Making the choice for city’s mayor
October 11, 2004
The Carson City mayoral race provides a rare opportunity for comparison of the two candidates, incumbent Mayor Ray Masayko and former Carson City mayor Marv Teixeira.
Mayor Masayko has served for the past eight years, and former Mayor Marv served the previous eight years, from 1988 to 1996. In making our decision in this election, we can compare and contrast the style, skill and vision with which each man has approached the position of mayor in light of Carson City’s present needs.
I believe that Carson City needs a mayor who can and will build alliances with our neighboring counties. Carson City needs a mayor who can and will build positive relationships with the Nevada Legislature. Most of all, Carson City needs a mayor who can and will lead the board of supervisors and the staff in a unified direction.
When former mayor Teixeira left office, Carson City enjoyed a positive relationship with Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties. Together with neighboring county officials, Marv forged the cooperative efforts to form the Tri-county Water Sub-Conservancy District for long-range water planning and created the Tri-county Railroad Association to rebuild the V & T Railroad.
During the past eight years, Carson City’s relationship with Douglas County has become contentious, festering into expensive and time-wasting litigation to the detriment of the taxpayers in both counties. To their credit, Supervisor Robin Williamson and Supervisor Pete Livermore have attempted to heal the wounds, but in the end they met with limited success. More recently, City Manager Linda Ritter has made some progress with cooperative efforts between the two counties.
Marv has a proven track record of working with the adjacent counties in a cooperative and effective manner, and I believe he would be best able to rebuild our relationship with our neighbors.
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Secondly, Carson City needs a mayor who can and will work effectively with the Nevada Legislature. As a small capital city, the Legislature has enormous impact on our economy and our quality of life. Additionally, as a major employer and property owner in Carson City, the state decision-makers impact virtually all areas of our lives.
We need a mayor who will attend legislative hearings in a timely manner and show appropriate respect for the legislators. We need a mayor who can build strong relationships with individual legislators and can sell the Carson City perspective on a plethora of issues from downtown redevelopment to the distribution of state tax dollars. The resolution of these issues can mean millions of dollars to Carson City, one way or another.
Thirdly, Carson City needs a mayor who can and will lead the Carson City Board of Supervisors in a positive direction. This would begin with treating the members of the board with respect during the meetings. There is no place for verbal abuse, rudeness and juvenile body language during the board meetings.
During Marv’s term of office, the board and those appearing before the board were treated with respect. This is not to say that there were not vigorous disagreements, but each board member was allowed to express their opinion. Consistent with the rules, each board member was allowed to place items on the agenda as he or she felt appropriate. In order to assure the representation of each of the wards in Carson City, it is essential that each supervisor have the opportunity to fully participate in the process.
During the past eight years, the board has been like a rudderless boat. The individual board members and the staff have been rowing hard, but on many occasions, it has been up to the board to lead, in spite of the mayor instead of because of the mayor. On numerous key votes, the board has voted unanimously against the mayor. This would include the vote on Costco.
The job of the mayor is to lead, not to be a contrarian. An effective mayor must build consensus by listening, communicating, educating, and persuading. As a former salesman, Marv has the wit, charm and persistence to build consensus and set a direction for Carson City.
This is not to say that on every vote all members of the board will always reach agreement, but the mayor should be able to win over the votes of the other members on a regular basis. Further, this is not to say that you or I will always agree with everything that Marv does as mayor, but he has proven that he will continue to engage in dialogue on the issues with his constituents, the city staff, the Board of Supervisors and the legislators.
Linda Johnson is a 29-year resident of Carson City, wife, mother and retired attorney.