Primary election guide: Carson City mayor

Chris Carver

Chris Carver

The four candidates running for Carson City Mayor are featured in the Nevada Appeal’s Primary Election Guide. The top two vote-getters will advance to November’s general election. The office is non-partisan. The term is for four-years.

Chris Carver

Place of residence: Carson City

Occupation: Retired military and federal service

Age: 55

Contact information: Cell: 775-720-6423; Email:; website:

Record of service, include incumbency, military or civilian service:

US Army: 1978-2002

Department of Defense: 2003-2010

Department of Homeland Security 2010-2012

Education: Bachelor of Science, State University of New York; Master of Science, Defense Intelligence College; numerous military and civilian leadership schools

A brief statement about your platform

Better government starts with better leadership; we cannot afford four more years of the current administration that has empowered personal agendas over the intent of our citizens. I plan to return democracy and fairness to our city government. As your representative, my actions and those of our Board of Supervisors, city staff, and advisory boards will respect the will and intent of our citizens. We will not always agree but we must all be heard.

We can’t spend our way to a better future that is dependent on increased revenues from taxpayers. Revenues are a sacrifice from our citizens to enable our government to provide the services we need. Revenues are not an endless source of funding for discretionary projects (for example, the downtown), and a bloated bureaucracy. My priority is a lean, efficient, and transparent government focused on essential services including water, sewer, roads and public safety. I will honor the public trust for tax-payer supported initiatives, including the Quality of Life initiative and require voter approval for major discretionary projects.

We need responsible economic growth that empowers private enterprise and confines development to appropriate levels consistent with our Master Plan, zoning, and conservative resource management. Our growth should not be driven by the profit margins of developers and everyone must pay their fair share. Growth cannot come at the expense of our heritage, our quality of life, or take a higher priority than the neighborhoods where we live, go to school, work, and play.

What are the top 3 issues facing Carson City and your solutions:

Responsible Growth: Carson City is at a critical period in developing a path to a successful future. The current administration has embraced an irresponsible pattern of development that includes several high-density projects which place an undue burden on our resources, change the nature of our city, and threaten our financial future. We have only 144 square miles within our borders. Once it’s all developed and the builders move on, there’s no viable plan to sustain our economy. This short-sighted perspective fails to address long-term requirements for increased demand on utilities, public safety, and infrastructure already failing due to years of neglect and deferred maintenance.

Our economic models are not based on development or tourism; our resources should go into the sectors that most benefit our citizens and the commercial activities that offer a return on our investment. We must provide the critical technology and transportation infrastructure to encourage appropriate commercial growth. Doing so will put small business back to work in our extensive vacant commercial real estate and decrease unemployment.

Any growth plan must protect our heritage, our quality of life, and our historic identity as Nevada’s state capital city.

Infrastructure: Years of neglect and deferred maintenance have resulted in increased costs to repair and maintain existing critical infrastructure. The roads in our neighborhoods and city streets are failing, our water and sewer plants require millions of dollars in repairs, and we’ve failed to address a technology backbone to support light industry and small businesses. The current solution, in addition to the projected 4% annual revenue increases, is to raise taxes and rates. This crisis was brought to us by the current administration. We need real leadership to adopt a responsible plan to address these issues without unfairly increasing the tax-burden on our citizens. We should expect and fund routine maintenance costs and have a contingency plan for extraordinary repairs. We are carrying forward over $183 million in debt that has failed to correct these problems.

Efficient and Responsible Government: The current administration has become accustomed to conducting business outside of public scrutiny, ignoring the intent of the voters, and lacks accountability for obvious and expensive failures. Examples include the downtown corridors, sewer plant improvements, road maintenance, and even our city dump. We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on studies and then ignored the results. The lack of respect for the voice of our citizens is common place, and we’ve lost the “culture of service” a representative government should have. We are entitled to a city government with high performance standards and absolute accountability. With a budget of over $137 million, we can certainly do better than we have, but real change will require new leadership.

What book are you reading?

“Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor”

Jerry Cinani

Place of residence: 2874 Oak Ridge Dr.

Occupation: Retired and Active Mental Health Professional

Age: 73

Contact information:,

Education: B.A. degree in Psychology from UNR, and Master’s degree in Psychology from University of Alberta, Canada

A brief statement about your platform

Instill a New Vision for the Future of Carson City, a vision of growth and vitality in which the city moves to a business model of management, and away from the mentality that the taxpayer is an endless source of money for nonessential services and tax increases. A business model, in which the management of expenses, taxes is only half the story. Effective growth and maintenance requires economic growth as well as limits on expenditures and efficient use of funds. The city would incorporate a principle of new businesses/companies creating services. It would involve the introduction of medium size companies or regional headquarters with concentrated people operations into Carson City. Carson City would become a center for very well paying jobs.

Establish a new perspective among the board of supervisors. One which relies heavily on the residents to make decisions in major controversial projects. A board of supervisors who will not be content to sit on the sidelines while residents and developers fight out their differences. A board that will take a proactive approach in such situations and become personally involved in resolving differences long before a decision crystallizes in a business meeting of the board. A board which will direct city staff to actively aid residents as it does to developers. A board which is open and responsive to the voice of residents.

