Top headlines from the Board of County Commissioners Meeting

by | Jan 17, 2024

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

1. Board votes to retain chair and vice chair of the County Commission: The Board voted to retain Chair Alexis Hill as chair, and Commissioner Jeanne Herman as vice-chair. Both took their current seats in March 2023 upon then-Chair Vaughn Hartung’s resignation from the Board.

“It has been the honor of my life to work with you, Jeanne, and I want to work with you again,” Chair Hill said. “It’s a joy to work with everyone on this board because we all love this community. It’s truly a humbling job so I want to continue to work with you.” 

Commissioner Herman agreed and concluded by adding: “I want to thank all the folks out there. It’s very cool.”

2. Board approves special use permit for Silver Circle Ranch and denies neighbor’s appeal: The Board conducted a public hearing to consider two appeals related to the Silver Circle Ranch on Holcomb Ranch Lane. One appeal by Pro Pony LLC was an appeal of the Board of Adjustment’s failure to approve a special use permit (SUP). The Board of Adjustment’s nonaction on the issue resulted in a technical denial, so Pro Pony LLC appealed the denial to the Board of County Commissioners.

The SUP is to bring an existing legal non-conforming commercial stable to board 35 horses into conformance with Washoe County Code and to allow for the construction of a 13,500 square foot indoor riding arena. Pro Pony LLC is also requesting modifications to remove the requirement for paved parking surfaces to allow non-paved surfaces and to waive landscape standards for commercial uses.  

Neighbor Jill Brandin opposes the project and appealed the Board of Adjustment’s decision to preserve her right for judicial review if she is aggrieved by the decision of the Board.  

The Board first agreed that Brandin had standing to appeal, and was thus given 10 minutes for her presentation. They then voted on the appeal of the SUP denial and unanimously approved the SUP. Pro Pony LLC will be permitted to build the indoor arena and move forward with the other modifications to the property.  

“I believe in private property rights,” Commissioner Michael Clark said. “I believe in the bundle of rights; I believe when you own a piece of property, you should be able to do what you want to do with it.”  

3. Commissioners appoint interim Registrar of Voters: The Board formally accepted the resignation of Registrar of Voters Jamie Rodriguez, effective March 15. They voted to appoint Deputy Registrar Cari-Ann Burgess to serve as interim registrar through the 2024 election cycle.

In a separate action, the Board approved the addition of two voting locations for the Presidential Preference Primary. These locations are in Sparks and bring the number of vote centers to 16.  

4. Board approves Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR): Washoe County Comptroller Cathy Hill presented an audit of the county’s financial report, per Nevada law. The ACFR was audited by Eide Bailly, LLC, who issued an unmodified opinion thereon. By acknowledging receipt of the ACFR, the Board also approved the re-appropriation of $43,169,335.09 for the fiscal year 2024 budget.

5. Board approves allocation of District Special Funds: The Board approved the allocation of District Special Funds, as proposed by Commissioner Jeanne Herman: $20,000 to Washoe County Community Services Department to provide reimbursement for the Roads Department’s reconstruction of and improvements to Dugway Road; and $10,000 to Safe Embrace, to support stabilization and relocation services for victims of domestic violence.

6. Board accepts donations to county departments: The Board of County Commissioners must approve all donations made to county departments and programs. They approved the following donations:

  • $3,960 in various gift card donations from the Washoe Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and $100 from Susan J. Krump to the Second Judicial District Court 
  • $200 from Patrick M. Kealy to the Washoe County Law Library 
  • 73 Narcan kits from Quest Counseling and Consulting Inc. To the Washoe County Department of Juvenile Services 
  • $2,182 from multiple private citizens during a car show fundraiser to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard 
  • $500 from the Reno Air Racing Association Inc. To the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office for the Citizen Corps Program for the purchase of food and beverages during emergency response, training, drills, events or disasters 

7. Board proclaims January 21-27, as National Coroner/Medicolegal Death Investigation Professionals Recognition Week: The Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office provides coroner and investigative services for 15 counties in Nevada and four counties in California. The staff are first responders and take on heavy mental and emotional burdens responding to traumatic scenes. The Board of County Commissioners today recognized the dedicated employees in the Medical Examiner’s Office and declared January 21-27, 2024, National Coroner/Medicolegal Death Investigation Professionals Recognition Week.