Supervisor Pete Livermore: Put Nugget project to a vote of the people
For the Nevada Appeal
While I respect the passion and support by those who endorse the Carson City-Nugget Project, I am unable to continue my support because the people of Carson City, who will ultimately pay the final bill, as well as myself, are being left out of the discussions.
Although I favor the construction of a new library and endorse any effort to enhance Carson City’s economic future, I oppose what I see as a flawed process. I see a naive rush to judgment. A hastily presented plan for public buildings being constructed on private property with no idea of what the final costs will be.
I am also deeply concerned with what appears to be a requirement that taxpayer dollars be spent first, before any private investments are made, if they are made at all.
Further, why is this project being fast-tracked to a Nov. 30 groundbreaking when financial feasibility reports and developer agreements have yet to be completed or even presented to the public? Do they expect the taxpayers to simply agree to build, at public expense, not only a new library but also a parking garage, a large economic incubator headquarters, office, retail and condo high-rises, transit hub and public square? None of this is clear.
Yet they say, trust us, it’s all for the city’s benefit.
Isn’t that the same argument that Nugget project manager Mark Lewis used to induce the Stockton and Reno city councils’ approval for what are now disastrous redevelopment money losers shackling their taxpayers to the tune of millions of dollars?
Although project supporters refer to the Meridian Report as proof of the project’s viability, that report was funded entirely by the Nugget. Should we not have at least a second, disinterested opinion? It is, after all, a combined $85 million project. You, the citizens of Carson City whom I serve, deserve no less than full disclosure.
For these reasons and more, I believe that you, the taxpayers of Carson City, have a fundamental right to review and pass judgment on all this. And, as your elected supervisor, I again call on my fellow supervisors to submit the Nugget project to an advisory ballot question.
It’s the taxpayers’ money. Let the taxpayers speak. Without a proper public review and public vote, we won’t know whether we’ll hit a home run or strike out because we didn’t know what was being pitched to us.
• Pete Livermore represents Ward 3 is on the Carson City Board of Supervisors.