Promote the status of Carson City. We are the capital and deserve a greater regard and consideration than that afforded us in the past.

What are the top 3 issues facing Carson City and your solutions:

Carson City has a higher unemployment rate, 6.7%, than the surrounding counties and the state as a whole. In addition, there has been no significant job or business growth over the past eight years. Our population has actually declined as reported in the 2015 statistics. The improvement of the economy is a top priority. The creation of well paying jobs needs to be a top priority of the city supervisors. Jobs and the economy are connected to many of the problems in Carson City. For example, if people had better paying jobs and more money to spend on housing, there would less need for high density housing. The minimum wage is another example. It would not be an issue if people were in well paying jobs and could see a bright financial future for themselves.

Effective and responsive management of city expenditures is a primary concern for many people in Carson City. In spite of recent efforts to inform residents about the city budget, there appears to remain questions about the use of funds for special projects while rates for water utilization, for example, are identified for increases. These increases have to do with updating facilities that could have been or should have been updated sometime ago. The downtown project represents another case which has raised questions about the use of funds. There are many essential projects which require attention such as street repair and maintenance, especially since Carson City now has responsibility for literally all of the streets. There are a number of places where the safety of residents would be greatly improved by additional street lighting and pedestrian crosswalk lighting. Of course, water supply is an ongoing concern and an area which can always use additional funding. Although there is federal funding for community development, a large share of those funds, it appears, are slated to address affordable housing needs. Redevelopment funding appears to be concentrated in a relatively small area of downtown while other areas are not addressed.

People in Carson City appear to feel that they do not have the ear of city supervisors/mayor. Often times major decisions are made about the city without citizens concerns being addressed. Generally, this kind of condition is described as a trust issue in which the city supervisors need to earn the trust of citizens. This view, in my opinion, is actually backwards from what it should be. The trust problem is among the city supervisors: they do not have any trust in residents making decisions about the city. It’s a matter of the city supervisors learning to trust the people to make decisions, to return the city to the people.

What book are you reading?

“1877 America’s year of Living Violently”, by Michael Bellesiles.

Robert Crowell

Place of residence: 4 E. Sunset Way, Carson City.

Occupation: Retired

Age: 70

Contact information:; 775-883-1136;

Record of service, include incumbency, military or civilian service: Mayor, Carson City 2009-current; Trustee and Past President, Carson City School Board 1997-2008; Commissioner and Past Chairperson, Colorado River Commission of Nevada 1987-1996; Member and Past Chairperson, Governor’s Greater Sage Grouse Advisory Committee 2012; Naval Aide To The Governor 1986; Member, Commissioning Committee, USS Nevada (SSBN 733) 1986. Private: Governor and Past President, State Bar of Nevada; Member and Past President, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board; Retired stockholder, Kaempfer Crowell, a statewide law firm; Member, Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers; Member, Best Lawyers in America®, Energy and Government Relations; Member and Past Chairperson, Carson City Chamber of Commerce; Member and Past President, Rotary Club of Carson City; Member and Charter President, Carson City Council, Navy League of the United States. Military: United States Naval Reserve, 1967-1990; Rank upon retirement, Captain, United States Navy; Vietnam Veteran 1969-1970, 1972; Member, Vietnam Veterans of American, Chapter 388

Education: Stanford University, B.A., Economics, 1967; Hastings College of the Law, JD, Law, 1973

A brief statement about your platform

A Sustainable Community: In addition to being the capital of our great state, Carson City is also rich in history in its own right with its own unique identity and quality of life. At the same time, the northern Nevada region is undergoing a dramatic economic diversification. It is important that we have a sustainable community that preserves and promotes our heritage for generations to come.

A sustainable community is one that:

Has the ability to remain safe, healthy, vibrant and successful over the long term; Promotes education, workforce development and healthy lifestyles;

Provides for the public safety and has a quality of life that appeals to all, young and old alike;

Provides a place where families can feel secure in raising their children and seniors can retire in a safe living environment;

Provides an infrastructure that attracts workers and businesses alike; and

Has an open, transparent, efficient and responsive government where governing and government are inclusive.

A sustainable community is also one where its residents have a strong sense of place as well as pride in their community and collective well-being. It is a community where mutual respect by, among and between all residents is a paramount value.

This is a great time to live in Carson City and our community motto, “Proud of its Past, Confident in its Future” says it all.

What are the top 3 issues facing Carson City and your solutions:

Public Safety Investments: Public safety is a core function of government. We must ensure that we provide our public safety professionals with the tools and the people to keep us safe and healthy. From 2005 to 2015, annual calls for service for the Fire Department increased from 7,100 to 9,600, an increase of 35%. In the same period, the Sheriff’s Office reports annual calls for service dropped from just under 25,000 to roughly 17,000, due mainly to increased crime fighting efforts. In both departments we are meeting requirements with investments made years ago. Public safety is generally funded through grants and the city general fund. There are many competing demands on general fund revenues. At the beginning of the economic downturn of 2008 all of our stakeholders came together and agreed upon general fund reductions necessary to meet our declining revenues and at the same time do our best to maintain our quality of life. As our economy improves, I support using the same cooperative approach to ensure needed public safety infrastructure investments.

