Incumbent Brian Hanson is running unopposed in this year’s city council election. But we’ve asked him to answer some questions to give readers an idea of where he stands on the issues facing Nevada and its future.
Why are you running again for the at-large council seat? On my time as a council member, there have been some projects that I have been passionate about. So now that we are close to accomplishing them, I would like to see them through.
There are two big issues Nevada has dealt with recently — fireworks and the project concerning the rec center/baseball field and Gates. Where do you stand on each of these issues? And what do you feel needs to happen concerning both?
Fireworks — I originally thought that they were a great idea. I love to shoot off fireworks. But after the fireworks season last year, I think that we allowed too long of a time. I also think that the city needs to look at locations where they can be fired. It is alarming to me the amount of fireworks debris that people report finding on the roof of structures.
Joint school project — first off, I am very excited that we have a city and school administrations that are willing to work together for the betterment of the community. I think it is a natural transition for the city to transfer the ownership of Gates Hall over to the school. The school can use the space, and knowing that the school will retain the central room’s space, and the Gates name make me really comfortable with this transaction.
Our city desperately needs the Rec Center space. The amount of kids’ programs that the school and the parks and rec department offer really strains the time constraints of most families. Our youth should not be out at all hours of the night so that they can participate in a sports program. This space will fill a huge need for the city, not only helping with our current programs, but opening up space for other programs we cannot provide due to lack of space.
Billy Sunday field is a nice facility, but is dated, does not conform to IHSAA standards and the lighting is getting to be a huge issue. SCORE Park was originally laid out to have a varsity baseball field. I think that the baseball program deserves to have an up-to-date facility, just like all the other sports programs are afforded in our community. I think that the school agrees with the city that spending money on the old Billy Sunday field is not a good idea.
What are two other big issues that you feel need to be addressed in Nevada?
I think that housing is a big issue. We need to continue to encourage developers to build affordable housing in our community. If we would like to continue to grow, we need houses for people to move into.
We also need to look at our infrastructure — water and waste water facilities. As we grow, we are quickly getting close to our capacities at our current facilities. I also think that streets should be a continuing goal for our Capital Improvements Program.
What has the council done well over the past several years, that you hope can continue?
I think that Nevada does a good job of doing street improvements every year. We schedule some road work every year to try and make our streets better. I also think that the reimbursement programs that the city has implemented over the last several years have encouraged citizens to better their property. Programs like sidewalks, collector lines for sumps and the neighborhood improvement incentive program are all good programs.