New Carson City supervisor seeks master plan update
The Board of Supervisors meet on Thursday for the first time with new Ward 1 Supervisor Stacey Giomi on board.
Giomi, who was elected last year to replace Karen Abowd, said he’s eager to get started.
“People can tell you what a job is like, but you don’t know until you do it,” he said. “Campaigning is a necessary process, but I am really looking forward to getting down to doing the work.”
Giomi, a retired Carson City fire chief who started as a dispatcher and worked at the department for 31 years, has a few ideas he would like to bring to the table.
“I don’t think we’ve had any concerted effort to update our master plan,” said Giomi, referring to the city’s master plan which was adopted nearly 13 years ago.
Giomi said he would be in favor of revising it if it could be done in a less costly way with the Planning Commission taking a more active role.
He thinks the city at the least needs to look at making changes to Title 18, the municipal code covering zoning, which lays out the rules for development in the city.
“We can modernize it,” said Giomi.
He said, as an example, parking requirements for businesses make it difficult to locate a new business downtown.
Another example is housing.
“We could allow some increased density to bring down the cost of housing,” he said, by authorizing some development with smaller lots than now allowed in order to offer lower-priced houses.
Giomi will likely find at least some support on the board for either proposal. Supervisor John Barrette has said he thinks the city’s master plan is ready for an update and Supervisor Lori Bagwell has spoken about the need to review and clean up Title 18.
“In the next four years, I’d like to influence the state on South Carson Street and the 5th Street children’s home,” said Giomi. “It’s property right in the middle of town. If we can give that land some purpose, either economic development or housing, that would be much better.”
Giomi is referring to two sites. One is the roughly 14-acre former armory site on South Carson Street across the road from the row of auto dealers. The site is owned by Nevada Division of State Lands, which has said for years it wants to relocate the Nevada Department of Public Safety there. The property is located in Carson City’s prime commercial corridor and the city talked to the state about swapping some other city-owned property for it, but nothing has come of the discussion so far.
The second site, also state-owned, is on 5th Street between Stewart and Roop streets, where children’s homes once were operated by the State Division of Child & Family Services.
Giomi thinks with a new governor and other administration officials the state may be more willing to revisit and discuss disposing of one or both of the properties.
And he’s an advocate for increasing the city’s ending fund balance, or reserves. Right now, the balance is 8.3 percent, which is equivalent to a month’s expenses. Accounting best practices suggests 16 percent, but the city has had to catch up on maintenance deferred during the recession.
“I would like to see us get to 10 percent,” he said.
Giomi, who’s director of facilities and emergency preparedness for Nevada Health Centers, is looking forward to returning to city government.
“As fire chief you have a lot of responsibility, and I took it very seriously,” said Giomi. “I am doing something similar in business, but I miss that connection on a local level. I am a real strong believer in local government. You’re so close to the people, you’re literally working to make things better for your neighbor and friends and the people you see at the grocery store.”