Issues

It has been nearly 4 years since the voters of Reno put their faith in me and elected me as their Ward 4 representative on the Reno City Council.  I believe it is important to try and keep you updated on what has been accomplished as well as what we need to continue to work on.

APPOINTMENTS

  • Building Enterprise Fund Advisory Committee
  • Civil Service Commission
  • Downtown Police Special Assessment District Committee
  • Oversight Panel for School Facilities
  • WC-1 Oversight Committee
  • Regional Planning Governing Board  
  • Regional Transportation Commission
  • Special Events Subcommittee
  • Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility Joint Coordinating Committee
  • Truckee River Flood Management Authority
  • Ward 4 Neighborhood Advisory Board

TRANSPORTATION

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As an appointee to the Regional Transportation Commission I have worked to address the traffic congestion in our Ward. The worst of these issues being the 395 corridor. At my urging and with the recommendation of the RTC Board and with the assistance of some of those interested developing in the North Valleys – RTC and NDOT performed multi-model traffic studies throughout the North Valleys.

Those studies included predicted development and their traffic impacts. As a result the schedule for spaghetti bowl improvements has become a top priority and has moved forward in scheduling by at least five years. Governor Sandoval has declared the spaghetti bowl a top priority for NDOT and studies and permitting have been fast tracked. Currently NDOT is working on electronic measures to assist in traffic flow along with other the short term measures. Improvements for the Lemmon Drive interchange as well as the Clear Acre interchange are in the works to increase traffic safety and hopefully improve traffic flows.

RTC has developed numerous projects as a result of their traffic study and while phase one of those, projects were aimed at increasing pedestrian safety especially around O’Brien Middle School and Stead Elementary, projects this year will address intersection safety throughout the North Valleys

Additionally, numerous projects which were on the twenty year plan were moved forward to the ten year plan where we can assign improvements to developers as part of their project development – among these are Sky Vista, Military, Lemmon Drive and Red Rock capacity and intersection improvements. The new stop light at Lemmon and Military were a part of these improvements which were developer funded.

At the urging of the City Council and RTC, NDOT finally addressed the pedestrian safety issues on North Virginia by placing a stop light at the Bonanza and bidding the current pedestrian improvements under construction this summer at Talus and Moraine. Citizens in these areas have been pleading for years for these improvements and we have finally made them happen.

NDOT awarded the bid and construction is starting on the second phase of interim congestion projects on 395 north of I-80.  Pavement repairs and a realignment of the Clear Acre on ramp will be completed this year and along with the electronic measures started last year we will start seeing relief during morning and evening commutes.

NDOT will be looking at bidding a design build contract for work surrounding 395 south of I-80 and the Wells Avenue on ramp at their May meeting and we hope to see that project moving forward in the near future.

DEVELOPMENT

There is great energy, enthusiasm and ideas in this community. I’m smart enough to know that I certainly don’t have all the answers; my goal is to work with our best and brightest and promote and support the best ideas of all the citizens of Reno.

Many residents of Ward 4 have voiced concern about the development in Cold Springs called Stone Gate which was a conversion of a large swath of acreage which was zoned industrial and the developer came in to convert to a housing development.  From an industrial project which could have started with little more than building permits we now have a planned development which addressed the majority of issues raised by affected residents.

Schools – the project has three elementary school sites which were donated to WCSD and one High School site which WCSD is purchase when they have the capacity needs.

Water – the project is utilizing water from the Honey Lake water importation project but more importantly, the developer has agreed to provide property and infrastructure to develop the first reused water re-injection project in our area which will assure we do not dry up the aquifers in the Cold Springs Valley.

Storm Water – the project has incorporated a high standard of low impact development principals designed to reduce storm water runoff in addition engineer assured they built in retention basins to help retain additional storm water generated on site.  Any development in the flood zone will have fill offset at a 2 to 1 ratio – all storm water and flood management components of the project will be maintained by a dedicated storm water district.

Parks – 4500 homes will put a large burden on the parks infrastructure in the North Valleys especially on the available flat fields.  The developer has agreed to build and maintain 12 acres total of flat fields at two different locations with two baseball fields incorporated in.

Transportation – in addition to improvements the developer will have to make on the 395 freeway interchange adjacent to their project they have agreed time their development with capacity improvements on 395.  Some of those road improvements are in progress and will have to be completed before they start phase 1.   Additional improvements are in the planning stages and will need to have notice to proceed issued prior to additional phases being allowed.  Before they can start Phase 3 of the project the order proceed will have to be issued on the Spaghetti Bowl improvements.

None of these conditions could have been placed on the planned industrial project this housing development replaced.

If you have an idea you’d like to share, or a question or comment, I hope you’ll contact me. My cell phone number and email are below – I’d love to hear from you any time.

PUBLIC SAFETY

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As we continue to grow the demand for police and fire protection continues to grow as well. Currently our police staffing levels are below 1989 levels while the population and patrol area continue to grow. Our officers have done a stellar job in the community and RPD is nationally recognized for their community policing methods. With that being said we continue to need more officers and I have worked tirelessly to try and get them though we are facing budget restraints. These efforts have successfully brought us an additional two officers per shift the northern patrol area increasing patrol activity and reducing response times.

I have been an advocate for upgrading the medical capabilities of our fire department and currently we are running three ambulance crews and both engine companies in Ward 4 have ALS crews assuring that qualified medical personnel respond to any medical emergency. These Improvements in emergency medical care greatly increase the survivability rate on any medical call we may face in your neighborhood. Additionally I will continue to support fire service within our community to assure response times which will continue to provide your families the greatest protection while assuring you maintain the lowest possible insurance rates on your homes and businesses.

PARKS

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While we have numerous parks in Ward 4 we have a lack of areas to support youth sports. As new development comes to our area this need increases and becomes one of the impacts we need to mitigate. Recently Washoe County started construction of additional baseball fields and flat fields at the North Valleys Regional Park our parks department worked with the County and the Council authorized the use of some of Ward 4’s new park construction funds to assist in the project and held the County reach their funding needs for this addition.

As new development comes forward I continue to stress the needs for parks in our community especially parks which provide space for our children to participate in sports . Additionally we will be master planning Major’s park for improvements in the coming year. I will continue to work to assure there are places for our children to pursue outdoor sports as well as parks for all citizens to enjoy the outdoors. Previous Councils came up with some creative partnerships to help with the maintenance of our parks and we will continue to look for ways to improve and expand the parks in our community.

For the last six months the City of Reno has been working on a master plan for the Mayor’s Park in the Stead area public input has been gathered through electronic methods and in several public forums.  Hopefully with a master plan in place we can commit residential construction tax funds towards building out what the public would like to see this park look like.

STORM WATER

After this last winter our storm water system has become a major issue to everyone in our community but before this winter’s flooding I was working with our public works and community development personnel to address this issue in Ward 4. Sometimes summer rains impact our neighborhoods as much or more than winter storms and I am working to reduce those impacts on our neighborhoods as well as address solutions to the flooding we faced this winter. Additionally, the management of storm water in the closed basins of the North Valleys has led to major issues and I continue to push our engineers to not only address these still existing flood zones but also to work on a plan to mitigate the impacts of future development.

None of the issues I have spent the last three years working on have been completed to my satisfaction as yet. We are making progress but things are not done. For this reason I have made the decision to run for reelection so I can continue to fight for our community’s quality of life. I don’t have all of the answers in fact even after three years I still don’t know all the issues we need answers for but I hope to continue to work hard to address these issues in the future. Thank you for your past support. If you need to reach me with concerns I can be reached through the reno.gov website or by phone at (775) 232-8725.

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