By Nicole Barde


My apologies for the delay in posting but I’ve had difficulties with the website posting feature.

County Manager Pat Whitten’s Summary can be found HERE and the meeting agenda packet HERE.

The meetings always kick off with the approval of the agenda and minutes from prior meetings. In reading the minutes from the January 19th meeting I noticed the complete omission of  Pat Whitten’s comments about Gladding & Michel the external third party investigative service he recommended utilizing in place of the Sheriff’s office  and so I got up to note that omission. Pat said he didn’t recall what he had said and would have to listen to the meeting recording again.  I found this odd since I had the impression from his description of the company at the Jan 19th meeting that he had already decided to go with them in the absence of a request for bid. I think once he hears himself on the recording it will jog his memory.

The consent agenda passed with Commissioners McBride and Gilman disclosing that they had pecuniary interests in their C Street businesses but not in the Delta, one of the agenda items, which was being reviewed for off-sale liquor and cabaret license first readings.

During staff updates Fire Chief Hames gave an update on his “dashboard” of activities which I found interesting and useful from the standpoint that it clearly gives a picture of what the activities are, provides a basis from which he can build his activity driven budget and provides citizens with a way to hold him accountable for his duties. You can find the dashboard HERE and there is even more data on the Fire Department’s website.

Deputy D.A. Loomis reported that the County had submitted its required brief on the denial of liquor and business licenses for Vincent Malfitano. The judge presiding in the case made this a requirement of both parties before he makes a final ruling and it moves to the next level. Seems that this may not be  over yet.

County Manager Pat Whitten gave an update on the zip code issue at TRI ….the companies there use the Sparks zip code and Washoe gets the taxes. When Storey County residents buy online we get charged the higher Washoe County sales tax rate. The new news here is that for the first time the Department of Taxation seems willing to actively work it with Storey County. Commissioner Jack McGuffey noted that there are other counties with similar issues.

Agenda Item #13 was for the approval of the audited financials for the county. The full audit is part of the agenda packet for the meeting. County Comptroller Hugh Gallagher noted that the audit is very late because of the timing of receiving some projected revenues. The county was supposed to get a $2 million payment from the Dept. of Taxation in April and didn’t notice it hadn’t come in untill July after the close of the budget period. Additionally, bringing the VCTC back into the county “fold” financially also presented a wrinkle. He then presented a summary of the findings:

-Assets exceeded liabilities and the County has very little debt. Our Capital assets (infrastructure etc.) are $60.7 million of $80 million in total assets. However, of our $49.8 million in total liabilities, about $42 million is the TRI debt. We have a debt ceiling of about $500 million.

-Taxes and fees overall were up over budget with ad-valorum property taxes flat to projections.

-The unreserved General Fund is at $ 6.8 million

-Expenses were over budget projections in several areas: Community Development (due to rapid TRI growth but increased license/tax revenues were also up), Water Service, VCTC ($146k) and the USDA Bond fund was in deficit (sounds like timing issues)

-Out of the 9 issues and recommendations made by the audit company in last year’s audit the county completed the equivalent of 6 of them.

-The auditors have 5 recommendations for improvement for the next budget cycle. They include more measures to ensure no budget overages, double checking journal entries, clarifying Federal and State Grant Fund accounting, and an earlier cutoff date so that this year’s complications won’t be repeated.

Hugh made the point that the Tesla abatements will be part of the next financial audit and agreed that the service offsets (i.e., they pay for our added expense to support them) will likely be included but didn’t know how.

Pat Whitten made the comment that the County’s success in securing many if not most of our Federal Grants was due to Cheri Nevins efforts. That she is the one that makes sure that they are correctly tracked and reported. The county has been very successful in these efforts and that we have Cheri to thank for that.

Agenda item #14 was the first reading of the ordinance amending the County Code Title 8 concerning Health and Human Safety and adding a Nuisance chapter (8.01)

Agenda items #15 and 16 were the general business and liquor license for the Delta Saloon, Tina Perkins and they were approved. FINALLY…stick a fork in this.

During public comment Mark Phillips got up to state that the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Storey County does not exist as a political party as far as he can find and that they are essentially operating as a criminal organization.

I must say tho….in looking at the presidential election landscape for BOTH parties…….I have to say that its disappointing to see what we have to chose from…..that should be a crime.

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