as viewed by the community, help to guide the Board’s direction.
The Board has access to statistics of measurement regarding population, education, employment and household incomes, to name a few. I wish there was a measurement for “quality of life”. One of our ultimate goals should be to improve the overall health of our community in which we serve and to help it to thrive on every level.
Our landfill needs to move towards more comprehensive recycling. Everyone must be caretakers of their community, which helps the environment. Computerizing our city system to better enable citizen access for on-line payment of all services, will modernize our community.
The Board needs to help in the development and preservation of the decommissioned Nevada State Prison, promote the arts, aid those facing poverty, and support the elderly.
About Jim Shirk Is it a good strategy to stand up and do what is right, even when it is unpopular, perhaps not. The reality is, as Mark Twain once said: “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest”.
It is always more efficient to voice one’s opinion while the topic is being discussed than to try and rectify a decided action after the fact. Therefore, I routinely deliver an honest and tactful opinion as to how and why I will vote on issues prior to the vote being taken. And I always welcome feedback about my evaluation and stance on an agenda item.
I am both thankful and grateful to numerous citizens who contact me; My close friends who are always there for me; My daughter Gianna, who is constantly available offering support or an opinion, should I ask; To my wife Michele, who is very active and outspoken about her political views and preferences. To her credit she remains silent about local politics. She stands with me in good times, and more importantly in rough times. To all of the above, I am truly blessed and one hell of a lucky man.
A Board member works for their constituents. I have learned from my mistakes and criticisms received. I respect the views and opinions of my fellow Board members. But, as Theodore Roosevelt said: “The most successful politician is he who says what the people are thinking most often in the loudest voice”.
Deep Thoughts, Cheap Shots and Bonbons… by Jim Shirk | January 22, 2015
“To get along, one must go along.” All too often I have heard this in the last two years. For me, the epiphany of understanding this phrase came in my second year when I realized nothing is going to change, not even this phrase. Puzzling to me is why some think there is a need to build a political consensus; yet, they build a political Berlin Wall and stand behind it saying, “it ain’t me causing this.”
Agenda item 23A on January 5th had been for appointments to City Commissions, Committees and Boards. Prior to the meeting, I presented to all Board members a fair and amicable approach for the appointments of Board members to these positions.
It is a very simple format and it provided the utmost impartiality to allow all elected officials the same opportunity to serve on these Commissions, Committees and Boards. However, this agenda item became one of most hotly contested agenda items that has come before this Board. The other one is Agenda item #23B which I will discuss next.
The first appointment had been Mayor pro-tem. Mayor Crowell, nominated and endorsed Karen Abowd for another two year term. I voiced that this position should be equally shared among all Board members on a rotating basis, allowing each to serve our community for one year before passing along this unique position to another Board member. The Board rejected this often used procedure that other municipalities routinely use.
Next were the appointments of Board members to numerous positions. After the fourth appointment was approved, it became obvious that I would not receive any nomination from the Board, so I nominated myself but failed to receive a Board majority vote to any one position.
After 16 nominations were made by Board members for positions I finally did receive my first and only nomination, which I declined.
There is another phrase that I have learned to live by, which is: “when all things are done, one must accept and move on.”
Agenda Item #23B
This item dealt with a resolution that will basically allow the City Manager or a Board member to testify before the Legislature stating the Board position was a majority regardless of the vote. It further states that no elected Board member may on his/her own testify as a representative of the Board during the same Legislative Session.
I alone voted against this for two reasons: The first is, whoever might testify could falsely report the vote of elected Board members, by saying it was a majority when in fact it may only have been a simple majority (4 to 1 or 3 to 2). The second, I believe no resolution should take away my right to have a voice as an elected official.
