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Nevada county mulls complaint over high school plan

October 24, 2018

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Washoe County’s school superintendent is recommending filing a complaint over a potential open meetings violation during consideration of plans to move a utility corridor at a Reno golf course where the district wants to build a new high school.

The Reno Gazette Journal reports Superintendent Traci Davis is urging the action after the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency’s governing board voted earlier this month against moving the power lines at Wildcreek Golf Course.

The district wants to break ground on the new school in 2020.

But District Chief Operating Officer Pete Etchart says they can’t get the necessary permits without an agreement for the utility corridor to be moved.

“We are kind of in a chicken and egg thing here,” he said.

Reno City Councilman Paul McKenzie, who also is a member of the planning agency, says he can’t support moving the corridor until other plans for traffic and flood control are considered.

Defenders of the golf course and some conservationists are leading opposition to the plans to build the new high school at McCarran Boulevard on one of the last large open tracks of land in the metro area.

School Board President Katy Simon Holland says the district has concerns that the planning agency’s discussion at the Oct. 11 meeting veered off the stated topic. The meeting agenda listed the item only as consideration and action on relocating an existing utility corridor.

The board is expected to vote on filing the complaint and possible lawsuit at its meeting on Oct. 23.

Jessica Prunty, an attorney for the planning agency, declined to comment citing the threat of potential litigation.

The district has had its problems with allegations of breaking Nevada’s Open Meeting Law in recent years.

In 2014, the school board tried to fire then-Superintendent Pedro Martinez in a closed-door meeting.

In 2015, the board violated Open Meeting Law when it prevented a person from finishing comments during a public comment period. Later that year, the board also violated the Open Meeting Law when it attempted to hire Superintendent Davis without informing the public of the decision.


Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com