Lorton: Mayor, Council Not Doing Enough On Homelessness, Debt
Reno, like most cities in the West, has seen a growing number of homeless individuals. KUNR's Paul Boger spoke with Reno Mayoral Candidate Eddie Lorton about those issues ahead of Election Day.
"The word is out. Reno is a place to go, and when the word is out, look at Seattle [sic]. They said if you need a place, 'Come here, we'll take care of you.' It's overcome the whole town," Lorton says. "That's where there is a certain place and time, and our council said look at Seattle's model, look at San Francisco's model. I don't want to be Seattle or San Francisco. I want to keep Reno, Reno, and put Reno first."
Reno has also seen an affordable housing crunch that has forced some residents to either relocate or spend larger portions of their paycheck on housing that may not necessarily be adequate. As mayor, Lorton says he would make the city sell off land to developers in order to alleviate some of the pressure.
"It'll bring housing prices down through the natural free markets, instead of talking rent control," Lorton explained. "It'll also free our city up of the liabilities of these properties though insouciance and everything else. And last, but not least, it puts it on the tax roles, so we'll pay off our debt in full. We'll free up city employees to work on parks, which is much needed, with the same amount of people. We get out of paying for the insurance liabilities, and it puts it on the tax roles so people will pay permit fees also. Then we got the taxes coming in, so we're going to have money just rolling in."
This article is an excerpt of an extended conversation. You can listen to a longer interview by clicking the play button above.