John Barrette: City board to hear downtown ideas. Etc.? |

John Barrette: City board to hear downtown ideas. Etc.?

John Barrette

A Downtown 20/20 group plan on downtown revitalization goes to the Board of Supervisors during a 5:30 p.m. board session Thursday.

The plan has three components: business activity; special events and promotions; and beautification, circulation and parking. In other words, the evening is set aside for what to do regarding the number of traffic lanes on downtown Carson Street and related issues.

The session earlier in the day, which also is in the Community Center’s Sierra Room and begins at 8:30 a.m., includes final action regarding the 11 percent hike in the electric franchise fee. It will boost the current rate of $3.60 to $4, the maximum allowed by law, in an $80 electric bill if it clears the final hurdle as expected.

In addition, in the consent agenda there is an item calling for the board to appoint Elinor Bugli to the Carson City Cultural Commission to fill an unexpired term that ends in January 2016. Bugli and her husband, David, each August spearhead Jazz & Beyond, and they are a driving force between Carson’s symphony orchestra and jazz band.

Thursday’s work also calls for appointing five members to the nine-month Ethics Ordinance Review Committee, which will look into ethics language governing city officials and how that language dovetails or doesn’t with state law.

There was no agenda item dealing with Rollie, the dog put down by Carson City Animal Services, which has sparked controversy. Someone, however, could bring up Rollie’s fate during public comment. Yet the city says Rollie was unlicensed. Speedy demise was unfortunate for everyone — particularly the dog — but this was a chain of events.

Dogs and cats can come and go at will if their owners know the rules and follow them. Human animals wanting other animals around must take care.

The Humane Society of the United States reports pets in homes zoomed upward from 67 million in 1970 to 164 million in 2010, but still are in fewer than half the nation’s households. There were 78 million dogs, 86 million cats. Jammed shelters meant 3.4 million pets were euthanized in them. The toll will continue; pet adoptions can’t keep up.

Carson City in this fiscal year budgeted $732,414 to run the shelter. City officials say they are working to make Animal Services less quick on the trigger, but this latest chain of events didn’t happen in a vacuum. Pet ownership is a privilege and a responsibility.

As a consequence, much of the media furor is emotional blather.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at