Eugene Paslov: Downtown project would give Carson a much needed lift | NevadaAppeal.com
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Eugene Paslov: Downtown project would give Carson a much needed lift

Eugene Paslov
For the Nevada Appeal

I respectfully disagree with Guy Farmer (Aug. 16, “The Nugget Project by any other name”).

There are, indeed, critics of Carson City’s downtown City Center Project. These critics appear only to be interested in spending little or no tax money, and oppose anything innovative. Unfortunately, a message of “no economic growth” for our city is not a healthy reaction to our need for new development.

I assume those who are opposed to the project are well-intentioned. But they have difficulty being positive. They lack vision. It appears to me that they are allowing political ideology to overcome thoughtful, rational solutions. In case a few citizens haven’t noticed, Carson City is in serious economic trouble.

I have talked with numerous people about this project’s public/private partnership. These correspondents included Library Director Sara Jones, consultant Mark Lewis and Carson Nugget President Steve Neighbors – all very knowledgeable.

Some real facts:

• Since 2005, tens of thousands of people have offered their suggestions about revitalizing the downtown area, including a year-round central plaza, shopping, restaurants and a vital, state-of-the-art knowledge center. For detailed information go to www. downtownanswers.com and click on “Taking the long view: Downtown Carson City.” These are the thousands with real courage and vision, not the few with growth myopia.

• The project planning is still under development. The plan will be reviewed and submitted to a community advisory group and supervisors later in the fall. Yet, board of supervisors candidate Rob Joiner declared it “one of the poorest designs” he’s ever seen. But he hadn’t seen anything. That which is being created is not yet done. This suggests he allowed his predetermined “talking points” to get ahead of his knowledge of the project.

• Mark Lewis isn’t a “foreigner.” He lives in Reno. He helped create the very successful Aces Ball Park; he has a long career in city management that has produced nationally recognized results, especially in downtown Stockton. His accomplishments are indisputable. And what leader hasn’t had disagreements with his employers?

• Steve Neighbors’ vision is “We have to invest in the future. Community first.” He’s the trustee of the Mae B. Adams Trust. He was charged by Adams to help Carson City thrive by using the trust to bring about a dynamic partnership. He is working with scores of local business and political leaders to make this public/private partnership work.

Let’s not allow Carson City to die. Let’s help make our beautiful city thrive. Let’s give a fair hearing to the City Center development project.

• Eugene Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools.