John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com

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April 7, 2013
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Carson Perspective: A doughnut, a doughnut; my kingdom for that doughnut

Elections have consequences, including the need to share the spoils.

The spoils referred to here are doughnuts available to Carson City’s Board of Supervisors when it meets.

In this year’s first quarter, with the board’s makeup altered by a 40 percent change due to the 2012 election, second-term Mayor Robert Crowell observed that elections have consequences. He prompted laughter as he followed that droll observation with a quip about now having to share the dive for doughnuts with rookie Supervisor Brad Bonkowski.

Bonkowski, who exited last Thursday’s meeting with a mega-doughnut that looked chock full of chocolate, is one of the new board members; Supervisor Jim Shirk is the other.

In their initial quarter as supervisors, the new pair agreed at times and produced contrast on others. Both sound like budget hawks, walking the walk as well as talking the talk at times, though not always in concert.

Both voted, though in the minority, against authorization to hire a new deputy city manager at $125,000 annually plus benefits. The majority looked to efficiencies.

The new pair disagreed on buying the downtown Business Resource Innovation Center (BRIC) building for $1.25 million despite an appraisal under $1 million. Bonkowski joined the majority for purchase. Shirk voted no.

You might question which of the real estate men — Bonkowski in commercial sales, Shirk in residential — made the right call. Bonkowski indicated the appraisal was low. A low interest rate on the installment purchase contract could make the purchase a budget hawk’s dream.

In the same meeting, Shirk pushed to accept a Lyon County gift of land in Carson City, but his motion died for lack of a second. Other members preferred to await due diligence first, then perhaps accept later if there aren’t hidden strings attached. Shirk acquiesced, voting for such a deliberative step.

The bottom line is that these new supervisors tend the purse strings. It’s not that the holdovers are particularly profligate, but this pair appears hawkish at nearly every turn.

Unless you count doughnuts.

Among the things that count from this perspective is public civility. This board has that and wants it retained. It voted to oppose Assembly Bill 401, which calls for such boards to be elected on a partisan rather than non-partisan basis. The bill prompted an inquiry from Supervisor John McKenna some could view as uncivil but might make others chortle.

He asked when state legislators go home.

Next week’s pertinent meetings in the Community Center’s Sierra Room include the Convention & Visitors Bureau board at 4 p.m. on Monday, the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Regional Transportation Committee from 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com.


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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jul 30, 2013 12:35PM Published Apr 7, 2013 01:45AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.