Sheriff staffing, storm drainage and funding for the library will be at the top of Carson City supervisors' lists next May when they go to work spending next year's $40 million budget.
The supervisors have set new goals for next year's budget - even though most of this year's goals are yet to be met.
Finding funding for issues in 2000 will be harder than usual because the city will see a significant increase in its insurance rates that could pull up to $700,000 from the budget, said city Finance Director David Heath.
Each year city supervisors and department head meet to decide which issues are most important for supervisors to focus on during budget hearings. Making the list doesn't ensure funding, but it does move it up in consideration.
Supervisor Pete Livermore said the process was like "developing a menu of perceived community needs."
"If we did nothing else, we all represent the community somehow and tried to bring our needs into focus," Livermore said.
Sheriff staffing gained the number one priority. The sheriff department's problems came to light after two shootings in July and August focused attention on staffing. Supervisors gave the department $82,000 to hire two deputies. But Sheriff Rod Banister said because community policing and public safety were among the supervisors' priorities, the decision should have been made during budget hearings months earlier.
Supervisor Jon Plank argued for the sheriff's department during the goal setting meeting, noting low staffing levels and a need to finish a public safety master plan.
"I don't think we can ignore identified needs," Plank said. "We need to complete the process before we move something else, but we need to in good conscience try to advance those issues that the public wants."
Although new goals are up for consideration, several of this year's goals are unfinished, in progress or on the shelf. That drew criticism from Plank and Supervisor Robin Williamson.
Williamson said she felt the system used to set goals was flawed.
"We need to first take a look and review what projects we want to complete and incorporate those into our strategy before we enter new goals," she said. "Our first priority is to meet our continuing obligations. We can't do things in an unfinished manner. I feel we should complete one project the best we can before trying to meet other needs."
Mayor Ray Masayko said new and past goals were representative of what the community wanted.
"In surveys when we ask people if the priorates set by the board of supervisors for focus are right, people generally say yes," Masayko said. "If you focus on things like community policing, expanding the tax base and education, you hit the basic issues. Those are the apple pie, motherhood and baseball type issues."
Supervisors' top 10 goals for 2000-2001:
1. Sheriff staffing
2. Storm drainage
4. Juvenile Center Phase II
5. Kitchen for juvenile center
6. Economic Development position
7. Sheriff admission center
8. Dispatch center
9. Investigative district attorney
10. Incorporate GIS computer resources
Goals for 1999-2000:
1. Sheriff's facilities
2. Community policing
3. Fire department staffing
4. Expansion/development of construction standards
5. Ordinance enforcement and standard review
6. Annual Performance report
7. Year 2000 contingency
8. Plan for transition to Metropolitan Planning Organization
9. Meet Senior needs
10. Carson City Year 2000 celebration
11. Availability of additional funding to meet growing needs
12. Additional counseling and mental health services/facilities