Public safety question goes to voters | NevadaAppeal.com

Public safety question goes to voters

By Dave Frank

Appeal Staff Writer

Voters should decide if they want to raise property taxes to hire more workers at the fire and sheriff’s departments, supervisors said Thursday.

The money would be used for deputies, paramedics, dispatchers, seasonal firefighters and a police gang unit if the question is approved in November.

Any extra money raised would go to public safety departments, including the court system. The city will now pick committees to write arguments for and against the plan, which will be presented with the ballot question.

Supervisors turned down a public safety plan last month that would have cost about three times more than the one approved.

The amount home and business owners would pay for the higher tax rate, an added 12.5 percent, would depend on several things, including whether a home was built before or after the 2005 statewide property tax cap that applies to certain homeowners.

Mayor Marv Teixeira, for instance, would pay an extra $80 a year, while others on the board would pay close to $200 more a year.

Four out of five supervisors voted to put the plan on the ballot, but gave various reasons. Richard Staub said he simply wanted to let people vote on the question, where Shelly Aldean said the city needed to use the money to address public safety’s “truly critical issues.”

City staff who developed the idea, however, did not give enough information on how much the new positions would cost, said Supervisor Pete Livermore, who voted against the plan.

General costs for the first year were given, he said, but there was little else to show how the tax would pay for all of the costs – such as salaries, benefits and overtime – and how those costs would grow in the future.

“Did they just do this on the back of a bar napkin?” Livermore said in an interview.

Staub said though he supported putting the question on the ballot, he was annoyed with people who criticized the board for voting against the first plan.

“We, this board, have authorized millions of dollars to fire and public safety,” he said. “New courts, new jails, new administrative facilities, new fire departments and new equipment. Probably $60 million in, say, the last 10 years.”

Several people told supervisors at the meeting that they didn’t feel safe in Carson City and were happy there would be more police on the streets.

One person, John Wagner, said the plan was a bad idea and not fair.

“There has to be other ways to do this,” he said.

Supervisors decided last month to put an advisory question on the ballot asking voters if they want to raise sales taxes again to help fund the V&T Railway.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

Supervisors suspend liquor license for Katie’s Bar

Supervisors suspended the liquor license for Katie’s Bar for at least two weeks and told owner Kil Ye Chew she need to develop a plan to increase security to get the license back.

The sheriff’s department said Chew interfered with an investigation into a stabbing that happened outside her bar in February. Chew has said there was a miscommunication and officers harassed her.

Chew will be in court next month for a misdemeanor charge of interfering with the investigation.

Richard Molezzo, Chew’s attorney, said police showed no witness statements or other evidence besides the testimony of Lt. Bob White and Sheriff Kenny Furlong. He recommended Chew be warned and be allowed to keep her license on a probationary period.

Officers said they did nothing wrong and Chew was uncooperative. They also said there are too many problems, including fights and disturbances.

Clerk seeks volunteers to write arguments for ballot questions

The Carson City Board of Supervisors have placed two questions on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

The first is an advisory question for a sales tax override for the V&T Railway.

The second is a property tax override to support public safety.

Carson City Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover, will be accepting applications from volunteers willing to write arguments advocating and opposing these two ballot questions.

The committees are comprised of three members who will need to finish their work by June 1.

Anyone interested in applying for these committees can get an interest form from the election division at the clerk’s office, 885 E. Musser St., Suite 1025 or go to http://www.carson-city.nv.us/clerk. Call 887-2087 if you have any questions.

Applications will be accepted until May 12.