Richard S. Staub, Esq.
I have lived in Carson City since April, 1960. I attended Carson City schools, graduating in 1969. I then attended UNR, graduating in 1973. I then attended law school, graduating in December, 1976. I have practiced law over the years and have developed some commercial real estate in downtown Carson City.
I am married to Janet and have two children, Sam and Sadie. My extended family also lives in Carson City.
I serve on the Regional Transportation Commission, the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Airport Authority, the Community Council on Youth, the Senior Citizens Advisory Board, the Debt Management Commission, Auto Row Work Group, the City Audit Committee and as Mayor Pro Tem.
Have you ever been arrested?
I have never been arrested.
Describe your vision for the Carson City of the future?
Living here most of my life, I have watched Carson City grow from a very small town to what it is today. Carson City has offered my family a safe and peaceful place to live over the years. I want Carson City to continue to prosper and offer the quality of life that it has offer to me and my family. That would include safe neighborhoods and streets, good schools, a healthy business environment citywide, exemplary public services, adequate and well maintained parks and recreational facilities, and open space in our surrounding mountains.
List the three most important issues Carson City will face in the next few years
First, finishing the freeway is still a priority to me. It affects a number of goals we have set including moving our resident around and through town and improvements to downtown Carson City.
Second, in these very difficult economic times, maintaining a balanced budget while providing our residents good services without increasing taxes and fees. This will include our efforts to promote continued citywide economic development and protecting our sales tax base and the retailers which produce it.
Third, protecting and improving our safe and prosperous quality of life discussed above.
Do you think Carson City has a healthy number of Casinos? Would you support more casinos?
Yes. Development of additional casinos is really driven by those who desire to develop their private property for such use and more importantly, the economic conditions which might affect those development decisions. However, I have no problem with additional casinos so long as they are constructed in appropriately zoned areas of our community and they do not adversely affect our ability to provide services to them.
If the city continues to face budgetary problems, would you consider layoffs as part of the solution?
Al budget options must be on the table for consideration by the Board of Supervisors. While layoffs are never a desirable budget solution, when approximately 78% of our annual budget is dedicated to employee salaries and benefits, these cost areas cannot be ignored in order to achieve expense reductions. We have accomplished substantial budget reductions with a hiring freeze instituted last year. I will continue to identify other costs savings options, as the Board has done in the past, before layoffs are considered as a cost savings measure in our effort to maintain a balanced budget.
How would you characterize the level of crime in Carson City, including gang-related crime? Do you believe the city needs more law enforcement officers?
According to recently published crime statistics, serious crime in Carson City is slightly down. I believe we must first identify, with some degree of accuracy, our local crime activity including what portion is gang related, so that we can properly evaluate the problem and promulgate an appropriate law enforcement response to the activity. I believe the Sheriff has consistently received a budget which provides sufficient staff to provide adequate public safety to our citizens. However, the Sheriff has continued to face challenges maintaining a full complement of officers due to staff attrition and other vacancies.
How will you vote on the public safety ballot question that asks voters if they want to increase their property taxes to add more firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement officers?
An Ad Hoc advisory committee recommended to the Board of Supervisors that Carson City needs more firefighters, a new ambulance unit and additional deputies. The Board decided to authorize this ballot question because we are in difficult economic times and the issue of raising our property taxes at this time is critical. This now a matter before the voters of Carson City, and I will abide by the vote of the people. However, I must point out that as a member of the Board, I have supported public safety issues over the years. Carson City has invested over $40 million in public safety in the last ten years.
How will you vote on the V & T tax ballot question, which proposes using sales tax to provide $10 million for the railroad in return for a share of the profits?
Again, the Board decided to authorize this ballot question because this matter has been before the citizens of Carson City before and it remains a diverse issue among our residents. Further, the Board again recognized that we are in difficult economic times and the issue of raising our sales taxes at this time is critical. This is now a matter before the voters of Carson City, and I will abide by the vote of the people. With that said, while I support the V & T as a project, Carson City residents have paid more than their fair share. I would like to see contributions from all of the regional partners of this project.
