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State of the City 2015

Post Date:01/28/2015 1:00 PM

STATE OF THE CITY 2015

WELCOME TO ANOTHER STATE OF THE CITY—AND THANK YOU FOR THE HONOR OF PRESENTING SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS AND HALLMARKS OF THIS PAST YEAR AND SOME OF THE CHALLENGES FOR THE COMING YEAR.

THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S ADDRESS IS “TIME FOR CHANGE”—AND INDEED THE TIMES ARE CHANGING—AND I THINK I CAN SAFELY SAY--FOR THE BETTER.

WHAT COULD BE MORE INDICATIVE OF OUR COMMUNITY HEALTH AND FUTURE THAN BEING NAMED THE NUMBER ONE TRAVEL-WORTHY STATE CAPITAL IN THE NATION?

THAT WELL DESERVED TRIBUTE BELONGS TO ALL OF US—INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A COMMUNITY. TO ALL OF YOU WHO VOTED—AND YES--VOTED OFTEN—A HEART-FELT THANK-YOU. IT IS NOW OUR CHALLENGE TO LIVE UP TO THE HONOR BESTOWED UPON US—AND IF LAST YEAR IS ANY INDICATION, WE ARE UP TO THE TASK.

IN THAT REGARD, I AM SURE YOU HAVE NOTICED THAT OUR VISITORS BUREAU, THE CHAMBER, AND NUMEROUS BUSINESSES HAVE WASTED NO TIME IN MARKETING OUR FIRST-CLASS STATUS—AND RIGHTLY SO.

LET ME GO THROUGH JUST SOME---AND I EMPHASIZE SOME--- OF THE MANY POSITIVE HIGHLIGHTS—BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE---THAT OUR COMMUNITY SAW THIS PAST YEAR.

----FIRST—AND PERHAPS FOREMOST---OUR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECLINED SIGNIFICANTLY. AS STATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING IN ITS BRIEF FOR OCTOBER 2014 “…UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE CARSON CITY MSA FELL BY 2.7 PERCENTAGE POINTS RELATIVE TO OCTOBER 2013, TO 6.8 PERCENT. THIS IS THE LARGEST YEAR-OVER-YEAR DECLINE IN THE STATE CAPITAL’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE SINCE MARCH OF 1999.”

THAT SAID, OUR MARCH TO FULL EMPLOYMENT IS NOT OVER BY ANY MEANS. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT BEHIND THAT PERCENTAGE FIGURE ARE THE FACES AND FAMILIES OF SOME 1860 WAGE EARNERS IN OUR COMMUNITY WHO REMAIN OUT OF WORK.

----CONSISTENT WITH THE DECLINE IN UNEMPLOYMENT OUR COMMUNITY HAS ALSO SEEN A DISTINCT INCREASE IN SALES TAX REVENUES. AS YOU KNOW, PUBLIC SERVICES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL ARE FUNDED IN LARGE PART—ALONG WITH PROPERTY TAXES—BY SALES TAXES.

FOR THE FIRST 4 MONTHS OF THIS FISCAL YEAR WE EXPERIENCED AN INCREASE OF 8.75 PERCENT COMPARED TO OUR BUDGET FORCAST OF 3.5%---OR ABOUT A MILLION DOLLAR INCREASE IN REVENUES OVER BUDGET FOR THE YEAR IF THESE PERCENTAGES HOLD.

THE INCREASE IN SALES TAX REVENUE IS OBVIOUSLY HELPFUL IN FUNDING NECESSARY PUBLIC SERVICES, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREA OF DEFERRED MAINTENANCE THAT I WILL TALK ABOUT A LITTLE LATER.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOWEVER, FROM AN ECONOMIC STANDPOINT, THE INCREASE IN SALES TAX REVENUE MEANS THERE IS AN INCREASE IN THE SIZE AND NUMBER OF TAXABLE TRANSACTIONS WHICH IS INDICATIVE OF AN IMPROVEMENT IN OUR LOCAL ECONOMY AND COMMUNITY HEALTH.

THAT IS GOOD NEWS.

