Jim Shirk: Deep thoughts, cheap shots & bonbons
July 26, 2014
Regarding John Barrette's commentary in the Nevada Appeal on July 23: I was not the first to share the news of the Hyatt Hotel project; as it was already alluded to by the Northern Nevada Development Association on its website. In addition to numerous rumors that ran rampant throughout the community.
Recently, when the downtown corridor project was before the board I stated, "there is a possibility of a downtown development of a Hotel, mid-sized convention center and other commercial/retail structures in the works for Carson City." For that reason, I made a motion to not proceed with the narrowing of Carson Street until we fully understand the effects this project could have on our community. The board voted against this simple yet precautionary motion.
Additionally, some members of the board have signed non-disclosure agreements with the NNDA. While simultaneously the NNDA is asking for $200,000 from the board, I do hope transparency prevails here.
Keeping in touch with my constituents and being involved in the community is not campaigning — it's what all elected officials should be doing.
Finally, let me share something my father told me: "never be satisfied with where you are in life — always strive to achieve more, do more, and be more than you are today."
So, as we draw closer to the election of 2016 and keeping in line with my commitment to be transparent, I will make sure my decision is quite clear if I re-run for my current ward position or make a bid for the mayor's seat.
In the meantime, we have much to discuss:
Citizens in our community are well versed and know that I have written, spoken and voted against the 1/8 of a cent sales tax increase. This tax increase has been passed by a majority vote (4-1) of the board; I cannot reverse or recall this tax increase.
It's now my responsibility to be part of the process to ensure your tax dollars will be spent wisely. Regardless of how I voted (nay) on the sales tax increase, each item that comes before the board under the sales tax increase now requires a new viewpoint and will involve a vote to approve or disapprove of any agenda item such as the: Animal Shelter; Multi-Purpose Athletic Center; and Corridors.
Regarding the proposed Business Improvement District Tax, if the majority of any group, businesses owners, or property owners fully support initiating a BID tax for the maintenance of improvements made within each corridor, it would seem reasonable to assume city staff will move forward with implementing procedures for this tax.
How can we stabilize our local economy? Some are saying, with the legalization of marijuana. Again, I was the lone vote against the resolution that permitted dispensaries, cultivation and the production facilities. First of all, I strongly believe any person who receives a prescription from their doctor should not be denied this legal remedy. Any person should be able to obtain any drug a doctor has approved and prescribed, including marijuana. My family has personally witnessed and experienced the positive side of how this drug can ease the physical pains associated with some diseases, which will allow for a more peaceful departure.
Here are the reasons I voted against this ordinance: the board did not limit the cultivation establishments, and the setbacks for dispensary from other community facilities were reduced from 1,000-feet to 300-feet.
At the Board of Supervisors meeting, I made a motion to allow one dispensary, and then six months later allow for another dispensary. After monitoring the dispensary facilities for one year, we could then allow the first cultivation facility. I expanded my motion to limit both dispensaries and cultivation to only two each in our community, and have the original setbacks remain. My reasoning to the board had been we should take a more gradual step-by-step approach rather than "jumping all in" as there were many considerations that make this a risky venture. My motion failed to pass.
I try to stay in touch with our community as much as I can. Please contact me regarding any events, ideas or concerns you may have.
Jim Shirk is supervisor for Ward 4. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-720-5761.