July 11 Letters to the Editor
Demand say in redevelopment
An elected government official’s highest duty is to provide funding for basic government services to their constituents: safety (police, fire, emergency medical rescue), infrastructure (roads and flood control), and other civil amenities. That’s why those of us on the Taxpayer Strike Force have been calling attention to Redevelopment Agency No. 2 at the Lake. Born illegitimately by declaring some of the most expensive real estate in Stateline as blighted, RDA2 is spending about $1 million per year of your tax dollars on dicey projects that might (or might not) bail out Stateline’s leisure and entertainment industry.
Let’s learn from the past: The March 2016 Las Vegas Review-Journal story “Tahoe bike path carries high construction cost,” reported that the $12.5 million price tag for a three-mile bikeway from Incline to Sand Harbor might induce sticker shock and kill the project. A little over three years later the Reno Gazette Journal reported the path was completed at a final price of $40.5 million. How could it more than triple in cost? Its funding sources were federal, state, local, and private. In other words, tax money and some private contributions. O
PM is catnip to politicians who never met a cost overrun they couldn’t love, and no one is guaranteeing that the guesstimated $21 million worth of bicycle paths in RDA2 will save anyone’s business, much less come in under budget. The biggest proposed RDA2 rescue device is an event/convention center that was originally estimated to cost $50 million. Now it’s $80 million. Who’s to say what it will be tomorrow?
Commissioners Walsh, Rice, and Penzel sanctimoniously refuse to put RDA2 on the ballot for a vote of the people because they said it’s their duty to govern, not yours. But when the truth is deliberately kept from the governed and politicians are not dealing in their best interests, it’s time for the voters to insist on having a say in the matter. If that disappoints the three amigos’ special Stateline friends, that’s too bad.
Diverting traffic from Main Street
I was always under the impression that a bypass, like a freeway, was to divert heavy traffic, i.e. 18 wheelers, etc., from a busy main street in a town. However Muller Parkway is not designed for heavy traffic, only passenger vehicles due to weight limit. Diverting traveling passenger vehicles from Main Street in Minden and Gardnerville means diverting potential business to our local restaurants, gas stations, convenient stores, etc. Having moved to Gardnerville almost 30 years ago, to a peaceful, farm-type community, it appears we have citizens that want another California. The current roads need attention, but it is apparent our county leaders want to add more development (changing neighborhood master plans), which will affect not only the existing roads desperately needing repair, but our water resources, traffic, public safety, etc.
Mary Jane Harding
Take action on Health Insurance Tax
Many people are not familiar with the Health Insurance Tax which will affect Nevadans and small businesses if Congress does not take action. It’s a tax collected by the government on health care premiums and has been delayed until next year. As it is, we have a constant burden of finding reliable and affordable health care. HIT would increase insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars next year, if it is not stopped. Our elected officials have the ability to make sure this tax does not “hit” our wallets.
The Health Insurance Relief Act is a bipartisan bill that has 100 co-sponsors which would delay this tax by two years. This would allow time for Congress to work on a common sense solution. Rep. Mark Amodei has signed on to co-sponsor this relief bill. Please contact his office and thank him for his continued efforts on behalf of Nevadans.