----AND YES, AS WITH THE INCREASE IN SALES TRANSACTIONS, WE ARE SEEING AN INCREASE IN OUR PROPERTY VALUES. THE AVERAGE INCREASE IN ASSESSED VALUATION THIS PAST YEAR HAS BEEN ABOUT 7 PERCENT—AND WHILE THAT MIGHT—DEPENDING ON THE STATUS OF ONE’S ABATEMENT ACCOUNT—MEAN AN INCREASE IN PROPERTY TAXES, IT ALSO MEANS THAT THE INVESTMENT MANY HAVE MADE IN THEIR HOMES IS FINALLY BEGINNING TO SHOW A RETURN.

AND THAT TOO IS GOOD NEWS.

---- BOND RATINGS ARE AN IMPORTANT AND INDEPENDENT MEASURE OF THE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL RISK RATING AGENCIES ATTRIBUTE TO OUR COMMUNITY. IN TURN, THAT RISK TRANSLATES INTO THE INTEREST RATES NECESSARY TO ATTRACT INVESTOR CAPTIAL FOR OUR PUBLIC INDEBTEDNESS.

I AM PLEASED TO REPORT THAT OUR BOND RATINGS REMAIN INVESTMENT GRADE AND UNCHANGED WITH STANDARD AND POORS CONTINUING TO RATE OUR INDEBTEDNESS AS AA- AND MOODY’S AT A1.

THOSE RATINGS ENABLED US TO GET FAVORABLE FINANCING TERMS FOR OUR WATER AND SEWER BONDS AS WELL AS OUR RECENT INFRASTRUCTURE BOND, WHICH WAS ISSUED WITH AN INTEREST RATE OF 3.7 PERCENT.

----ANOTHER INDICATION OF AN IMPROVEMENT IN OUR LOCAL ECONOMY COMES FROM OUR PLANNING FOLKS WHO REPORT THAT THERE IS A DECIDED UPTICK IN DEVELOPMENT “BUZZ” IN OUR COMMUNITY.

MUCH OF THAT “BUZZ” CAN BE SEEN IN THE NUMBER OF NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS AND THE CORRESPONDING NUMBER OF RIBBON CUTTINGS. AS RONNI HANNAMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE UBIQUITOUS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS OFTEN HEARD TO SAY—WE SHOULD PROUDLY CELEBRATE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE EVENTS, NO MATTER HOW LARGE OR SMALL—AS THEY ALL CONTRIBUTE TO THE OVERALL HEALTH OF OUR CITY. THEY ARE ALL IMPORTANT.

AND WHILE TALKING OF THE CHAMBER, THE RECENT RENNOVATION OF THE CHAMBER OFFICES IS SIMPLY STRIKING.

LIKEWISE STRIKING ARE THE NEW DOWNTOWN DIGS OF THE CARSON CITY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU.

FOR MANY OF THOSE VISITING OR SEEKING TO MOVE HERE, BOTH OF THOSE ENTITIES ARE THE FIRST FACES OF OUR CITY THAT THEY SEE—AND THEY ARE BOTH “TOP DRAWER”. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THEM, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO STOP BY. I THINK YOU WILL BE IMPRESSED.

----INDEED, THE NUMBERS TELL THE STORY AS WELL. HERE ARE SOME OF THE MORE INTERESTING STATISTICS THAT ARE A REFLECTION OF THE ECONOMY IN OUR COMMUNITY:

--- OUR BUILDING DEPARTMENT REPORTS THAT PERMIT VALUATIONS HAVE INCREASED SOME $2.1 MILLION OVER THE SIMILAR PERIOD IN 2012.

--- IN 2011 THERE WERE 7 HOMES PERMITTED OF WHICH 6 WERE IN SILVER
OAK ALONE. AS OF 2014, 35 HOMES WERE PERMITTED WITH 19 OF THOSE IN SILVER OAK. WHILE 35 DOESN’T SOUND LIKE A LOT, DURING MY FIRST YEAR AS MAYOR, I THINK THERE WERE PERHAPS ONLY THREE HOMES STARTED, IF THAT.

SPEAKING OF HOMES, ---THE REVITALIZED SHULZ RANCH DEVELOPMENT IS STARTING ITS FIRST PHASE OF 100 HOMES WITH THE OFFSITES BEING CONSTRUCTED THIS YEAR. THIS DEVELOPMENT IS A MULTIPHASE DEVELOPMENT WITH A PROJECTED BUILD OUT OF 412 HOMES.

SUFFICE IT TO SAY THE TREND IN HOME CONSTRUCTION IS ON THE UPSWING--FUELED IN PART BY THE LOW LEVEL OF OUR UTILITY CONNECTION FEES—AND THAT IS GOOD NEWS.

