Name: Dennis Johnson
Age: legal voting age plus quite a bit more
Address: 2489 Rockbridge
Phone number: 841-3825
Campaign Web site: http://www.dennis4ward2.net
Education: Chabot College, Cal State, SJ City College, and San Jose State
Profession: Private Consultant for Eminent Domain and Related Property
Political experience: First run at elective office, but spent over 20
years working for public agencies and observed first hand how government
can cheat citizens and abuse private property rights in so many ways
while smiling and saying everything is good.
Please write a short biography of yourself (this answer may be up to 200
words; you might include such things as birthplace, career, community
involvement/volunteer efforts, family, etc.):
Born and raised in Wisconsin, entered USN, served total of 6 years.
Spent first years of working life as cost accountant and soon realized
daily spreadsheets were not for me.
At invitation of acquaintance, went to work in the Title Industry,
working in various positions within company. State required Subdivision
documentation, construction, and sale-out escrow work and title
research. After 10 years of title and title related work, hired by a
large city for the purpose of cleaning up botched Redevelopment project,
an assignment that lasted over 2 years.
Additional projects worked on for public agencies, [city, state and
federal] include a freeway not unlike Carson Bypass, Mt. Rose Highway,
ReTRAC, an Airport Noise Abatement Clearance Zone project of about 1100
residential units, minor/major streets and other Redevelopment projects
ranging from 6 to 450+ million dollars.
Designated Expert Witness in legal proceedings on property and Eminent
Domain matters in 2 states (CA and NV), testifying in over 30 cases of
various natures related to above.
In 2006 assisted in writing ballot argument in favor of Question
#2-Eminent Domain reform.
Testified before 2005 legislature on Redevelopment Issues and during
2007 legislative session, I testified on Eminent Domain matters.
Describe your vision for the Carson City of the future:
A city that finally shows good planning for the downtown area, and using
that success to spread it throughout the entire Carson Street corridor,
and then the rest of the City. A city that protects and respects the
rights of private property owners while completing well planned, well
managed, reasonable and affordable city beautification and street
improvement projects. I envision a near total change from current
conditions that cause “wheels” to be reinvented continuously.
What are the three most important elements to the quality of life in
1) The citizens of Carson City must feel safe in their daily lives, at
home or work, play or anywhere in between.
2) The citizens of Carson City must have faith in their government and
its operations, and that each citizen and his/her opinion is important
and not have the perception that they have been brushed off with phony
3) The citizens of Carson City must have use of the great recreational
resources located within the city, and not have to wonder whose
friend(s) benefited from the process
List the three most important issues Carson City will face in the next few
1) Very lean economic times that must be taken very seriously starting
2) Close responsible and effective monitoring and use of city assets
and resources, a complete change from today.
3) Challenging entire city budget elements for the purpose of ensuring
that no position is excessive, or a duplicate, and that all expenditures
for any purpose are necessary and justified.
Recently, the Chamber of Commerce executive director printed an
assessment of the aesthetics of Carson City1s business districts,
detailing many buildings and sites in disrepair. What kind of 3first
impression2 do you believe Carson City makes on visitors?
Carson City creates a reasonable first impression for those who arrive
via 395 north or south, and from 50 on the west. There are some areas
of 50 from the east that show a need for at least some cleanup. The
article specifically mentioned the recently closed lumberyard on Stewart
Street. Knowing the overall market for real estate of any nature, and
the current economy, there is reason to believe that the owner has not
had time to locate a buyer for the property. The time that the
property has been vacant has not been too long, all factors considered.
Would you support tougher standards on building owners, even if they
require those business owners to be fined or closed if they do not comply?
Reasonable maintenance standards and their enforcement are a necessary
part of property ownership within a municipal environment. Any one
property owner cannot be allowed to allow his/her property to decline to
a point that causes a negative effect on its neighboring properties, nor
can that property be allowed to cause a public safety issue. The
reasonable standards cannot be stretched to the point that it interferes
with the private property rights of the owner.
Sales tax revenues have been declining steadily in the city due to the slow
economy. If this trend continues, what can the city do to compensate? For
example, would you consider layoffs as part of the solution?
Any and all options must remain on the table for consideration of
reduction in expenses should the sales tax revenue continue the decline.
All indicators at this time do not paint a good picture for the next
few years. IF layoffs must occur, they must be the last option for all.
How would you characterize the level of crime in Carson City, including
gang-related crime? Do you believe the city needs more law enforcement
A review of the Appeal postings indicates Carson City has a relatively
low overall crime rate. Some isolated incidents appear to be blown out
of proportion to make it appear crime is out of control. What the cause
of the disproportionate writings might be are irrelevant. The citizens
deserve to have a clear and complete status of crime activities in
The report by Transparent Nevada shows high overtime payments to public
safety staff. Can that overtime be used for more staff? Can the high
amounts of overtime be an indication we are wearing out our public
How will you vote on the public safety ballot question that asks voters if
they want to increase their property taxes to add more firefighters,
paramedics and law enforcement officers? Why?
