New board could sharpen focus on downtown
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Carson City’s new mayor and supervisor could help sharpen the city’s focus on downtown redevelopment and arts and culture projects.
Both Bob Crowell, who won the open mayor’s race Tuesday to replace retiring Mayor Marv Teixeira, and Molly Walt, who beat two-term incumbent Supervisor Richard Staub, have said attracting businesses and new housing downtown to help make it the city’s cultural center is important to economic growth.
They will join the biggest supporter of downtown on the board of supervisors, head of the Carson City Redevelopment Authority and three-term Supervisor Robin Williamson. She has promoted downtown by arranging summer events, calling for infrastructure improvements and organizing business groups to help make plans to improve tourism.
Crowell said he can understand why people would ask why he would want to focus on one part of the city, but growth in the downtown will help everyone. Finishing the bypass to Fairview Drive next year will help by taking some traffic off downtown streets, he said, so the city can make downtown more attractive to visitors, even possibly taking Carson Street from four to two lanes.
The city needs to think about families, teens and children more, Walt said, and downtown projects like a proposed seasonal ice rink would be good for businesses by attracting visitors as well as those people who often have to leave town for something to do.
Downtown also needs more activities like its summer concerts, she said, and supervisors can further help the effort by helping arts programs work together.
“Arts and culture is near and dear to my heart,” she said.
Both said they’d also like to see more sporting events because those are popular with families and can bring in tourist spending, adding to an active parks department program recruiting sports tournaments.
Three-term Supervisor Pete Livermore said he can see the “dynamic” changing on the five-member board of supervisors and looks forward to talking with new members about his passions for the city, including parks, arts and culture.
He said he’s been through transitions before and they don’t cause problems. He said he does think the board under Crowell might give a new direction.
“Let’s hope for that,” he said “That’s why people elected him.”
Besides being head of a board that will be more willing to spend money on downtown redevelopment, Crowell will also likely be a different personality as Carson City’s top representative.
Teixeira, a former salesman, often jokes and swears at meetings where he makes his opinions clear. Crowell, an attorney, is more quiet and deliberate.
“I am who I am,” Crowell said. “I learned early on in life if you try to be something you’re not, it doesn’t work out too well.”
– Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.