Carson City Board of Supervisor Ward 2 | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City Board of Supervisor Ward 2

Brad Bonkowski

Occupation: Commercial real estate broker

Age: 54

Contact: www.supervisorbrad.com; BBonkowski@carson.org; (775) 721-2057

Record of Service: Carson City Supervisor 2013-2016; Owner/Broker NAI Alliance Carson City since April 2014; 2003-2014 Owner/Agent Coldwell Banker Commercial Premier Brokers; 1986-1998 Owner BJ’z One Hour Photo; 2007 President SNAR; 2002 and 2007 Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors Realtor of the Year; Sierra Nevada Assoc. of Realtors Treasurer (6 years); Carson High Volunteer track official (2011); AYSO Referee (1993-1999); 2008-2010 National Assoc. of Realtors Strategic Planning Committee Member

Maurice White

Occupation: retired diesel mechanic

Age: 58

Contact: 775-297-6484; yourvoicematterscc@gmail.com; www.yourvoicematterscc.com

Record of service: I have never served in an elected position. Due to an eye injury at age 12 I was not able to serve in the military. Along with financial support to other organizations I am and have been active with the following organizations: 1991 - 1995 Cofounder and Board member of Carson City Pop Warner; 1991 - 1995 Member - Carson City Youth Sports Association; 2008 - 2016 Member - Ormsby Sportsman’s Association; 2010 Founder - Veterans Guest House Endowment Fund; 2010 - present Member - Community Foundation of Western Nevada Legacy Society; 2013 - present Member - Carson City Airport Authority; 2015 - present Treasurer - Carson City Airport Authority; 2013 - 2016 Member - Sierra Nevada Forums; 2013 - Graduated - Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute; 2015 - present Member - Board of Directors Nevada State Prison Preservation Society

Education: 1977: Graduated Douglas High School; 1978: Graduated Arizona Automotive Institute; 21 credits from WNC in various disciplines. Throughout my career I continued my education with advanced in-service and specialized certificate training. I was an ASE Certified Master Mechanic in several categories.

Brad Bonkowski

A brief statement about your platform

I am running on my record. My accomplishments include:

Expanded Carson City open space from 3,500+- to 7,000+- acres

Approved the Nevada Humane Society contract to run the animal shelter; constructed new state of the art shelter.

Lowered the property tax rate multiple years while in office

Spearheaded funding mechanism to build the Multi-purpose Athletic Center after more than two decades of delays, and to improve infrastructure and commercial corridor improvements

Kept the budget under the inflation rate

Reworked the CSSG grant process to increase accountability

Revamped water/sewer rate structure to repair/ replace major components of the failing water treatment plant

Increased reserve funds and ending fund balances, both budgeted and actual

Spearheaded the revision of city contracts, implemented improved contract management procedures, generating cost savings

Currently working on implementation of an asset management plan to resolve ongoing deferred maintenance issues

Currently working with the Mayor to bring high-speed internet to our citizens and manufacturers

Job creation: Brought over 100 new jobs, 30 businesses

I enjoy the broad-based support of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. I will continue tackling deferred maintenance issues. I’m a moderate and have the ability to pull together various groups to find and implement long-term sustainable solutions.

Do you agree with Carson City’s current growth ordinance? Why or why not?

We are fortunate that the Board of Supervisors implemented our current growth management ordinance in the early 1980s. It has given us a proven template to follow to make sure that we manage our growth appropriately. The ordinance limits growth to a maximum of 3 percent annually and places restrictions on the amount of water that can be used without additional approvals from Planning and the Board of Supervisors.

Around the same time Carson City was wise enough, mainly due to the efforts of Dorothy Timian-Palmer, to purchase water rights sufficient for the build-out of Carson City. This has allowed us to conserve and manage our available resources to the greatest extent possible. We also have 100 percent reuse of our effluent. So runaway growth is not a possibility and we have a good handle on our natural resources, both water and sewerage.

What is your top priority for Carson City in 2017?

I am currently working with City staff to create and implement a comprehensive asset management program to inventory all City assets, inspect the condition, and then create a reserve study to determine the remaining useful life of each asset and the optimal replacement or repair schedule. We will then create a dedicated funding source for the program so that instead of making repairs, or replacing items when and if we have the money, we replace and repair when it is needed without the current delays caused by the economy or politics. This is a huge undertaking that will take several years to complete, however we have started the process and have the outline of the program in place. This is, by far, the most important step we can take to ensure that our assets are maintained in a fiscally responsible and business-like manner.

