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

1. Board nominates candidate to serve Senate District 16: Five applicants appeared before the Board of County Commissioners today as they vied for appointment to represent Senate District 16 in the Nevada State Legislature. The seat was vacated in October when Sen. Ben Kieckhefer resigned to take a position with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. District 16 spans two counties – Carson City and Washoe County – so the Carson City Board of Supervisors and the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners must select the replacement. Carson City Board of Supervisors met last week to nominate a candidate, and today the Washoe County Commissioners named their candidate, Donald Tatro, in a unanimous vote.  

Tatro grew up in Carson City and now lives in Washoe County. He currently serves as first vice chair of ACE Charter High School Board, chairs Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve’s Housing Task Force, sits on the Washoe County Manager’s Advisory Committee, and serves as first vice chair of the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors. Tatro is the former executive director of the Builders Association of Northern Nevada and worked as deputy press secretary for U.S. Senator John Ensign and press secretary for U.S. Senator Tom Coburn.  

Both county boards will meet in a joint session tomorrow, November 10, and vote on an appointment to the senate seat. The appointed senator will serve the remainder of the current term, which ends in January 2023. 

2. County Manager announces online dashboard of emergency shelter availability: Washoe County recently added an online dashboard showing the availability of beds at emergency shelters: Our Place, the Nevada Cares Campus and Safe Camp. County Manager Eric Brown said that the dashboard is updated daily and is part of the county’s ongoing efforts to keep residents informed on emergency shelters and services for those experiencing homelessness.  

3. Veterans honored for their service to their country: Veterans Day is Thursday, Nov. 11, and most county offices will be closed for the holiday. Today the Board of County Commissioners honored the men and women who have served in the military by reading a proclamation for the special day, and inviting all county employees who are veterans to appear at the meeting and be recognized. The Board played a video tribute featuring Army veteran and Assistant to the County Manager Erick Willrich thanking veterans for their service.  

“It is truly an honor and a calling for individuals to act not only in the military branch but also to serve our country as a whole,” Chair Lucey said. “The individuals who make that sacrifice day in and day out need more than just recognition on one day. We should support our military every day.” 

Commissioner Vaughn Hartung added his gratitude as part of a military family: “I want to thank you for the freedoms that we enjoy. We can have a public meeting today because of veterans and what they fought for.” 

4. Special District funds allocated for Glenn Duncan STEM Academy: Commissioner Kitty Jung designated $2,500 from the District 3 Special Fund to complete an exterior mural at Glenn Duncan STEM Academy. Each commission district is allocated $100,000 per year to be allocated at the recommendation of the commissioner and upon approval of the Board.

5. Bowers Mansion Pool receives Pennington Grant: The William N. Pennington Foundation granted approximately $540,000 to Washoe County to replaster and remodel the Bowers Mansion Pool. Improvements to the facility include ADA compliance measures, removal of the wading pool, and installation of a new splash pad. Bowers Mansion is a local treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the site of family-friendly programs and events. Previously Pennington Grants have enabled the county to renovate the pool, install a pool cover, and replace failing mechanical and filtration equipment.  

“We wanted to take a moment to thank the William N. Pennington Foundation for this generous donation to improve the pool facility,” Chair Lucey said. “This facility is very historic not only for recreation for many individuals in our county, but the generosity from the Pennington Foundation to keep this pool functional, we want to thank them. Pools are very expensive and difficult to keep, and the Parks Department is doing a wonderful job under Manager Brown to reinvigorate the parks, and until that point, this will provide the needed capital to keep that pool operational and safe for all individuals in Washoe County to enjoy.” 

6. Human Services Agency receives donations to support services for vulnerable residents: The Washoe County Human Services Agency (HSA) received numerous donations in cash and goods to support its various programs. Among the donations are: 

  • $52,000 for Senior Services, donated by the Keiser Family Trust 
  • 474 fans of various types donated through the Senior Fan Drive. The estimated value of the donated fans is nearly $11,000.  
  • $300 from donor Valerie Cooke, $346 from United Way of Northern Nevada and Sierra, and $620 from anonymous donors, all designated for children and families in emergency shelters.  

HSA also received numerous donations of clothes, shoes, backpacks, books, gift cards, and other items for the county’s child and family services. 

“We want to thank those individuals who donate to our Human Services Agency,” Chair Bob Lucey said. “We at the county take it very seriously to support life from birth to death, and it’s important to us and our Human Services Agency and employees who work very hard to do that. Your donations make that much more special for those individuals.”