Mark and Jenny Lopiccolo: Taking funds from redevelopment is shortsighted

Robin Williamson published an opinion column on Sunday, Sept. 7, regarding the recent 3-2 vote by our Board of Supervisors to essentially steal the accumulated funds generated over years by Downtown Redevelopment. In Supervisor Williamson's words, "The three men on the Carson City Board of Supervisors hit the Redevelopment Authority with a gut punch." We couldn't agree more. It is nice to know that we have one city official who has a vision for the future of our city and the courage to stick with it and stick up for it. Supervisor Aldean's comment that the mayor's proposal amounts to "double dipping" was also right on the money, no pun intended.

We have participated in the Downtown Consortium meetings and projects this summer. An innovative and successful project, the Consortium was a public/private effort, supported by many hardworking volunteers, to provide events like the Downtown Farmer's Market and Fridays at Third, as well as to study and make recommendations for the future of our downtown. Based on the thousands of attendees, and the positive feedback from the community, the events and other efforts of the consortium committees were an unqualified success. Our family members, from our 83-year-old father down to our 18-month-old granddaughter, not to mention many of our out-of-town guests, enjoyed being downtown this summer.

It is infuriating to see that, after all of the hard work to design a vision that incorporates the quality of life wishes of our citizens, and on the heels of the success this summer in providing wonderful family and entertainment events for the whole city, that a majority of our elected board sees fit to steal redevelopment funding in order to fix a few roofs, and perhaps install a pond at Fuji Park.

We are property owners and business owners in the Redevelopment District, whose extra tax assessments fund redevelopment. Like our neighbors, we have sacrificed in this economy to contribute our share toward realizing the goals of redevelopment. We did not sign up to have our money used on city maintenance projects. Every business owner in town has had to re-evaluate budgets and cut spending in order to weather our current economic storm. From my point of view, the 3-2 majority who voted for this fiasco acted with typical shortsightedness and in panic. You have sent a clear message to our local citizens and potential new businesses that efforts to create the quality of life and a good future for our city through Redevelopment will not be supported.

At the very least, supervisors might have waited to hear the report from the Downtown Consortium members, scheduled for just a few short weeks away. We encourage every interested resident to attend the evening (6 p.m.) supervisors meeting on Oct. 2.

Downtown property owners Mark and Jenny Lopiccolo are longtime residents of Carson City and operate Coldwell Banker Best Sellers, Elliot Ames Mortgage and Lopiccolo Construction.


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