An interview with with John Wood, candidate for Carson City Board of Supervisors Ward 1

by Brian Bahouth

John Wood is candidate for Carson City Board of Supervisors Ward 1 - image provided by the candidate.
John Wood is candidate for Carson City Board of Supervisors Ward 1 - image provided by the candidate.

Carson City – John Wood is a candidate for Carson City Board of Supervisors Ward 1.  Mr. Wood recently stopped by the KNVC studios and recorded the following interview with Brian Bahouth …

When asked why he is running for office, Mr Wood said he was unhappy with the new garbage collection policy.

“I’ve watched things going on in the City for quite a while, and one of the things that finally kind of tipped me over the edge and made me move into this interesting realm of reality is the mandatory trash program that they came up with interestingly enough,” Wood said.  “I am very very free market oriented. I like to have options, and this mandatory trash program gave us no options. They just said everyone is going to participate. Everyone will do single container recycling, and everyone will pay what they negotiate, and this is going to be  15 year program.”

Wood prefers a more free-market approach.

“I went and told them, I said I thought it was a better idea as things have wheels on them that we could have a little competition out there that if I want to hire Joe for huling my trash then he can haul my trash whether I want to pay him less than Ralph or more than Ralph just depending on the services they provide, but with one mandatory provider, you don’t have any choices in the service that you get.  You get whatever they negotiate for you, so that’s what got me off the bean.”

John Wood said he is concerned with the amount of public spending during times of economic surplus.

“We’ve had a fairly good period of time here where we’ve had a decent amount of income coming into the City, and I sometimes think that we just feel like it’s just going to continue, whereas I have lived through a few of the boom and bust cycles.  I realize that economies go up. Economies go down,” Wood said. “And the last time it went down, the City survived was that someone had had the advance forethought to put money aside for rainy days. Now thankfully this boom that we just recently come into has saved our bacon and given us lots of funds to do all our little projects downtown and wherever else, but I have a feeling that at some point in time, and it may not be very long, that we are going to have another cycle down.  At which point in time, we’re on a hook for a whole bunch of projects that we may not have funding for, and I worry a little bit about that.”

We asked about downtown redevelopment in Carson City, how it’s been going and where should it go.

“It’s a mixed bag,” Wood said.  “Some people love it. Some people absolutely hate it.  I have to laugh because they don’t have to put up a speed limit in town because nobody goes over 25 miles an hour now anyway.  You can’t. In fact, if you can do 15, you’re doing pretty well. It (downtown redevelopment) looks lovely. We’ve got it now, so we’re going to live with it.  I think I probably would not have gone the same way that they did, had I been in there. I know that the next step is to do the south end of town. They are inn the works to take the Stewart St. intersection, Stewart and Carson intersection, and I believe that’s going to be narrowed to two lanes all the way from town and then they’re going to put a roundabout in.”

Wood said, if thoughtfully done, redevelopment can work.

“These things can work,” said Wood.  “In all essence, I think they’re probably doing a fairly decent job of it.  Again, it’s not something I would have jumped up and down and said ‘hoorah guys,’ but we’re committed to this like we are now to the trash collection and the downtown redoing.”

What role should the City play in economic development?

“Well, I don’t know if the City should develop the economy,” Wood said.  “I think the City should just stand aside a little bit and allow economic development to happen.  Because the more they try to manage it, the less of it we get. I do think we need that economic development, and again, I think they try to monkey around with it to the point where it becomes overwhelmingly expensive to do anything.

Wood said he’s thought a lot about why he’s running.

“I’m not doing this for myself.  This is a very low-paid job. It’s a very demanding job.  It’s kind of like I need to be part masochist to take this on.  I talked to Brad Bonkowski, and he says ‘yes it’s a very demanding thing.  He says you have to do this as a labor of love,” said Wood. “The reason I’m doing this is a love for my community, and the other reason is a love for my children and grandchildren.  Because I want this community to remain a lovely and wonderful place for them to live as well as for me. I just don’t want to take everything out of the pocket for myself and not leave anything for progeny.”

We asked Mr. Wood about his qualifications for the job.  

“Most of my background has been as a contractor.  Probably close to 20 years in business for myself.  I’ve had employees. I’ve worked on everything from builder houses through multi-million dollar houses to commercial jobs, federal jobs.  I have a lot of ability to deal with various people. Listen to what people have to say and not jump to an immediate conclusion on what they’re saying.  I like to be able to listen and then process and synthesize something out of everybody’s input. I think that’s what I’m going to bring to the is job.”

For more from John Wood, listen to the audio interview embedded above …