Last Day of Early Voting! (today Friday Nov 2)
A lot of stuff depending on how much you want to scroll down or read. I appreciate you taking the time to at least read the heading.
I don’t spam so reply with remove if so desired.
WC1 PropertyTax: Vote No
Election Overpass banner party.
A Couple Articles on City Debt and Donation Claims. A lot of claims about Reno debt and I analyze it. He said-she said….
Development Code input
Myself and a few others plan to hit some overpasses at rush hour with banners supporting certain candidates or measures. Join us. If interested let me a know time that works. At this point looking at McCarran & I-580 (395) overpass north of I-80 and Sparks Blvd, maybe Valley Rd over I-80. Donuts or munchies provided. Not everyone’s idea of fun but a way to be involved without donating money. Bring any signs or banners of your favorite cause or candidate. Note: It’s legal but we cannot affix anything to the NDOT property.
Looking at Nov 5 & 6 time flexible. Morning and mid day of 6th (Election day). I do have extra signs for myself, NO on WC1 or Eddie Lorton.
JEFF email@example.com 775-379-1324
Who is OPPOSED TO WC1 Property Tax Increase:
City Council Schieve (Mayor) Opponent Lorton, Brekhus.
County Commission: Herman, Lucey (Republicans) , Jung (Democrat), Birkbigler.
Reportedly members of Sparks Council favor it as they get $23 million in general fund money skimmed off the top.. I have not been able to get an answer from them. That’s about 5% of the total measure of $400 million!
I know of no other elected officials or candidate in favor on WC1!
Both the Democratic and Republican parties of Washoe refused to weigh in. They both took No position.
MINUTES Special Meeting Reno City Council April 7, 2017 : Council Member Jardon said that the primary role of all elected officials is the safety and security of property and people and, unlike WC1, it does not benefit or help secure all of the members of Washoe County, only a certain segment of them. I think our community is a little tax weary and I have concerns about asking people to fund something out of pocket that does benefit all.
Council Member McKenzie said that a ballot initiative that does not address regional flooding will probably not garner enough votes to pass in the 2018 election. If the bill is restricted to addressing the Truckee River then the majority of citizens in the county from south Reno all the way to Gerlach that were affected by flooding in 2017 will probably oppose paying the requisite taxes, especially when they were more heavily effected during this year’s flooding events than the people directly along the River. That was one of the reasons we asked to put the regional look in the bill.
Council Member Brekhus discussed her concern that the bill has been brought forward ostensibly in the name of the City of Reno even though they have not discussed it before now. I feel we are not on the ball if they are cooking up a tax initiative that has already had a hearing. Washoe County heard this in the summer and fall. We need to reel this in and have this discussion here. I am inclined not to support the bill or taxation in general whether it is sales or property tax. The tolerance is low.
RENO DEBT SUMMARY: (I’d love to have someone fact check this!)
Lots of he – said she – said in political ads but in the attached Schieve ad I find so much questionable and outrageous info I had to respond. The #1 issue that I ask any expert to weigh in on is “What is Reno’s Debt?” And “How much Debt was reduced since Ms. Schieve took office?”
And I clarify that Reno’s Moody Rating is NOT A+ but only A+ for “General Obligation Bonds”. Others go from that high down to BB (junk). Finally it simply cannot be said that “Hillary reduced the City Debt by $200 million.” Reno has a weak Mayor system and her vote equal to any other council member (in spite of her attempts at the legislature). Any City actions are the result of a majority decision by the Council. Many of the Debts listed, like a car payment are planned and just because they continue to be made does not reflect any major action by the Council. Further research below seems to show, at best, debt was reduced by $80 million since 2013 and OPEB debt increased and about $80 in bond debt in forbearance/ no payments made as the interest increases. JEFF CHURCH www.RenoTaxRevolt.com
Subject: Reno Debt
Note: I am not a fiscal expert and documents available on request. Have an expert do their own due diligence.
Like them or not RenoElections.org has claimed Reno has debt of over $900 million and many Reno Politicians claim less than half that. I’m trying to get to the bottom.
CUT TO THE CHASE CONCLUSION: Thus, it seems Reno “Debt” runs $442 million to over $1 billion with the $900 million claim being fair and I find no evidence that debt has been reduced in the last 4 years by $200 million. Perhaps since 2013 by $80 million. Page 75 of the 2017 Audit supports the $900 million claim.
