The 10 questions we will ask Reno’s city council and mayoral candidates
Last week we declared that Drinkable Reno would get political. We gathered questions from Facebook, comments, email, conversations and phone calls and distilled them into 10 questions. We contacted each Reno mayoral and city council candidate so far and received responses from Hillary Schieve, Elisa Cafferata, Naomi Duerr and Paul McKenzie. We will begin pestering the others for a response after the holiday.
We believe in open and transparent journalism so we’re posting the questions here for the public and for candidates (we’ll also send an email with the questions incase they don’t read the site every day) with explanations for why we chose them. The questions avoid leading to an answer or assuming they will answer a certain way. We’ve decided to make them more broad, allowing the candidates to cite specific data, laws or examples instead of focusing on narrow topics or issues. We framed the questions around the food and beverage business sector since that’s our coverage base and audience interest. None of the questions allow for a simple yes or no answer, either.
1. What is your vision for Reno? How do you plan to help it get there?
This is a simple establishment question. It sets the tone of the interview, allowing me to adjust follow-up questions and which facts are relevant.
2. What is Reno’s current image inwardly and/or outwardly? What should it be in the future?
Abbi Whitaker inspired this question as it is a primary concern to many locals, public relations firms, the casinos and pretty much comes up in every single conversation ever.
3. What role, if any, do local brewing and distilling businesses play in Reno’s future identity/image/vision?
This is a natural question from the previous two as it relates to the industry that Drinkable Reno covers.
4. How does the “University Town” plan to connect and expand the University of Nevada, Reno fit with the more adult themed parts of Reno’s districts?
A great video of the “University Town” or Reconnecting Districts concept developed by the city.
The casinos, bars, strip clubs, etc. are probably not all appropriate for the entire population of UNR. How do these existing and future businesses fit with this plan?
5. Would you bring attention to the local brewing/distilling businesses in the city through government supported advertising and/or marketing with City of Reno or Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority?
Tom Young, owner of Great Basin Brewing Co. and commenter, Ed SJC Park inspired this question. The RSCVA and the City of Reno promotes many local businesses in its efforts to bring tourists to the area.
6. Reno and Las Vegas both have loose open container and public intoxication laws. Do you consider those laws good or bad?
Reno City Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus inspired this question. Reno does not have any laws prohibiting open containers or public intoxication except as it relates to driving while drunk. The recent number of beer crawls and wine walks begs whether or not a candidate may propose to change that. In Las Vegas, the city council banned aluminum and glass containers on The Fremont Street Experience to curb excessive alcohol consumption and sales downtown.
7. Does the Economic Development and Redevelopment Agency help or hurt businesses?
A comment by Ed SJC Park inspired this question. It is intentionally left open-ended and without context.
8. Do the two redevelopment zones — Downtown and Midtown-Fourth Street zones — help or hurt businesses?
Tom Adams, owner of Seven Troughs Distilling Co, Nicole Barker, owner of Red Creole Fusion and comments by Ed SJC Park inspired this question. The redevelopment zones in Reno are responsible for many new businesses but is it at the cost of other areas of town? This question could go many directions.
9. As casino employment has declined, food and beverage service employment has increased throughout Nevada. How would you deal with this change in the local economy?
A comment by Ed SJC Park inspired this question. According to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, the casino industry employed 14% fewer people in 2013 than it did in 2000, while the food and drink places employed 65% more. This is a significant change in a tourism and local economic driver.
10. Much of the difficulty in establishing liquor production businesses in Nevada comes from local regulations. Some cities and government agencies (including Las Vegas) established programs to help the industry. What regulations, agencies or programs might you propose to change, create or cut as it relates to the liquor production industry?
A comment by Charles Rahn and multiple conversations with Tom and Tom inspired this question. It combines everything into one direct question about new liquor businesses and how the candidate can influence that process.
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