Supervisor seeks action he opposed with vote

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Supervisor Jim Shirk asked Monday that the one-eighth-cent sales-tax issue and capital projects it would finance return to Carson City’s Board of Supervisors despite his minority position last Thursday.

Shirk and Supervisor John McKenna then opposed a motion instructing staffers to look further into issues involved, but Mayor Robert Crowell and Supervisors Karen Abowd and Brad Bonkowski favored seeing the staff move forward.

Crowell indicated after the vote that, because a four-vote supermajority would be needed for final adoption, staffers should avoid spending much time on the idea. City Manager Larry Werner agreed with that after the meeting, but Monday said he might bring it back Dec. 5. It also could be returned to the board in a subsequent meeting because the motion approved 3-2 didn’t fix an exact return date, according to Werner.

If it doesn’t return until next year, Werner will be gone. It would be shepherded there under Interim City Manager Marena Works. Werner retires Dec. 19 and Works takes over as the interim right after that.

“I am requesting that you direct staff to proceed forward on the agenda item the majority of the board approved at our last meeting,” Shirk wrote to the mayor, with copies to District Attorney Neil Rombardo and Werner.

“I’m half tempted to put it on and see what happens,” Werner said. He said he will decide later in the week and take action based on “what makes the most sense.”

He said the agenda item last week was designed to give the board flexibility. Both Shirk and McKenna said they also wanted citizens involved more. McKenna went so far as to call for a vote of the people prior to hiking city sales tax by the last one-eighth cent under the city’s authority.

The hike would raise about $1 million annually, which could underpin $14 million or so in bonds for partial or full funding of capital projects. The ones in the last agenda item were a multi-purpose athletic center, an animal shelter and improvements to business corridors downtown, to the north and south on Carson street, and to the east on William street.


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