Jim Shirk: Yea and nay votes require careful study
October 21, 2013
The city's website does not recap how the board voted after each meeting. To learn how I vote on an item, you must watch or attend the meeting. I try to explain and ask questions before each vote so the public can better understand the process for my decision.
Since I took office, I have pulled many Consent Agenda items that will cost tax payers money for discussion prior to any approval. I believe not asking questions and not having public discussion about spending taxpayer money is wrong.
Today we have a $30 million bond debt to repair an aging sewer and water facility. It should have had been maintained throughout the years with smaller increases in service fees, rather than the recent enormous increase we just incurred.
Financially I believe we need to do better and having only a legislative mandatory reserve can no longer be the accepted way of doing city business. Looming city employee labor agreements could quite possibly erase any increase we have achieved in our tax revenue. We have almost capped out on the taxes we can raise and only the 1/8 percent sales tax remains to carry us through an emergency. The use of this tax does not require a taxpayer vote, just the board's approval.
We currently have a $1 million shortage in our street and repair fund. It would be illogical at this time to use of the 1/8 percent sales tax on revitalizing our City corridors.
Supervisors make decisions that can have long-term effects on every taxpayer; therefore each agenda item should be vetted by the entire Board. I take my elected position seriously and lament that I have only a few days to thoroughly review my board meeting packet. Why isn't the theory of "haste makes waste" applied? Sorry, another question.
Each yea or nay vote I cast is done with much thought and study, numerous questions and always with you, the taxpayer, in mind.
We are embarking on a new direction in our city and selection of the right city manager is paramount for a bright and bountiful future. This process will take time and a sense of urgency to begin is not likely to backfire.
I continue to urge all Carson City residents and business owners to contact your elected officials with questions, comments and concerns. As I, will continue to ask questions of city staff and my fellow board members, it's the best way I know how to get answers for my constituents.
Jim Shirk is a member of the Carson City Board of Supervisors.