---WITH RESPECT TO APARTMENTS, A RECENT STUDY BY JOHNSON & PERKINS PEGGED OUR APARTMENT VACANCY RATE AT JUST 2 PERCENT.

---AND ACCORDING TO STUDIES BY NAI ALLIANCE (SUPERVISOR BONKOWSKI’S FIRM):

--CURRENT OFFICE VACANCIES ARE PEGGED AT 15.9 PERCENT, DOWN FROM THE LAST STUDY OF 17.93 PERCENT IN 2011

AND

--OUR INDUSTRIAL VACANCY RATE IS 7.1 PERCENT DOWN FROM 11.43 PERCENT IN 2011.

STUDIES SHOW THAT LOW INDUSTRIAL VACANCY RATES ARE A LEADING INDICATOR OF PRIMARY JOB GROWTH AND FORTHCOMING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY.

--NAI’S RETAIL VACANCY STUDY WAS NOT COMPLETED IN TIME FOR TODAY’S ADDRESS. I AM TOLD, HOWEVER, THAT THE INITIAL NUMBERS INDICATE A SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT COMPARED TO 2011.

----ALL AND ALL, THOSE INDICATORS ARE POSITIVE SIGNS FOR OUR COMMUNITY’S ECONOMIC HEALTH.

----OUR COMMUNITY ALSO SAW MANY POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS LAST YEAR FOR WHICH WE SHOULD BE PROUD—TO NAME JUST A FEW:

---WESTERN NEVADA COLLEGE RECEIVED A $4.5 MILLION WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT GRANT. IT SHOULD COME TO NO ONE’S SURPRISE THAT OUR REGION’S CONTINUED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPENDS ON A TRAINED WORKFORCE. WNC IS A CRITICAL LINK BETWEEN OUR K-12 EDUCATION SYSTEM AND OUR BUSINESS AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY. WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE THE COLLEGE IN OUR CITY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF PRESIDENT BURTON.


---FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OUR CITY’S HISTORY WE ACHIEVED THE COVETED DISTINCTION AS A BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY FROM THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN BICYCLISTS—A DESIGNATION THAT COMPLIMENTS OUR EARLIER DESIGNATION AS A RUNNER FRIENDLY COMMUNITY.

MAKE NO MISTAKE, DESIGNATIONS SUCH AS THOSE ARE NEAR THE TOP OF THE LIST FOR BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES SEEKING TO RELOCATE TO OUR AREA—AND INDEED FOR THOSE MERELY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OUR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS.

AND OF COURSE A PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY IS A LARGE PART OF THE UNPARRALLED QUALITY OF LIFE WE RESIDENTS ENJOY EVERY DAY IN OUR COMMUNITY.

---NOT TO BE OUTDONE---FOR THE SECOND TIME IN OUR HISTORY WE WILL HAVE A UNITED STATES NAVAL SHIP NAMED FOR OUR CITY—THE USNS CARSON CITY JHSV 7. THE KEEL OF THE CARSON CITY IS BEING LAID THIS SPRING IN MOBILE, ALABAMA AND IT IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED TO BE CHRISTENED LATER THIS YEAR.

THANK YOU TO THE CARSON COUNCIL OF THE NAVY LEAGUE AND THE NEVADA STATE MUSEUM FOR ARRANGING THE CREATION AND PRESENTATION OF A SHIP’S GIFT FROM OUR COMMUNITY---A TIME HONORED NAVY TRADITION, THE GIFT WILL BE PERMANENTLY DISPLAYED ON THE CARSON CITY.

AND I WILL LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG—PETER BARTON LET ME KNOW LAST WEEK THAT THE MUSEUM WILL BE RECEVING MEMORABILIA FROM THE USS CARSON CITY PATROL FRIGATE 50 FROM THE FAMILY OF A SAILOR WHO SERVED ON HER. PETER SUGGESTS THAT WE CREATE A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE MILITARY NOOK OF CITY HALL TO DISPLAY THIS INTERESTING COLLECTION.

THANK YOU PETER AND THANK YOU TO THE FAMILY DONORS.