Reno Debt is hard to define but includes debt (IOU), operating costs (yearly budget) and OPEBs (unfunded liabilities) and other liabilities (lawsuits, emergencies, etc.). Am I missing any?
In fact Reno has dodged the BK bullet and lowered IOU debt which they harp on. In 2015 report it was $534,028,483 , down from over $600,000,000.
2017: Total long-term debt obligations $ 462,275,496 (CAFR)
It seems deceptive to claim this as Reno’s debt. The CAFR further lists: Total liabilities 1,031,390,611
However a report from years ago by an expert Jeremy Aguero calling OPEBs unsustainable. (copy on request) Most being unfunded healthcare costs- lifetime healthcare in some cases. Unfunded costs of sick and vacation time. For example a Police Lt retired and made $130,000 in one month. Another Police employee made @ $360,000 in 6 months!! Payout for sick, vacation, comp, etc. Now multiply that by hundreds of police & fore and other city employees. Reno again dodged the bullet – for now- due to the booming economy.
Another major OPEB is called Heart Lung for fire. Almost uncalculatable. Look it up.
I do caution, pension costs are borne by PERS not Reno but the % payment during employment is. For example a cop making $100,000 requires over $40,000 a year in PERS contributions and that % has consistently risen.
The City report lists OPEB liability (rounded at 000) as follows: $229,487,000 an increase, not decrease from (for example) 2015: $226,147,000. Then Workman’s Comp now: $50,323,000 2015: $43,068,000, another increase.
I’m forgetting some but debt is a combination of fiscal obligations but bonds/debt, unfunded liability OPEB/Heart Lung), maybe lawsuits (i.e. the Clinger lawsuit), operating costs, and similar.
The 2018 Report to the FAB lists about a $42 million reduction from 2013 in various Bonds listed as Total Governmental Activities and about another 38 million in other debt (Sewer and Agency Debt). So I don’t see close to a $200 million in bond debt reduction.
That report lists some of which ZERO was paid and I assume these have unlisted higher interest debt: $4 million, $12,690,000, $6,444,154, $9,567,453.
Then there are “new” bonds not listed in 2013, thus new debt: above eight totally over $276,000,000 in new debt? (If my quick math is right)
The OPED debt rose as the healthcare is Pay-Go and unfunded. I assume the same for Heart/Lung Workman’s comp and termination/retirement buy-outs.
Reno did address OPEB long term non-incurred debt by limiting retirement healthcare for new Police hires to Medicare age (still substantial) and tentative agreements to move retirees age 65 to a Medicare Supplement plan.
I do see a major reduction in “Long Term” debt from $545 million to $444 million, about $101 million but again offset in increases in OPEB and new bonding.
Also noteworthy Reno income greatly improved with major increases in Sales Tax, Property Tax and other fees and taxes. Many Reno fees are much higher than other municipalities. Fee fee fee, tax tax tax. Reno sewer capacity is reportedly maxed and annual sewer fees are approx $460 yearly and have risen every year in memory. Higher than many locations.
Reno did raise taxes including room tax and with the creation and boundary expansion of the Downtown BID (incorporated and replaced the Police Tax District). Reno gave generous pay increase across the board including police and fire.
Based on my research as a non-professional ,not a fiscal expert, it seems that RenoElections is correct and our real debt of bonds, unfunded liabilities is over $1 billion as per CAFR. The debt reduction of bonds perhaps $80 million but OPEB debt increased. Much like buying a car on payments and making regular payments, the current council can hardly take credit for the standard pay off of these bonds.
A+ Rating?: Also to be fair claims of an A+ rating need explaining. The increase was only for “general obligation bond” rating from A- to A+. The rating system makes A+ fifth down on the scale and in the Medium Grade not Prime or High. Depending on the specific bonds looked at, Reno ratings go from that claimed high of A+ down to BB (Reno Redevelopment)
“If the company or bond is rated ‘BB’ or lower it is known as junk grade, in which case the probability that the company will repay its issued debt is deemed to be speculative.” ”Moody’s uses the following ratings: Aaa, Aa, A, Baa, Ba, B, Caa, Ca, and C. Numbers are added for intermediate designations, such as Baa1, Baa2, etc. Investment grade is considered to be Baa and above; anything below is considered speculative, or junk.” 31 May 2018
“New York, May 31, 2018 — Moody’s Investors Service has assigned an initial A3 rating to the City of Reno, Nevada’s First Lien Sales Tax Revenue Refunding Bonds (ReTRAC-Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor Project) Series 2018A and an initial Baa2 rating to the Second Lien Sales Tax Revenue Refunding Bonds (ReTRAC-Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor Project) Series 2018B.”
