Editor’s note: Former Carson City Supervisor Shelly Aldean was asked a series of questions affording her a chance to reflect on nearly a decade of work on the city’s governing board.Aldean, who left office in January, provided the following thoughts about board accomplishments and her service during the past nine years she held the office. From my perspective, the purchase of the Bentley and Serpa properties in the Carson River Canyon were two of Carson City’s best open space acquisitions, because they were multi-purposed. They not only afforded us more control over a critical natural resource, but they enabled the V & T Railway Commission to secure right-of-way critical to the reconstruction project.BUILDING THE FUTUREON PAST DECISIONS Investing in your future is generally always expensive but the ultimate benefits can be far-reaching.Carson City has done a good job of managing its water resources through conjunctive use, the dispersing of reclaimed wastewater, blending to reduce the concentrations of regulated substances, acquiring strategic water rights and partnering with its neighbors on mutually beneficial infrastructure projects such as the interties with Douglas and Lyon counties.Interties are water line connections. In part these decisions helped deal with emergency water needs and avoid building a $40 million uranium treatment plant, plus not incur $1.4 million costs for plant operation and uranium disposal.However, although these proactive projects and practices are necessary, they will not address the challenges and demands of a water treatment and delivery system that is aging and in need of upgrading and repair.The challenge will be to ensure that any future rate increases are equitable and are not designed to favor one class of user over another (e.g. residential over commercial).COPING WITH OLD INFRASTRUCTUREAs with our water and wastewater systems, the roadways in Carson City and the state as a whole are also aging. Although not a popular notion, I think the implementation of a weight/distance tax to account for the disproportionate burden placed on our roads by heavy trucks and transports will be necessary to ensure that roads throughout our City and State are properly maintained.Those who place the greatest burden on our infrastructure should be those who pay the highest price. A number of states including Kentucky and New Mexico have enacted such a tax to deal with the damage done to public roadways by over-sized vehicles carrying heavy loads.Recalling RewardingexperiencesOne of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in recent years has been my participation in the Capital City Circles Initiative — a transformational program designed to help people in generational and situational poverty become economically self-sufficient by giving them tools they need to chart a course toward a better future, free of public assistance.Through the “Getting Ahead Program” in Circles, participants investigate behaviors that prevent them from leading financially secure lives. They engage in discussions regarding such things as family finance, effective discipline, work place behavior, and goal setting.Upon graduation, these “Circle Leaders” are matched with community Allies who model effective behaviors, give counsel, contribute expertise and accompany these graduates on their journeys out of poverty.Although a very labor intensive program, the Circles Initiative is a model for what welfare should be — a hand up, not a hand out.
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