Over the back fence, in the coffee shops, at City Hall, and around town the debate of what Carson City is and what it should become is receiving more engagement in recent months.
That’s a good thing. We’ve moved from the difficulties stemming from the economic decline of the last decade to the apparent opportunities associated with a general recovery. Interest in planning the future had taken a back seat to just paying the bills. Now things are beginning to happen.
With the new freeway on its way to completion downtown Carson City has become the canvass on which more than one organization has proposed to create a masterpiece.
Among the more obvious brush-marks are the planned changes to Carson Street through downtown, and the potential Capitol Mall project.
It shouldn’t be a surprise as the state’s capital, Carson City residents enjoy debate. Its location at the base of the majestic Sierra prompts passion about the city’s future.
We are a small, but growing community, with an active citizenry and many different visions of what this place should be, and almost all of them has at least some merit.
Our history is not many generations old. It’s rich with famous names. The early families and their homes are a reminder of our heritage. The remnants of gold and silver mines, the Basque names, local Native Americans, rodeo, pickup trucks, and Western apparel are visible evidence of our roots.
Government buildings, new and old remind us we have been the center for decision making for 150 years. Casinos represent yet another stage of development. Retail development along Carson Street, manufacturing near the airport, housing developments beyond the historic district and Western Nevada College represent continued planning and change.
The arts have long been important in Carson City. A casual reading of the Past Pages column published here in the Appeal regularly has revealed opera, music, famous speakers and other artists have been an important cultural part of our community since our earliest days. If you’re not active in the arts, you may be surprised to learn there are about two dozen arts organizations in Carson City.
What we see today is the result of 150-some years of change — some planned, some not. There are those who wish Carson City was just like the good old days and they usually refer to the days of their youth. There have been many good old days and all have benefitted from someone’s vision of a better future. “These are the good old days,” is more than a trite saying; in 30 or 40 years some of our children will recall these times fondly.
What will Carson City’s better future look like?
We believe it includes recognition of our past but embraces the opportunities to build a future of opportunity and prosperity for generations to come. Making that happen requires vision which goes beyond the calendar year, willingness to take risk, the right financial and talent resources, and community will.
We’re pleased to see the discussion engaged. Together we will build the future.