New County Planning Commissioner

This is a guest post by Mike Lawson.  He was interested in his replacement on the planning commission and had a meeting with her to understand her perspective and to share what he as learned from serving on the commission. 

As the outgoing planning commissioner for Washoe County district 2, I was more than a little interested in meeting my successor, especially considering that Commissioner Lucey’s decision not to recommend me for reappointment was politically motivated. I had made the wise but unforgivable choice to support his opponent (Steve Wolgast) in the recent election. Additionally, I voted in opposition to approval of development and zone changes which would benefit the special interests (many of whom contributed to Commissioner Lucey’s campaign), but don’t comply with the area plans. I was also concerned that Ms. Nelson’s appointment might have been influenced by the fact she is acting County manager Dave Solaro’s sister. So, it is not surprising that I was a little suspicious about my replacement and meeting with her would either corroborate or assuage my doubts about why she was selected to replace me.
I asked to meet with Ms. Nelson at her place of employment and she kindly obliged. I am pleased to report I found her to be a thoughtful and affable neighbor who shares the WRAP community concern about appropriate planning, or rather the lack thereof, demonstrated in recent years by Washoe County and the City of Reno. She was well informed about recent development along the Mt. Rose corridor and shared the citizens’ concerns about the safety and environmental issues, which have been exacerbated by poor land use development. She is informed and concerned about the flooding issues in the north valleys and the environmental concerns in Damonte ranch. She asked intelligent questions about my experience on the commission and was interested in my responses. I genuinely believe she is a well-intended citizen looking to preserve the character of the area plans while also ensuring technical reports supporting development are scrutinized to ensure the information is accurately represented, codes are complied with, and required findings can be met.
Nothing I have written is intended to suggest I speak for her. I am simply offering my impression based on a single conversation we had this week. However, I do believe she is both qualified to serve on the planning commission and has our existing communities and neighborhoods best interest at heart. I am also convinced her relationship to Dave Solaro had no influence on her appointment. WRAP and the citizens who read this blog and contribute to our cause are among the best citizens in our community. You have treated me fairly and with kindness and I thank you for that. I am asking you do the same for Kate Nelson unless or until she demonstrates she does not deserve it. We owe her that. Thank you.

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