Carson City Mall Project
A drill rig has taken soil samples from the area behind the Nugget, which is just one step of many needed before proceeding forward with this project as shown on this website: www.maccompanys.com. The project consists of: two office buildings; two parking structures with retail business in both, one on Musser (564 spaces) the other on Carson Street (320 spaces); and a “Select Service Hotel 150 Keys” which was previously named “Hyatt 150 Keys.” There’s always some resistance to change, but, if this project were to come to fruition, I fully support and embrace it, as it is privately funded. It will be interesting, however, to see what company hangs their lease signs on these buildings.
This proposed project will have a huge impact on our entire Community, more so than will any corridor improvement or narrowing of streets. The prior signing of a confidentiality document by Board members not to discuss this project now seems immaterial and illogical. Will this project come before the Board prior to narrowing of Carson Street? The odds seem to be against this.
Carson City Municipal Golf Corporation
Following a lengthy discussion about how many rounds of golf are played, and what rate structures are used, it was reported the City received roughly $106,000.00 (6%+/–) of the 1.7 million dollar overall budget, per the lease agreement.
At the close of the meeting I stated, “The City should have a say in fee structures for a round of golf and memberships since this is a City owned facility.”
Another Moss Adams $50,000.00 Request
This request had been introduced as the “Lean Management Training and Green Belt Certification.” I alone voted against this due to the fact that other similar programs have not been completed and those that have been completed never achieved the goals that they were obligated to fulfill.
Agenda Preconceived Selected Motions and Concepts In Practice Today
Presently Supervisor Brad Bonkowski has the unique ability to ask for an agenda item or simply make a suggestion, and his wish is granted. This has happened without the required second motion or even a discussion. If this is the new normal then all Board members should be granted this very same privilege. Will we (Board members) be granted the courtesy? The odds are highly against it, but time will tell.
My Future Agenda Items
Increasing the hookup fees for water and sewer for all new construction not yet submitted to the City. This increase would be in the amount of 10% (+/-) then every year a 3% (+/-) increase. We have increased rates on our citizens and have not increased in similar fashion on new construction.
Fuji Park – There is need for a 5 year (+/-) study to evaluate the potential for growth in event use besides the State Fair.
Carson City Visitors Bureau, (CCVB) regarding how they schedule sporting events at Fuji Park, and how the new Multi-Athletic Center (MAC) scheduling will be coordinated between the Parks &Recreation / Boys & Girls Club / and the CCVB. Quite possibly there is a need for a scheduling position between the various City entities for usage times of any City facilities.
That any and all meetings of commissions or committees such as V&T, Debt Management, the City Library and so forth must be held in the Sierra Room where they can be televised. Additionally, agendas with all back up material for these meetings should be posted on the City’s Website.
Waste management contract, specify the section that requires a private citizen must use ONLY Waste Management’s container to haul trash and debris.
Brewery Arts Center (BAC), should give a presentation to the Board regarding their new direction they will take with the deduction of their operational staff.
For General Discussion
Is it appropriate for an elected Board member to serve as the Chairperson on citizens Commissions, Committees and Boards that they were appointed to? No, I don’t think it is. Because, as the Chairperson, this elected official now controls the agenda. That very same agenda could come before the Board of Supervisors for a vote, by that same official and allows for a possible conflict of interest.
As many citizens have noticed our streets are not in the best condition and apparently nothing will be changing (improving) in the next few years. City staff personnel with the Regional Transportation Commission have reported there is a shortage of funding to maintain our community streets. This will continue until the Legislature imposes new gas taxes on you the citizen, which will for all intended purposes fund more dollars into the Regional Transportation Commission. Will streets be improved and if so, when? My guess is it will take many years before any noticeable improvements are made to our streets.
Citizens Commissions, Committees and Boards serve a purpose. However, we need to review the purpose and the need for each of these groups, as City staff must attend each of these meetings, at the tax payer’s expense.
When will effluent water distribution be discussed? Hopefully, very soon.
Do you think the City should consider purchasing Empire Golf Course?
As leaders, one of our responsibilities is to listen to our constituents; I encourage you to forward your thoughts, concerns and suggestions.