Platform / Issues
Our local government too often reacts instead of plans. We need bold solutions to take our community into the future, and my platform has a mix of common-sense ideas and visionary policy goals, such as light rail in Washoe County, that looks ahead. We can make a real impact, but if we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always gotten.
The first inevitable question I hear is always, “how do we pay for it?” There are many good answers, but we should first change our thinking. For too long, Washoe County has lived in a scarcity mindset with an assumption of helplessness and defeatism. We need to shift our thinking to an abundance mindset. We can find creative ways to make real real change if we think differently and we work together.
I have ideas and vision, but I need you, the voters of Washoe County and District 5. Please reach out to me email@example.com to offer your ideas, suggestions, and tell me about your priorities.
The right to vote is what makes a country truly free. Yet, the current incumbent proposed a breathtaking voter suppression law for Washoe County that would have put this sacred right out of reach for many. It was defeated in a 4-1 vote, but it should have never been seriously considered. The divisive proposal has opened a needless rift and exposed the ugly extremism that that seeks to impose authoritarianism in our own community. Somme people claim that the problem with America is too much voting and freedom, so they seek to curtail freedom of people they hate. We cannot allow it.
There is no evidence whatsoever for the outlandish lies about the 2020 election. Nevada’s Republican Secretary of State, Barbara Cegavske, confirmed the election was fair and accurate, yet she was censured by her own party for telling the truth. A small, divisive, and dishonest group of political activists continue to attack our country, state and community for short term political advantage. They refuse to recognize the legitimacy of any opposition, and they are willing to destroy our community and country to win. This is the opposite of patriotism. We must fight the lies and protect our right to vote, because without it, all other rights are meaningless.
- Anyone who spreads election denialism and misinformation should be considered disqualified for public office by voters.
- We cannot allow the dysfunction of Washington and national politics to destroy our community cohesion.
- All citizens have equal rights to voting, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or any other immutable characteristic.
- We will not change one voting laws based on lies about a “stolen election.” One cannot use baseless accusations as a pretext for voting restrictions.
For too long, Northern Nevada has begged businesses and developers to come to here with the state offering generous tax breaks and other incentives. When we see the resulting growth, existing residents are given the bill for increased costs of schools, housing, and infrastructure, while those who profit off development and tax breaks reap the rewards. We need a new focus on sustainable growth and development that prioritizes quality of life, walkable community, and the needs of people, over profits of moneyed interests.
- As new developments are approved, where possible, require the developers to pay for roads, critical infrastructure, and other upgrades.
- Examine opportunities for greener developments, changing zoning where feasible, to require rooftop solar on new construction, water smart buildings, and other modern technologies so that our communities are sustainable in the reality of a warming planet.
- The county should support and expand on the Reno’s effort to a build water purification plant in Stead. Look for further opportunities to tap existing resources and modernize crumbling or nonexistence infrastructure.
When you drive anywhere in Washoe County, you find packed roads, missing arterial connectors, and a lack of public transit. We have not invested in transportation for a 21st Century Community. In addition to road capacity, we need new connecting roads and expanded public transit options. We must prioritize and deliver solutions now because the transportation crisis is here.
We need roads between places, rather than funneling everyone through downtown to get anywhere. We must make transportation a priority to avoid the decades of delays we so often see in Northern Nevada.
- North Valley – Spanish Springs Connector: Washoe County has a road planned to link Spanish Springs with the North Valleys. This road is not yet built, and the county should prioritize this critical link between communities, working closely with Nevada’s Indigenous communities.
- Light Rail: There is already potential existing infrastructure for passenger rail in Northern Nevada in the form of underutilized tracks and potential easements through Reno/Sparks and into the North Valleys and beyond. We can and must invest in this significant change to our transportation culture, but time is essential.
- The Federal government is in the process of disbursing record infrastructure spending for large infrastructure projects. There is an opportunity to leverage funding and make new roads and rail a reality if we have the courage to act.