Public Infrastructure: As Mayor, I have sought to ensure that our public infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Streets) is sufficient to meet the needs of current and future requirements. After years of underfunding we have responsibly planned for the recapitalization of both the water and sewer systems. We have recently completed or have broken ground on major projects that will ensure the viability of both systems for planned growth under the City’s Growth Management Ordinance. Funding for street maintenance and repair comes from gas taxes which may be used only for that purpose. Sales of gasoline have been on the decline for some time for various reasons, not the least of which are more fuel efficient vehicles. Under these circumstances it becomes even more important to prioritize the use of our limited funds. The Regional Transportation Commission recently directed staff to create a citizen’s advisory committee (TRAFCC) to provide public input on the expenditure of gas taxes. I support that direction.

Workforce Development: We frequently hear from employers looking to move to our area that we suffer from the lack of a trained workforce. Successful workforce development depends on many factors, the most critical of which is education, particularly career technical education. To address those needs and others, the Board of Supervisors regularly meets with the Board of School Trustees and our local businesses to ensure that our strategic goals are consistent with each other and implemented. Additionally, WNC has started the Jump Start program and our Library has implemented a manufacturing technician certificate program. Adams Hub also plays an integral role in the development of a culture of entrepreneurism in our community. We should embrace those efforts.

What book are you reading?

“The Long Goodbye” by local author, Michael Archer

Kurt Meyer

Place of residence: Carson City

Occupation: Retired-30 years public service, Event Manager-Epic Rides, Substitute teacher.

Age: 50

Contact:, facebook: Kurt Meyer

Education: Class of ’84, Reed High School, Sparks. Associates Degree of Arts, Western Nevada College.

A brief statement about your platform

Many friends have asked me why I am running for Mayor. I have a blessed life and I just retired from Carson City with 30 years of service. My answer is always the same – I love Carson City and I am grateful that I have been able to work, live, and raise my family in a wonderful community; however, I don’t like the direction Carson City is going, or rather, not going. Carson City cannot remain stagnant. With my energy, 25 years experience working for Carson City, and volunteering in the community, I am the leader that understands what it means to be a public servant here in Carson City.

We have to improve our curbside appeal, listen to and act on the desires of the citizens, and develop Carson City responsibly.

We need to improve our image. Empty buildings and storefronts, fences around buildings downtown, and state properties that sit vacant for years do not attract economic growth.

The citizens have a voice. The reason we don’t have the City Center project is because the citizens voted no. What would have happened if the V&T project had been put to a vote? Or the current Downtown project?

We must have responsible development. If a development is going to push the limits of our infrastructure, impact fees will be needed. With leadership that is engaged and forthright, Carson City can face these issues successfully.

What are the top 3 issues facing Carson City and your solutions:

Infrastructure: Carson City has dedicated employees that are willing to help solve problems and get a quality service and product out to the citizens of Carson City. Every year, these departments ask for what they feel they need to do a better job to care for the facilities and equipment they work with day in and day out. Yet through the current process year after year, they see spending on things that are not needed or seen as frivolous. We have roofs that have been leaking for years, streets in need of attention, outdated vehicles and equipment, and the list goes on. If your roof leaked, wouldn’t you fix it first? We need to direct funds to give these employees what they need to get their jobs done safely and efficiently and direct funds to facilities and roads that need to be fixed and repaired.

Curbside appeal: Carson City needs to market our community to small business owners and young families. So here is a short story that has happened time and again: A young man that was born and raised in Carson City goes off to college, gets a degree, meets the love of his life, and gets a dream job in Carson City. He lands at the Reno airport with is new wife, drives through beautiful Washoe Valley, and exits into Carson City passing the new hospital campus where he will soon start his new job. As they exit the freeway the first thing they see is an empty building boarded up with weeds growing out of the sidewalk. The first stoplight has a traffic median with gravel and more weeds. They continue south to see a familiar coffee chain and pull in for coffee. As they look out over the shopping center, they see empty storefront after empty storefront. Over coffee, they decide the nice drive through the valley wasn’t so bad and they return to Reno to look for a home. Carson City – We need to do better and we CAN do better!

Responsible development: If you own property, you have the right to sell it. City leaders and the citizens need to share a vision for that development. If we are approving development that does not fit within that vision and is in need of special permitting that will devalue the adjacent properties, we should not approve that permitting. Eagle Valley and Carson City was once all open space and through responsible development, it has turned into the city that we have all chosen to live. We need to continue to work together on that path and keep creating a place we all want to live, work, and raise our family.

What book are you reading?

I just finished “The Moon is Down” by John Steinbeck.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment