Scene In Passing: Twain you & me, rubber meets road next

Carson City government and commerce movement into 2016 bustle mode nears birth. An end is in sight for a lengthy gestation period.

Signs are everywhere, though few see them collectively as such. People who seem to be lollygagging in planning mode — an illusion — eventually will oversee feeding real grist into the mill. Every one of those people should understand the importance of their current pondering and emerging workload in the local economic picture for next year and beyond. Crunch time looms.

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started,” said Mark Twain, whose career under that nom de plume began around here during the 19th century. It sprang from the fertile mind of Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

So let’s see what is getting started around in Nevada’s capital city in the midst of this second decade of the 21st century.

A Business Alliance Network, forged under auspices of the city’s Visitors Bureau, is training business folks in social media, marketing and advertising, as well as helping them in other ways. Last week bureau officials said 200 businesses are involved in what they call BAN.

The downtown Neighborhood Improvement District was outlined at the Board of Supervisors, also last week, which brings together downtown commercial property owners to deal with maintenance and other needs a revitalized central commercial corridor via a project set to start next year. Support for the district included the Hop & Mae Adams Foundation, led by Steve Neighbors, which owns extensive downtown property.

Then there is the Bob McFadden Plaza, part of the downtown makeover. The McFadden family donated $125,000 for that project closing West 3rd Street to honor the late real estate man and historic restoration buff. The six donors included Kurt and Lisa, McFadden’s brother and sister, as well as his grown children — Julie Weston, Rob, Shawnee and Carson McFadden.

The city’s Cultural Commission has forged an Art and Culture Master Plan, which the board has reviewed for potential adoption in early 2016. The arts are touted as enhancing both economic development and community ambiance. Envisioned eventually is a boost in the local lodging tax to raise $120,000 for an arts point person and his or her work.

Finally, credit the entire community — including those who opposed past and even current incarnations of a downtown makeover. The current version soon goes into the central core. Revitalizing downtown has been on the community radar screen for years, but now it will be paired with spiffing up other commercial corridors. That makes sense as downtown is just a part, though an integral one, of Carson City.

Why include opponents with proponents in the credit? Opponents helped jettison the 2012 City Center concept, a much different plan, after which city government returned to working on the well-vetted 2006 Master Plan’s public sector method. The aforementioned Neighbors was left to his own private sector approach. It was the right call three years ago, and sent the city back to refining previous plans to forge a better approach.

It’s time for all players to step up their games as the gestation period fades in the rear view mirror. The time for talk grows short. It’s rubber meeting road time around here.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Twain, “but not nearly as often.”

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


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