Op/Ed by Eddie Lorton.
In less than 12 weeks, Reno voters will select our next mayor. The differences between myself and my opponent — termed-out mayor Hillary Schieve — could not be greater.
It all comes down to one question: Have Schieve’s 10 years as mayor taken Reno in the right direction?
I don’t think so. Here’s a few examples.
Disastrously planned housing development: As mayor, and as a successful businessman who believes in utilizing existing buildings before you construct more, I would never have allowed the too-little-and-too-much approach that Schieve has used to ruin our city while in the developers’ pocket.
► Too much — example: The unnecessary overdevelopment of multistory, high-density apartment complexes in areas like Plumb, Lakeridge, Daybreak, South Virginia, Stonegate and South Reno have given these once-spacious areas the feel of packed-in federally funded housing projects, similar to what you would see in Detroit and Chicago.
► Too little — example: Our current mayor has led the way to subsidizing billionaire, out-of-state developers with tax breaks, land giveaways and countless millions of dollars taken from various city agencies. Years later, Schieve has continued to allow developers to tear down low-income and affordable housing, thereby creating huge downtown eyesores and delaying the construction of promised developments.
Homelessness: I’ve promoted a proven homeless plan for over 10 years that would have truly helped those in need, removed the homeless facilities out of downtown, and saved our city $45 million.
During that same time period, Schieve’s failed homeless programs have multiplied that population, causing the crimes they commit and the tax dollars spent on them to increase exponentially.
Crime: I believe in equal treatment under the law for everyone. That means that as mayor:
► I would support public safety with a fully staffed police department and firm, fair policing. (Our current mayor does not).
► I would abolish the “homeless court” because it hasn’t reduced crime, hasn’t helped the homeless population, and hasn’t helped the community. (Our current mayor supports it.)
► I would not allow anyone to camp on the Truckee River and pollute the source of 90% of our drinking water. (For years, our current mayor has encouraged and supported this violation of federal law).
► I would never again allow illegal protestors to destroy our City Hall, deface our police station, and injure our police officers. (Our current mayor allowed this to happen by ordering our police to “stand down,” resulting in 35 injured officers. Schieve supported the protestors, who caused over a million dollars’ worth of damage.)
Downtown Reno: Our downtown is an embarrassment to our city’s reputation and a dangerous destination at any time of day.
► As mayor, I would get rid of the downtown Business Improvement District (BID), which is an assessment that is illegally forced upon downtown property owners. The BID has not stopped downtown’s deterioration and forces us to support it with funds that could be redirected to provide more police presence. (The current mayor initiated and supports the BID and has increased its funding).
► I would reverse the current mayor’s terrible decision to turn Reno City Plaza into a skateboard park. Reno has numerous skateboard parks. The plaza is our city’s premier public meeting area and should be a classy venue for a variety of family-oriented and tourist activities. Instead, the plaza has become poorly maintained, and attracts disenfranchised young people and sleeping/drunk/mentally ill homeless individuals who have become the face of our downtown area.
Reno has been my home for 60 years. I played football for Reed High School and established my first of many businesses here when I was 22. In the 38 years I’ve been an employer, I have provided jobs for hundreds of local residents.
As mayor, I’d be committed to redirecting an ineffective City Council led by our current mayor, that has wasted countless millions of taxpayer dollars due to her poor judgment and practice of favoring special interest groups.
A vote for me is a vote to restore what Reno has lacked for the past 10 years: a downtown and surrounding neighborhoods that are safe and clean; protection for our small businesses; a growth plan that doesn’t sell support to developers; and ethical, experienced leadership that would always operate transparently in the best interests of all our citizens.
Go To EddieLorton.com for More Information.