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Berkich named Interim County Manager when Simon retires July 1
Media Release
For Immediate Release
http://www.washoecounty.us
Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen
nleuenhagen@washoecounty.us
775.328.2069
13-084

Reno, Nevada. May 28, 2013. The Washoe County Board of Commissioners held its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, May 28, and took action on items including: directed staff to prepare an agenda item for June 11 to appoint a Board search committee that would recommend one or more executive search firms to conduct the recruitment for Washoe County Manager and appointed John Berkich as Interim County Manager upon the retirement of Katy Simon on July 1; approved resolutions to create up to nine Citizen Advisory Boards (CAB) replacing the existing advisory board structure;  appointed  Robert Larkin and Natale Carasali for the two vacant positions on the Reno-Tahoe Airport Board of Trustees; received a presentation from Bill Thomas, Assistant City Manager of Reno, on the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge project; accepted $77,000 in grants for National Scenic Byway plans in Washoe Valley and the Mt. Rose corridor; introduced an ordinance which would maintain the legal services program for seniors with a lower cost, non-profit legal services agency in the same location; were introduced to eight new firefighter/paramedic graduates of the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) and received an update on its first meeting of the Board’s subcommittee to recommend finalists for the Blue Ribbon Committee on regional fire service; the subcommittee of Commissioners Berkbigler and Jung meets in the Commissioner’s Caucus Room at Ninth and Wells Wednesday, May 29 at 1:30 p.m. and is open to the public; accepted $6,400 in donations for Washoe County Regional Animal Services and approved an Interlocal agreement between the County on behalf of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), TMFPD and the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District (NLTFPD) for the Regional Aviation Enforcement Unit (RAVEN) for fire training, monitoring and fire suppression; and received a presentation from Access to Healthcare Network, a non-profit medical discount plan for uninsured and underinsured Nevadans.

John Berkich appointed Interim County Manager: Item 18. Directed staff to prepare an agenda item for June 11 to appoint a Board search committee that would recommend one or more executive search firms to conduct the recruitment for Washoe County Manager. The Board also appointed John Berkich as Interim County Manager upon the retirement of Katy Simon on July 1. Berkich was appointed as Assistant County Manager for Washoe County in January, 2003.  Prior to that, he served as the City Manager of Carson City for 13 years. Before joining Carson City, Berkich served for seven years as a Manager at the then State Public Service Commission and was also a part-time college instructor.  He has also held various positions in business and industry and has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, a Master’s degree in Business Administration and is a Certified Management Accountant.  Berkich advised the Board that he will not be a candidate for the permanent appointment.

Nine citizen advisory boards approved: Item 13. Commissioners approved resolutions to create up to nine Citizen Advisory Boards (CAB) in Washoe County which will replace the existing CAB structure. The CABs will be spread throughout each of the five Commission Districts and provide feedback to Commissioners on community issues including planning and public safety.

As directed at the March 23, April 9 and April 23, 2013 BCC meetings, staff prepared resolutions to create up to 9 advisory boards in Washoe County. The 9 advisory boards will include up to 71 members and will meet up to 63 times a year. The advisory boards meet within their communities and provide one avenue for residents to discuss local issues with neighbors and elected officials prior to a decision. Meeting frequency for each individual advisory board will range from quarterly to monthly. The 9 boards replace the existing CAB structure that included 15 boards with 103 members meeting over 83 times annually. Recruitment for CAB members will begin by June 1. For more information, please visit the Washoe County Citizen Involvement Website

Reno-Tahoe Airport Board of Trustees appointed: Item 12. The Board conducted candidate interviews for two vacant positions on the Reno-Tahoe Airport Board of Trustees. Ten candidates spoke before the Board, and Dr. Robert Larkin was selected to fill the unexpired term of Mark Crawford, who submitted his resignation to the Airport Board, for two years to expire July 1, 2015. Natale Carasali was chosen to fill a four year term to expire July 1, 2017 as Randi Thompson's second term expires July 1, 2013. Larkin is a two-time former Washoe County Commissioner, where he also served as chairman and vice chairman, and Carasali is a co-owner of the Peppermill Hotel and Casino who has served on several boards, including the RSCVA and the Nevada Athletic Commission.

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge project: Item 11. In 2012, IBM selected Reno, NV as one of 33 cities to receive a Smarter Cities Challenge grant as part of the IBM citizenship efforts to build a Smarter Planet. In his presentation earlier today, Bill Thomas, Assistant City Manager of Reno, said the grant, which provides professional consulting and services, is valued at $400,000.

