Washoe County Commissioner Jeanne Herman is facing a challenger for her seat in November. Long time county resident, and retired Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant, Wendy Leonard said the county’s district five representation is lacking.
“What I have observed myself is that the current Commissioner for the North Valleys does pay attention; however, [she] doesn’t take action,” Leonard said. “I’m seeing other commissioners who are taking on complaints for the North Valleys and handling those complaints out of their own commission district.”
Specific to Herman’s idea to have armed guard members at polls, among a range of proposals that would violate Nevada law, Leonard said voter concerns need to be heard.
But she called Herman’s proposal absurd.
“If you look at the big picture, just the election integrity and people’s concerns about election integrity, [that] shouldn’t be discounted,” she said. “If we blindly discount the voting population’s concerns, then we’re not doing our job to look into things and to try to make improvements. However, what I’ve seen recently, with the 20 proposal items – first of all, stating that we should militarize our voting places is absolutely absurd.”
Leonard said Herman has purportedly changed her proposal to have law enforcement at polling places.
She said that is also unrealistic.
“That, to me, says that our commissioner is not in touch with the current status of law enforcement, which is this, they are extremely understaffed,” she continued. “There is no possible way that our law enforcement can support sitting at the polling places during elections.”
Leonard said Herman’s proposal would also be costly.
“That’s going to cost the county over a million dollars,” she said. “When you take an extreme stance on any proposal, what that says is that you don’t have the ability to work with others and hear other opinions and other potential resolutions to get something solved.”
Leonard, who serves on the North Valleys citizen advisory board, said she understands county issues. She cited development, traffic, illegal dumping and reduced services as major concerns for North Valleys residents.
“What I’ve seen is when the city annexes [unincorporated county property], they … should be taking over responsibility for things like police services in those areas,” she said. “What’s happening is, they’re not increasing services to those areas. So they may still respond to calls in the areas that they’ve annexed, but they’re not necessarily assigning officers, and they’re not putting more fire stations out in the areas. The calls for service, the response time, is significantly longer.”
Leonard said development is going to happen in the North Valleys, but more active engagement with developers can be beneficial to the community.
“I care about the community,” she said. “I want to see our community continue, and to do that, that means that I have to be the one to stay on top of [issues].”
Herman has served as a commissioner since 2014 and if re-elected in November it would be her last term. She did not respond to This Is Reno to comment on this story.