For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. September 24, 2019. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting:
1. Update and direction on the County Manager recruitment process. After the retirement announcement in April 2019 of the previous County Manager, John Slaughter, Ralph Andersen & Associates was contracted to conduct the national recruitment for the new Washoe County Manager.
A community based panel assessment with the candidates was conducted on September 18, with a recommendation to move forward with three candidates to be interviewed by the Commission.
A special meeting to hold public interviews with the top three candidates is scheduled for Monday, September 30 at 9 a.m. in the Washoe County Commission Chambers. An agenda for that meeting will be posted by Wednesday, September 25, and will include the candidate information.
During Monday’s special meeting, each candidate will provide Commissioners with a five-minute introduction presentation which will highlight their experience and background. After all of the candidate presentations are completed, Commissioners will interview each candidate in random order, which will be generated by Human Resources. Each interview is scheduled for 30 minutes.
Once all of the interviews have been conducted, it is anticipated Commissioners will proceed to a nomination process to identify their top candidates for the Washoe County Manager position, and could potentially be named during this meeting.
If the Board motions to appoint an individual to the Washoe County Manager position during the September 30, 2019 special meeting, the Board will then provide direction to staff regarding the negotiation of an employment contract for the next Washoe County Manager.
2. New mural coming to Washoe County to further contribute to arts & culture. Commissioners approved an agreement for the design and painting of a mural on the Washoe County Parking Garage located at 220 S. Center Street in downtown Reno (rendering of new mural pictured right).
Washoe County owns and manages the parking garage at 220 S. Center Street with Center and Pine Investments, LLC owning an adjacent parcel. Thanks to the partnership with Center and Pine Investments, LLC and their $10,000 contribution along with the City of Reno Arts & Culture Commission $10,000 grant, and a Washoe County grant of $5,000, the painting of a new mural will take place on the northern wall of the parking structure. The mural will stretch to cover four-story parking garage, allowing for viewing by the public as well as the residents of Center and Pine Investment’s property.
Commissioners approved the agreement which also includes commissioning local artist, Eric Burke. Earlier this year, Burke completed a mural on Sutro Street in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Reno Rodeo (pictured left).
3. Over $18 million in funding approved for foster children through a sub grant. County Commissioners accepted a $18.9 million sub grant from State of Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services to reimburse Washoe County for the costs to make sure foster children in Washoe County have their basic needs met.
The Federal Title IV-E sub grant is critical to serving children in foster care because it provides federal reimbursement for a portion of the maintenance and administrative costs of foster care for children who meet specified federal eligibility requirements. In addition, the sub grant includes a pass-through of funding to the Washoe County School District for actual expenses incurred to provide out-of-zone transportation to and from school for children in foster care.
“This grant is critical in helping Washoe County provide foster care, transitional independent living programs for children, guardianship assistance, and adoption assistance for children with special needs,” said Children’s Services Division Director, Ryan Gustafson.
4. Washoe County Master Plans approved by County Commissioners. Commissioners heard an update and overview on two Master Plans, Washoe County Parks and Washoe County Administration Complex.
The Washoe County Parks Master Plan has been developed with extensive stakeholder engagement and community outreach, and presents a vision to guide future park acquisition, operations and maintenance. a comprehensive parks master plan for Washoe County. Additionally, the Master Plan details current challenges and opportunities both in specific planning areas and in Washoe County at large. It also identifies short, medium and long-term priorities and proposed strategies.
The Washoe County Administrative Complex Master Plan Update focused on the function and projected needs for the various services provided for the public and other portions of the county. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Master Plan focused on the 911 Parr facility and the various services and needs provided to the public and other regional agencies from this facility.
The Master Plan for services provided at the Administration Complex and Sheriff’s Office analyzed existing information, future population growth, workspace needs and opportunities and subsequently developed comprehensive recommendations over a 20-year period with a focus on the next five-year capital improvement plan (CIP).
Commissioners acknowledged receipt of the Master Plans and provided direction to staff to explore financing and implementation strategies for the future needs identified within each Master Plan.
“Now is the time to have this robust discussion,” said Vice-Chair Lucey. “We need to find the things we can prioritize and deliver immediately, as we see a continually growing region. Our residents deserve access to government services, and it is our job to deliver those services and it all starts with infrastructure. We can’t kicking the ball down the road, we need to make some difficult decisions in the near future to make this a viable county for future generations.”