---THANKS TO NUMEROUS VOLUNTEERS, INCLUDING MUSCLE POWERED, WE OPENED THE 7.2 MILE HIKING AND BIKING TRAIL FROM ASH CANYON TO KINGS CANYON. THIS TRAIL IS PART OF AN OVERALL TRAIL SYSTEM CONTEMPLATED FOR OUR AREA INCLUDING DOUGLAS COUNTY. IT IS NOT ONLY EXTREMELY WELL-CONSTRUCTED BUT OFFERS TREMENDOUS VIEWS OF THE AREA WE CALL HOME.

I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DIDN’T MENTION ONE OF THOSE VOLUNTEERS IN PARTICULAR—JEFF POTTER. A POSTMAN BY TRADE, JEFF CAN ALWAYS BE SEEN BUILDING TRAILS THAT PROVIDE AN IMPORTANT DIMENSION TO OUR QUALITY OF LIFE.

---ON SHORT NOTICE--AND WITH THE HELP OF MANY—WE WERE ABLE TO HOLD THE SESQUICENTIAL FAIR AT FUJI PARK. THIS FAIR, WHICH RECEIVED SEVERAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS FROM THE WESTERN FAIR ASSOCIATION—WAS SIMPLY A GEM ENJOYED BY MANY IN ADDITION TO PROVIDING A FORUM TO SHOWCASE OUR AREA’S AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES AND GROUPS SUCH AS 4H AND FFA SO NECESSARY FOR THE CONTINUED HEALTH OF OUR COMMUNITY AND REGION—AND INDEED, OUR COUNTRY.

A HEARTY WELL-DONE TO ALL WITH A PARTICULAR THANK-YOU TO JUDGE ROBEY WILLIS FOR PLANTING THE SEED AND MARENA WORKS FOR MAKING IT GROW.

IT WILL BE HARD TO TOP THAT EVENT THIS COMING YEAR.

----OUR ACHIEVEMENTS BODE WELL FOR OUR COMMUNITY. IN ADDITION TO COMPLIMENTING OUR NEW DESIGNATION AS THE NUMBER ONE TRAVEL-WORTHY STATE CAPITAL, THOSE ACHIEVEMENTS ARE QUALITY OF LIFE MEASURES IMPORTANT TO FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES SEEKING TO LOCATE IN OUR CARSON CITY.

----AND OF COURSE IT IS NOT ALL HAPPENING IN CARSON CITY. THERE WERE TREMENDOUS REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS THAT OCCURRED AS WELL WHICH WILL BENEFIT US.

---THANKS TO GOVERNOR SANDOVAL AND HIS ENERGETIC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TEAM, WE WILL SEE TESLA CONSTRUCT AND OPERATE A LITHIUM GIGAFACTORY IN OUR NEIGHBORING STOREY COUNTY.

AS A PERSONAL ASIDE, MANY OF MY CITY AND COUNTY COLLEAGUES KIDDED ME ABOUT GETTING THE MARKETING JUMP ON OTHER COUNTIES WHEN I DID A LIVE INTERVIEW ON CNBC ABOUT THE TESLA EFFECT ON CARSON CITY---WHICH TO MY SURPRISE ENDED UP WITH THE HEADLINE: “LIVE, WORK AND PLAY WITH TESLA IN CARSON CITY”.

I WILL TAKE THAT KIDDING ALL DAY TO GET A NATIONAL HEADLINE LIKE THAT FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

--- AND AS THE GOVERNOR STATED IN HIS STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS, WE WILL SOON BE SEEING A $1 BILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT BY SWITCH IN OUR REGION.

----REGIONAL INVESTMENTS SUCH AS TESLA AND SWITCH WILL PROVIDE A SOLID JUMPSTART FOR THE DIVERSIFICATION OF OUR ECONOMY AND PROMOTE A “MILLENIAL” BRAND FOR NORTHERN NEVADA.

---SPEAKING OF GOVERNOR SANDOVAL, LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PUBLICLY THANK HIM ON BEHALF OF OUR COMMUNITY FOR HIS COMMITMENT TO PRESERVING AND MAINTAINING THE NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE AT THE STEWART INDIAN SCHOOL AS WELL AS HIS INTEREST IN PRESERVING THE NEVADA STATE PRISON.

WHILE THE GOVERNOR HAS A FULL PLATE, HE ALWAYS FINDS ROOM ON THAT PLATE FOR CARSON CITY.

