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City council picks three finalists for Ward 5 vacancy

By Kelsey Penrose

Three finalists were chosen from 36 nominees vying to fill the Reno City Council Ward 5 vacancy left by former Reno City Council member Neoma Jardon. 

Out of the three dozen applications submitted, council members considered 11 people. 

The top three, resulting in four votes each, were: Kathleen Taylor, Elliot Malin and Alexander Goff. 

Council member Jenny Brekhus did not attend the meeting, and could not be reached by council staff despite multiple attempts. In a Substack post on Aug. 24 she protested the appointment process and wrote, “I object to the appointment process and will not participate.”

The three finalists are now invited to participate in two community meetings Aug. 30 and 31 and will be interviewed during an additional special meeting on Sept. 7. Details on the selection process and community meetings are here

About Kathleen Taylor

Taylor has lived in Reno for 13 years and currently serves on the Reno Planning Commission. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno with a minor in public administration and an associates degree from Western Nevada College. 

She is a graduate of the Reno Sparks Chamber Leadership program and the Reno Citizen’s Institute. 

Taylor previously ran for the at-large Reno City Council seat in 2012. 

“As a native Nevadan, City of Reno Planning Commission, graduate of University of Nevada, Reno, and businesswoman, I am sincerely honored to live in the Truckee Meadows, specifically downtown in Ward 5,” wrote Taylor in her application. “I have raised two daughters and started a successful small business in our community. I am currently a City of Reno Planning Commissioner, and led the Commission for the last two years as Chairwoman working with fellow Commissioners and Reno staff through COVID to keep projects moving forward.”

Taylor is the owner of Taylor Made Solutions, and has worked with Atkins North America and Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation. 

To read her application, including her resume, click here. 

About Elliot Malin

Malin has lived in Reno for 12 years. He earned a master of public administration from University of Nevada, Reno, a master of strategic communication from University of Iowa and a bachelor of political science and international affairs also from UNR. He’s working toward a law degree from Syracuse University. 

He said he wanted the council position to continue making Reno the “best place to be” by bringing a unique perspective that is currently missing on the council: millennials and young adults trying to make it in a growing Reno. 

“Coupled with a robust policy skillset, relationships with government leaders at all levels, and experience, I will add a much needed voice to the Council,” wrote Malin in his application. “As an active participant and leader in our local community in nonprofits and schools, I will continue to work to assist all of our residents.” 

Malin went on to say the goal of a public official is not to start at no, but instead to “have the prudent conversations to hear interested parties out, and ask the difficult questions to make sure we do what is best for our city.” 

Malin is a lobbyist who runs Alpine Strategies and represents the Anti-Defamation League of Nevada. Until 2022, he was also a partner with Capitol Partners Nevada and deputy and policy director with Nevada Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.

He serves on the boards of or as a member for several local associations, including the Anti-Defamation League of Nevada, Jewish Nevada, Temple Emanu-El, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Nevada, Reno Masonic Lodge 13 and Hillel of Northern Nevada. 

To read his application, including his resume, click here. 

About Alexander Goff

Alex Goff has lived in Reno for nearly five years. He has a master of science in legal studies from Cornell Law School and a bachelor of science in information technology from Colorado Technical University. He also completed the Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement at Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Reno Citizen’s Institute of 2018, and an annual open meeting law training. 

Goff ran unsuccessfully for Nevada Assembly District 25 in the primary this year. 

Goff said he wanted to make sure that opportunity is available to more of Reno’s residents. 

“I believe opportunity means public safety, good jobs, a clean environment and attainable housing,” he said. “I believe the experience I have had in my life such as growing up as the oldest of three raised by a single mom, serving in the United States Marine Corps, and as chair of the Human Rights Commission have allowed me to understand the importance of listening and working together to solve hard problems.” 

Goff was appointed by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak to the Nevada State Rehabilitation Council, where he serves as vice chair. He also serves on the board of the Northern Nevada International Center and on a committee that hosts events in honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

To read his application, including his resume, click here.

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