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Highlights from Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting



washoe-150x150-1739638-9256369The Washoe County Board of Commissioners held its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Sept. 24, and took action on items including: approved an interlocal agreement between the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) and the Sierra Fire Protection District (SFPD) for the Mogul and Arrowcreek stations; continued their review of Nevada Assembly Bill 46 (AB 46); approved several employee labor agreements; proclaimed Oct. 2013 Dignity and Respect Month; approved the implementation of an Integrity Hotline for County employees; received a status report about the County’s response to recent flash floods; and received an update from the Tahoe Transportation District on the Tahoe State Route 28 Corridor Plan.

TMFPD: Item 12. The Board of County Commissioners, acting as the Board of Fire Commissioners, unanimously approved an Interlocal Agreement between the TMFPD and the SFPD regarding the operations of the Mogul and Arrowcreek fire stations. “Both Districts have collaborated in many ways to gain stability and efficiency,” said TMFPD Chief Charles Moore. “The agreement for fire services and consolidation keeps the fire stations in both jurisdictions open and operating and contributes to a stabilization of finances for the Districts.” TMFPD is also coordinating with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office to assist and enhance community programs within the Sun Valley area.  Sun Valley residents are encouraged to subscribe to the Washoe County Code Red System for emergency notification in their areas.  Commissioners also approved the promotion of Tim Leighton to TMFPD Division Chief. Leighton has 25 years of experience as a firefighter and has been the acting Division Chief since the TMFPD began in July 2012.

TMFPD Captain Randall Gates received the Firefighter of the Year Award for 2012 from the VFW 10053 in Verdi. Gates, who played a vital role in the Advanced Life Support (ALS) program as a paramedic, is responsible for mentoring and ensuring competency with new hires and is also active in community outreach and education. For more details, visit TMFPD agenda.

AB 46 (School Funding Bill) Update: Item 29. Commissioners continued their detailed review and preparation for the final workshop regarding AB 46 set for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15. AB 46 will also be discussed at regularly scheduled County Commission meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month through the end of the year. Agendas for these meetings will be posted in advance on the Washoe County website. The next Board of County Commissioners meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 8. All meetings will take place in the Washoe County Commission Chambers at 1001 East Ninth Street in Reno. For a list of frequently asked questions about the school funding bill, including how citizens can voice their opinion and find out what’s next, view Washoe County’s AB 46 FAQs.

The bill could impose additional taxes that would generate funding for certain school repairs and maintenance in the Washoe County School District. The school capital needs initiative proposes to increase sales tax by ¼ of 1 percent in Washoe County and property tax by 5 cents per $100 of assessed value in Washoe County. The Board’s authority to impose the new taxes depends on getting approval of 4 of the 5 County Commissioners by Jan. 1, 2014.

Labor agreements: Items 16-18. The Board approved Collective Bargaining Agreements with the Washoe County Nurses Association (WCNA) and the Washoe County Employees Association (WCEA), which provided a one percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) effective July 1, 2013, a one percent Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) contribution in lieu of a wage increase effective July 15, 2013, and a one percent COLA effective Jan. 1, 2014. Commissioners Bonnie Weber, District 5, and Kitty Jung, District 3, both commended the employees and the negotiators on their willingness to work together.  “Your partnership with the County during this recession has been phenomenal, probably the best in the state, and we appreciate you all,” said Jung. Washoe County Director of Human Resources/Labor Relations John Listinsky said “all of the Associations that have reached agreements with the County have understood the financial economic conditions of Washoe County today. We are recovering from the recent recession, but we are not recovered.” To read the full staff reports, visit Nurses Association, WCEA Association and Unclassified Management.

Dignity and Respect Proclamation: Item 5. Washoe County Commissioner Bonnie Weber, District 5, introduced a proclamation to recognize Washoe County’s participation with the national Dignity and Respect Campaign during the month of October.  Weber said, “I am looking forward to having employees and citizens go online and take the pledge which challenges each of us to commit to treating others the way they want to be treated and to work toward making our community a better place for people to live.”  In addition to taking the pledge, County employees and citizens are asked to share examples of people being treated with dignity and respect on Open Washoe County, an online forum that encourages citizen participation and dialogue. Watch the Dignity and Respect video which highlights Washoe County employees.

Regional Shared Federal Framework: Item 28. Commissioners unanimously approved participation in the Regional Shared Federal Framework initiative, which is a collaborative effort with Northern Nevada entities to enhance coordination and formulate common policy themes in areas such as tourism, transportation and economic development. The Board also directed staff to submit the County’s 16 federal legislative priorities for this initiative, including support for the Western alignment of the proposed Interstate 11 and support for the Older Americans Act.  In recent months, Washoe County, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) and several other local government agencies and economic development authorities have been working collaboratively to identify key federal projects and programs that impact the region. The group is planning to deliver a united message for the region to Nevada’s congressional delegation and key members of Congress later in October.

Integrity Hotline agreement: Item 9. Commissioners approved an agreement for the implementation of an Integrity Hotline to be used by County employees to anonymously report fraud, waste and abuse in the workplace. The hotline will be available 24/7 and hosted by an independent, third party provider, NAVEX Global, allowing the option for callers to provide information over the hotline anonymously or use web reporting. All of the incident reports will be reviewed by a Hotline Review Committee, similar to the County’s Workplace Violence Committee, which will assign incident reports to the appropriate department or unit for investigation, ensure that incident reports assigned for investigation are adequately investigated and address any trends in activity or weaknesses in County policies requiring corrective action to be taken. The District Attorney and Sheriff’s Offices will be available to the Committee for consultation and assistance as needed.

Flash flood response update: Item 24. Commissioners received a status report regarding Washoe County’s response to the recent flash flooding events in Spanish Springs and the North Valleys. The flash floods caused localized flooding in some areas of Washoe County. Several residents experienced fast moving water across their properties, which damaged landscaping, eroded the surface of gravel driveways, exposed fencepost footings and flooded some garages and crawl-spaces. In response to the flash flood events, the Washoe County Community Services Department (CSD) staff mobilized to clean the significant amounts of sediment and debris deposited in the stormwater conveyance system and on Washoe County roadways.  “We are still performing maintenance work in the area,” said Dwayne Smith, Director of Engineering and Capital Projects for CSD. “This is also a partnership with the community to clean up culverts in their neighborhoods. Residents can help with this process, whether it’s cleaning up drains and pulling sagebrush out of culverts or letting us know what issues require help from the County roads staff.” View the flood damage.

Tahoe Transportation District (TTD): Item 14. Derek Kirkland, Project Manager for the Tahoe State Route 28 Corridor Plan, updated the Commissioners on “America’s Most Beautiful Drive,” which covers the longest stretch of undeveloped shoreline at Lake Tahoe. The plan is designed to protect the area and allow its continued use for sustainable recreation for the more than one million annual visitors. To view the plan, visit TTD Corridor Plan and also take the survey.

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