SUMMARY: As a non expert I see maybe $80 million in debt reductions. However many loans appear in abeyance/ no payments being made which we assume means increased long term debt interest payments. Reno did raise taxes and seeing an increase in revenue. OPEBs/ Workman’s Comp debt did increase, not decrease due to Pay-Go financing. Reno’s bond debt is about: $442,570,150 and OPEB/Comp debt about $280,000,000. Those two totally over $700 million alone. Per the CAFR Total liabilities $1,031,390,611. Unknown if the OPEB debt includes Heart-Lung and or retirement pay out or if the promised OPEB trust has been funded.
CONCLUSION: Thus, it seems Reno “Debt” runs $442 million to over $1 billion with the $900 million claim being fair and I find no evidence that debt has been reduced in the last 4 years by $200 million. Perhaps since 2013 by $80 million.
Sources: Reno CAFR
Reno FAB 2013 to 2018 (June 30) Comparison
City of Reno Debt Issuance Information October 2018
City of Reno Debt Spread sheets 1-2
PASSED ON WITHOUT COMMENT:
Eldorado, Silver Legacy contributions to Schieve exceed campaign finance limits
Anjeanette Damon, Reno Gazette Journal Published 12:02 p.m. PT Oct. 24, 2018 | Updated 3:25 p.m. PT Oct. 24, 2018
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve appears to be in violation of state campaign finance laws after accepting more than $10,000 each from the Eldorado Hotel Casino and the Silver Legacy Resort.
The Nevada Secretary of State’s office notified Schieve’s campaign Wednesday of the apparent violation, asking for an explanation for why she accepted donations above the state limit.
Shortly after receiving the notice, Schieve said she returned the excess cash to the casinos.
Returning the cash can rectify the situation, said Deputy Secretary of State Wayne Thorley. Failure to do so could result in a felony charge, should investigators find the violation was willful.
“It is technically a crime, not just on the part of the candidate who receives the contribution, it is a crime on the part of the individual or entity who gives the contribution,” Thorley said. “But it has to be willful, which is extremely hard to prove.”
State law limits each contributor to a $5,000 donation to a primary election campaign and a $5,000 donation to a general election campaign. For the office of mayor, that’s a total of $10,000 during a single four-year term.
According to campaign finance documents, however, both the Eldorado and the Silver Legacy have contributed a total of $11,500 to Schieve’s campaign since 2015. Each casino made three separate contributions, giving $2,500 in October 2015; $4,000 in March 2016; and $5,000 in May 2017.
Schieve told the Reno Gazette Journal that she believed the contributions were made in two different election cycles.
“I was not aware that the amount exceeded the requirements for the current election cycle,” she said. “When brought to my attention the contribution was immediately returned.
Thorley said his office received an initial complaint in September that the Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus had exceeded the limits by giving a combined $25,000. The three casinos are owned by the same parent company. However, under Nevada law each separate business entity can contribute up to $10,000 a piece.
This week, however, Reno lawyer Stephanie Rice called Thorley’s office on behalf of the woman who filed the initial complaint and asked that investigators take another look at Schieve’s contribution forms.
“We went back and looked, and, yep, it looks like each gave $11,500,” Thorley said. “We sent a letter to the mayor’s campaign this morning.”
Although Rice also represents Reno mayoral candidate Eddie Lorton on several issues, she said Wednesday she did not contact the Secretary of State’s Office about Schieve’s contributions on Lorton’s behalf. She represents the woman who filed the initial complaint in September, Linda Musselman.
Lorton and Schieve are locked in an increasingly contentious race. Lorton has repeatedly accused Schieve of being “in the pockets of downtown casinos.”
A spokeswoman for the Eldorado and Silver Legacy didn’t immediately return a reporter’s phone call.