The Board accepted the report and assigned staff to assist their regional partners in the implementation of the recommendation. View the staff report online at or view the City of Reno website

Grants for Mt. Rose, Washoe Valley scenic byways: Item 9.K.6. The Board accepted two grants from the National Scenic Byway Program for preparation of two Corridor Management Plans in the region. The Washoe Valley Scenic Byway Grant is $33,320, with a $9,947 County in-kind match and the Mt. Rose Scenic Byway Grant is $43,797, with a $13,616 County in-kind match. Development of these Plans will enable the State's Scenic Byways to not only be eligible for National status, but will allow Washoe County to qualify for funding to construct much needed improvements along these heavily traveled corridors. This is a National Scenic Byway federal grant program administered locally through the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT).

County maintains commitment to legal services for seniors: Item 20. The Board introduced an ordinance to re-establish legal services under a private, non-profit legal services agency. Washoe County Senior Services has administered the Senior Law Project for thirty years. Due to budget cuts caused by the recession, the Department, its Advisory Board and the State of Nevada and District Court recommended that in order to restore services to 2007-08 levels, legal services for seniors will be provided by a lower cost, non-profit legal services agency. Legal services for seniors will continue to be provided in the same way and in the same location as before under the shared oversight of the State of Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division and Washoe County Senior Services. This project is an essential service under the U.S. Older Americans Act, and the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division's (ADSD) State Plan for Aging and Department policy. The Department will collaborate with the Nevada ADSD to meet the current and future legal needs of seniors and maintain the quality of services to which Washoe County seniors have become accustomed.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD): Item 10.  The Board received an update on the plans for the first meeting of its subcommittee to recommend finalists for the Blue Ribbon Committee on regional fire service. The subcommittee of Commissioners Berkbigler and Jung meets in the Commissioner’s Caucus Room at Ninth and Wells Wednesday, May 29 at 1:30 p.m. and is open to the public. TMFPD Chief Charles A. Moore  said Commissioners Berkbigler, District 1, and Jung, District 3, will consider the applicant list and determine which candidates to recommend to the full Board of Fire Commissioners.

Moore also introduced the eight new graduates of the TMFPD. “They trained and studied for 240 hours over a 6-week period,” said Moore. “Because of their extraordinary efforts and dedication, we are proud to have them join us at TMFPD.” The graduates are Kolt Clore, Mark Drury, Kyle Endres, Derek Hirsch, Todd Hovenden, Jaime Rivera, Ryan Whitlock and Richard Williams. View the photo of the new graduates or review Chief Moore’s report online.

WCSO: Animal Services donations and RAVEN agreement: Items 9.L2. & 9.L.6. The Board accepted $6,426 in donations for Washoe County Regional Animal Services for the first three months of this year. The money will be used for the humane care and treatment of sick or injured stray or abandoned animals. The Board also approved an Interlocal agreement between the County on behalf of the WCSO, TMFPD and the NLTFPD for the Regional Aviation Enforcement Unit (RAVEN) for fire training, monitoring and suppression personnel and equipment, so other regional partners will reimburse the WCSO for services rendered throughout the year, including use of the RAVEN aircraft and personnel. View the full agreement online

Success of Access to Healthcare Network: Item 28. Sherri Rice, the executive director for Access to Healthcare Network (AHN) made a presentation to the Board to update AHN’s progress in the community and throughout the state. Started in Washoe County in 2007, AHN is a non-profit medical discount plan for uninsured and underinsured Nevadans. AHN offers affordable healthcare services to members and their families who can receive care at greatly discounted rates from a network of local doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers.  Rice said the organization now has more than 700 providers and 15,000 members in Washoe County. County Manager Katy Simon thanked Rice for her update and her hard work and called the AHN program a “real win for taxpayers” as it has saved approximately $900,000 a year in medical costs by extending AHN’s network changes to indigent patients. Visit http://accesstohealthcare.org/home.asp

Parks bond defeasance: Item 16. The Board approved directing the defeasance of payment and interest on bonds that save taxpayers $2.3 million over the life of the bonds. No planned or approved Parks’ projects will be canceled, delayed or altered in scope due to this defeasance. This resolution is directing the defeasance of and the payment of principal of and interest on a portion of the Washoe County, Nevada General Obligation (Limited Tar) Park Bonds.

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