Another beautiful day in the Truckee Meadows!
Another beautiful day in the Truckee Meadows!
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Members appointed to Blue Ribbon Committee on Regional Fire.
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen

Reno, Nevada. June 11, 2013. The Washoe County Board of Commissioners held its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, June 11, and took action on items including: acting as the Board of Fire Commissioners appointed members and alternates to the newly-formed Blue Ribbon Committee on Regional Fire Services; accepted a $73,000 grant from four federal agencies to increase citizen disaster preparedness for Washoe County’s special needs populations, specifically the deaf and hard of hearing; appointed six members to the Open Space and Regional Parks Commission; accepted a $97,000 grant to aid foster children; provided authorization to begin revising the processes for appointing and removing members of the Citizen Advisory Boards; approved a regional agreement for the operation of the homeless Community Assistance Center; and gave special thanks to the retiring Registrar of Voters, Dan Burk, for his contributions to the County since 1997.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD): Item 7. The Board of County Commissioners (BCC), acting as the Board of Fire Commissioners, selected eight members and two alternates for the new Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) on Regional Fire Service. A ninth member of the BRC will be appointed within the next week by TMFPD Chief Charles Moore. The members are Cindy Davis, Susan Severt, Dr. Robert Parker, Sarah Chvilicek, Kim Toulouse, Marlene Olsen, Chris Graves and Matt Toni. The alternates selected for the BRC are Jennifer Herz and Jason Evans. The BRC will not be asked to develop recommendations, but to provide comprehensive information and findings for review by policymakers throughout the region. The goal is to provide complete and unbiased information to the public to support informed decision-making on proposals for some form of regional fire service. The Board also approved a 5 percent merit pay increase for Chief Charles Moore, which will be retroactive to his anniversary date of March 15, 2013. The Board also heard a presentation on wildland fire protection by the Nevada Division of Forestry.

$73,240 grant to aid deaf and hearing impaired children: Item 6.DThis grant comes from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and Fire Prevention and Safety. It enables the Washoe County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to reach out to the Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) community. The grant will allow regional emergency managers to work with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD), the Reno Fire Department, the Sparks Fire Department, the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District and volunteer fire departments to conduct a series of workshops with the DHH community on fire safety later this summer. This fall, the grant will help DHH school children and their families work with advocates and the Washoe County School District Emergency Manager to provide special smoke detectors with strobe lights and a vibrating alarm for the children’s pillows. Each fire department will also receive a cache of the alarms so they can provide this valuable safety device free of charge. The project is part of the County’s regional emergency management strategic plan to help increase citizen disaster preparedness.

Appointments to the Open Space and Regional Parks Commission: Item 6.H.1. The commission is composed of nine members, all of whom are appointed by the BCC from residents of the County at large. Park Commissioner Anne Buckley's current four-year term expires June 30, 2013 and she will serve an additional four-year term. Park Commissioners Robert Jacobson, Clifton Young (Chairman), Bill Von Puhl (Vice-Chair), and Patty Moen have completed their second terms as Park Commissioners. The BCC voted to reappoint Buckley (District l) and appoint new applicants Mark Elkins (District 1), Thomas Guinn (District 2), Alan Sheakley (District 3), Nathan Daniel (District 3) and Scott Pierson (District 4) all for terms from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017.

Social Services receives $97,000 grant to help foster children: Item 6.J.2. The State Division of Child and Family Services was awarded federal funding to support child welfare agencies in transitioning foster children from out of home care into the community. The Federal John H. Chafee Foster Care Act authorizes flexible funding to children who will remain in foster care until age 18. Washoe County’s Department of Social Services will use the $97,000 in funding to help promote self-advocacy and teach youth how to take an active role in planning for their future. The funds will also be used to support a life and career coaching program, funding for the Washoe County School District to assist with transportation so youth may attend their zoned schools, assist with funding a Truckee Meadows Community College academic and financial aid mentor, development of a volunteering program through Reno Rodeo Foundation, and to assist youth transitioning from their foster homes to apartments or transitional housing through deposit and rental assistance. Read more about the grant.

New Citizen Advisory Boards: Item 9. The BCC provided authorization to begin revising the processes for appointing and removing members of the Citizen Advisory Boards (CAB) to make them more efficient. In the proposed new ordinance, CAB members will be appointed by the Commissioner(s) representing their district. However, removal of CAB members would still require action by the entire Board of County Commissioners. The County is looking for volunteers to serve on one of nine new CABs which represent all five districts of the community. The primary purpose of the CABs is to connect residents with County government to share ideas and solutions and identify concerns. The CABs will be asked to study and advise their County Commissioners on local public issues, including regulations that guide building and planning for neighborhoods, neighborhood development proposals, public safety, scope of local government services, how to allocate local taxpayer funds, the status of erosion control and road programs, and the need for regional open space programs. For more information, visit

Regional partners work together to help homeless: Item 12. The Board approved the cooperative agreement for services related to the operations of the homeless Community Assistance Center (CAC) between the City of Reno, Washoe County and the City of Sparks. The County and the Department of Social Services continue funding to the CAC to serve vulnerable adults, children and families in need by providing shelter and case management to promote independence. The CAC is a component of the continuum of indigent services provided by the County. Washoe County will provide $1,205,537 in cash and approximately $280,086 in staff time for the operation of the Center and has provided in excess of $1 million in support annually since the CAC opened. View the staff report.

Recognition and appreciation of Dan Burk: Item 5. Commissioners thanked Burk, the Registrar of Voters who retires June 28, for his planning, hard work and dedication as an employee of Washoe County for the past 16 years. Burk was an advocate for the expansion of early voting and a major supporter of electronic voting and online voter registration in Nevada. “I give a heartfelt thank you to all the Washoe County employees, and especially their managers for allowing them to work with us at the polls during every election,” said Burk. County Manager Katy Simon presented him with a tongue-in-cheek “Acting County Manager Emeritus” certificate due to his wish to be acting manager whenever Simon was out of town. After his retirement, Burk will move to Southern California to be closer to his family.