Carson City has a long history of approving massive projects without the consent of local residents. Officials here have often avoided public votes on controversial issues because they have known the intuitive intelligence of the public.
Thus, when the patriarchal city wanted the good people of Carson City to pay for such stunning landmarks as a golf course, a Mills Park pavilion or a state bypass, the public was "bypassed" and approval was done in-house.
Commonly, years later, a board member or city official will then lament the decision to go around the public. It happened with the golf course and Arrowhead Drive, which resulted in a local grand jury and a federal investigation. It happened with the Pony Express Pavilion which started out as a skating rink and later was shunned by those who had touted its magnificence.
Now it is the bypass. The facts have always been out there regarding what the bypass would and would not be for Carson City. Elected representatives and government officials were intimately knowledgeable about those facts. Being politicians, they were also adroitly familiar with the changing tides of the political atmosphere.
But again, because of the powers pushing the project, a public vote regarding the gas tax was too risky. Tax-paying residents might wonder at its worth. They might ask questions. And then the facts would come out, regarding a real timetable for completion, regarding the real effect of the northern leg of the bypass would have on the city's crippling traffic problems.
Anyone who has been in public life knows, or should know, that trust and political handshakes have absolutely nothing to do with one another. To believe otherwise is to look at the world through those truly wonderful Rose-Colored Glasses