Of 144 applicants, Devon Reese was appointed to the Reno City Council to fill the remainder of David Bobzien’s term. The City Council decided on appointing a replacement rather than holding an election for this seat. Detailed report here.
Wednesday, February 13
The list of applicants was first reduced to 139 when 5 of them did not meet the residency requirements. Each council member made a list of their 5 favorite candidates. These were tallied.
The top four on this list were selected to participate in an open forum.
Devon Reese, lawyer, worked on labor cases with Reno police officers.
Britton Griffith, manager in the family’s civil engineering firm
Nathan Dupree, Pastor at the Living Stones Church, involved with homelessness
Krystal Minera, bakery owner, manages two radio stations, youngest at 28
Thursday, February 14
There was a forum with the four candidates in the council chambers. All candidates were asked the same questions selected from a list submitted by residents.
None of the candidates could give a compelling reason as to why they were “running” and why voters should support them. All wanted to convince the audience that they were “nice people” and advocated for more love and compassion in Reno.
Selected points made by the candidates:
- The mental illness problem is growing in Reno.
- We need to do more to address public safety including Fire Dept. and Police Dept. issues.
- He has seen discrimination: you have to truly want to diversify to be able to do it.
- We need a safe and vibrant downtown.
- We need more ‘attainable’ housing for people who are working.
- Growth should occur in areas with supporting infrastructure consistent with the master plan.
- The at-large council member should make a determined effort to reach out to constituents.
- The parking codes should be changed to make better use of the available spaces.
- We need to be doing more to protect victims in the workplace and also protecting victims of domestic violence.
- We need ‘smart growth’ where there is supporting infrastructure.
- We should do more to encourage home ownership.
- We need more emphasis on health services for police and firefighters.
- She wants to see more of the University in the downtown.
- Reno has had a lot of success paying down its debt and supporting the housing boom.
- He likes the Re-leaf Program to plant street trees.
- He wants to see some kind of Community Center in the North Valleys.
- Reno should be building all types of housing.
Friday, February 15, 2:00 – 7:00 PM
The candidates were sequestered in a conference room until they were summoned to chambers. Here are a few of their responses to questions posed by the council members.
- Devon Reese told Councilwoman Brekhus that he could serve effectively on the council after having a lot of experience supporting the Reno police union.
- Krystal Minera could not describe to Councilwoman Brekhus the differences between the role of the city manager and the city council members.
- Britton Griffith said the most difficult part of serving on the Reno Planning Commission was to consider the flooding in the North Valleys because the impact was so personal.
- All the candidates approved of police wearing body cameras responding to a question from Councilman Delgado.
- Councilwoman Jardon asked all the candidates if they had ever voted for a candidate from the opposing party. None gave a satisfactory answer.
- In response to a question about sustainability, Griffith said she had campaigned against the use of plastic straws in some downtown restaurants.
Following brief deliberations, the council voted unanimously to appoint Devon Reese to the vacant position.