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Aldean brings valuable abilities to city

Nevada Appeal editorial board

Carson City supervisors made a fine choice in Shelly Aldean to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Jon Plank.

Her biggest advantage is the ability to hit the ground running, because she’s as well-versed in city issues, and the politics involved with many of them, as anybody in town. Her experience with redevelopment, economic vitality and the Virginia & Truckee Railroad restoration project has put her at the center of some of the most important discussions in recent years.

As a host of “Crossfire,” she also had an opportunity to question newsmakers and policy setters on a wide variety of topics.

The most valuable aspect of this experience, though, is that it matches the priorities facing Carson City supervisors in the future. Her background in property development and management can be put to effective use as city officials grapple with ways to fill the retail gaps left by Wal-Mart and, soon, Kmart.

Aldean brings different abilities to the board than Plank did, as any individual would, and there wasn’t much point to the board trying to find someone who would fill his shoes. In Aldean, they found a knowledgeable individual who will complement the other supervisors and strengthen the board.

The supervisors had a good group of applicants from which to choose, proving there are many people willing to contribute their time and energies to what can often be a thankless job. It’s also apparent that running for election is perhaps the only task more onerous than actually serving in the office, as far more people were willing to be appointees than were willing to be candidates.

With that seat filled, the supervisors now turn to an even more critical selection — the next Carson City manager. More than any single supervisor, City Manager John Berkich has shaped the city over the past dozen years through his energy and vision.

How the city progresses through the next decade or so could well be decided by the choice supervisors make in replacing him.