Supervisor candidates address weighty issues
Only one of the four candidates running for Carson City supervisor spoke in favor of the city’s most hotly contested issue – the City Center Project – during a Friday night candidate forum at the community center.
“I believe it should be met with enthusiasm,” said Karen Abowd, who is running for the Ward 1 seat being vacated by Robin Williamson.
She called it “irresponsible” to dismiss the proposal without having first seen a feasibility study.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” she said.
Her opponent, Rob Joiner, said there were “a lot of holes” in the proposal and that he didn’t “see a lot of philanthropy” on the part of the Nugget.
John McKenna, candidate for the Ward 3 seat being vacated by Pete Livermore, said he felt the 1/8-cent tax “must be kept for public safety,” and that he was waiting for hard facts before deciding whether to endorse the plan.
Day Williams, also running for Ward 3, took a harder line on the issue.
“They first said the city will own the land (for the library), but that’s not the case now,” Williams said.
He called the move a “bait and switch” tactic.
“This is all about taking from the city to save a failing business,” he said.
The forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Nevada Appeal, drew a crowd of about 40 people to the supervisor race portion of the evening.
Candidates presented opening remarks prior to answering 14 prepared questions on topics ranging from unemployment, the status of the V&T and appropriate uses for redevelopment funds, to how the city should balance its budget, the future of the Carson City Library, and what should be done about the Ormsby House.
Opinions varied on how candidates felt about a tough Arizona-style anti-immigration law.
“We need to take care of our legal citizens first,” Williams said.
McKenna said we should be tough on illegals.
“Gunfights in Carson City – it has to stop,” he said.
Joiner said he didn’t support breaking up families, but that it was a state issue, and the cost to citizens needs to addressed.
“I don’t support Gestapo tactics,” Abowd said.
As to narrowing Carson Street, Abowd said she has looked at other communities and seen the pluses and minuses.
Joiner called the move to study the issue “premature – not in this economy.”
Williams and McKenna also agreed the time was not right.
“I think we should wait until the last leg (of the freeway) is completed before studying it,” Williams said. “Leave well enough alone.”
“We need to stop spending money right now,” McKenna said. “Right now we’re broke.”
The best answer of the night had to go to Joiner, however, who, when asked to share his vision for Carson City over the next 40 years, said buildout for Carson City is about 75,000 population.
Aside from that, he said, he envisioned “a V&T bullet train to Minden, a Kit Carson Metrodome, a Legislature attended by hologram … and a chicken in every pot.”