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Highlights from today’s county commissioners meeting



washoe-150x150-2973578-7890087The Washoe County Board of Commissioners held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, and took action on items including the following: discussed and assigned the appointments of all five county commissioners to various boards and commissions; received the status update on the Citizen Involvement Revitalization  Project  (CIRP), which is designed to enhance communications between residents and the County; received a workshop presentation in regard to the Department of Senior Services Senior Law Project; approved an Interlocal Agreement between the Washoe County School District (WCSD) concerning partnership libraries; approved the appointment of Laura Schmidt as the chief information management officer of Washoe County; proclaimed January 2013 as National Radon Action Month in Washoe County; and recognized Washoe County employees for their donations to the Evelyn Mount food drive.

Discussion and action on County Board of Commissioners various board and commission assignments:  Item 15. At their first BCC meeting, the two new commissioners primarily took over the board and commission responsibilities of the predecessors for their respective districts. Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler, District 1, was appointed to many of former Commissioner John Breternitz’s responsibilities, including the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the Nevada Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Nevada Tahoe Conservation District. Newly elected Commissioner Vaughn Hartung assumed many of former Commissioner Robert Larkin’s roles, including the Truckee Meadows Water Authority Board, the Truckee River Flood Management Authority, and as first alternate on the Regional Transportation Commission. Current BCC Chairman David Humke, District 2, made a few board changes, including acting as a primary on the Regional Transportation Commission and on the County’s Investment Committee. Commissioner Kitty Jung, District 3, is now a primary on the Washoe County Stadium Authority and maintains her other board appointments. Commissioner Bonnie Weber, representative of District 5 and Vice Chairman of the BCC, maintained all of her current board and commission assignments. A complete list of all the commissioners’ board and commission assignments will be posted on the county website within the next week at www.washoecounty.us.

Status update on the Citizen Involvement Revitalization  Project (CIRP): Item 14. The Washoe County community relations manager updated commissioners on the CIRP project that began in July 2012 with the goal of enhancing citizen involvement. The project includes the expansion of internal communication tools, making community planning and building activities more prominent online and communicating neighborhood issues while the Citizen Advisory Board meetings have been placed on hold. Additional opportunities to participate in this project will occur over the next few months, followed by a possible decision by the BCC on the Citizen Advisory Board structure in March. For more information on how to become involved, visit www.washoecounty.us/citizens/cirp.

Workshop to review current status and future options for the Department of Senior Services Senior Law Project: Item 19. As a result of the economic downturn and the continuing growth of the senior population, the Washoe County Senior Services Law Project has endured several budget and staffing cuts. Because of these difficulties, the project has been able to serve just 50 percent of the number of residents it was able to four years ago. The drop in services is a concern for the State of Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) and to the courts, which led to a series of workshops. The Washoe County Senior Services Advisory Board has advised the department director to recommend a third party contractor to assume the services provided by the Senior Law Project. The BCC directed staff to continue to explore opportunities that will keep those services available at the current location at the Senior Center in Reno.

Interlocal Agreement between the Washoe County School District (WCSD) concerning partnership libraries: Item 9.E. The BCC approved an Interlocal Agreement with WCSD which ensures continued operations of partnership libraries for the mutual benefit of the School District and the Washoe County Library System. The Gerlach partnership library located in the Gerlach K-12 School, formerly Gerlach High School, has been operational since 1984, and the partnership library located in the Glenn Duncan Elementary School, formerly located in Traner Middle School and known as the Duncan Traner partnership library, has been operational since 1997.

Approval of the appointment of Laura Schmidt: Item 12. Commissioners approved the appointment of Laura Schmidt as the chief information management officer of Washoe County. Schmidt has more than 22 years of successful information technology experience, including nine years with the county and previous experience at Hewlett-Packard, IGT and Palm, Inc. She is a graduate of the University of the Pacific and of the Certified Government Chief Information Officers Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s School of Government.

Proclamation for January 2013 as National Radon Action Month in Washoe County: Item 7. The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the Nevada State Health Division and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are supporting efforts to encourage Americans to test their homes for radon, mitigate elevated levels of radon and have new homes built with radon-reducing materials and features. Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring gas. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers in the United States, and the EPA estimates 27,000 people in the U.S. die each year from lung cancer caused by indoor radon exposure. Visit www.radonnv.com for more information.

Recognition of Washoe County employees for their donations to the Evelyn Mount food drive: Item 6. Throughout December, Washoe County employees collected more than 3,200 items to donate to the Evelyn Mount Organization. County Clerk Amy Harvey presented the Technology Services Department with the first “Silver Sleigh” award to honor that department for collecting the most items, 921, within the county.

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