Deadly Highway (NV 431)

This is a guest post by Thomas Daly, CSP.

In 2018 NDOT contracted with the traffic engineering consulting firm Kimberly/Horn to conduct a ‘Road Safety Assessment’ of Mt. Rose Highway.   Their 39-page report with appendices was issued in August 2018 with more than 50 ‘suggestions’ for road safety improvements.

ON December 5, 2018 NDOT made a presentation to area residents to discuss the study, see summary of issues at this link

While Mt. Rose Highway is a state road, and thus NDOT’s responsibility, virtually all of the intersecting roads and streets are COUNTY owned.  So, solutions to the increasing traffic, multiple fatality/injury accidents, pedestrian safety and property damage accidents are a dual responsibility.

So, of the 50 or so traffic safety improvements suggested, what number of those have been completed in the ensuing two years?  You guessed it…none.

But the carnage continues.  A three-fatality traffic accident occurred at Thomas Creek Road and Mt. Rose Highway on November 10, 2018.  Another two-vehicle accident resulting in two fatalities occurred last year at the intersection of Callahan Road and Mt. Rose Highway and another fatal accident occurred this year higher up on one of Mt. Rose Highway’s infamous hair-pin turns. 

Mt. Rose Highway should be re-named the ‘Highway of Death’. 

NDOT was requested on October 27, 2020 to brief the Washoe County Commission at an upcoming Commission meeting on this subject but no date for the briefing was specified, so do not look for it until next year. 

Traffic safety does not seem to be a priority of NDOT nor our County Commissioners.

Drive safely.

Thomas G. Daly is a Mt. Rose Highway corridor resident and a former Washoe County Planning Commissioner.

2020 Election Finance Update

The reports are in from the candidates for campaign contributions through October 15, 2020. Here is a summary of what Reno Councilmembers and Washoe County Commissioners are getting from development interests.

Reno Ward-1 City Council

  • Jenny Brekhus, incumbent: $10,050
  • J D Drakulich, challenger: $136,880

Reno Ward-3 City Council

  • Oscar Delgado, incumbent: $64,000
  • Rudy Leon, challenger: $0

Reno Ward-5 City Council

  • Neoma Jardon, incumbent: $75,299
  • Darla Fink, challenger: $0

Reno At-Large City Council

  • Devon Reese, incumbent: $95,450
  • Eddie Lorton, challenger: $12,960

Washoe County Commission, District-1

  • Marsha Berkbigler, incumbent: $24,500
  • Alexis Hill, challenger: $3,800

Washoe County Commission, District-4

  • Vaughan Hartung, incumbent: $20,475
  • Marie Baker, challenger: $0

Conclusions …

  • Developers really want to see Drakulich defeat Brekhus. They would much rather see a realtor representing Ward-1 rather than an urban planner who will oppose irresponsible development.
  • Developers have little love for the challengers. Other than Brekhus, the incumbents seem to be working for them just fine.
  • The incumbent county commissioners don’t think they need to mount vigorous campaigns.


Previous post: WRAP Election Edition 2020

Excel file with detailed campaign contribution data

WRAP Election Edition 2020

Updated 10/9/2020

Updated 10/6/2020

We have had to face the fact that many of our commissioners and council members are shameless. They are not persuaded by logical arguments. They cannot be pressured by public sentiment. They cannot be shamed by public exposure of their subservience to the developers. Most appear to accept their ethical demise. That leaves only two avenues to effect change: the courts and the ballot box. Residents get a chance to express themselves at the ballot box every two years. Residents should seize the opportunity.

The Nevada Independent has an excellent review of the candidates running for the Sparks City Council.

Who Is Running?

City of Reno


Jenny Brekhus (incumbent, non-partisan) …

  • Has a Masters of Public Administration and a Masters Regional Planning
  • Has served two terms on the city council
  • Served as Planning Director for Silver City, NM.
  • Does not have another job other than the city council

J.D. Drakulich (non-partisan) …

  • Large-scale area realtor.
  • Has never held elected office.


Oscar Delgado (incumbent, Democrat) …

  • Has experience as a community organizer
  • Has a Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Urban Planning
  • Has served two terms on the city council
  • Serves as CEO of the Community Health Alliance

Rudy Leon (Democrat) …

  • Served as a university administrator and a research librarian
  • Holds a PhD.
  • Has never held elected office.


