City will wait to choose a ballot question
July 14, 2002
Carson City supervisors will wait to choose which of two ballot questions regarding the future of Fuji Park and the city’s Fairgrounds will be on the November ballot.
Supervisors indicated previously they would choose Monday one of the questions to appear on the November ballot — their own advisory question or an ordinance of which they disapprove. Monday is the last day to submit ballot questions for the general election to the clerk’s office.
However, with a decision pending in the state Supreme Court whether the ordinance requested through an initiative petition is legal, city leaders have decided to wait.
City Manager John Berkich said because arguments for and against both ballot questions are prepared, the city can afford to hold out for a Supreme Court decision.
Berkich said city leaders will have to make a decision in September before ballots for the November general election are printed which question will appear on the ballot.
The initiative petition ordinance is championed by the Concerned Citizens to Save Fuji Park and the Fairgrounds who are pushing city officials not to commercially develop the city’s fairgrounds. Their petition asks that Fuji Park and the fairgrounds be “maintained and improved in not less than its present size as a park in perpetuity.”
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City leaders have looked at development of the city’s fairgrounds off Old Clear Creek Road as a way to compete with commercial development just over the Douglas County line, arguing Carson City needs the sales tax dollars that leave the county with development in Douglas.
Backlash to the proposed fairgrounds sale created the Concerned Citizens’ movement, and forced city leaders to postpone development plans in favor of an advisory vote on the issue. City supervisors approved the advisory question, “While retaining and improving the area known as Fuji Park, should Carson City make available for commercial development City property known as the Carson City Fairgrounds?” and promised to abide by its outcome.