----THIS PAST YEAR ALSO SAW THE CITY PARTNER WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR ON SEVERAL FRONTS:

---WE ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE NEVADA HUMANE SOCITY TO RUN OUR ANIMAL SERVICES DIVISION. THE NEVADA HUMANE SOCIETY REPRESENTS THE GOLD STANDARD IN ANIMAL SERVICES AND WE ARE PROUD TO HAVE THEM IN OUR COMMUNITY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF OUR OWN STATE SENATOR BEN KIECKHEFER.

---NEXT, WE ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH CHARLES ABBOTT AND ASSOCIATES TO OPERATE OUR BUILDING DEPARTMENT. CHARLES ABBOTT IS A RECOGNIZED LEADER IN OUR STATE IN OPERATING BUILDING DEPARTMENTS.

---WE WILL BE PARTNERING WITH THE MCFADDEN AND LOPPICOLO FAMILIES TO CLOSE AND BUILD OUT THIRD STREET AS A COMMUNITY GATHERING PLACE.

THANK YOU TO THE MCFADDEN FAMILY FOR CONTRIBUTING $125 THOUSAND FOR THIS PROJECT IN THE NAME OF THEIR FATHER, BOB MCFADDEN—A MAN OF VISION AND UNSURPASSED PASSION FOR CARSON CITY.

AND MANY THANKS TO THE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR BRINGING THIS PROJECT FORWARD.

---THIS PAST YEAR WE ALSO TASKED THE NORTHERN NEVADA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO SEEK OUT THE NEEDS AND DESIRES OF OUR EXISTING MANUFACTURES AS WELL AS MARKET OUR COMMUNITY TO NEW TECH MANUFACTURING FIRMS SEEKING TO RELOCATE.

----SO WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON?

---THE FINAL PHASE OF THE I-580 FREEWAY BYPASS IS SCHEDULED TO BE PUT OUT TO BID NEXT MONTH WITH A COMPLETION DATE OF EITHER LATE 2016 OR EARLY 2017 DEPENDING ON WEATHER.

AFTER NEARLY 50 YEARS OF DISCUSSION, DEBATE AND PLANNING, THIS PROJECT WILL FINALLY BE COMPLETED.

TO THE FOLKS ON FAIRVIEW DRIVE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE IN PUTTING UP WITH THE DISRUPTION OF YOUR LIVES AND BUSINESSES WHILE WE WAIT FOR THE COMPLETION TO OCCUR. YOU HAVE TRULY GONE THE EXTRA MILE FOR YOUR COMMUNITY.

---WE WILL CONTINUE THE NECESSARY UPGRADES TO OUR WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS—WORK THAT WILL UPGRADE OUR 40-YEAR OLD EXISTING TREATMENT PLANT AND REPLACE AGING AND FAILING SEWER LINES LIKE THOSE UNDER CARSON STREET. WHILE NO ONE LIKES TO SEE THEIR WATER AND SEWER RATES GO UP, THOSE RATES PROVIDE THE NECESSARY RESOURCES FOR CREATING AND MAINTAINING NECESSARY WATER AND SEWER SERVICES OVER TIME.

---PROMISED AS PART OF THE 1996 QUALITY OF LIFE BALLOT MEASURE, THE MULTI-ATHLETIC CENTER OR MAC WILL SOON BREAK GROUND NEXT TO THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB. I AM TOLD THE MAC WILL BE OPEN FOR USE THIS COMING DECEMBER.

---A STATE OF THE ART NO-KILL ANIMAL SHELTER WILL BREAK GROUND SHORTLY. I AM TOLD THAT THE SHELTER WILL BE OPEN FOR BUSINESS THIS COMING DECEMBER REPLACING OUR AGING AND HIGHLY UNSUITABLE SHELTER.

MANY THANKS TO THE CARSON ANIMAL SERVICES INITIATIVE (CASI), FOR ITS CONTRIBUTIONS, BOTH PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL, TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS NEW SHELTER.

---NEXT MONTH THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WILL PICK THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR FOR THE INITIAL PHASE OF OUR CORRIDOR IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS.

ONCE THE LEGISLATURE ENDS SINE DIE, WE WILL START ON THE INITIAL PHASE OF OUR CORRIDOR IMPROVEMENTS THAT INCLUDES THIRD STREET AND PARTS OF CARSON AND CURRY STREETS WITH A SCHEDULED COMPLETION DATE OF DECEMBER 2016.

