New one-vision concept may help out | NevadaAppeal.com

New one-vision concept may help out

Amanda Hammon

Someone once asked who put the borders around countries.

Some Reno/Sparks residents began to ask the same question, only they were more curious why county borders should matter so much.

Hence, they came up with a project called “One Region. One Vision.” aimed at gathering Northern Nevada businesses, organizations, residents and governing boards to build a regional task force of sorts.

Carson City supervisors bought into the idea and so has South Lake Tahoe. Carson supervisors issued a proclamation of their support to the project last week and will appoint Supervisor Robin Williamson to the steering committee. What the project actually will become is still under discussion.

The 7-month-old idea is more or less a regional vision statement which states communities in Northern Nevada can band together and work toward common economic, environmental, educational and health goals. The region is called Reno/Sparks/Lake Tahoe, but includes Fallon, Fernley, Carson City, Minden and Gardnerville.

Candace Evart, executive director of Reno’s Forum for a Common Agenda, said the region hasn’t been completely defined and is fluid enough to allow additions. Mark Curtis, One Region. One Vision., steering committee member, told city supervisors in August the region was loosely defined as areas that utilize the Reno/Tahoe Airport.

“I think we’re trying to plan a long-range plan that will ensure the economic, educational and environmental treasures that we have now will be in place in the future,” Evart said. “If Fernley prospers, Reno prospers. A tire-burning dump in Carson City will effect Reno and Sparks. There’s a symbiotic relationship among all of us. We are one large community and one area can impact the other.”

Evart admits the plan is ambitious and imaginative.

“We always said drafting the vision would be the easy thing,” Evart said. “To be honest with you, I don’t know if we can (make it work).”

The idea was born of some Washoe County movers and shakers and the steering committee is chaired by Reno Gazette-Journal publisher Sue Clark-Johnson. Evart said the catalyst for pulling the task force together was the passing of Proposition 5 Indian Gaming in California, but was also inspired by the 1997 flood when communities banded together regardless of borders.

“We want to keep that together,” Evart said. “This could apply to any community in the world. We all love this place and we want to keep it – as corny as this sounds – for our grandchildren. If the region really gets behind this effort, I think we’ll see some doors open.”

About 75 regional organizations and governing entities are lending their support to the project.

South Lake Tahoe Mayor Judy Brown said she supported the plan because she liked the regionality approach of it.

“I like the fact that the state line was kind of erased and that we looked at ourselves as one area rather than several cities,” Brown said.

Carson City supervisors say supporting the plan allows Carson City to have input in what happens in the region.

“If you don’t raise the issue, you’ll never jointly get there,” Supervisor Pete Livermore said.

“We should acknowledge that one municipality affects other people in our region,” Supervisor Robin Williamson added. “I just see it as exploring our options and possibilities.”

Mayor Ray Masayko said it would allow each community to learn from and plan with each other.

“We may make too many unconscious decisions because we don’t see beyond the box,” Masayko said. “You have to have the big dream first and then you come closer to reality as you get closer to implementing it. In order to accomplish something big, you’ve got to think big.”

Proposed Vision 2010

The Reno/Sparks/Lake Tahoe region will be an extraordinary place to live, work and visit.

To its visitors and citizens, it will offer an unmatched blend of cosmopolitan and historic attractions, natural beauty and year-round recreation, all easily accessible via a world-class transportation network designed to move people easily from place to place.

The Region will boast a sophisticated and sensitive caring for its natural environment, a rich human diversity, vibrant international business climate, superior education, renowned arts, prestigious annual events designed to take full advantage of the region’s natural setting and seasons, and a healthy, high quality, people-friendly livability.