High on the general meeting portion of the agenda will be interviews of the applicants for the vacant Sparks Planning Commission seat. The position was vacated in January when former commissioner Bruce Breslow took a position at the head of Nevada’s Nuclear Projects office. The first round of applicants for the position were reviewed in a Jan. 28 council meeting. Only one met the city mandated requirements, and that applicant was denied by the council due to a potential conflict of interest. According to staff reports, the denied candidate, Justin Ivory, is applying again.
The second round of position advertising attracted 20 applicants, including former Sparks City Councilwoman Judy Moss and Sylvia Larkin, wife of Washoe County Commissioner Bob Larkin. The final appointee to the position will be announced at the council’s March 23 meeting.
In addition to interviewing the potential planners, city staff will attempt to address the recent problem of city funding for special events. Each of Sparks’ 15 special events require some allocations from the city. This funding has come into the spotlight recently with the announcement that the city tourism and marketing committee could owe more than $436,000 to the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitor’s Authority. The committee receives funding from the RSCVA, which allegedly appropriated more to the committee than was allowable by state law. As the matter is still being reviewed by the Sparks City Attorney’s office, the city has not yet announced a course of action regarding the overpayment.
Other more positive items on the agenda include discussion of the Nevada League of Cities’ scholarship program. Six students from Sparks high schools are eligible for the program and staff is recommending that their names be forwarded on toward a competition with other statewide scholars.
The Girls Action Project, a community service group organized by fifth-grade students from Bud Beasley Elementary School, will also give a presentation on their work.