Carson perspective: City’s good credit rating goes a long way
January 20, 2013
Debt is a four-letter word. – Debt service, a four-letter word followed by a seven-letter word, is what comes after the incursion of debt. Debt service is reality whether you’re an individual or a city-county government. The following words from Carson City’s Mayor Robert Crowell, therefore, are relevant.“I also want to assure you,” he said during his recent state of the city speech, “that we are meeting our bonded indenture coverage requirements so our community’s credit rating remains very good.”Boring, you think? Hardly. Press on for a look at why.Things needed to run a sound, resilient and well-positioned city/ county include solid public safety units, a good public works department, good water supplies, a decent parks and recreation unit — particularly in a place where it oversees roof maintenance of public buildings as is true here — plus public-minded citizens paying taxes. And, as important as anything, good credit.To say everything else is window dressing goes too far, but a desire for pretty windows doesn’t negate the need for a building to have a rock solid foundation.So Thursday’s Board of Supervisors discussion on what to do about local government tolerance for the Eagle Valley golf complex falling behind on lease payments due the city, which owns the courses, proved instructive.For example, Mayor Crowell didn’t seem pleased at technical default on lease payments by the Carson City Municipal Golf Corp., and Supervisor Brad Bonkowski expressed concern debt service on the bonds involved could eventually get squeezed.Supervisor Karen Abowd’s motion to renegotiate the lease and seek a clear budget from the golf course complex operators went nowhere, which appeared a shot across the operation’s bow. Clearly, some supervisors are impatient with the status quo. The situation undoubtedly won’t put Carson City’s good bond rating in jeopardy any time soon. But along with Crowell’s earlier assurance about the bond rating, it portends necessary vigilance to keep that good rating.City government in the coming week on Tuesday at 10 a.m. will have a meeting of the Board of Equalization in the Carson City Community Center’s Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.On Thursday at 8 a.m. in the Ormsby Room of the Sheriff’s Administration Building, 911 E. Musser St., there will be an orientation workshop for the public regarding issues related to local government. The public can comment on matters related to the Board of Supervisors, the Liquor and Entertainment Board, the Redevelopment Authority and the Board of Health. Presentations also are planned. • John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.