Carson City Supervisor Karen Abowd’s achievements may be felt long after she leaves office in early 2019.
The two-term supervisor from Ward 1 announced last week she won’t run for reelection in 2018. Her current term expires Jan. 7, 2019.
“With 15 months to go in my term it is hard to predict what is yet for me to tackle. Every day is a moving target. What I can say with conviction is that all that I must deal with will have my full attention,” said Abowd.
Abowd has already accomplished a lot during her seven years on the board, said Mayor Bob Crowell.
“Karen has been at the forefront of many initiatives that have made Carson City a better and more beautiful place to live, from flower baskets on Carson Street to the Greenhouse Project to the implementation of the sexual assault response team and more recently urging financial help for seniors and low income citizens paying for utility services and much more including serving as mayor pro tem,” said Crowell. “I will miss her thoughtful approach to the many issues that come before the board.”
In addition to serving as mayor pro tem, she serves as chairman of the Redevelopment Authority and has served as chairman of Carson Water Subconservancy District (CWSD). She’s still an active board member of CWSD, the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority, and the Cultural Commission, as well as a participant on the SART Task Force.
“Although members of the board have different viewpoints, we’ve learned to work together for the benefit of Carson’s citizens,” said Supervisor Lori Bagwell. “Karen’s compassion has been an important part of those decisions. I will miss her.”
Abowd and Bagwell, organized a working group to establish a new program to help seniors and low income residents pay their water bills. Last month they presented the group’s ideas to the Utility Finance Oversight Committee, which recommended them to the board.
Abowd and Bagwell were also instrumental in getting the city’s code on extended stay motels overhauled and tightened in order to provide better living conditions for their residents.
But Abowd’s most lasting achievement is in championing Carson City’s arts and culture, said Joel Dunn, executive director, Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority.
“Her continued support has been instrumental in the rebranding efforts of the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority over the past five years,” he said. “Karen’s support and direction while serving the past 12 years on the Cultural Commission has helped create a vibrant arts scene in Carson City. Her passion and dedication to the community will be missed. However, the ideas she set into motion will continue to benefit Carson City for years to come.”
Carson City Manager Nick Marano agreed.
“She was the driving force behind so many initiatives. The one that stands out most to me is the establishment of an arts and culture coordinator. This position will drive positive change for years to come and, I think, will be her greatest legacy,” said Marano.
Marano said she also stood tough as mayor pro tem during the floods this past winter and she and her husband Charlie generously hosted a thank you picnic for the city staff as well as contributing to the Employee Recognition Fund.
“I think I speak for every city employee when I say that we will all miss Karen’s leadership, thoughtfulness and kindness,” said Marano.