Washoe County announces strategic restructuring of two departments

by | Sep 8, 2023

Washoe County announced staffing and structural changes happening with two of its public-facing departments, the Registrar of Voters Office (ROV) and the Human Services Agency (HSA) today. 

“Washoe County government is here to provide the public services that keep our community running and thriving,” County Manager Eric Brown said. “We have to grow and evolve to meet the needs of our residents, and I am pleased to announce these changes to two of our most vital departments.”  

The Washoe County Registrar of Voters Office has appointed two new deputy directors: Marc De La Torre and Cari-Ann Burgess. They will serve with Registrar Jamie Rodriguez to administer elections in Washoe County.

Deputy Registrar of Voters Marc De La Torre

Deputy Registrar of Voters Cari-Ann Burgess

The ROV Office has historically been under resourced, a key finding from a recent audit of ROV operations. To address this, the Board of County Commissioners recently committed to supporting the ROV with additional staff, infrastructure, and technology to meet the demands of our increasing voter registrations and the mail-in ballot election format adopted by the State. These two deputy appointments are part of the larger effort to fully staff and support the ROV Office, and we will soon see this office, which has historically had only six permanent employees, nearly triple in size.   

Marc De La Torre joined Washoe County in 2021 in the Communications Division as part of the Commissioner Support team. He will manage the day-to-day staff to support election workers, ensuring that everyone is trained, and manage the equipment to support vote centers for the election season, which kicks off with the presidential preference primary in February.   

Cari-Ann Burgess is new to the Washoe County organization, coming most recently from our neighbor to the south, Douglas County where she served as Deputy Registrar. She will oversee the day-to-day staff for managing voter registration and ballot-processing operations of the ROV Office.    

In addition to the deputy registrars, the ROV has also hired a new Media Production Specialist, George Guthrie, to manage the website, create outreach materials, and assist the Communications Division in sharing important information with the public. We welcome George to the team. He is new to the Washoe County organization, but not new to local media or the elections, having worked for KTVN (Channel 2) covering the last election cycle.   

Dana Searcy, Division Director of Housing and Homeless Services

Second, in support of Washoe County’s strategic plan priority to serve vulnerable populations, effective September 11, Housing and Homeless Services (HHS) under the continued leadership of Division Director Dana Searcy, will transition from the Office of the County Manager to become a new division within the Human Services Agency (HSA).    

In the works for several months, the move is a natural progression to harmonize the delivery of services across our homeless facilities, which include Our Place, the Cares Campus and our Safe Camp. HHS’s move will provide economies of scale for much-needed resources and collaboration opportunities as we pursue our mission to end homelessness and expand affordable housing in our region.