Four years ago I ran for office ready and eager to take on the challenges facing this great City. This ambition is still alive in me today. Some elected officials say they are elected to make the hard decisions. I believe the decisions elected officials make should represent the majority view and be for the betterment of the whole.
During these past four years, I have constantly sought your input on issues coming before the Board of Supervisors. Going door to door and attending numerous public meetings, I have asked for your views on critical issues prior to casting my vote. Several times open meetings were held at our home with invitations extended to the public. In addition, notices were sent using mailers, email, and posted in the newspaper.
My votes these last four years have reflected the majority opinion of the citizens. Yes, I have voted “NO” on certain issues that came before the Board such as: the 1/8th-cent sales tax increase; the narrowing of Carson Street; and the sharp increase in sewer and water fees. As a follow-up, I have routinely informed you as to why I voted “Aye or Nay” on issues brought before the Board. I firmly believe in, and am committed to, continuing to make my decisions transparent.
One of my highest priorities as your elected Supervisor has been to strive for a balanced budget. I have evaluated city expenditures while always aware of the fiscal impact and the potential effect these financial decisions may have on you.
During these past four years, the Board of Supervisors voted in the 1/8th-cent sales tax and the build-out of a new sewer plant. Included in the 1/8th cent sales tax were the narrowing of Carson Street, the Multi-Purpose Athletic Center (MAC), and an animal shelter. Prior to that vote, I made suggestions as to how we could accomplish all of these projects, using other funding sources and strategies.
In addition, the 1/8th cent sales tax was recently tapped to partially fund the newly approved modification of south Carson Street between Fairview Drive and Snyder Avenue. That renovation will reduce Carson Street from six lanes to four with an island in the center to provide a street-like environment upon completion of the freeway. The total cost of these projects has not been tallied; it is estimated to be in the tens of millions. During the next four years, there should be a follow-up goal to curb expenditures under this 1/8th cent sales tax and a plan set in motion to pay down this debt. For the financial health of our city, it should not continue to be a bottomless pit from which to draw funds for any project put forth.
Although I voted against several issues that came before the Board during this time period, the projects are either complete or in progress. Therefore, I feel we should support them for the good of our community.
Going forward, we should improve our partnership with Western Nevada College and give support toward their goals as they are a key element to developing a well-trained work force. Higher education is the foundation on which our community could economically benefit.
My wife, Michele, and I along with our children and our soon to be grandchild are privileged to live in Carson City. I am honored to represent and serve the citizens of Carson City as your Supervisor.
As a reminder, regardless of where you live in Carson City you can vote to re-elect me. Local representatives directly impact your life, your community, and your wallet. For the past four years I have been your “Voice of Reason,” standing up for you in the way I have voted. I ask that you allow me to continue my work on the Board of Supervisors on your behalf.
Jim Shirk can be reached at email@example.com or (775) 720-5761.