If the question asks my personal vote, I will not disclose that as I am
a very staunch proponent of the secret ballot our county enjoys.
If the question is in the official capacity of a Supervisor, I will vote
as the people collectively vote as the process is another great part of
this country. I will not vote against the will of the people as
expressed in their voting process.
How will you vote on the V&T tax ballot question, which proposes using
sales tax to provide $10 million for the railroad in return for a share
of the profits. Why?
The V&T Tax question is the only vote that I am willing to discuss
openly. I will vote NO on a personal basis as I have some very, very
serious issues with how the Commission has conducted its and the
people’s business. I have expressed that opinion in recent meetings
after records were made public.
If I am called upon to vote on the tax in an official capacity, I will
again cast my vote in the same manner as the citizens of Carson City
have voted. Again, I will not go against the vote of the people.
Is there enough for young people to do in Carson City? Could the city do
better? If so, how?
Without knowing the definition the Appeal has for “young people”, I
think there are a number of things that are relatively easy and
inexpensive for the ‘young people’ to do, making a number of them
available for all. It would be foolish to think that there is nothing
more that can be done.
Knowing that the Boys and Girls club is approaching reality, it will go
a long way for adding a laundry list of things that ‘young people’ and
others will be able to do for either pass-times, recreation, or healthy
Carson City has a detailed plan to make the downtown more inviting to
walking traffic, which includes a reduction in lanes. Do you support the
overall plan? What are your ideas for improving downtown?
I support the concept of the downtown plan, however, I would use paint
rather than construction for reducing traffic lanes until the completion
of the bypass and a reasonable time to take inventory of the impact on
the entire Carson Street corridor. Too much money has been spent on non
productive activities in the downtown area and Carson City does not have
to go through another reinvention of the downtown plan. Curry Street
has lots of potential that can and should be addressed while awaiting
The city has recently attracted retailers by offering monetary incentives.
Do you support this policy? If not, what strategy do you believe the city
should use to attract businesses to locate here rather than in nearby
There are good uses of incentives and there are futile uses. Any use of
such incentives should have sufficient supporting documentation to
justify their use other than someone’s hunches. A better program may be
to use street enhancements of varying types to help draw citizens downtown.
No program should be promoted that causes the city to spend money before
the private party does. Working in tandem with the businesses is a far
better approach to attracting retailers. This could include judicious
use of joint or redevelopment advertising with plenty of advance
noticing of activities.
Carson City has been in competition with Douglas County for retail
businesses and the sales tax dollars they bring. Is this competition
healthy? Are you in favor of exploring an arrangement that would combine
business recruitment efforts and share sales tax revenue?
Competition is almost always a good incentive for business.
Uncontrolled or unlimited response to that competition can be costly.
Carson City needs to ensure it does not attempt to entice similar
businesses to that which we currently enjoy as the high potential to cut
each others business can damage both.
A mutually beneficial “commercial/retail zone” that can benefit both
Douglas and Carson counties is very well worth pursuing at the state and
Do you believe Carson City1s library is adequate? Would you support a
tax to expand and improve the library? Why?
The current library appears to be worn and tired. Adequate in some
areas and not adequate in most areas.
I would support a voter approved tax for an expanded remodeled or new
library. In the past few years I have observed that there are those
who claim a new project wont cost more money because a tax is about to
expire and the new one will take its place thereby deflecting a true
increase in taxes from reality.
The citizens of Carson City have the right to increase their taxes or not.
Do you believe the city1s bus system is adequate? Should it be expanded?
The current bus system appears to be redundant on too many of its
routes. Before I would expand it, I would examine closely how much it
costs per passenger trip per year, including any grants for its
operation. I would also review all other options
Do you believe Carson City has an adequate number of parks and similar
For these current economic times I think that Carson City can place a
temporary hold on new acquisitions and spend any Question #18 money on
maintenance and improvements to the existing parks. Although it may be
a lightening rod in some circumstances, it would be more important to
complete the Boys and Girls Club.
What role should the city play, monetarily and otherwise, in supporting
private efforts in the areas of social services and arts? (examples include
Partnership Carson, City, CASA, etc.)
The city can be a catalyst for getting all parties together to look for
all options to address those issues. The city may not be able to be
the answer to every issue which comes forward, but that cannot stop it
from seeking solutions to the problems
The city can examine ways in which city-owned properties can be used to
assist certain programs, with the understanding that in most cases, the
city is required to charge the direct, hard costs applied to the use of
the property. There are certain other provisions that may allow some
entities to use city property with offsets for the services provided.
What else would you like to say to voters about your qualifications and
First, I would request that any and all readers view my entire website
as there is far more information there than I can include here.
My background in public agency work has given me the opportunity to view
issues from a wide variety of circumstances. There is more than a
single way to accomplish goals.
It has been suggested that Carson City stay the course. It is not
prudent to think the course should not be changed as factors change.
Carson City government cannot function properly with open doors and