Reno, Nev. September 8, 2020. The following are highlights from today’s Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:
1. Commissioners approved the purchase of a vote-by-mail sorting system. In preparation for the 2020 General Election, which will be conducted largely by mail-in voting, the Registrar of Voters proposed the purchase of a mail-sorting system that will help streamline the receipt and tracking of ballots in this election. The new system’s purchase price of just under $350,000 is offset by a reimbursement through the CARES Act for the very purpose of supporting mail-in voting.
The vendor, Fluence Automation, stated in a letter that “this scalable solution will help you better manage the expected increase in mail in ballots you anticipate this fall while laying the foundation to expand the functionality and capabilities in future elections.”
The system, called Criterion Elevate, can process 18,000 envelopes per hour and sort them into numerous bins and storage trays in order to keep site collections organized. Upon approval from the commission, Fluence Automation will install the system and provide operator training well ahead of the November election. This will provide an added layer of expediency and security to the voting process.
2. Commissioners approved the formation of and appointments to “arguments committees.” In another action related to the 2020 General Election, the commission approved the formation of “arguments committees” for ballot questions WC-1 and WC-2, which if passed, would create the unincorporated town of Warm Springs Valley, the area between Spanish Springs and Pyramid Lake. These questions were approved to be added to the ballot at the August 18 commission meeting. Today's board action included naming appointees to the committees, who will now proceed with writing arguments in support of and in opposition to the ballot questions.
The committees include:
- Michael Evans, Tom Prentice and Kenji Otto in support of WC-1, and John Glatthar and Greg Dennis in opposition of WC-1.
- Hugh Ezzell, Kevin Cook and Heather Cook in support of WC-2, and Sharon Gustavson and Greg Dennis in opposition of WC-2.
3. County Clerk Nancy Parent submitted her retirement date and proposed a replacement. Board members shared their best wishes for County Clerk Nancy Parent as she prepares to retire after 20 years in service to the county. County Clerk is an elected position, and Parent’s current term would be up for election again in 2022. In accepting her retirement effective Oct. 23, 2020, the commission approved the appointment of Janis Galassini to fill the rest of Parent’s term.
“I will be reaching my 20 years’ service in October and plan to retire,” Parent said. “I’ve been elected two times as your County Clerk. It’s been fulfilling and rewarding to me to be your County Clerk. I want to thank you and the employees of Washoe County. I especially want to thank my team in the Clerk’s office, particularly during the past six months with the challenges of the COVID crisis. Thank you from the bottom of my heart; I hope you will appoint Janis Galassini as my replacement, and I will know my office is secure for the future.”
4. The Board of County Commissioners accepted the following appointments and grant awards:
- Reappointment of Tim Callicrate to serve as the Lay Member of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Advisory Planning Commission for a two-year term ending on July 31, 2022.
- Appointment of Rob Pierce to serve on the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Airport Noise Advisory Panel effective Aug. 28, 2020, through Aug. 28, 2022.
- FY2021 Joining Forces Award from the State of Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety, in an amount not to exceed $105,000.
- 2020 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) License Plate Readers supplemental funding and sole-source purchase of two license-plate reader trailers, administered through the Las Vegas Metro Police Department in an amount not to exceed $75,000.
- FY21 sub-grant award from the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public and Behavior Health in the amount of $114,268.
- Sub-grant award from the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division's Independent Living Grant in the amount of $31,218.
- FY21 Fund to Assist Former Foster Youth (FAFFY) sub-grant award from the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services in the amount of $190,000.
- FY21 John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood sub-grant award from the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services in the amount of $236,810.
- NV Cares Community Food Response Program grant from the State of Nevada Department of Agriculture in the amount of $280,000.