Carson City residents have until March 25 to seek a spot on committees drafting ballot language for and against the city's proposal to develop the Carson City Fairgrounds.
City supervisors approved Thursday an advisory question for the November general ballot which reads, "While retaining and improving the area known as Fuji Park, should Carson City make available for commercial development City property known as the Carson City Fairgrounds?"
Six people, three on each committee, will be asked to draft 400-word arguments and 200-word rebuttals on the pros and cons of the city selling the fairgrounds, 20 acres of city land sandwiched between commercial development to the north and south.
Supervisors will appoint the committee members April 4, and the committee members will have until May 3 to submit their arguments to Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover.
He implored supervisors to choose people who can write well.
While supervisors will appoint the committee, they will have no official input on the arguments once they're formed. The questions will be formed in public meetings.
Mike Hoffman, president of the Concerned Citizens to Save Fuji Park and the Fairgrounds, said adding a reference to Fuji Park could create confusion that the park's preservation was contingent on the outcome of the vote. However, Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Forsberg said the Fuji Park reference was intended to clarify that city leaders have preserved the park.
While members of the Concerned Citizens have asked they be allowed to help draft ballot language, their group is also planning on suing the city to get a question of their own on the 2002 ballot.
The city's decision to ask Carson residents for an advisory vote on the fairground issue was made after the Concerned Citizens presented supervisors with a 3,400-signature petition asking supervisors to pass an ordinance protecting the fairgrounds and Fuji Park forever.
However, Forsberg said supervisors could ignore the ordinance change requested by the group's petition because it address administrative matters and is, therefore, unconstitutional. However, the Concerned Citizens feel the city broke the law by ignoring the direct request of the petition.
You can help
For information on serving on a city ballot question committee, call the Elections Office at 887-2082. Pick up applications at 851 E. Musser St.