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Politics and Policy

Washoe County Sued Over Bill Draft Request

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ThisisReno.com

Washoe County is being sued by the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Governing Board over the county’s proposed legislation to gain more representation on that board. Our reporter Bob Conrad, of ThisisReno.com, has the story.

The planning board has 10 members -- four from the city of Reno, three from Sparks and three appointed by the county. The bill draft request to the legislature, approved by the commissioners, would change that composition.

Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler says no entity should have more clout over another. But the governing board is calling the county’s bill draft an illegal move.

Sparks City Councilwoman Charlene Bybee chairs that board.

“The intent of AB 39 was to take control of the regional planning governing board and land-use planning in the Truckee Meadows," said Bybee. "Basically, Washoe County did not follow the legal process required for legislative changes relating to regional planning.”

Commissioner Berkbigler, however, accused the regional planning board of operating unilaterally and wasting taxpayer dollars.

“This board basically spends taxpayer dollars really independently of any oversight outside of themselves, shall we say. That’s $600,000 a year," said Berkbigler. "That money could be better placed hiring staff to go clean ditches than duplicating work that’s already being done by other entities that we have.”

Reno City Councilman David Bobzien, who serves on the TMRPA board, says Reno is likely to participate in the lawsuit. The City of Sparks is also looking into joining the suit.

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