It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago, by unanimous vote of the Mayor and Council, I was appointed to serve my neighbors as the Council Member At-large for the City of Reno. This past year has been one of maximum effort, tough tests, and exciting opportunity. As I look back at the accomplishments, and ahead to the future, it is with great enthusiasm that I’m announcing my campaign for election this fall to continue my work as the Reno City Council, At-large member.
Reno is experiencing a time of historic optimism and tangible progress, and with these come complex challenges. We need real, trusted, and proven leadership to help guide our city. I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished and can’t wait to keep moving Reno forward on the path we’ve set.
As the race unfolds, I look forward to talking about where we are, and where, working together, we can go. What follows is just a preview of what I look forward to discussing with you on the campaign trail.
Schools- the heart of Reno’s neighborhoods and driver of prosperity
When I applied to serve on the Council, I pledged to focus on making Reno’s schools better, and made the case why supporting our schools should be a priority for the Council. With the Mayor’s and Council’s support, I created the first-ever Council liaison partnership with the Washoe County School District, and I am proud to serve in that role.
More work lies ahead. As our city grows in both population and prosperity, supporting schools is our biggest challenge. As a member of the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority Governing Board, the Oversight Panel for School Facilities, and as a champion of the City’s role in the Public Schools Overcrowding and Repair Needs Committee, I will continue my work to make sure Reno’s children have a brighter tomorrow.
Reno’s sustainable future
There is no question Reno is now “on the map.” We’re known around the world as the place where entrepreneurs build business models addressing our climate challenges. We have the talent and the ideas, and we also face these challenges right here in our backyard.
While this past winter gave us much needed snowpack, there’s no question the drought is far from over. I led the charge this past year for more aggressive drought planning at the City of Reno, and with your support, I will continue that effort.
The update of Reno’s Master Plan is proving to be a citizen-driven effort to shape our city’s future growth. Next up? A long-needed update to our Regional Plan. It’s critical our Reno Council works collaboratively with Sparks and Washoe County to update our plan and guide growth in a responsible manner. As a member of the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Authority Governing Board, this is, and will remain, my top priority for regional cooperation.
I understand the city’s need for economic development, and I believe this effort is enhanced by building our community’s resilience to climate change. Under my leadership Reno was the first city in Nevada join the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. This group is a collaboration driving action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing health and economic opportunity. Also with my initiative, Reno established a Climate Action Working Group, which has now evolved into a wider community-driven framework for inventorying our emissions, and evaluating the costs and benefits of strategies for our efforts.
Our quality of life in Reno is the major driver of our prosperity. In the recent “ReImagine Reno” master plan update survey effort, “a base for outdoor activities” emerged as the number one vision for our city from close to 6,000 participants. As an avid outdoor recreation enthusiast, I couldn’t agree more.
I started my public service on Reno’s Recreation and Parks Commission, and I’ve long supported our parks and recreation. So I am so happy that we’ve finally established a City of Reno license plate- allowing residents to express their community pride and support our parks at the same time. I started this project while serving in the Nevada Legislature, and I’m thrilled to finally check this off my to-do list! But we still need more of these innovative solutions to protect and support the quality of life we cherish in Reno- and I pledge to continue this work.
Fiscal responsibility- where experience matters most
Although the great recession was the biggest challenge of my public service, I’m grateful for my experience in the Nevada Legislature making the tough decisions needed to cut budgets during the downturn. As Reno’s economy rebounds, we must guard against the accompanying exuberance being a driver of budgetary decision making. For the current fiscal year, the City of Reno is projecting $178 million in revenue. While this number is an encouraging uptick reflective of our recovery, it is still below the City’s pre-recession high water mark of $188 million in 2008.
Restoring services upon which our citizens rely (and expect as the investment return on their taxes paid) is a welcome opportunity of the recovery. But we must strike a delicate balance between service restoration and putting our fiscal house in order. Employee benefit liability management, debt reduction, City property management, securing greater service efficiencies… we’ve made progress in all these areas. But these are on-going efforts that require constant attention and intention. Having been through the tough times, I have the experience and knowledge needed to build a more sustainable Reno.
Let’s move Reno forward
All of these accomplishments happened because of partnerships and collaborations with people like you. Thank you for what you do for Reno and our families, and thank you for your support. Won’t you join my campaign to move Reno forward?