Library PAC spends $90,000 supporting ballot question
October 21, 2012
The political action committee formed to help pass Carson City’s library ballot question spent $89,470 on the cause as of the Oct. 16 report filed with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office.
Nearly all that money was donated to the effort through the Carson City Library Foundation.
But contrary to what some people think, both the head of the foundation and Steve Neighbors, the driving force behind the Carson Nugget’s City Center project, say none of that cash came from the Nugget or the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation.
Library foundation head Sev Carlson said the committee’s money was raised through fundraising efforts and donations from individuals and businesses over the years since the foundation was created in 1986, and not just Nugget money.
Neighbors said the Nugget’s major spending will be on the City Center project that will be built adjacent to the library, saying the two projects aren’t one and the same.
“The City Center Project is not the library project,” said Neighbors. “The library is a small portion of the City Center Project.”
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The ballot question asks Carson City voters to support raising the sales tax in the capital a quarter-cent to pay off some $28.8 million in bonds that would build the downtown library and adjacent plaza. That project would be constructed on land donated by the Nugget behind the existing casino.
City Center is the Nugget’s planned downtown complex that would, as Neighbors put it, “wrap around” the library including commercial space for business, a garage and extensive remodel of the Nugget to provide convention space and attract business downtown.
Carlson said the Nugget and Adams foundation have contributed substantial amounts to the library foundation, but for specific purposes such as the $100,000 from Mae Adams to pay for architectural design and planning for the library.
Neighbors said the Nugget foundation gave the library foundation money to help get federal grants for computer equipment and other such things that will be included in the new library but not to support the efforts to pass the ballot question.
“We haven’t been funding some big political campaign,” said Neighbors. “All the money we’ve given has been slated to specific things.”
The political action committee, called the Committee for a Proud and Prosperous Capital City, used the money for extensive advertising, mailers, printing of signs and posters among other things to help explain and win community support for the project.
Their total spending on the effort won’t be known until after the election when their final report is filed with the secretary of state.