Eugene Paslov: Move quickly on Nugget redevelopment project
For the Nevada Appeal
We must be thoughtful and careful, but I also believe we need to move quickly on the Nugget redevelopment project. I realize this is contrary to what some are advocating, but much work has already been accomplished and we need to act expeditiously or we will lose the momentum we have built.
I understand the need to be careful about development efforts that involve public money. Contracts must be transparent, well-written and well-managed to protect all interests. But I believe the Nugget project has been well vetted and is ready to serve the city. We should take advantage of the opportunity.
I have read Steve Neighbors’ commentary regarding the project. It was informative and comprehensive. Tammy Westergard, deputy manager of Carson City’s Office of Business Development, has a Web site, http://www.downtownanswers.com, where she provides answers to frequently asked questions. I suspect you can find answers to most of your questions on that site.
Sara Jones, Carson City library director, has been deeply involved (along with various advisory committees) with the development of the proposed knowledge center. As in ancient times, libraries were the vital organ of any thriving, prosperous community. It is no different today. In order to progress, Carson City must be able to access and utilize knowledge from a state-of-the-art facility. Jones knows what it takes and is deeply committed to making the knowledge center a reality.
I am concerned about those who advocate “going slowly.” No doubt there are those who have legitimate concerns. But others may simply be using a shorthand for “let’s kill the project.” I suspect a few may even have a political agenda.
This shorthand may also represent another prevailing predisposition on the part of a few: Leave our community the way it has always been. Any development that costs taxpayer money is not worth the effort. But reasonable people know a community must make investments to make progress.
We are losing population in Carson City. Our young people will not stay here if they cannot find jobs and a good life. We must take bold action. The Nugget Project is a wonderful first step. It will provide construction jobs; it will cultivate new businesses, and it will stimulate a critical, new knowledge center.
• Eugene Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools.