(News & Views Staff) – The following is an interview with Jim Shirk, candidate for Carson City (NV) mayor…
When you are elected, how are you going to deal with the revenue shortfall due to COVID? What is next after the current cuts that have been made?
Due to the virus sales tax revenue have taken a dramatic decline damaging our city budget. The Board hasn’t effectively dealt with coming out of this recession and the things that they are doing, especially my opponent, will not help us through the current crises nor better prepare us for an economic sound future. We cannot wait to take action as revenues will continue to plummet.
With increasing burdens on businesses some may close which will affect the city budget even more. The only answer for our local government to survive – is to slash our budgets now — probably at 20 to 30 percent. Start by analyzing each city department assess and where they can realistically cut without impacting essential services. We need to suspend all non-essential services and stop awarding any contracts.
As a former business owner in these troubling times, I know the only way to survive is to cut costs immediately the same holds true for our city government. There is no other answer, and if we act fast and most aggressively then we will most likely be successful.
During this crisis we were told use “social distancing while in public”.
Now, is the time we must insist on “the spending of tax payers dollars must be distancing as well” — that is, separating politicians from spending taxpayer’s money. That is accomplished by cutting budgets — this is literally the only way our local government can prevent further economic disaster.
2. How do you feel about economic development to build and support local business and visitors to Carson City?
As your Mayor, I will engage all members of the community to help plan for our future. This will ensure plans that that reflect the community’s interests, needs and goals. This then will help to develop a vision for the community’s future.
We can do this by first identifying and building on existing assets that offer the best opportunities for growth, then developing strategies to support them.
As your Mayor, I will work closely with the Carson City Visitor Bureau to bring forward events and creating new events that will benefit Carson City.
As your Mayor we need to create incentives for redevelopment, and encourage businesses to invest in our community, this will generate public support that will maintain momentum for implementing some needed changes.
3. How do you want to make an impact or difference while serving the Carson City residents?
After this economic crisis, as your Mayor, I will help create and adhere to a strategic spending plan that realistically balances projected revenues against government expenditures.
As your Mayor, I will help to protect citizens tax dollars from needless waste.
As your Mayor, I will address the ever-increasing water and sewer rates. City water fees are climbing faster than the average citizen can afford, with no end in sight.
As your Mayor, I would encourage new higher water and sewer rates for all new developments.
As your Mayor, I will seek a reduction in expenses for external studies and reports. The city continues to contract for studies, reports, and assessments, often to arrive at the same recommendation city staff proposed.
As your Mayor, I will lead as a non-partisan Mayor and ensure every decision is made in the best interest of the whole of Carson City, first and foremost.
4. If you could do anything what would be your signature project for the city?
Helping those in need by collaborating with our community coalition partners.
Addressing aging infrastructures.
To ensure that sewer fees and water rates finally reach their peak.
As your Mayor, I would look into having all new developments pay a per dwelling fee that would go for city street repair.
As your Mayor I would maintain a healthy surplus in City budget funding that will remain in reserve for any future crisis.
5. What are three reasons I should vote for you?
Obviously, I don’t represent the present administration which failed to address the long-standing issues related to growth within our community. They also failed to control the high fees imposed upon citizens for water and sewer. I will address the issue of street maintenance that they have neglected for years.
Because the current administration was and are totally unprepared for the deficit in our revenue. As your Mayor, I will help create and adhere to a strategic spending plan that realistically balances projected revenues against government expenditures.
I’m passionate about our city, not a political career. I’m running for Mayor as the best candidate to help our city and I have no other political ambitions outside of that.