March 06, 2015 Carson Shitty Supervisor Brad Bonkowski updates us on the actions taken by the Board of Supervisors at its last meeting.

March 06, 2015 Supervisor Brad Bonkowski updates us on the actions taken by the Board of Supervisors at its last meeting.
It’s Your City is a weekly program aimed at keeping you informed about city government and other organizations/happenings around Carson City, Nevada.

CARSON CITY: The Facts about the Tax By Brad Bonkowski, Supervisor, Ward 2

money blackholeBy Brad Bonkowski, Supervisor, Ward 2

The improving economy is fueling an increase in sales tax revenues. That, combined with ongoing business expansions in Carson City, had allowed the Board of Supervisors to lower the property tax rate. We lowered the property tax rate by $.02/$100 of assessed value in 2014. Doesn’t sound like much, and some criticized it as a political ploy, but in reality we can only lower it in small increments or we jeopardize placing too large a deficit in the General Fund budget.

Over time, if we continue to lower the rate by $.02-$.03 per $100 of assessed value per year, we can get back to the pre-recession rate. That’s great news for property owners. Lowering taxes is always difficult and if the way to get there is to take small steps, I intend to advocate for lower rather than higher property taxes.

As to the 1/8th cent sales tax; it was at the forefront of the fall campaigns and has been criticized by some. However, the money it will raise will deliver a lot of bang for the buck. Our community will get: a new state of the art animal shelter; the long-awaited MAC; major corridor infrastructure improvements to Hwy 50 East, North and South Carson Streets, and downtown. For our citizens it is a small added expense, but for our community it is a significant investment in our future.

Taxes are unavoidable, so the question is “How should we BEST spend tax dollars?” That is the driving question behind every decision I make as part of the Board of Supervisors.

Today’s Board of Supervisors meeting highlighted an issue discussed previously in Carson City Politics concerning the inability of City Staff to coherently present issues brought before the Board.


carson politicsToday’s Board of Supervisors meeting highlighted an issue discussed previously in Carson City Politics concerning the inability of City Staff to coherently present issues brought before the Board.

Today’s hot mess was served up by Marena Works who has repeatedly provided piecemeal “briefings” to the Board on the NV150 Fair which lacked structure and detail. In what should have been an opportunity to highlight the pros and cons of the fair while making a (successful) pitch for next year’s event, devolved instead in to Works gushing forth on some topics and not having answers for others.

carson city corruption

At this level of management, the Board should expect professional staff work and the responsibility for this falls directly to City Manager Nick Marano. Marano has accommodated sloppy staff work on a myriad of topics for too long and consistently set the bar too low for Staff appearing before the Board.  “Business casual” is a fashion style not a management technique.

Read more here:

Without Board of Supervisors knowledge, Carson City DA pays Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger to defend against lawsuits filed by Ty Robben

The Carson City DA who also over sees the city’s civil legal matters hired Reno based Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger see without the approval of the Carson City board of supervisors.

In the past, an agenda item was placed on the BOS agenda and voted on. See minutes from 2001 where money was approved by the BOS for Thorndal here:

FBI protest carson city courts fbi protest reno

law-firm-thorndal-armstrong-delk-balkenbush-eisinger-a-professional-corporation-photo-1068674Carson City Taxpayers are now on the hook for possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees as the fat lawyers at Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger suck off the pubic tit for more money.

Carson City District Attorney Neil Rombardo and Assistant DA Mark Krueger have circumvented the rules and laws to hire Reno law firm Thorndal Armstrong Delk Balkenbush & Eisinger to defend against civil lawsuits filed by Ty Robben. corruption

Normally, the DA who also handles civil matters for Carson City as well as criminal matters, would have to get approval from the Carson City Board of Supervisors. In this case, the DA office completely bypassed the approval and expenditure of public money.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors includes: Mayor Robert Crowell, Ward 1 Karen Abowd, Ward 2 Brad Bonkowski, Ward 3 John McKenna, Ward 4 Jim Shirk

See the related story:

On Your Side: City of Reno spends thousands on legal fees without council approval

11-kill the lawyers

John L. Thorndal
James G. Armstrong
Craig R. Delk
Paul F. Eisinger
Brian K. Terry
James J. Jackson
Philip Goodhart
Deborah L. Elsasser
Christopher J. Curtis
Kevin R. Diamond
Michael P. Lowry
Senior Associate
Kenneth R. Lund
Senior Associate
John D. Hooks
Senior Associate
Meghan M. Goodwin
Gregory M. Schulman
Of Counsel
Meredith L. Holmes
Stephen C. Balkenbush
Charles L. Burcham
Brent T. Kolvet
Robert F. Balkenbush
Katherine F. Parks
Brian M. Brown
Thierry V. Barkley
Of Counsel
Brandon R. Price
Kevin A. Pick

CARSON CITY CORRUPTION: A father/son team took on city government full tilt Thursday, telling the Board of Supervisors to stop monopolistic contracts and rein in spending for city staff

carson city corruption

A father/son team took on city government full tilt Thursday, telling the Board of Supervisors to stop monopolistic contracts and rein in spending for city staff.

That action starts at  4:50

A father/son team took on city government full tilt

Carson City Mayor    Karen Abowd   Supervisor Ward 2   Supervisor, Ward 3   Supervisor, Ward 4
Robert Crowell
 Ward 1
Karen Abowd
 Ward 2
Brad Bonkowski
 Ward 3
John McKenna

Ward 4
Jim Shirk


josh groth

Jim Groth descend the escalator to the ground floor of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Jim and Josh Groth, respectively the father and his grown son, appeared back-to-back during the board’s open comment period to chide city officials for actions viewed as anti-competitive, inadvisable in tough economic times and a problem when viewed from the private sector.