Nevada has a chronic underinvestment in social services that drives the homeless population and neglects the needs of citizens in outlying areas. The county can and should identify new funding and existing budget to close the shortfall, so all residents in the county have equal access to police and fire protection. Furthermore, homelessness harms every citizen and business whether we see it or not, and the cost of tackling this issue will pay for itself in increased revenues and business opportunities.
There is no secret that Washoe County is seriously underserved in firefighting services. The board should examine and implement new policies to add services as new development and density are added in the county. Despite extreme growth in the last few years, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office has not added enough new police to protect and patrol rapidly urbanizing areas. The result is that there is disparity in services between older urban areas and those in new developments. Not enough has been done to correct the imbalance.
- On day one of office, I will meet with the sheriff and other stakeholders to identify shortfalls and opportunities to expand fire and police services .
- The desire to “spend less” on homeless costs our community untold dollars more. The biggest obstacle to real change comes from
“moralizing” that the mentally ill or addicted are making “bad choices,” while costs of medical care, EMS and other services are hidden from public scrutiny. We need to measure the hidden costs of homeless services to deliver them better and at less cost.
- Cares Campus: Despite criticism of the Care’s Campus, the population of the unhoused decreased by ten percent in the most recent tally in Washoe County. Despite the good news, the issue is still one of the most
daunting in our community. We must build on and duplicate what has gone right the Cares Campus.
- Examine the feasibility of an emergency shelter for families and women in the North Valleys, perhaps utilizing aging army barracks near Stead airport. We need to identify many such smaller campuses and locations to keep homeless from clustering in one place, creating de facto areas overrun by homelessness.
Thriving communities need a variety of private investment and public services to make them great places to live. We have underinvested in the North Valleys. These communities need restaurants, shopping, movie theaters, and every aspect of a robust, self-contained community. These places have wonderful people and unique cultures that can develop their own unique and self-contained communities if given incentives and support.
There is a damaging belief that residents of these communities will just “drive to Reno or Sparks” to do business. They are treated like and afterthought or extensions of the city when they should grow and thrive on their own. The neglect and underinvestment has brought in far too many warehouses where we should instead have restaurants, stores, and businesses that serve people. It’s time to stop treating our outlying communities as places to dump industrial parks. These are places where people should live, love, learn, and thrive.
- Examine the possibility of special use districts, importing ideas like the successful initiative in midtown Reno, to spur smart business growth and highlight unique community characteristics through tax breaks and incentivized business development.
- Identify missing government services, expanding libraries, parks, walking trails and other areas of chronic underinvestment.
- Examine creating a moratorium on new warehouses near residential areas, re-zoning to plan for warehousing districts that do not clog roads with trucks and blight up-and-coming communities. Require or encourage rooftop solar for all new (and existing where feasible) warehouses in this area.
- Prioritize a new Elementary School for Lemmon Valley.
I believe strongly in mixed use on public land, of which District 5 has a great deal. Public land is not an infinite resource, and recent building and growth is causing land use conflict and wildlife issues. From shooting in public areas to human / wildlife interactions, public land use is a complicated issue with many stakeholders. As a community, mutual respect, public safety, and multiple use should drive policy around public lands.
- As a gun owner, I respect those who keep and bear firearms. However, as a society, we have prioritized firearms over public safety in many circumstances. The BLM has already begun to identify areas that should be off limits to shooting. The county should further identify remote areas that can developed into primitive gun ranges. The BLM has a program that allows the county to use and develop these areas on public lands for no cost.
- According to BLM statistics, about 1/3 of the serious wildfires were caused by shooting, costing governments more than two million dollars in fire suppression costs. Washoe County needs a robust effort to education target shooters on these dangers. Encouraging the use of primitive ranges and promoting the public alert system for hot, windy days, can go a long way to alleviating the danger.
- Wildlife: As development in Reno-Sparks, the North Valleys, and other rural areas continues, we will see more human wildlife conflicts. The county should work closely with the Nevada Department of Wildlife when examining projects and new construction to understand and mitigate impacts to wildlife. Working with all stakeholders, the county, and other agencies. The county should further train animal control specialists for inevitable wildlife conflicts. The current system that relies mostly on state government employees lacks the community input and trust that is required to mitigate these issues effectively.