JERRY CINANI – CANDIDATE FOR CARSON CITY MAYOR
The Carson City Mayor’s race is non-partisan and is a four-year term.
There are four candidates in this non-partisan race. Three responded to this request for an interview – Incumbent Bob Crowell, Chris Carver and Jerry Cinani – Kurt Meyer did not respond. The two candidates receiving the most Primary votes will appear on the General Election ballot.
1. Provide a brief summary of your background/resume, including how long you have lived in Carson City:
I received a B.A. degree from the University of Nevada and a Master’s degree from the University of Alberta in psychology. I have been a consultant to the Provincial Government of Alberta, Canada and the Nebraska State Departments of Developmental Disabilities and Education. I also have 25 years of experience in the mental health field as an administrator and therapist. In this capacity, I have experience with county, state, and federal budgets, fiscal management, program planning and development as well as information technology. For the past 13 years, I have been a small businessman in Carson City. During this time, I have maintained a private for profit clinical practice along with my partners.
I have lived in Carson City for the past 35 years with my family. I have two daughters who graduated from Carson High School, one who went on to graduate from UNR and the other from the University of Southern California.
2. Why do you think you are more qualified than your opponents to serve in this position?
I have more experience in public sector services for large populations, i.e., a county of 200,000 people and statewide services. This experience has provided me with a more comprehensive knowledge and understanding of local and state government agencies and operations. It establishes me as eminently more qualified to manage public services. My public service has also involved work critical to the everyday lives of individuals and their families. It has created for myself a sensitivity to individual’s needs for a healthy, thriving life, a sensitivity that will enable me to be far more responsive and open to the voice of Carson City residents.
In addition, however, I have had experience as a small businessman in Carson City for the past 13 years. This experience gives me credibility with local businessmen that most other candidates do not and cannot have at this time. I have created a successful private, for-profit clinical practice without any public funds or grants, a small business in one of the most difficult areas today to achieve a successful for-profit business. I am very aware of and knowledgeable about the hardships in developing and maintaining a small business to provide income and a future for a household.
3. As a challenger for this position, define why you are running and what your primary goals will be once elected.
I have been concerned for some time that Carson City has been moving in the wrong direction and that our future may become very bleak. A majority of city supervisors, including the mayor, have shown that they believe the function of city government is to supply services, regardless of their nature, through excessive costs to residents/taxpayers. This view has not created any genuine economic growth, and it has put the future financial security of the city in danger. When the current city supervisors look across the landscape of the city and see a need, they look to fulfill it by reaching for taxpayer money. When the same landscape is viewed from a business model, the private sector is seen as the first resource to fill needs. A primary function of city government is to facilitate the private sector and it’s capability to meet the needs of the city regardless of their nature. When properly nurtured, the dynamics of the market place will find and meet the city needs. A business model recognizes there are areas of needs which do not yield a profitability, such as public safety. These areas, however, can be funded in whole or in part from growth in the private sector and alleviate demand on the taxpayer. The current city supervisors’ and mayor’s unwavering support of the City Center Project and the recent Downtown Projects are examples of their faulty view of the function of government. When it was evident that the current mayor might be unopposed in this election, I decided to enter the race. I was the first person to file for candidacy after the incumbent mayor. We have had 8 years of the present mayor, it’s time for a change. My primary goal is to instill a new vision of Carson City into city government, a vision of economic growth and vitality – A vision of economic opportunity for youth and financial security for families.
4. If the Carson City water fund does not generate enough money to pay for needed upgrades, what are your recommendations in regards to this issue?
The city public works department has a 5 year plan of progressive increases in the “hook up” fees for new development. The increases will begin this year in July. These increases will help reduce cost to the taxpayers. However, additional funding might be found in city discretionary money. Such discretionary funds should be used whenever possible to pay for unexpected or necessary infrastructure costs. Another possible source is community block grant funds. The city is expected to receive 1.7 to 2 million in such funds. These sources should be used for such infrastructure costs even if they only reduce the cost to taxpayers. The objective should be to expend every effort to avoid additional cost to rate payers. The taxpayers should be rewarded for their efforts at conserving water.
