Top headlines from the Board of County Commissioners meeting  

by | Aug 15, 2023

1. Board receives presentation on Washoe County Library System’s collections development policy: Washoe County Collection Development Manager Debi Stears presented an overview of how library materials are curated to reflect the needs and interests of the community. Stears uses several factors in determining new book acquisitions, including editorial book reviews, tracking of national presale orders, and past performance of an author nationally and locally. Most new purchases, 86 percent, are determined through these factors. Fourteen percent are from community input. The Library receives more than 600 requests per month.  

The Library System’s curation policy addresses the suitability of subject and style for the intended audience, attention by critics and expert reviewers, reputation and significance of the author, the book’s cost, consideration of the work as a whole, and representation of diverse points of view and opinions.  

Residents who oppose an item’s presence in the Library System may challenge the item, which will bring it to the attention of Library Director Jeff Scott. If it is decided that the book may remain in the collection, the resident may appeal to the Library Board of Trustees. There have been only two formal challenges in recent history, that of a DVD about Scientology in 2015, and that of the book “Johnny the Walrus” this year.  

“I really want to thank the county manager and the chair and you, Debi, for agreeing to share the process of how the library approaches not only the acquisition of books but also the process of challenging books. I have read all the standards that you follow in terms of freedom of speech and all of the policies that are in place with the National Association of Libraries,” Commissioner Clara Andriola said. “I really appreciate that there’s a process and it’s public and everyone knows how it works.” 

2. Board accepts grant for purchase of a bookmobile: The Washoe County Library System received a $75,000 grant from the State of Nevadato purchase a bookmobile. The Board approved the grant, which is part of the federal Library Services and Technology Act funding. This grant will allow the Washoe County Library System to purchase a van to be outfitted with shelving, circulating library materials, Chromebooks, and tablets to be checked out and used by Washoe County residents, particularly in rural and isolated areas.

3. County’s Comptroller Department receives top award for its annual comprehensive financial report: The Washoe County Comptroller Department received the annual Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. This is the 41st consecutive year that Washoe County has received this recognition, which is based on the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report prepared by Comptroller Cathy Hill and her accounting team.

“Congratulations to staff for receiving the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting,” Chair Alexis Hill said. “Congratulations to our incredible budget and finance teams.” 

4. Board appoints three members to the Senior Services Advisory Board: The Board voted to appoint Mac Rossi and Patricia Gallimore to fill the remainder of vacated terms to end in 2025, and to appoint Adolfo Correa for a new term ending in 2025.

The Senior Advisory Board is made up of 11 members of the community: two members from each commission district, one at-large member who shall serve as a permanent member and two at-large alternates. The members are appointed by the County Commission to serve a four-year term and may serve, with reappointment, a maximum of two consecutive terms. The Advisory Board members must be, as required by County Code, residents of the County and have an interest in civic affairs, and an interest or experience in the fields of nutrition, geriatric social work, administration, finance, and law.  

5. Commissioners allocate District Special Funds to local nonprofit organizations: County Commissioners can allocate funding for nonprofit, governmental, or charitable organizations. Today they voted to allocate $1,000 from District 1, represented by Chair Alexis Hill, to the Tahoe Fund to support the 2023 Lake Tahoe Summit; and $5,000 from District 3, represented by Commissioner Mariluz Garcia, to Noah’s Animal House to provide on-site pet shelter and care for victims of domestic violence.

6. Board approves donations to county departments and programs: Donations to Washoe County must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners. They voted unanimously to approve the following donations:

  • $377 from Bowers Mansion Iron Rangers 
  • $17,400 in sponsorships for the Lazy 5 Summer Music Series 
  • In-kind donations totaling approximately $18,000 from the May Arboretum Society for Regional Parks and Open Space 
  • 50 Narcan kits valued at $3,750 from Quest Counseling and Consulting Inc. to the Department of Juvenile Services  
  • $3,000 from Summit Church for HSA Child Protective Services  
  • $300 each from Valerie Cooke and Washoe Masonic Lodge No. 35 for HSA Child Protective Services 
  • Approximately $7,500 from Donated Juror Fees and various donations of stuffed animals, clothing, and other items for HSA Child Protective Services  
  • Donations totaling approximately $24,000 to HSA Senior Services from the Stuff-a-Bus event and private donations 
  • Donations of hygiene products and snacks valued at $4,550 to the Washoe County Homelessness Fund 
  • 100 dog beds and food bowls from numerous donors to the Washoe County Regional Animal Services  
  • $500 from the Rotary Club of Incline Village to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office for food and operating supplies for the Citizen Corps Program