I have been a resident of Carson City for the past 30 years and have been proud to be a citizen of this town. There have been some issues that have come up in the past that I do not agree with but have always gone along with our elected officials' decisions on how these should be handled since they were elected by the citizens and have their best interest in mind when making choices which change Carson City as a whole. I have voted in the elections and have not been very politically minded until the last couple of years when I saw the area start to look more like a big city than a beautiful small town.
I have been president for the Karson Kruzers for the past 14 years and have been proud to be part of the Run What Cha Brung car show, which the club has hosted in June for the past 15 years. We have had 350+ cars attend for the past six years, of which 75 percent were from out-of-state. One of the comments that has been made to members and myself every year is what a beautiful park and fairgrounds we have and how they enjoy coming back every year. We are about to destroy our park and our elected officials are going to do this by saying it is for the best interest of Carson City and not ask the users or citizens what they would like to see.
The users of the fairgrounds and Fuji Park formed a coalition in 1990 to help Parks and Recreation in a master plan to follow for improvements needed at the fairgrounds. The officials of Carson City have listened in the past to the users and citizens of Carson City on the outcome of the fairgrounds and park area and voted with that in mind.
It seems the officials have changed their minds on asking the users and citizens of Carson City what they would like to see done with the fairgrounds and park area and have started to sell the land off, as they would say, for the "betterment" of Carson City. The process they were pursuing to do this was taking too long, so they decided to move it to a faster track and called part of the area "blighted" land and put into redevelopment. (Blighted means undeveloped.)
The coalition started fighting the sale of the land in December of 1999, but found out the deal had already been made and there wasn't much that could be done about it. I, for one, thought that our officials would never sell off Carson City park property, so I called my district supervisor and was told that the rest of the park would stay intact, if that is what the users wanted.
It has taken approximately four and one-half months to sell part of a Carson City park, issue a special use permit, change some Nevada Forestry land into land usable by the developer and approve the plans for a commercial outlet. Before we knew it, there was no turning back. It took everyone by surprise. No one had a chance to say anything because it was too late. Now we have Costco to be built where the park had plans for an indoor arena, kart track and parking for the fairgrounds and park. The users decided that we could coexist with Costco since it was a done deal, and we personally have nothing against Costco.
The coalition called a meeting with some supervisors, city manager, parks and recreation board members and Carson City Visitors Bureau in February of this year. During the meeting, which was attended by approximately 150 people, some questions were asked about the future of the fairgrounds and park. The answer was the park would stay intact if that is what everyone wanted. The city manager stood up at the last of the meeting and stated the "betterment" of Carson City would have to be considered in the decisions concerning the park also.
I was elected as chairperson for the coalition and scheduled some meetings and prepared some preliminary plans on what the users wanted to see happen to the fairgrounds and park. The coalition has met twice and have come up with a preliminary drawing of what we would like to see at the fairgrounds and park area.
The meetings have been attended by various horseman associations, kart track members, dog show members, car show members and members from the park and recreation department as well as the parks and recreation committee. The coalition will present this design to the parks and recreation committee and the board of supervisors in April.
The reason I am writing this is on Channel 10 in the City Manger's Report with Dave Morgan and John Berkich, it was stated the park is to be sold off for the "betterment" of Carson City. Will there be enough money to build another fairgrounds and park the same or better somewhere else? Will they eliminate a park the citizens are proud of, or will we build another strip mall?
The officials keep saying the sales tax dollars that will be generated would be worth the sacrifice, but I wonder if the sacrifice of the fairgrounds and park would be for the "betterment' of Carson City. Please stand up for the "betterment" of Carson City and tell our officials that enough is enough. Stop selling off our parks.
Come to the meeting of the parks and recreation and board of supervisors and voice your opinion or call your supervisor or mayor and tell them enough is enough. Be part of the decision-making of Carson City.
The city mayor and board of supervisors phone number is 887-2100.
President, Karson Cruzers Car Club
Chairperson for Carson City Fairgrounds and Fuji Park Users Coalition