Top headlines from the Board of County Commissioners Meeting

by | Mar 28, 2023

The following are highlights from today’s Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:    

1. Commissioners discuss management and recruitment to boards and committees: Alexandra Wilson, a member of the county’s Commission Support team, presented an overview of the boards and committees that Washoe County either participates in or facilitates, with a deeper dive into boards and committees that the commission appoints to. These boards range from libraries and animal services to homelessness and fire protection. Washoe County uses the Granicus platform to manage boards and committees and identify the number of boards that have openings, as well as when term limits are approaching.  

Washoe County recruits residents to serve on these boards and committees, has added a minimum recruitment timeframe, and is moving all board and committee opportunities to one webpage. Openings are announced through email blasts, social media posts, and flyers posted in public areas, and stakeholder outreach.  

“I want to be sure we’ve done our job to throw the biggest net out to let everyone know about these opportunities,” Commissioner Mike Clark said. “Then we’ve done our job and can hold our head up high, and we put the ball back in their court to apply.” 

Learn more about serving on a board or committee here, and view Wilson’s presentation here.  

2. Board approves use of Contingency Funding for Swan Lake Flood Prevention: Washoe County Community Services Department (CSD) has enacted various stages of its flood mitigation plan for Swan Lake and the surrounding area, including constructing berms, installing pumps, and placing barriers. Washoe County has experienced atmospheric rivers that brought heavy rainfall on top of a significant snowpack. Washoe County has been preparing for winter weather, monitoring conditions and proactively initiating preplanned responses in known trouble areas.

Since 2017, Washoe County has developed a proactive flood management plan and monitors the lake levels and surrounding snowpack, and implements certain responses dictated by the conditions and lake levels. CSD follows mandated priorities for flood response: Top priority is life safety, then to maintain clear access for emergency vehicles and to protect public infrastructure. Protections are in place to minimize the impact on the public. 

The Board approved a transfer of $1.5 million from the General Fund Contingency to the North Valleys Flood response activities.  

3. Board accepts resignation of public defender and appoints interim public defender: Public Defender John Arrascada submitted his resignation, effective April 14. The Board accepted his resignation and appointed Chief Deputy Public Defender Evelyn Grosenick to the position of interim public defender. She will serve in that role until a permanent Public Defender is appointed by the Board, which is estimated to happen in June.

4. Board approves numerous community donations: The following donations were accepted by the Board of County Commissioners:

  • Gift card donations valued at $4,000 from the Washoe Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Foundation and a cash donation at a value of $200 from Susan J. Krump accepted by the Second Judicial District Court, CASA Program.  
  • Gift card donations valued at $1,320 from Tru Vista accepted by Second Judicial District Court (SJDC) in support of Minor Guardianship Program during FY 2023. 
  • Donation of $300 from Fire Shows West to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office for the Citizen Corps Program (CCP). These funds will be used to purchase or repair equipment, supplies, food and beverage to be used in emergency response, training, drills, support events or rehab during disasters. 
  • Donation of $500 from Frank and Linda Groseclose to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office to be used for operating costs.  

5. District Special Funds allocated to nonprofit and government groups: Each commissioner can propose allocations of District Special Funds to benefit nonprofit or governmental groups in their respective districts or that benefit the county. The following allocations were approved:

  • Commissioner Jeanne Herman, District 5, recommended $2,000 for The Sons and Daughters of Erin to support the program’s efforts to promote Irish heritage and culture.  
  • Commissioner Mariluz Garcia, District 3, recommended $2,900 for the Washoe County Green Team to support costs associated with the 2023 Earth Day tree planting at the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.