View of the Reno Sparks night skyline from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
View of the Reno Sparks night skyline from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
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Commissioners vote to offer automatic aid trial period to City of Reno.
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen

Reno, Nevada. May 13, 2014. The Washoe County Board of Commissioners held its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, May 13, and took action on items including: accepted a report from the Blue Ribbon Committee on the regionalization of fire services and directed Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District staff to offer a trial automatic aid agreement to the City of Reno; accepted the budget status report for Fiscal Year 2014/2015; accepted a status report on the Nevada Public Lands Task Force; confirmed the appointment of Paul McArthur as the new County Comptroller; approved an agreement with Wolf Pack Sports Properties to work on an adoption campaign with Washoe County Social Services; and proclaimed May 2014 as Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, May 2014 as University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Month, May 15, 2014 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 11-17 as Police Week, and May 18-24 as both Emergency Medical Services Week and National Public Works Week.   

Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) on Regional Fire Service; Automatic Aid: Items 12 and 13. Acting as the Board of Fire Commissioners, the Board accepted a report from the Blue Ribbon Committee on Regional Fire Service. The Board appointed the BRC in June 2013 to study and provide complete and unbiased information to the public to support informed decision-making for any type of regional fire services. Made up of 11 citizens selected by Washoe County, the BRC has met monthly since last July and the recommendations included several primary ways agencies can collaborate to provide regional services. The Board also directed Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore to offer an automatic aid agreement to the City of Reno in the City’s brown out zones for a six month test period. “It is incumbent on us to make sure the citizens of Washoe County have the best emergency service,” said Commissioner Vaughn Hartung, District 4.  

Budget: Item 22. The Board accepted the status report on the County Manager's recommended Fiscal Year 2014/2015 budget and approved the Washoe County Capital Improvements Plan for Fiscal Years 2015-2019. Commissioners directed the County Manager to bring back to the Board a final budget incorporating the approved Manager recommendations for adoption at the public hearing scheduled for May 19. Capital projects will return to the Board of County Commissioners for separate action prior to implementation.

Nevada Public Lands Task Force: Item 30. The Board accepted a status report on the Nevada Public Lands Task Force. Commissioner Hartung, District 4, is the County's representative on the Task Force, which is gathering and analyzing data regarding economic costs and benefits related to a transfer of any public lands from the federal government to the State of Nevada. Nevada has the highest percentage of federally managed land in the U.S. at over 80 percent. The Task Force has produced a preliminary draft report that includes a proposal identifying federal lands that could be transferred to Nevada using a phased approach. The report also includes a plan for how those lands would be administered and estimates of projected revenues.

New Comptroller: Item 10.H.3 Paul McArthur accepted the appointment by the County Manager and was confirmed by Commissioners as the next County Comptroller. McArthur was selected following a national recruitment to replace Cynthia Washburn, who announced her retirement effective July 21, 2014. McArthur has over 18 years of accounting and finance experience with both government and private business entities, most recently as the commissioner of accounts with the City of Toledo, Ohio. He earned his Master of Business Administration in Accounting, holds a Bachelor of Arts in the dual majors of Accounting and Finance and is a Certified Public Accountant. McArthur will begin his role as County Comptroller on June 10, 2014.

Adoption program teams up with Wolf Pack Sports Properties: Item 20. Commissioners approved an agreement between the Washoe County Department of Social Services and Wolf Pack Sports Properties, LLC, for a marketing and outreach campaign in support of the children's adoption program. The University of Nevada, Reno, head football coach Brian Polian and his wife, who are adoptive parents, and the Have a Heart Nevada adoption organization will work on a media outreach and marketing campaign in support of adoption recruitment activities for children in Washoe County's custody. The Polians will be included in personal appearances at events and record media spots encouraging adoption.

Proclamations: Items 5-9. Commissioners proclaimed May 2014 as Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month in Washoe County to encourage public awareness about the disease to promote early diagnosis. Approximately 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. have the disease and more than 10 million Americans are symptomless carriers of the defective gene.  Julie Skow, who is a project coordinator in the District Attorney’s Office and whose daughter Ashlee suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, reminded citizens about the opportunity to raise awareness at the Great Strides 5k walk June 21, 2014 at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. “I hold hope for the future as progress has been made in the search for a cure and treatments that improve quality of life for people living with Cystic Fibrosis,” said Skow. “With your help, we want to add tomorrows for families and friends.”

May 2014 was also proclaimed as University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Month. This month marks the centennial of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act which established Cooperative Extension through land-grant universities in partnership with federal, state and local governments to bring research-based knowledge to people where they live and work. Each year tens of thousands of youth and adults engage in practical University of Nevada Cooperative Extension learning opportunities designed to change lives through educational programs in agriculture, horticulture, natural resources, community and economic development and health and nutrition. Commissioner Kitty Jung, District 3, read the proclamation and conducted the 4-H pledge with members of the youth development organization.

Commissioners proclaimed May 15, 2014 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 11-17 as Police Week. The County honors those who have worn the badge and their families whose care enables them to serve with courage and pride. “During Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, we recall the selflessness of our law enforcement officers and their families, and we honor all those who devote their lives to forging a stronger, safer America,” said Commissioner Vaughn Hartung, District 4, reading from the proclamation.

Commissioners also proclaimed May 18-24, 2014 as Emergency Medical Services Week and encouraged all Washoe County citizens to observe the occasion by sharing their support with local EMS providers and taking steps to improve their personal safety and preparedness. Chairman David Humke read the proclamation, and on behalf of all the Commissioners, thanked the many EMS agency members in attendance for their bravery and their service.

May 18-24 was proclaimed National Public Works Week by the Commissioners. The Washoe County Community Services Department, Engineering and Capital Projects Division, is an integral part of the community and has been providing public works services for Washoe County residents every day since June 15, 1967.  This year’s theme is "Building for Today, Planning for Tomorrow" and Commissioners asked all citizens and civic organizations to acquaint themselves with the issues involved in providing public works and to recognize the significant contributions which public works officials make every day to health, safety, comfort and quality of life.