5. Carson City has ongoing unfunded capital needs. What are your recommendations and priorities?
Capital improvement projects should focus on infrastructure which meets the essential needs of the city, e.g., water, sewage, streets, and applied to other interests only when they meet the criteria of increasing the capital of the city in some way, i.e., a tangible return on the investment. Most of the capital improvement projects needed today are eligible for funding through the community development block funds and not local taxpayer funds.
6. What are your goals for the area after the completion of the downtown renovation project?
Let me begin by stating that the downtown project in Carson City is a mistake, and, if possible, I would remove any remaining funds from the project. That being said, my goals for the area are:
- The promotion of economic growth in the form of new, medium size companies with well-paying jobs. Also, the location of some large federal agency offices in Carson City.
- Fiscal management of city expenditures designed to stabilize or reduce taxes and fees.
- The creation of economic opportunity for young adults as well as the population at large.
- Promotion of a city government which is open and responsive to the voice of residents. A responsive city government will hear and respect the need for preservation of quality of life among residents.
The city government has yet to marshal an aggressive and focused effort to recruit new, medium size, people concentrated businesses/companies for location in Carson City. There are many such companies that may locate here, such as regional offices for health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, banks, restaurant franchises, software/info., technology companies, sportswear sales, clothing companies, import distribution (logistics) operations, hotel franchises. These regional offices are only a sample of what is available.
The only true guarantee against constant increases in taxes/fees or excessive taxes is economic growth. City facilities age overtime, city officials change with elections, the state/national economy changes and any of these may impact the city needs for revenue. Growth, however, in the form of medium size companies provide the bedrock of financial wealth and good jobs in Carson City. They constitute a safety net against negative influences from the above conditions. Tourism and recreational events are helpful but they are transient and cannot provide the permanent foundation of business and growth yielded by a company’s office full of personnel.
Fiscal management is important and necessary, but constant refining of a strained budget has limited benefits. Anyone who has operated a small business knows budgeting is not a substitute for income and growth. A successful business must have income and growth, and so a city must have a business community with growth, income, and jobs. Economic opportunity must be seen by residents as part of their future.
7. What is your view in regards to raising the minimum wage for Carson City workers?
I’m interested in creating jobs in Carson City for different levels of education in which employees are making $20, $25, $30, $35 an hour with medium size companies. Companies with entry level jobs which have wages far beyond the minimum wage.
The minimum wage in Nevada is presently higher than the federal minimum wage, and it was raised only recently, July 2014. There are no economic factors today which warrant a further increase in the minimum wage. A need for an increase in the minimum wage typically arises from inflationary pressure to increase buying power. Today’s pressure for a minimum wage increase is a symptom of a lack of perceived opportunity, and for Carson City, a genuine lack of opportunity. This lack of opportunity in Carson City is especially true for young adults. The solution is not to reduce incentive for a better life by creating the illusion of security with a higher minimum wage, but provide opportunities for growth and realizing income which will give them true prosperity.
8. Do you foresee the need for future tax increases? Elaborate.
A change in fiscal management may avert the need for tax increases in the near future. The actualization of economic growth within the next year could reduce the need for future increases. It will depend upon what long term obligations have already been created by the city. The recent expenditures may still require some increases in the very near future. My goal would be to start an immediate effort to stabilize tax levels and avoid future increases. With this election, there is an opportunity to change course and avoid increases. If the present mayor and his supporting supervisors remain in office, there will definitely be increases in taxes and fees.
9. If there is an issue(s) not noted above that you would like to elaborate on, this is your opportunity: No response
EDITOR: This is one in a series of online interviews with Republican candidates. All Republican candidates with Primary races were contacted – US Senate, US Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, Carson City Mayor and Lyon County Commissioner. The responses are posted as the candidates presented them to me – no editing. These interviews will be posted in no particular order and, obviously, all races are not of interest in everyone’s particular district; however, NewsDesk readership (www.ndbynd.com) is spread throughout the state so all responses will be posted. You are welcome to repost any of the interviews as long as proper credit is given to NewsDesk.
Primary election day is Tuesday, June 14, 2016. If the candidates in a particular Primary all belong to the same party, the winner will be determined in the Primary and go to the General Election ballot unopposed.
Dates to remember:
- May 14 – Last day to register to vote by mail
- May 24 – Last day to register to vote in the Primary
- May 28-June 19 – Early voting
- June 14 – Primary Election