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Opinion: Report from Bonnie Weber



I’m excited to share that we’re counting down the days until the National Association of Counties (NACO) Annual Convention comes to Washoe County. Commissioner Jung and I visited Washington, DC March 6-10 to attend the NACO Legislative Conference, encouraging other convention attendees to visit Nevada for their 75th annual conference this July.

It is exciting to host the 3,000+ attendee conference as well as showcase our great county and the cities of Reno and Sparks. This conference is a great opportunity for county leaders from across the country to support our local economy. I’ve been encouraging attendees to come early and stay longer to enjoy the Truckee Meadows and all we have to offer.

With all the excitement of the NACO convention coming to town, I came home to a busy schedule of events and budget preparation. During my first years on the Commission I was shocked to see how little transparency there was in the annual budget process and made it my goal to allow the public to have more input in the Washoe County budget. In 2005 I encouraged my fellow commissioners to hold budget hearings, a process that hadn’t been done in the past. In addition to the hearings, I have opened my door to department directors to share with me in an informal setting their goals and budget concerns for the year.

It’s difficult to hear how deep our programs have been cut, but I’m proud to hear we’ve found new ways to save money. One of my favorite new ideas is the expansion of the volunteer program at our libraries and parks. I encourage you to stop by the county Web site and take a look at the volunteer opportunities in your community. We also have an interactive budget calculator where you can send your suggestions and show your priorities for the year.

Finally, I hope you will mark your calendars and join me on the third Saturday of each month for Coffee and Conversation with Your Commissioner. This is a great event for enjoying a cup of coffee and discussing some of the issues facing our communities and county. We meet on the third Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. at the Sierra Sage Golf Course located at 6355 Silver Lake Road. If you plan to stop by, please send me an e-mail the week before so I know how much coffee to have ready (use the subject line “Coffee & Conversation”).

It’s campaign season again, and I’ll be out visiting our neighborhoods in the coming weeks. If you’re interested in joining me to walk, I’d love to have you join me. Send me an e-mail, and I’ll let you know where we’re headed (use the subject line “I want to walk”).

Bonnie Weber
bonnie at bonnieweber.com

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