Neoma Jardon (incumbent, Republican) …

  • Served as HR Manager for McDonald-Carano-Wilson law firm
  • Has served two terms on the city council.

Darla Fink (Democrat) …

  • Holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration.
  • Was director of finance and administration for the Sierra Nevada Job Corps.
  • Has never held elected office.

At Large

Devon Reese (incumbent, Democrat) …

  • Has completed a partial term: he was appointed to fill Bobzien’s seat.
  • Ran for the Nevada State Senate in 2016 unsuccessfully.
  • He is a lawyer with experience in union-related suits.

Eddie Lorton (Republican) …

  • Ran for mayor in 2014 and 2018.
  • Local businessman
  • Opposes development with inadequate infrastructure
  • Has never held elected office

Candidate op-ed pieces in the Reno Gazette Journal … (Delgado & Leon not available on 10/6)

Brekhus / Drakulich / Fink / Jardon / Lorton / Reese

Reno Gazette Journal interviews between Delgado and Leon

Washoe County


Marsha Berkbigler (incumbent, Republican) …

  • Had a career as a lobbyist and a realtor.
  • She is seeking a third term on the county commission.
  • Has been a booster of EDAWN’s efforts to increase area growth.

Alexis Hill (Democrat) …

  • Has a Masters in Public Administration
  • Has experience working with area foundations (Sierra Arts, EDAWN, and Truckee Meadows Tomorrow)


Vaughn Hartung (incumbent, Republican) …

  • He is seeking his third term.
  • Photographer

Marie Baker (Democrat) …

  • Has her own independent insurance business.
  • Has never held elected office.

Campaign contributions recorded 1/1/2020 – 7/15/2020

Note: this does not include contributions after July 15 which are likely to be substantial. The new contribution totals will be reported October 15. The new totals will be posted on WRAP as soon as possible.

WRAP Picks … (Steve Wolgast)

Reno, Ward-1, Jenny Brekhus

Brekhus has proven herself to be smart, honest, and fiscally responsible. She opposes reckless development that will cause excessive traffic, flood risk, or school overcrowding. She opposes bond initiatives that are not well founded or responsibly written. Drakulich is a realtor seeking to join a council that is already overly favorable toward development.

Reno, Ward-2, Rudy Leon

Leon is a newcomer and has run a weak campaign against a popular incumbent. She is smart and ethical and has taken a stand against building in floodplains. Delgado has proven himself a shill of the developers with his approval of the Daybreak development. This development presents serious public safety risks of flooding, Mercury contamination, and traffic. He knows the hazards but voted to approve the project anyway.

Reno, Ward-5, Darla Fink

Fink is a newcomer, but an experienced professional with a Masters in Public Administration. She is concerned about the effects of growth on existing neighborhoods. She is also concerned about Reno’s budget and fiscal discipline. In contrast, Jardon is the candidate of the developers and is a consistent promoter of their interests. This is reflected in the campaign contributions she receives from them.

Reno, At Large, Eddie Lorton

A long-time Reno resident, Eddie has a grasp on the issues facing residents. He is opposed to the city’s approval of development that does not have the infrastructure in place to support it. Developers should pay for the infrastructure needed for their developments. Devon Reese is new to the council, but has been unwavering in his support of developers. They have responded with record campaign contributions. He has indignantly defended his ethical position, but it’s a logical to conclude that his votes and their contributions are related.

Washoe County, District-1, Alexis Hill

Hill is smart and dynamic. She is concerned about water availability, homelessness, sustainable growth, and government accountability. Berkbigler has strong ties with area realtors and developers and is a consistent vote for developers. A voter is left with the impression that she thinks that all growth is progress.

Washoe County, District-4, Marie Baker

Marie Baker provides us with little information other than that she is a native Nevadan. This is an opportunity to vote against Hartung who has proven himself a steadfast supporter of developers. Hartung will ask incisive, pointed questions during commission meetings only to vote with the developer when the answers are unsatisfactory. It is a form of theater.

Related links in WRAP:

Reno approves Daybreak

Daybreak Payday

Coffee with Devon Reese

Meeting the County Commissioners (2017):

Be sure to get your vote in early. Nevada has safe, secure, and convenient voting opportunities.