In your opinion are arts, events, and cultural happenings important to Carson City economy?

Not only are they important, they have been the critical missing leg of our local economy. Arts and culture create tourism, provide career training and leadership skills for our youth, provide entertainment and culture for our citizens and are an economic engine for the City, generating room tax and sales tax from tourism. One of our ongoing challenges is retaining our youth in our community, and the arts and events that are happening in Carson City now are crucial to keeping the younger generation here.

Epic Rides is a great example of an event that brought hundreds of new visitors to Carson City and is putting Carson City on a national and global stage for our world-class trail system. In just our first year of hosting the event, it was voted the best off-road mountain bike event of the year, and ensured that our hotel rooms were sold out for the weekend. Thanks to the Brewery Arts Center, WNC Theater, and other local theater and dance companies, we also have some of the best theater performances around as well as symphony, jazz concerts, comedy shows, art exhibits from local artists and much, much, more.

How should Carson City ensure there are affordable housing options available for its residents, especially veterans?

Carson City and the Board of Supervisors have done a good job encouraging housing options for all income levels and for all needs. From the transitional housing of Richards Crossing, to workforce housing at Mills Landing, quality apartments at Silver Oak, a proposed affordable housing project on Brown Street, to quality single family developments at Schulz Ranch and Lompa Ranch, there are options for everyone.

Currently there is a shortage of most housing types in Carson City, with a vacancy rate under 2%, which translates to essentially minimal available housing choices. The projects in the approved pipeline will help alleviate some of that shortfall, however workforce housing should be in demand for the next several years due to the job growth created by the Reno Tahoe Industrial Center, and our own local healthy economy. As Carson City is naturally limited on growth due to geographic features, the lion’s share of the housing growth is expected to be in Lyon County and not necessarily Carson City. Carson City does have an excellent working relationship with Lyon and Douglas Counties and we are aware of the housing projects being planned and approved in our neighboring counties as well as in our own county.

I have worked with many local lenders who are very knowledgeable and adept at getting VA loans approved. These are terrific loans for our Vets to utilize and the more entry-level housing we have available, the more of these loans we will see approved locally.

Is Carson City’s workforce prepared for the kind of businesses the city is hopeful to attract? What should be done?

Carson City’s workforce is not completely prepared for the types of business we are recruiting, nor in a position to satisfy our existing manufacturing base. The City is working with the Northern Nevada Development Authority, Western Nevada College, Carson High School, DETR, the Builder’s Alliance and the Manufacturers Association to create and present curriculum to teach and train our workforce for the jobs of today and for the jobs of tomorrow, with an emphases on our local manufacturer’s actual needs.

Today, our existing manufacturers cannot find enough qualified, trained workers to fill their available jobs. Add to that the new jobs being created and we have our work cut out for us. We are fortunate that we began working on this issue several years ago and are ahead of the curve on implementation. It will still be difficult to keep up with the number of potential jobs being created, however that is a good problem to have and we have a plan in place to address it.

Maurice White

A brief statement about your platform

To develop my campaign platform my team held focus group meetings to learn the concerns of residents and business owners.

1.There is one concern we heard repeatedly, the Board of Supervisors do not listen to the majority of your voices. Your concerns will be heard when I am your Supervisor. I am always open to listening to other viewpoints and you will have unprecedented access to me during my term as Supervisor for Ward 2.

2. Controlling spending and retiring debt. Combined City and School debt is approaching $400,000,000 (principal and interest). While the economy is improving, our city finances are in critical condition. We need new and reworked budget policies that bring the year end fund balances to the maximum allowed limit.

3. It is time for infrastructure maintenance to be a priority. This will mean a restructuring of the funding and function of the Capital Improvement and Maintenance policies.

4. Diversify the Board of Supervisors. My diverse blue collar background will help the Supervisors represent all the residents of Carson City and make better decisions. Having worked in the private and public sectors I have the experience to understand the operational needs of our City.

Do you agree with Carson City’s current growth ordinance? Why or why not?

The ordinance makes sense if you trust demographic projections and believe in controlling growth. Having actually attended the growth management meetings I wonder what the intentions of this ordinance are.

