Scene In Passing: Smorgasbord fills community’s plate

Carson City’s political, governmental and commercial plate is edging toward overflowing. Look at it as crowded with the three staples of a meal: meat, potatoes and vegetables.

Your choice which of the three is politics, government or business. From this perspective, it’s a cornucopia landing on the community plate from a smorgasbord.

A commercial-governmental partnership becoming evident is under way to help the city and region grow light industry and the workforce needed to piggyback on a national manufacturing renaissance.

A recent re-reading of William Greider’s “Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country” showed high interest rates and a strong dollar in the mid-1980s strangled inflation, but also strangled U.S. manufacturing.

“I’m a friend of the Fed’s,” the book quoted Robert O. Andersen, then chairman of Atlantic Richfield oil and a former board chairman of the Dallas Fed. “But I really have been alarmed at what they have done.” Anderson said he told Fed officials their policies “were going to kill our industrial sector, and that’s what happened.”

Today, after miniscule interest rates for years, there is some revival. Skilled manufacturing jobs pay well.

Manufacturers and educators met at Western Nevada College last week to promote a larger light manufacturing workforce here, part of a continuing collaboration. Things are happening.

They’re happening in local politics, too, heating up after candidate filing finished on Friday. Stay tuned for debate on commercial and governmental issues going into June’s primary and November’s general elections.

In just weeks, Sportsman’s Warehouse opens at Carson Mall. Bealls family apparel store opens there in late April. High Sierra Brewing Co. closes later this month and exits a downtown building, after which work begins to refurbish it for a new business tenant or tenants. It’s a sad story for owners and their beer-loving customers, but it was over a lease. The beer distribution business was doing well and could revive elsewhere if an investor steps up.

A city sales tax hike amounting to $12.50 per $10,000 of taxable goods purchased was approved. It will raise $1 million annually, meaning capital projects will roll out over coming years. Love it or hate it, money is on the move in both the public and private sectors.

Carson City’s hunt for a city manager is on the march, too. The Board of Supervisors come Thursday will begin talking about seven candidates a headhunter is recommending from nearly 80 applicants.

Change is in the air. Spring is a whisper away. Just one question: What’s for dessert?

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at


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