A list of wishes for Carson City in the year 2000
Recently, an article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle entitled, “A wish list for San Francisco for the year 2000.” Several city leaders and activists shared their wishes for their city for the New Year. I read with interest their concerns about mass transit delays, the homeless problem and the rent control issues.
While our issues are somewhat different, I decided to prepare my wish list for Carson City for the year 2000.
1. Costco – If all goes smoothly, it is possible that we may have a Costco opened and in full operation in Carson City before the end of the year. This project will be a boon for Carson City’s general fund, allowing the city the opportunity to fund regional transportation and public safety functions. When completed, Costco will increase the ad valorem income received by Carson City Redevelopment Authority, which will allow for the further redevelopment of our downtown.
Additionally, it will be great for large families on a budget who require large quantities of food at a reasonable price in order to make ends meet. It will be great for those of us who like the quality items offered by Costco that cannot be purchased anywhere else in the area. It will save numerous trips to Reno and will keep our tax dollar at home. I congratulate City Manager John Berkich and the four supervisors who had the vision and foresight to support this project.
2. Bypass – It looks like the long-anticipated construction of the bypass is under way. Bids are in for the first phase and the process appears to be moving along. After all of the hurdles from the enactment of the gas tax to the Wandering Skipper, this is good news.
However, I would like to take it a step further and see the bypass landscaped. GROW, a citizen’s organization, has developed a landscape design using native plants similar to the ones used at the Reno Airport, which if implemented, will create a parkway and bike path system along the bypass.
In Reno, and other places in Nevada where freeways have been built, the soil along the freeway is not appropriate for growing any type of vegetation. Once that soil is placed there, it is almost impossible to remove it and replace it with viable soil. GROW is working with the powers that be to ensure that this does not happen in Carson City.
That would be great to have a usable park area and an entry to Carson City that says, “We are proud of ourselves and our town.” I would encourage the mayor and the city supervisors to support the GROW proposal.
3. Lucky Spur – I would like to see the Carson City Redevelopment Citizen’s Committee and the Redevelopment Authority proceed toward a resolution of this eyesore.
I believe that the first step would be a meeting with an experienced condemnation attorney to determine what the alternatives are and what steps need to be taken. This building is clearly a problem and it is not going to go away without some action being taken by the city. This is one of those rare instances when private ownership has failed and it is time for the government to exercise its legal options.
This will take guts, as Carson City has not exercised its power of condemnation in many years. I would encourage the mayor and board of supervisors to focus on this issue in the year 2000.
4. New supervisor – Supervisor Kay Bennett has served this city well for many years. However, she is planning on stepping down at the end of her term this year to pursue business interests. I would like to see a competent, enthusiastic candidate elected to this seat. She represents Ward 4. If you have have any interest at all, I would encourage you to attend the supervisor’s meetings, talk to the city manager, talk to the supervisors and determine if this might be the challenge and opportunity you are seeking. Carson City will need a strong leader in this position in the years to come.
I know that there are many other issues, concerns and problems in our city, such as public safety issues surrounding the 911 system, the economic viability of the golf course, mass transit or a lack thereof, senior center conflicts and a myriad of others. Let the mayor and supervisors know what your wish list is for the year 2000. That is how wishes come true.
Linda E. Johnson is a wife, mother, attorney and a 25-year resident of Carson City. She has been an activist for all of those 25 years and she plans to continue her efforts into the new millennium.