City staff projects our max population will occur about 2065. Using a 3% growth rate 640 residential permits were authorized for 2017 with an increasing number of permits to 699 in 2020. At this rate, with 2.5 people per dwelling, we will reach our max population in just 15 years. Can we have social, water, sewer, sheriff and fire services in place for 80,000 people in 15 years? I don’t think so. Our fire chief has stated “Emergency response resources in Carson City have exceeded their limitations.” Why set this rate?

Do we expect 1,600 people to arrive in Carson City during 2017? What is our expected job growth? Are the connection fees going to actually cover the cost of increased water/sewer hookups? Are our schools ready for this kind of increase? I did not hear any of these questions at the Growth Management meetings. Do we, at some point stop issuing building permits?

Is there a long term plan for managing our resources and services to match the expected growth out to 2065? Permits can be held for extended periods and with these accelerated permit numbers I have to think this growth management ordinance is more about providing a stable future (which is a good thing) for the permit holders rather than managing growth.

What is your top priority for Carson City in 2017?

Restructuring the Capital Improvement and maintenance programs will solve most of the deficiencies we see in our local government. Policy and management technique changes will lead to a cultural change that will improve services across all city departments.

Poorly planned construction projects lead to lost time and cost overruns. For example, the cost for the Animal Shelter was set at $3.9 million in the original plan of expenditure for the 1/8-cent sales tax. The best bid was $5.1 million. After “value engineering” the cost was set at $4.5 million and the plan of expenditure was changed.

Critical safety, life, and infrastructure needs are being ignored. Staff cannot address our basic life and safety needs when they’re not adequately funded. With $6.8 million in Capital Improvement requests for 2017 and just $1 million budgeted we have to reconsider budget policy. Our Fire Chief has issued a letter stating his resources are stretched beyond their limits. It is the Supervisors responsibility to make sure staff has adequate funds to keep us safe.

Most of the BOS have been concentrating on expensive optional projects and that is the basis of our financial difficulties today. Rather than spending the approved $11 million downtown we should have spent the few million needed for utilities and the balance on unfunded Capital Improvement needs.

The Ameresco contract (BOS June 2, 2016 agenda #20E, 21D, 21E) is a waste of money. That $8,647,369 could be better spent on real Capital Improvement and infrastructure needs our community faces.

In your opinion are arts, events, and cultural happenings important to Carson City economy?

Yes. Beyond the economic benefits, the “arts, events, and cultural happenings” improve our quality of life. Supporting our quality of life is a key factor to creating the foundation that will grow our economy and keep Carson City moving forward.

How should Carson City ensure there are affordable housing options available for its residents, especially veterans?

Working through the various federal and state agencies Carson City has its place in that system. Carson City should be, and I believe is, in compliance with our responsibilities.

Veterans’ needs are something that has been in the spotlight in recent times. One of the high quality aspects of Carson City is that when a need is identified partnerships are formed to address the need. An example of this is the Richards Crossing Apartments F.I.S.H. is building. This facility for veterans and others in need of housing is being provided with donations from the public. That’s how we do it in Carson City.

Is Carson City’s workforce prepared for the kind of businesses the city is hopeful to attract? What should be done?

That depends on what kind of businesses we are trying to attract. I have never seen a list of target businesses. The City’s water consultant has said we should not attract high water use companies. A strong education system is a key factor in supporting our quality of life and our economy and should be pursued.

I do know the City and School District work to share resources when they can. Various companies are partnering with CCSD and WNC to train quality employees for their niche needs. There are many examples of this every day. The CCSD and WNC provide a very high quality education if a student wants to learn. This is a process that all of Carson City’s businesses and residents should support and participate in.

While the realm of education belongs to CCSD and WNC our Carson City Supervisors should be ready to help the education system when an opportunity presents itself. Communication with the wide variety of businesses currently in Carson City and those relocating here in the future will be critical in determining their educational needs.

Our local economic “experts” do not agree what our most urgent needs are. The Northern Nevada Development Authority claims a shortage of industrial space is the number one concern. Self-appointed expert Brad Bonkowski claims that quality, drug free staff is the big issue. So, do we have a building space problem or a staff problem? If the experts cannot agree on the issues how will the rest of us know what the next step is ?

What needs to happen is everybody has to get on the same page. There will need to be many individual things happening to get our employee base ready for the coming jobs. The 1970’s happened a long time ago and employers expect a different type of worker. We need a cohesive, organized plan that must insist on more local control of education.