Editor’s note: This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
FROM CANDIDATE MIKE CLARK, COUNTY ASSESSOR
WCSD School Costs: Promises Made, Promises Broken:
“District staff has worked to reduce expenditures in fiscal year 2016-17 and $10 million has been identified that can be used to reduce the $40 million deficit down to $30 million. However, this use of savings to offset ongoing expenditures will result in the deficit continuing in the subsequent fiscal year. The major factors causing the deficit are: the depletion of savings or fund balance ($28 million); FY17 projected enrollment not materializing* along with a decrease to FY17 per pupil funding and Average Daily Enrollment (ADE) adjustments ($4.4 million); carryforward of prior year negotiated costs ($3.6 million); and a reduction of vacancy savings ($4 million).”….
“We estimate that costs will be $23 million for an elementary school, $55 million for a middle school, and $110 million for a high school.” “Our estimates cover the entire cost of the entire process from when it becomes clear that a new school is needed all the way through to having students in class. This all-inclusive nature is different than cost estimates (or actual cost) numbers that other districts use, which may only include the cost of construction itself. WCSD believes our estimate to be the most honest and transparent, as it encompasses the entirety of the project, including land cost and water rights, planning and design by District project managers, architect fees, and permitting, all the way through to the purchase of supplies like lunch tables and books.”
Now the cost estimates for Wild Creek High School is $220 million, double the projection!
WC1 FloodTax, PropertyTax Increase: YOURTAXPAYER DOLLARS SUPPORT A PRO-TAX PAC!
two tabs address the legal actions (on hold if it should fail)
Local Govt supports the Pro-WC1 PAC indirectly. The PAC:
www.StopRiverFlooding.com The Stop Truckee River Flooding PAC (see attached) is a Nevada PAC with donations of over $50,000. It is actively campaigning to support the WC1 Flood Property Tax.
EDAWN is a quasi governmental agency with appointed and/or elected GOVERNMENT officials that sit on it’s Board of Trustees, some as voting trustees!
VOTING BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Marily Mora, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority; Mark Foree, Truckee Meadows Water Authority; Jennifer Cunningham Reno Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority
DESIGNATED TRUSTEES (EX-OFFICIO) Heidi Gansert University of Nevada; Karin Hilgersom Truckee Meadows Community College; Cory Hunt Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Marsha Berkbigler Washoe County Commissioner; Pat Whitten Storey County; Oscar Delgado City of Reno; Charlene Bybee City of Sparks; Roy Edgington City of Fernley; Traci Davis Washoe County School District; Steve Driscoll City of Sparks.
EDAWN donated (so far as per records/ disclosures) $3500 to the listed PAC.
In summary: Local govt provides EDAWN with hundreds of Thousands of Taxpayer dollars yearly including from: Reno, Sparks, Washoe and various Flood/ Airport/ RSCVA and other taxpayer Authorities. Government officials sit on the EDAWN board. EDAWN gives money to a PAC supporting a campaign issue and how any more PACc or candidates?
Based on below this should be or may be illegal!
A straw donor may contribute to a political campaign before being reimbursed by another, who is using that person as a conduit to exceed the limits on campaign contributions or otherwise violate Ethics and Election laws.
In federal elections in the United States, straw donor schemes are illegal under 52 U.S.C. § 30122.
In Nevada taxpayer dollars should not be used to support ballot measures, campaigns and similar. NRS 281A.
NRS 281A.520 Public officer or employee prohibited from requesting or otherwise causing governmental entity to incur expense or make expenditure to support or oppose ballot question or candidate in certain circumstances.
- Except as otherwise provided in subsections 4 and 5, a public officer or employee shall not request or otherwise cause a governmental entity to incur an expense or make an expenditure to support or oppose: (a) A ballot question.
The Free Speech clauses of the federal and state Constitutions prohibit the use of governmentally compelled monetary contributions (including taxes) to support or oppose political campaigns since “[s]uch contributions are a form of speech, and compelled speech offends the First Amendment.” Smith v. U.C. Regents (1993) 4 Cal.4th 843, 852.
Moreover, “use of the public treasury to mount an election campaign which attempts to influence the resolution of issues which our Constitution leaves to the ‘free election’ of the people (see Const., art. II, Â§ 2) … presents a serious threat to the integrity of the electoral process.” Stanson v. Mott (1976) 17 Cal.3d 206, 218.
