City Center foe Johnson to run for Aldean’s seat on board
March 16, 2012
A man who has devoted his career to issues of redevelopment and eminent domain has entered the race for the Ward 2 seat on the Board of Supervisors, which is being vacated at the end of the year by Shelly Aldean.
Dennis Johnson, 67, who has lived in Carson City for 11 years, ran for the office four years ago. He will face Brad Bonkowski and Maurice White in the primary election.
Johnson said in a statement of candidacy that one of the main reasons he is running for office is that Carson City residents deserve to have their voices heard in a tangible way.
“While a governing board is needed to handle day-to-day matters, that does not mean that the few who are fortunate enough to be elected should make all major decisions, and that the citizens as a whole should just be quiet and wait for the next election. Citizen input via a vote is not new to Carson City,” he said.
“A supervisor must listen continuously to the citizens, from the final vote count until the final vote count in the next election. The listening must never stop. More than that, in local government, the voters should be actively involved in the major decisions facing their community; they do not delegate total power to board members and relinquish rights and responsibilities of active citizenship,” he said.
Johnson, who is part of a group circulating a petition aimed at giving residents a right to vote on whether to move forward on the City Center Project, said he has strong feelings about the nearly $50 million proposal, which includes a $23.8 million publicly funded portion for a Knowledge + Discovery Center, a plaza, parking garage and related infrastructure.
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“Simply put, I do not support the project in its currently proposed form and details, and I think that the voters deserve a say on the key decision of whether to proceed on any particular proposal,” Johnson said in his statement.
“I have concerns about the ownership of the land for the project by private parties, instead of the city, and about whether the city and its taxpayers carry the residual risks (and whether) there is a fair allocation of risks and expected rewards from the project,” he said.
“If my concerns were addressed in a revised project, I may well support proceeding. In any event, if the voters were to embrace the project in its current form, then I would honor their wishes,” he said.
Johnson said his working career involved many elements of responsibility requiring accurate and detailed research and investigation as part of public projects, and he has testified in front of the Legislature on issues in his areas of expertise.
“I have worked for local city agencies and a state agency. I have been asked to provide consultation to other agencies’ staff members in three other states. A few years ago, I was asked to be an expert on a panel for a multi-state conference of public employees in my former discipline,” he said.
Johnson is a member of the noon Kiwanis Club, an adviser to the Carson High School Key Club and a member of the Carson City Council of the Navy League of the U.S. He serves on the board of the Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and is an adviser to the high school’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.
“The thing I’ve learned is that you cannot serve or do well unless you can listen and can speak professionally and courteously to people,” Johnson said.
More information about Johnson soon will be available at his website, http://www.dennisjohnson4supervisor.com.