“This is not sustainable,” said the younger Groth. He said that after citing data indicating that last year Carson City paid more than $56 million in payroll and more than 200 city …


  1. 1.
    dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
    “the journalist who wants to expose corruption in high places”
    synonyms: dishonesty, unscrupulousness, double-dealingfraud, fraudulence,misconductcrime, criminality, wrongdoingMore

the process by which something, typically a word or expression, is changed from its original use or meaning to one that is regarded as erroneous or debased.
synonyms: alteration, bastardization, debasement, adulteration More

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Carson City Tax hike done deal; city manager next

ImageBy John Barrette 

Carson City’s sales-tax increase for capital projects cleared the last hurdle Thursday, and the Board of Supervisors immediately turned to the task of choosing a new city manager.

Formal interviews start this morning in a public meeting at the Community Center; board members and the five candidates to head city staff spent Thursday afternoon meeting in one-on-one sessions privately, which allowed informal questions and discussions. One of the major tasks the winning candidate will tackle is overseeing what should prove to be a drawn-out process of capital projects under the tax hike adopted in final form Thursday morning.

“I am not in favor of this tax going through,” said Supervisor Jim Shirk, sticking with his opposition until the end. It was the fourth time the board voted 4-1 in favor of the one-eighth-of-a-penny hike, which will cost consumers $12.50 more for each $10,000 in taxable goods purchased. The tally was such a forgone conclusion that no one testified for or against the ordinance this time, though some proponents watched from the crowd.


“I am not in favor of this tax going through,” said Supervisor Jim Shirk, sticking with his opposition until the end.

Mayor Robert Crowell and Supervisors Karen Abowd, Brad Bonkowski and John McKenna supported the plan in February and March, when it was first approved, and again the past two weeks when it cleared first reading and was adopted once again Thursday because a notification glitch required the second go-round to assure it got done by the book. The glitch was caught by bond counsel.

Bonds amounting to some $17 million can be issued under the plan of expenditure and ordinance, which names and specifies the projects but doesn’t contain all the details of each capital improvement involved.

The projcts include a multipurpose athletic center, an animal shelter, downtown streetscape changes to make the business core pedestrian-friendly, other Carson Street and East William Street improvements outside downtown, and a Community Center upgrade to help improve cultural use of the Bob Boldrick Theater.

The tax hike to underpin the bonds and projects, which is expected to raise $900,000 to $1 million annually, required support from a supermajority, or four votes. That rendered Shirk’s effort to change the program insufficient. That wouldn’t stop him from making other efforts to shape the projects going forward, he said.

“I will make sure I play a role,” he said.

ImageHe reiterated, for example, he wants the athletic center in Mills Park rather than near the Boys & Girls Clubs. Another situation that could prove contentious, though it wasn’t raised Thursday, is whether downtown Carson Street will become one lane each way or remain two lanes both north and south. The current favored city staff plan calls for cutting down to a lane each way, but the board will approve final details later.

The five city manager candidates, meanwhile, were on hand Thursday for the one-on-one afternoon sessions conducted at the Community Center and City Hall.

The candidates are Jeff Fontaine, Nevada Association of Counties; Stacey Giomi, Carson City fire chief; Tim Hacker, former North Las Vegas city manager; Nick Marano, a consultant and former Marine Colonel who ran Camp Pendleton, and Jim Nichols, formerly assistant city manager in Midland, Texas, and deputy city manger in Las Vegas.

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BLOOD MONEY – Carson City Supervisors to vote on $41,500 settlement with euthanized dog’s owner

carson city dog kill

The owner of a dog euthanized by Carson City Animal Services against her wishes will receive $41,500 in a settlement if she signs a waiver of claims and the Board of Supervisors approves the pact Thursday.

The shih tzu, Rollie, was put down July 30 after being turned over to Animal Services five days earlier. A new code section governing animal care at the pound says Animal Services should board such animals for 10 days at the owner’s expense.

Owner Jeraldine Archuleta tried to recover the unlicensed dog July 26-27 but could not pay the fees due right away, according to the city. She asked for more time to pay.

According to the agenda for Thursday’s meeting, the new Animal Services code, adopted in May 2013, includes a provision for hardship cases.

carson city corruption

It states that if an owner can document hardship, fees for the dog’s recovery may be waived by approval of Animal Services’ manager or director.

The item that will go before the city’s governing board requests authorization for payment of the $41,500 upon Archuleta’s “execution of a written settlement, waiver of claims and hold harmless …”

It also makes clear the payment would amount to a full settlement of all existing and any potential future claims and causes of action or damages against the city, as well as its current or former employees.

Archuleta made her case about the dog’s euthanasia public via a letter to the editor in the Nevada Appeal, prompting city government to close the Animal Services pound for three days for the stated reason of training personnel.

The city subsequently parted company with Animal Services manager Gail Radtke and has hired an interim manager. Radtke has sued the city, claiming she was unfairly let go.

The euthanasia controversy developed at the same time as an effort by a separate, private-sector group called the Carson Animal Services Initiative to raise money to help the city build a new shelter for dogs and other stray animals.

Archuleta’s lawyer, Cal Dunlap, declined to comment Thursday. He said he’d do so after the city and Archuleta have reached an agreement. Continue reading