Jim Shirk: Become proactive in our community

Editor’s note: The Nevada Appeal presented the Carson City Board of Supervisors, the mayor and city manager an opportunity for a column. Supervisor Lori Bagwell will appear next Sunday.

I recently finished reading the book “Carson City Capital of Nevada, A Pictorial History and Tour Guide” by Phyllis Zauner, published in 1984. The historical accounts of Carson City’s history are interesting and somewhat comical.

In the chapter “Days of Glory for the V&T,” we learn construction of the V&T Railroad began in February of 1869 led by a wily Virginia City bank manager, William Sharon who “persuaded Ormsby County to donate $500,000 in bond money toward the project promising they’d have an equal return in tax revenue.”

Fast forward from 1869 to 2015. The following extractions were taken from various new sources:

March 16, 2012: Our local hoteliers are up in arms because, 4 percent out of 10 percent of the transient occupancy tax dollars are going to directly fund the V&T Railroads Bonds.

May 13, 2014 : An agreement reached in 2005 committed the Carson City Visitor Bureau to provide $100,000 annually until 2025.

Sept. 15, 2014: Lyon County’s Bob Hastings, who serves on the railway commission, said Lyon County voted to reject a request for funds from the Nevada Commission for Reconstruction of the V&T Railway.

July 30, 2015: The current state of the revitalized V&T Railroad, the Commission sold the property at 6343 Highway 50E, known as the Drako property, for $785,000.

Note: The Foundation originally paid $1.425 million for the Drako property in 2006.

Do you remember in 2012 when 68 percent of voters rejected an advisory question on whether to raise the sales tax 1/4th of a cent to pay for the new library as part of the Carson City Center/Nugget Project?

Well, the current downtown project is a go — it’s going to happen.

As with the V&T Railroad project and now with the proposed “Downtown Revitalization Project”, the current Board should be mindful occasionally a past decision may continue to accrue debt, as might this new one.

Let me sum up some general issues I feel are ongoing and important to our City. These include, but are not limited to, the issues of : environment, including recycling, and the health of the Carson River; quality of our water supply; protection and health of our urban forest; the need for a noise ordinance; condition of our Historical Blue Line; and the Sheriff and Fire Departments have concerns they are nearing their capacity to provide protection. These are issues that have and always are going to need the support of public volunteers and concerned citizens groups. I would encourage more citizens to become proactive in our community by volunteering to serve on: Boards, Committees and Commissions. Openings are listed on the City website at www.carson.org.

Of the current and pressing issues brought before the Board twice each month, the majority is mainly financially driven for projects, grants or taxes to be imposed upon the citizens. The Board has only four working days to prepare questions, by researching and investigating these issues then studying and analyzing all the material. Then, they must vote.

Our fiscal responsibility is mirrored to our voting accountability as elected officials, to you the citizens.

Our community needs clean streets free from gangs and crime, and we need to be successful with these endeavors. Streets, sewer, water and infrastructure need to be a high priority. Preparing for natural disasters such as flooding and fires, earthquakes and power outages are included under infrastructure, safety and maintenance. So too are our fire and ambulance services, our Sheriff and public safety. These are serious issues I want on the forefront of our everyday conversation.

We need more jobs, as do many communities. This issue is ongoing and always a high priority. Unfortunately, it will never be fully resolved. The process of adding jobs requires expansion of existing businesses and the attraction of new businesses to locate here.

A percentage of our population is either homeless or jobless. All need the city’s support as do the elderly who can’t, at times, care for themselves. Essential services needed for their care requires constant monitoring and funding.

I will continue to address all these issues and others to the best of my ability as I serve as your elected official. I am honored to be chosen and working for the city’s people. Every great movement in history is led by the people.

Thank you to the Nevada Appeal for opening this space to all Board members on a rotating basis. It’s imperative Board members have the ability to reach out to their constituents and that they can reach out to us.

Ward 4 Supervisor Jim Shirk can be reached at jshirk@carson.org or at (775) 720-5761.


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