McCarthy out as director of business development
Carson City’s Office of Business Development Director Joe McCarthy will leave next summer the position he has held for eight years.
“Joe and I have come to an agreement that the position is changing, that the Office of Business Development’s mission is changing a bit from what it was when he came on board,” said City Manager Larry Werner.
“He’d like to pursue something different from what he has been doing, and I’d like to change things to get it more into a bureaucratic process than the original fight-or-flight mode we had when we were trying to save our car dealers,” he said.
“We’ve agreed to a transition plan where Joe will be with us until the end of June of 2011, and at that point, we’ll take a look at how he will transition out at that stage and do something else,” Werner said.
“And if I want to do something different as far as the direction of the OBD, then I’ll have time to take a look at that, too. It’s by mutual consent that we’re working together to do that transition,” he said. “I can download from Joe what he’s been working on, and he can help us through things, and at that point, we can part ways, but we’ll do it very amicably.”
Werner said the two of them had developed philosophical differences.
“There were a couple of presentations where we’ve not agreed on a subject, such as the Southgate Shopping Center, so we’ve now discussed taking different paths,” Werner said.
At the Oct. 21 board of supervisors meeting, McCarthy recommended and the city approved a deal that would let Southgate keep 50 percent of the sales tax generated by Big Lots and Big 5, which is relocating to Southgate.
Rob Rothe, president of Carson Southgate LLC, said the amended redevelopment agreement was needed to attract an Olive Garden restaurant, which would only open a location in the shopping center if more retail space was filled. The restaurant is expected to open early next year.
McCarthy said he recommended the 50 percent financing option because of the constraints under renewed bank financing.
“I don’t want this deal to fall through,” he said to the board. “The board has a difficult decision (as to) what they think that split should be. In hindsight, I should have fought harder to keep that more open-ended in the draft package.”
Mayor Bob Crowell voted against the deal, saying he didn’t think it was appropriate to lure the Olive Garden by granting subsidies to other businesses.
Werner said the decision for McCarthy to leave was mutual and in the best interest of both parties.
“There has also been some controversy surrounding the redevelopment office in the past few months, and we’ve realized that we have different philosophies,” he said.
“Larry and I agreed that I will retire in June of 2011, the end of the fiscal year,” he said.
“I’ll help to make it a good transition as he and the city take over, so the Office of Business Development can be an effective department … and consistent with the goals of the board of supervisors,” he said.
Even though there have been differences, he said, there were also many successes.
“All you have to do is drive up and down Carson Street and you can see shiny new car dealerships, a state-of-the-art cinema and a host of new national retail stores. We’ve successfully worked to create a dynamic plan for the downtown of the future and there’s the potential of a City Center Project anchored by one of the most highly respected civic buildings in the city – the Carson City Library,” he said.
“We wrote a cutting edge urban code for downtown zoning and we’ve worked successfully with the Northern Nevada Development Authority, the Chamber of Commerce, the library and the University of Nevada, Reno Small Business Development Center, all in support of a new business resource center downtown,” McCarthy said.
“I’ve been very lucky to share in all this, and I want to help Larry and the board with the transition. Then I’m going to pursue new adventures,” he said. “I’ve loved working for this city and for some of the finest people a guy like me could ever work for, like Larry and (former city manager) Linda Ritter and public officials like (supervisors) Robin Williamson and Shelly Aldean.”