THESE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS WILL LAY THE FOUNDATON OF OUR EFFORTS TO MAINTAIN A COMMUNITY THAT IS NOT ONLY SUSTAINABLE BUT FAVORABLY POSITIONED FOR THE COMING DECADES AS NEVADA’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSIFICATION EFFORTS TAKE SHAPE AND THE EYES OF MANY TURN TO THE STATE CAPITAL.

----IN ADDITION TO THOSE PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTUE IMPROVEMENTS, WE ARE SEEING SUBSTANTIAL PRIVATE SECTOR INTEREST, INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT IN OUR COMMUNITY AS WELL. FOR EXAMPLE:

---THE HOP AND MAE ADAMS FOUNDATION IS IN THE PROCESS OF REDEVELOPING THE OLD CITI BANK BUILDING AND THIS PAST YEAR OPENED THE ADAMS HUB, A TRANSFORMATIVE ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT THAT PROMISES TO BE A MAJOR EDUCATION, WORKFORCE ENHANCEMENT, AND ECONOMIC DRIVER IN OUR COMMUNITY, PARTICULARLY WITH ITS EMPHASIS ON PROMOTING THE ENTRPRENEURIAL SPIRIT IN OUR SCHOOLS.

WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE THE FOUNDATION AND ITS SUBSTANTIAL RESOURCES AS A DEVELOPMENT PARTNER.

---ORIGINALLY CONCEIVED AND STARTED BY FRANCIS CARRINGTON IN 1964 WHEN HE BOUGHT THE PROPERTY FROM NEVADA ICON PAUL LAXALT----THE CARSON MALL HAS SEEN A RESURGENCE WITH THE ADDITION OF BEALLS AND SPORTSMAN’S WAREHOUSE AMONG OTHER NEW TENANTS—AND INDEED—THE STATION GRILL PROPERTY WILL SOON BE OPENED UNDER THE NEW BANNER OF TAHOE RIDGE WINERY.

AND OF COURSE, CARSON MALL IS THE HOME OF CHARLEY’S GRILLED SUBS OPERATED BY NONE OTHER THAN SUPERVISOR BAGWELL’S FAMILY.

---LAKE TAHOE BREWING COMPANY IS RENOVATING THE OLD SILVER SPUR BUILDING THAT RECENTLY REOPENED AS A BREW PUB. FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND, THE INTIAL REACTON OF THOSE WHO HAVE PARTAKEN OF THIS NEW EATERY IS QUITE FAVORABLE.

---DUNKIN DONUTS OPENED THE FIRST OF MULTIPLE NORTHERN NEVADA STORES ON THE HONE PLAZA 50 SHOPPING CENTER ACROSS FROM GOLD DUST WEST. AS WITH THE CARSON MALL THIS SHOPPING CENTER IS COMING BACK.

---AND JIMMY JOHNS, BUFFALO WILD WINGS, WING STOP, ROSS DRESS FOR LESS AND OTHERS HAVE OPENED IN THE SOUTHGATE SHOPPING CENTER ALONG WITH ANOTHER JIMMY JOHN’S AND TACO BELL IN NORTH CARSON.

---ON THE DRAWING BOARD---A LARGE SCALE DEVELOPMENT ON THE NUGGET PARKING LOT AREAS THAT MAY POTENTIALLY INCLUDE AN HOTEL, CONVENTION CENTER, TECHNICAL AND GENERAL OFFICE SPACE AND A PARKING GARAGE, ALL PRIVATELY FINANCED, LOOKS TO BE PROCEEDING FAVORABLY.

--- A LANDMARK IN OUR COMMUNITY AND DOWNTOWN CORE AREA, I AM TOLD THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE ORSMBY HOUSE, WILL REOPEN PROVIDING A MORE VIBRANT DOWNTOWN CONSISTENT WITH THE BOARD’S DECISION TO IMPROVE OUR DOWNTOWN STREETSCAPE.

----WE DO, HOWEVER, FACE A NUMBER OF ISSUES THAT REQUIRE OUR ATTENTION AND RESOLUTION.

----AS DEVELOPMENT OCCURS IN OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR ECONOMY CONTINUES TO IMPROVE WE WILL SEE, AND INDEED ARE SEEING, A CORRESPONDING INCREASE IN THE DEMAND FOR PUBLIC SERVICES. THOSE INCREASED DEMANDS WILL NEED TO BE MET IN A MEASURED AND COST-EFFECTIVE MANNER BALANCED WITH OUR DESIRE TO MAINTAIN OUR QUALITY OF LIFE.

