Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell and Supervisor Lori Bagwell both described their recent trip to Washington, D.C., as a success.
The pair represented Carson City at the White House Nevada Elected Officials Convention on Nov. 3, where they met with Vice President Mike Pence, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn and representatives from 10 federal agencies.
The goal was to forge a direct relationship between local officials and the federal departments their counties and cities depend on for funding.
“Every chance we got I talked about Carson City,” said Crowell.
His first opportunity was Thursday evening before the meeting, when he and three other local officials were invited to bowl at the Harry S. Truman Bowling Alley inside the White House. There they met and bowled with four federal staff members, including Billy Kirkland, the White House deputy director of intergovernmental affairs.
“It was an invaluable little connection,” said Crowell. “I wanted to make sure they know Carson City is on the map, there are important things going on here, and that we would like to get to know them better.”
That evening Bagwell attended a meeting at the National Association of Counties and took a tour of the Capitol Building hosted by retired Nevada Congressman Jon Porter.
On Friday, the group took a tour of the White House in the morning and in the afternoon met with representatives from various federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Crowell brought with him a formal presentation on the city’s application for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant, which he gave to the transportation representative.
Carson City has applied for $8 million in TIGER funds to redo Carson Street between 5th Street and Fairview Drive as part of its South Carson Street Complete Streets project.
Crowell also discussed with federal officials the Federal Emergency Management Agency money for flood repairs that are now on hold.
He also got a chance to boast to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s deputy Carson City’s manager, Nick Marano, once worked for his boss as well as for U.S. Secretary of Defense and retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis and U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“They’ll remember that,” said Crowell.
Bagwell said she spoke with the Interior representative about the hope for a competitive and open bid processing for parcels in the Pinion Hills neighborhood the Bureau of Land Management wants to put on the market.
She and other Nevada officials also said they hoped the administration would work to add rules for passing money through from state to local governments on block grants.
But Bagwell and Crowell said the most important accomplishment may have been leaving with plenty of emails and phone numbers in hand.
“The Trump administration provided us with direct contact information for each agency and committed to an open channel of communication,” said Bagwell.
They also met the vice president, who joined the afternoon meeting of Nevada elected officials.
“He’s an honorable man. A truly gracious person,” said Bagwell.