New Washoe County Commissioners Sworn In

RENO, NV -- Two new members of the Washoe County Commission took the oath of office Monday morning. Marsha Berkbigler and Vaughn Hartung were elected in November. Members of regional general improvement districts were also sworn in.

The newly elected leaders promised to faithfully perform the duties of the offices they are entering, and to abide by Nevada's Constitution.

Those taking seats on the commission will face some big decisions just ahead. Among those decisions: how to fund the Aces baseball stadium.

Hartung said: "It sits dark currently more than two-hundred ninety days a year now, why can't we hold additional events downtown that would add to the stadium's budget?"

Berkbigler, who has experience as a contract negotiator and mediator, said she would like to work on repairing Washoe County and the City of Reno's sometimes strained relationship.

"We sit down and talk, I think we have more open meetings where we all get together and talk about the issues," she said.

She also said she would like to see the reunification of Reno and Washoe County firefighting services -- the agencies had a contentious split. At the time, county leaders said the divorce would make firefighting efforts fiscally sustainable. City officials argued the county's plan left areas unprotected.

Bob Larkin is stepping down as the longest serving chair of the commission -- he has been a commissioner for eight years. He said he is especially proud of working to develop protection from catastrophic flooding the in the region. He held office during the boom years for the county, and the economic downturn.

"We have positive cash flow, and we've been able to weather a lot of the economic storm," Larkin said.

Commissioner David Humke was selected as the new chair of the board.

Commissioners are scheduled to hold a regular meeting on Tuesday.


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