What impression do you think Carson City makes upon visitors? What things can be done to improve Carson=s Afirst impression@?
I think Carson City is a beautiful community. We have received national and state awards for our beauty such as being recognized as a ACity of Trees@. We are Nevada=s capital and a historic community. That combination provides a very positive impression on anyone who visits our fine city. And many of us have elected to relocate to Carson City as a result of those visits and the impression Carson City conveys to its visitors. However, I would close by saying that we need more attractive gateway signs and we are working on this issue.
Do you agree with one supervisor candidate=s statement that Carson City has wasted assets and resources by poor planning?
Frankly, it is easy to make allegations, more difficult to prove. I do not know the basis of such a statement. The City has strived to complete its projects with proper planning, competitive bidding, proper construction management and timely completion of a our project within budget. For example, we completed the new Sheriff=s administration building early and under budget. I believe make every effort properly plan for all projects and spend the public=s assets and resources in the most costs effective and efficient manner as possible.
Carson City has a detailed plan to make the downtown more inviting to walking traffic, which includes a reduction in lanes. Do you support the plan? What are your ideas for improving downtown?
As a member of the Redevelopment Authority, we have implemented programs which promote a friendly and accessible downtown whether by foot, bicycle or vehicle. Examples would be the blue line, the Ghost walk, the wine tour and most recently, the 3rd Street activities. We have worked hard to make the downtown more attractive for all of us to visit regularly. However, I cannot support lane reductions until the freeway is completed to the Spooner junction. Even with the freeway completed to Fairview, I do not believe we can divert enough traffic to the freeway to allow for an immediate reduction in lanes and yet maintain the efficient movement of traffic through our downtown.
The city has recently attracted retailers by offering monetary incentives. Do you support this policy? If not, what strategy do you believe the city should use to attract businesses to locate here rather than in nearby communities?
Unfortunately, economic incentives are a creature of jurisdictional competition for sales tax revenue. By law, sales taxes are the life blood of city governments. Another driving force for incentives is our effort to fill empty store fronts throughout Carson City, which I have been repeatedly told is a concern for many of our residents. Incentives have provided the City with a tool to maintain and improve our retail sales tax base and fill those empty stores. However, there are limitations. I would prefer that the City merely act as a facilitator between developer and landowner and go no further. However, I fear that wishful thought is not realistic in our current the political landscape.
Do you believe Carson City=s library is adequate? Why?
While I would like to see a bigger and better library, our current budgetary constraints do
not allow us to do so. However, that has not stopped us from looking to improve the library. We recently approached the federal government to ask whether the former post office might be available to the City for a new library location among other city uses. Unfortunately, our request was denied for now. Regardless, I will continue to support the library and do whatever I can to improve the facility as it becomes available.
Do you believe Carson City has an adequate number of parks and similar facilities? Why?
Yes. I believe Carson City has exemplary parks and recreational facilities. We also strive to improve them whenever the funding is available to do so. Just look at Fuji Park and the new fairgrounds facility currently under construction. And next year, I am confident we will see construction start on our new recreation center.
Some candidates have made comments about some citizens being subjected to treatment more fair than others. Do you agree? If so, in what areas has this occurred?
I am unaware of any such comments and have no knowledge of any facts which would support such comments. Carson City staff strives to provide fair and equal treatment to anyone who seeks to do business with Carson City.
What else would you like to say to voters about your qualifications and ideas?
As Ward 4 Supervisor, I have promoted issues such as our freeway, alternative routes throughout Carson City, fiscally sound and accountable government, low taxes, and the preservation of our quality and safety of life. We have made significant progress in all of those areas. In the coming years, Carson City will face diverse challenges as our community grows, putting ever increasing pressure on our community resources. I will continue to meet these challenges as I have in the past. I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve my community and the citizens of Carson City. I would again appreciate that opportunity in the next four years.