Time for mayoral race to heat up
September 15, 2004
Anyone wondering when the Carson City mayoral race was going to begin – well, it has.
This campaign remained low key until after September primaries, apparently because there was no runoff contest on the ballot. Two years ago, when there were five candidates for sheriff, much of the campaigning went on long before the primary.
With a little less than two months to go, it’s time for this campaign to heat up. And there are plenty of issues for incumbent Ray Masayko and former mayor Marv Teixeira to talk about. For example:
– Redevelopment is a catch-all phrase for the big issue in Carson City: retail sales.
It encompasses downtown’s slow rise to respectability, the authority of City Hall to step in when things don’t move fast enough, the prospect of developing an auto mall, incentives for new businesses and competition from the neighbors in Douglas County.
All those are top-of-mind issues, but we think the underlying priority must remain creation of good-paying jobs in Carson City. Retail sales pay the taxes that run city government, so that’s why government gets obsessed by it. Unless they have decent jobs, though, people don’t much care where Wal-Mart is located.
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– Growth is limited in Carson City by its tight boundaries and, to some extent, by its water supply. But water rights aren’t a problem; conservation and delivery are, as long as Mother Nature remains so stingy.
The overriding issues on growth are somewhat contradictory – quality of life and affordable housing. Residents want well-kept parks, well-run recreation programs, access to open space and the Carson River, ease of traffic flow, adequate parking and a lot of other things. The trick is to do all those things without pricing the average working person out of a home.
– Gaming expansion is an issue that so far hasn’t gone much past the “Should Jethro build a casino?” stage. The real question is exactly what role city government has in the process. City supervisors have enacted a protectionist ordinance requiring new casinos to also build hotel rooms – a move that, in theory, would provide more lodging but in practice simply limits competition.
The Masayko-Teixeira matchup promises to be a compelling contest. It will be one of the forums we’re co-sponsoring with the League of Women Voters on Wednesday and Thursday (see Page 1), providing excellent opportunities to hear for yourself the past and future mayor of Carson City.