----AND SPEAKING OF QUALITY OF LIFE, THE DEPTH OF THE RECESSION CAUSED US TO DEPLETE OUR RAINY DAY FUND AND DEFER MAINTENANCE PROJECTS IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN A LEVEL OF STABILITY IN THE RENDITION OF PUBLIC SERVICES. WE MUST NOW FIND A WAY TO PRIORITIZE OUR NEEDS WITH OUR EXISTING RESOURCES.

----DECLINING EFFLUENT FLOWS USED TO WATER THREE GOLF COURSES AND OUR CITY PARKS AS PART OF OUR WASTE DISPOSAL SYSTEM PRESENT A CHALLENGE---AND WEATHER LIKE WE HAVE HAD THESE PAST WEEKS DOES NOT HELP. THE SOLUTION TO THIS ISSUE WILL TAKE THE COLLECTIVE EFFORT OF ALL THOSE INVOLVED.

TODAY I CALL UPON THOSE AFFECTED TO WORK TOGETHER TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

----THE V&T RAILROAD, AND PARTICULARLY THE POLAR EXPRESS, HAD ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SEASON BUT THE RAILROAD CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE AS IT GAINS BRAND IDENTITY AND NOTORIETY. TO DATE, CARSON CITY AND STOREY COUNTY HAVE BEEN THE MAJOR SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR THE RAILROAD. DESPITE ITS STARTUP STRUGGLES, THE RAILROAD IS BECOMING A LOCAL, REGIONAL AND INDEED A NATIONAL ATTRACTION THAT DESERVES THE SUPPORT OF OUR SURROUNDING COUNTIES.

---OUR ROAD CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS ARE FUNDED BY GAS TAXES—A REVENUE SOURCE THAT CONTINUES TO DECLINE WHILE THE NEED FOR REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE CONTINUES TO BECOME MORE ACUTE. I AM NOT SURE I HAVE A GOOD ANSWER TODAY ON HOW TO ADDRESS THAT SHORTFALL OTHER THAN TO CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS OF MAKING DUE WITH LESS—BUT THAT CAN’T LAST FOREVER.

---THE SHERIFF AND FIRE CHIEF CAN OBVIOUSLY SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, BUT I SUSPECT THAT IF THEY WERE ADDRESSING US TODAY THEY WOULD REMIND US OF THE NEED TO REPLACE AN AGING FLEET OF POLICE AND OTHER PUBLIC SAFEY VEHICLES.

IN THE END, AND AS IN THE PAST, WE WILL ADDRESS AND RESOLVE THOSE ISSUES AND OTHERS, AND THERE ARE OTHERS, IN A TRANSPARENT, COMMON SENSE BUSINESS-LIKE FASHION.

YOU WILL NOTE THAT MY REMARKS TODAY HAVE TOUCHED ON MANY DIFFERENT DEVELOPMENTS, HIGHLIGHTS AND SUBJECTS ---I HAVE DONE THAT ON PURPOSE.

AS YOU HAVE HEARD ME SAY BEFORE, IN MY VIEW, WE ARE NOT JUST A COLLECTION OF NEIGHBORHOODS EXISTING TOGETHER IN A GEOGRAPHICALLY CONSTRAINED VALLEY—RATHER, WE ARE A COMMUNITY IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.

YES, WE ARE MADE UP OF DIFFERENT ECONOMIC SECTORS SUCH AS RETAIL, MANUFACTURING, PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OR DINING TO NAME A FEW

OVER THE YEARS OUR COMMUNITY HAS ATTEMPTED BRAND DEVELOPMENT EXERCISES IN AN EFFORT TO DEFINE WHO OR WHAT WE ARE OR WANT TO BE AS A COMMUNITY—ARE WE A GOVERNMENT TOWN, AN EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY, A DINING MECCA, A TOURIST DESTIINATION, A RETIREMENT COMMUNITY, A TECH MANUFACTUERING COMMUNITY OR ANY NUMBER OF OTHER LABELS?

DURING MY TERM AS MAYOR, I HAVE PERSONALLY COME TO THE OPINION THAT IT IS A FOOL’S ERRAND TO PICK OUT A BRAND OR A LABEL AND SAY THAT IT IS THE DOMINATE BRAND OF WHO WE ARE OR WHO WE WANT TO BE.

