Carson City supervisors bid farewell to two members
The Board of Supervisors started its final 2020 meeting Thursday remembering Mayor Bob Crowell, who passed away in September.
“Let’s have a moment of silence for what would have been Mayor Bob’s last meeting after 12 incredible years,” said Acting Mayor Brad Bonkowski.
It was also the final meeting for Bonkowski after serving eight years as Ward 2 supervisor and for Supervisor John Barrette, who served four years representing Ward 4.
“It’s the last board meeting for John and myself and should have been for Bob,” said Bonkowski. “He was mentor and leader for all of us and it is sad he’s not here to enjoy the end of his public service career.”
“I miss him, we all do,” he said.
The board had a full-day agenda and started off convening as the Board of Health, hearing a report from Carson City School Superintendent Richard Stokes.
Stokes talked about the school system’s efforts to teach during the COVID-19 public health crisis, including combining remote and in-person classes, and said the school board was expected to vote that evening on whether to return the elementary schools to four days of in person teaching.
“It is important for our kids to be around one another,” said Stokes.
Jeanne Freeman with the Emergency Operations Center said during Nov. 29 to Dec. 12, there were 2,496 new positive coronavirus cases in the Quad County area, a 11 percent decrease from the previous two weeks. Of those, 1,362 cases were reported in Carson City, a 5 percent increase, and a third were inmates and staff at prisons. She said there were six outbreaks in prisons and facilities such as long-term care facilities.
Freeman said test results turnaround are now averaging 3-4 days and that people can access them online at gethealthycarsoncity.org. In the middle of the page is a link to COVID-19 test results.
An emergency ordinance to waive the fee for business license renewals in 2021 failed when Mayor-elect Lori Bagwell voted against it.
“The pandemic has been hard on everyone, especially smaller mom and pop stores, and although I understand the board’s desire to help, I don’t think this is the right vehicle,” said Bagwell.
She said waiving the $200 fee would reduce the city’s general fund by $400,000.
“I prefer to continue to look at other ways for real impact (on businesses) while being fiscally responsible,” said Bagwell.
The board revoked the business license of a Sparks-based Environmental Resources, Inc., known as Easy Rooter Plumbing during a show cause hearing. The reason was for supplying local restaurants with portable grease vacuums that didn’t meet fire code. The business can reapply immediately but must demonstrate it’s in compliance with city code.
The board voted to move the arts and culture office back to the Culture and Tourism Authority, where it originated, along with the 1 percent piece of the room tax that funds the coordinator’s position and the office. The tax slice sunsets in June 2021, but may be renewed if the city’s lodging properties, who collect it, agree to an extension.
The supervisors renewed a contract for Nancy Paulson, city manager. The new contract is a five-year agreement and raises her salary from $183,901 to $190,500.
It was the last item on the agenda and Bonkowski said he was proud to make the motion to approve her contract.
He thanked staff who he said do all the hard work.
“I want to thank the citizens of Carson City for giving me the honor to represent them these last eight years,” said Bonkowski.