Counties set date for joint meeting
Cracks are beginning to surface as Carson City and Douglas County officials begin to finalize what some hoped would be a warm and fuzzy “hand-shaking” opportunity at a meeting set for Jan. 30.
Carson City supervisors say they still are looking forward to meeting with Douglas County commissioners to iron out regional issues following recent months of tension, but the officials have different ideas about what should be discussed and when.
The two boards have come to loggerheads over the issues of retail development and the selling of a 146-acre piece of Bureau of Land Management property in northern Douglas County.
Carson City officials blocked the land auction set for Dec. 10, citing a lack of proper economic impact evaluations and causing a possible two-year delay of development at the site. The protest drew harsh words by Douglas County commissioners.
Supervisors and commissioners have since been talking informally about regional issues and set the joint meeting to try to find areas where they can agree.
Supervisor Robin Williamson said she asked to place an item on the agenda that would address Carson’s withdrawal of their protest. Williamson and other Carson officials said the possibility of the withdrawal could happen if both sides agreed on other regional issues.
Douglas County has since moved the protest withdrawal item to the top of the agenda.
Douglas County Manager Dan Holler said commissioners wanted to discuss the withdrawal up front and find out if Carson is willing to drop their protest “before we talk about the other stuff,” Holler said.
Carson Supervisor Richard Staub didn’t agree with the withdrawal item.
“I strongly object to moving (the protest withdrawal item) up to the beginning,” Staub told fellow supervisors Thursday. “Because I do not believe the purpose of this meeting is to withdraw the protest. I’m not going to vote for this.”
Douglas commissioners also placed several items lower on the agenda, items they believe can be discussed if Carson agrees to withdraw the protest, including the Carson freeway bypass, issues over a piece of public land needed for the bypass and the possible creation of a forest products program that would generate electricity from forest byproducts.
Many of the items need cooperation from both counties to move forward, Holler said.
If Carson and Douglas officials can’t agree about the protest decision, Douglas County may lose its incentive to cooperate with Carson on the other issues, Holler said.
“A few items on the agenda are retribution, quite frankly, but I hope we don’t get there,” Williamson said.
Staub agreed. “Dougals County has no standing (on these issues) and for them to try to bring these issues into the meeting is inappropriate,” he said.
Carson supervisors said they are ready to start the dialogue with Douglas County despite the agenda and are looking forward to discussing regional economic and social programs that will benefit both counties.
“I don’t want to dismiss the opportunity to talk to each other warm and fuzzy,” Williamson said.
IF YOU GO
What: Joint meeting between Douglas County and Carson City elected boards
When: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 30
Where: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 831 E. William St.