IN TRUTH, EACH OF THOSE BRANDS OR LABELS REPRESENTS A MICRO-ECONOMY IN OUR CITY—AND THEY ARE ALL ECONOMIES THAT ARE IMPORTANT IN SOME FASHION TO OUR OVERALL ECONOMIC HEALTH AND SUSTAINABLITY. INDEED, AS THE PRESIDENT OF A COMPANY SEEKING TO LOCATE HERE ONCE TOLD ME, THOSE MICRO-ECONOMIES ARE SIGNS OF A DIVERSIFIED PORTFOLIO—SOMETHING EVERY INVESTOR SEEKS FOR LONG TERM SECURITY.

FOR MY PART, I FIND THAT LOOKING AT OUR COMMUNITY IN THOSE TERMS IS HELPFUL BECAUSE IT FORCES ME TO LOOK AT DEVELOPMENTS----AND PUBLIC INTRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS IN PARTICULAR----FROM AN HOLISTIC PERSPECTIVE OF HOW THEY INTERACT WITH ALL OUR MICRO-ECONOMIES AS OPPOSED TO CREATING OR FOSTERING ECONOMIC SILOS.

THE INFRASTURE IMPROVEMENTS OUR CITY IS CURRENTLY UNDERTAKING—WATER, SEWER, ANIMAL SHELTER, ATHLETIC CENTER, STREETSCAPE IMPROVEMENTS TO OUR CORRIDORS AND MAKING A MORE PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY DOWNTOWN, ARE ALL INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS THAT SUPPORT THE VARIOUS ECONOMIES THROUGHOUT OUR CITY.

INDEED, IN MY VIEW, THEY ARE ALL IMPROVEMENTS NEEDED FOR THE LONG TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF OUR CITY AS A VIBRANT, SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY WHERE THERE IS AN INFRASTRUCTURE PLATFORM UPON WHICH BOTH PEOPLE AND PRIVATE BUSINESSES CAN BUILD AND MAINTAIN AN ECONOMY THAT SUPPORTS NOT ONLY THE UNPARRALLED QUALITY OF LIFE THAT WE ENJOY TODAY BUT PROMOTES THE ECONOMY AND QUALITY OF LIFE WE DESIRE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.

IN SHORT, AN ECONOMY THAT CONTINUES TO SUPPORT ALL THE DIFFERENT DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS THAT HAVE COME TO CALL CARSON CITY THEIR HOME.

DEVELOPMENTS SUCH AS SWITCH AND TESLA ARE A GREAT HELP—INDEED, A TREMENDOUS HELP. FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT I CAN RECALL IN THE LAST THIRTY YEARS, WE ARE SEEING THE BEGINNING OF A TRUE DIVERSIFICATION OF OUR REGION’S ECONOMY---DIVERSIFICATION THAT WILL BRING QUALITY GROWTH AND THE TYPE OF SUSTAINABILITY I JUST MENTIONED.

THIS IS A BRASS RING JUST WAITING FOR US TO GRAB HOLD.

WE MUST NOT MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAXIMIZE THE ENORMOUS POTENTIAL OF THAT DIVERSIFICATION.

AND AS OUR REGION AND THE STATE GOES THROUGH THIS CHANGE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOT ONLY RECOGNIZE---BUT INDEED, CAPITALIZE--ON THE FACT THAT WE ARE THE STATE CAPITAL.

WE HAVE NOT ONLY THE OPPORTUNITY, BUT IN VERY REAL SENSE, THE OBLIGATION, TO PROVIDE AND PRESENT A FACE TO THE WORLD THAT SHOWS OUR PRIDE IN BEING THE CAPITAL OF THE GREAT STATE OF NEVADA.

AND AS I STATED AT THE OUTSET, WE CAN DO THAT!

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT TODAY.

THROUGH THE DEDICATION AND HARD WORK OF OUR CITY EMPLOYEES AND THE MANY FOLKS IN OUR COMMUNITY LIKE THOSE OF YOU IN THIS ROOM TODAY----I AM PROUD TO REPORT THAT STATE OF OUR CITY IS SOUND AND GETTING STRONGER.

LET’S KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING.


RESPECTULLY DELIVERED THIS 28TH DAY JANUARY, 2015.

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