Keller v. State Bar of Cal. (1990) 496 U.S. 1, 12-13), in the thirty years since Stanson v. Mott (1976) 17 Cal. 3d 206 As we explain, past decisions in both California and our sister states establish that, at least in the absence of clear and explicit legislative authorization, a public agency may not expend public funds to promote [17 Cal.3d 210] a partisan position in an election campaign;
Miller v. Miller (1978) 87 Cal.App.3d 762,764-766
See also Brennan v. Black (Del. 1954) 104 A.2d 777, 790-791; Citizens to Protect Pub. Funds v. Board of Education (1953) 13 N.J. 172 [98 A.2d 673, 676].) [17 Cal.3d 213]
Mines v. Del Valle (1927) 201 Cal. 273 [257 P. 530]. In Mines, the Los Angeles Board of Public Service Commissioners, the governing board of a municipally owned public utility, had expended more than $12,000 of public funds to promote the passage of a municipal bond issue aimed at raising funds for the expansion of the city’s municipal electrical generating system; as in the instant case, a taxpayer challenged the propriety of such expenditures, and the commissioners defended their actions on the basis of their broad authority, under the Los Angeles Charter, “‘[t]o construct, operate, maintain and extend … electric plants, works, systems and equipments ….'” (Italics added.) (201 Cal. at p. 281.)
The Mines court, however, rejected the commissioners’ contention and found the campaign expenditures improper. Pointing out that “the electors of said city opposing said bond issue had an equal right to and interest in the [public] funds … as those who favored said bonds,” the court reasoned that “[t]o use said public funds to advocate the adoption of a proposition which was opposed by a large number of said electors would be manifestly unfair and unjust to the rights of said last-named electors
Indeed, every court which has addressed the issue to date has found the use of public funds for partisan campaign purposes improper, either on the ground that such use was not explicitly authorized (see Porter v. Tiffany (1972) 11 Ore.App. 542 [502 P.2d 1385, 1387-1389]; Elsenau v. City of Chicago (1929) 334 Ill. 78 [165 N.E. 129, 130-131]; State v. Superior Court (1917) 93 Wash. 267 [160 P. 755, 756]) or on the broader ground that such expenditures are never appropriate. (See Stern v. Kramarsky (1975) 84 Misc.2d 447 [375 N.Y.S.2d 235, 239-240].) As in the instant case, the majority of these decisions related to expenditures in connection with bond elections.
Madison, The Federalist Papers, Nos. 52, 53; 10 Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents (1899) pp. 98-99 (President Jefferson)); the selective use of public funds in election campaigns, of course, raises the specter of just such an improper distortion of the democratic electoral process. [17 Cal.3d 218]
Observing that “[a] fundamental goal of a democratic society is to attain the free and pure expression of the voters’ choice of candidates,” we concluded that “our state and federal Constitutions mandate that the government must, if possible, avoid any feature that might adulterate or, indeed, frustrate, that free and pure choice ….” (14 Cal.3d at p. 677.) (See Rees v. Layton (1970) 6 Cal.App.3d 815, 823 [86 Cal.Rptr. 268]; cf. CSC v. Letter Carriers (1973) 413 U.S. 548, 554-563 [37 L.Ed.2d 796, 802-808, 93 S.Ct. 2880]; Hoellen v. Annunzio (7th Cir. 1972) 468 F.2d 522, 526.) fn. 5
Supreme Court of California
Angelina Morfin VARGAS et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. CITY OF SALINAS et al., Defendants and Respondents.No. S140911. Decided: April 20, 2009
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Washoe County is looking for the public’s input on two potential Development Code Amendments relating to:
1) To add a provision for addressing lot coverage requirements for detached accessory structures on lots which are nonconforming for parcel size based on the regulatory zone;
2) Updating requirements to modify a Special Use Permit
Who: Community Services Department; Planning and Building Division
What: Public Workshop about proposed amendments to Washoe County Chapter 110 (Development Code), Article 306 Accessory Uses and Structures, and Article 810 Special Use Permit
When: Wednesday November 7, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Where: Human Resources Conference Room (Room A210); Second Floor, at the top of the stairs in Building A, Washoe County Administration Complex, 1001 East Ninth Street, Reno
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