Commentary: At this critical juncture for Carson City, inaction is not an option
I read the article Friday in the Nevada Appeal regarding the “formal” position of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce on the Nugget redevelopment project.
I was very disappointed in the position statement. It does not accurately reflect the tremendous value this project has for Carson City as well as the entire Sierra. Since then I have spoken with the leadership at the Chamber and have come to an understanding that the Chamber is indeed in favor of this project. Even though this is somewhat contradictory to the statement that was made, this is great to hear, as the Chamber should be leading the charge on the downtown project. It is the right time and the right approach.
One thing is certain; change is upon us. There is a “new normal” that we must all adjust to. The downtown project will provide Carson City with the ability to guide and manage change. It’s not a question of whether we will change or not. It is whether we will control that change and guide it to a win-win conclusion.
This center of technical excellence will be a sparkplug that can ignite a new economy for all our citizens and be a catalyst for our existing businesses to get back on a path of growth.
At the USDA Job Forum that was held last Thursday at WNC, it was clear from all presenters that inaction is the worst thing we can do right now. We have a big opportunity to secure our future.
The same day that the Nevada Appeal’s article appeared, I also received the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s release on December unemployment figures. With the increase to
12.7 percent unemployment, now is not the time to be moving slowly. This is unacceptable.
This project is already bringing attention to Carson City. In the region, we are now recognized as an emerging technology center. In the digital world, we are on the radar screen of major networks, film studios and producers throughout California and in Asia.
The opportunity that we have to get interim facilities up and going will impact our local economy well in advance of the groundbreaking on the project. This would not be happening without the transparency that Mayor Bob Crowell spoke about in Thursday’s board of supervisors meeting, nor would it be happening without the great job that the Office of Business Development is doing.
As a leader in economic development for the region, as a citizen of Carson City and as a dad who wants a future that will make my children want to live in our great city, I thank our city leadership for what they are doing. My message to them is: Please don’t let the detractors wear you down. We will see this project happen and it will be the conveyance of a new prosperity for all our families in Carson City.
• Robert C. Hooper is executive director of the Northern Nevada Development Authority.