What are the biggest issues Carson City will face in the next four years? The hospital affiliation? The economy? Transportation?
Local candidates for mayor and supervisor are stumping for several of these issues and starting Monday, local and area state candidates who survived the primary election will square off to discuss these and other issues in one of two evening candidate forums.
Hosted by the League of Women Voters, Carson Access Television and the Nevada Appeal, the evening forums ask members of the public to pose questions to candidates either in person or via telephone, 882-2839.
Monday's forum features mayoral candidates Ray Masayko and Tom Tatro as well as supervisor candidates Verne Horton and Richard Staub. The school bond issue will also be discussed.
With about eight weeks left until the general election, local candidates are trying to find issues that will draw voters. The League of Women Voters asked each candidate to identify their three priorities for the city over the next four years.
Tatro's top-three list includes a strong economy and stable city budget, the hospital affiliation and storm drainage.
"A storm drainage system has to be done," Tatro said. "We're sitting in a valley and we're surrounded by mountains. It's not a glamourous thing to talk about but it's important."
Tatro said the outcome of the hospital affiliation process could have huge ramifications for the community and that the proposals for affiliation need to be carefully considered. He said transportation, including continuing to "keep the full press on" to make sure the freeway gets full funding is a crucial issue.
Masayko, who had just 329 more votes in the primary than Tatro, said his priorities continue to turn around public safety and a strong, stable city economy. He also wants to make sure the state holds to its commitment to complete the entire freeway by 2008.
Both Horton and Staub said they are both concerned about the city's economic stability and transportation issues. Staub led the primary by 1,099 votes.
While Horton listed public safety as his number two priority, Staub said he wants to help protect against "the erosion of our tax base, both property and sales tax."
Mary Lee, president of the League of Women Voters, said the group is non-partisan and hopes to create better informed voters with the forums.
"Personally, these forums help me to decide who to vote for," Lee said. "With them, I can be an informed voter. Without them, I don't know that I could be as informed.
While Assembly District 40 encompasses most of Carson City, three other districts share small portions of the city.
The forum on Wednesday, Sept. 20 features state assembly candidates in District 37 Daniel Timothy Lee, Karen M. Savage and Greg Brower; District 38, Joseph E. Dini, Jr. and Roger Bishop; District 39, Willie Edwards and Lynn Hettrick and District 40, Bonnie Parnell and Jeanne Simons. Dave Cook and Barbara Murphy, candidates for state board of education, will also answer questions Sept. 20.
The Carson City League of Women Voters is hosting two candidate forums Sept. 18 and Sept. 20 at the Community Center, 851 E. William St.
- Monday's forum, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., features candidates for Carson City mayor and supervisor. The question and answer session will be moderated by Peggy Twedt.
- On Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., candidates for state assembly districts 37, 38, 39 and 40 as well as State Board of Education candidates will be featured. The session will be moderated by Deirdre Pederson and Linda Johnson.
The forums will be broadcast live on CATV Channel 26. The television viewing audience can call in questions at 882-2839. For information call 882-8883.