No special election to fill justice of peace’s term |

No special election to fill justice of peace’s term

Sandi Hoover

Carson City supervisors will appoint a judge rather than hold a special election to fill the unexpired term of Justice of the Peace Robey Willis when he retires in March.

Willis appeared before the board more than a year ago to ask that voters be given the opportunity to select his replacement, but supervisors agreed Thursday that a special election would be too costly and cumbersome.

City Manager Larry Werner told the board that a special election likely would cost $20,000-$25,000, and the person elected would then have to turn around and campaign again 18 months later if they wanted to be re-elected.

“Judge Willis was encouraging us to go through the election process, but we don’t have the money for a special election,” said Supervisor Shelly Aldean.

Werner said he had met with leaders from both Douglas and Storey counties, who had recently appointed judges.

There were 47 applications for the Douglas position, so officials there worked with a committee overseen by a district judge to narrow the field to five before presenting candidates to county commissioners, Werner said.

In Storey County, there were only seven applicants, so county commissioners interviewed all of them, he said.

Supervisor John McKenna said it might be worthwhile to consider applications from a woman.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a woman justice of the peace, and in dealing with family matters, she could bring our community to where it needs to be,” he said.

As a member of the public, Supervisor-elect Karen Abowd agreed with the board’s decision.

“I don’t think there is much participation in special elections, so I don’t think it’s warranted,” Abowd said.

In other action Thursday, supervisors:

• Named the city’s urban fishing pond “The Baily Fishing Pond” after conservation activist Kevin C.K. Baily.

McKenna said the pond is a tribute and a portal to the city.

“When you’re going up that hill to Walmart and you look to the right, you see kids and other people out there fishing every day. It gives Carson City an image of a great place to live. It’s a very peaceful place,” McKenna said.

“Over the years, you’ve given me a chance of a lifetime,” Baily told supervisors. “Today you’ve given me the honor of a lifetime.”

• Heard an update from Werner about the City Center Project. He told supervisors that P3 believes, based on comments from the citizen’s committee, that more parking spaces are needed than the minimum code requirement and that the transit hub should be left in its present location on Plaza Street to the west of the federal building.

P3’s feasibility study is expected to be presented to the board of supervisors at their second meeting in January, Werner said.

• Approved several Public Works projects including an agreement between the city and state for operation, maintenance and repair of the Marlette Water System and the Stewart Water Treatment Plant.

• Approved the acquisition of about 419 acres of John Serpa property in the Carson River Canyon.

• Approved a conservation easement required for the transfer of Prison Hill and adjacent Carson River lands from the Bureau of Land Management.

• As the Liquor and Entertainment Board, approved Charles Abowd as the liquor manager for Adele’s and Richard Estey as the liquor manager for Dotty’s at 4320 S. Carson St.

• As the Board of Health, heard a presentation from Health & Human Services Director Marena Works, which included a report on community health activities for HIV prevention and information on the year’s Public Health Preparedness activities.