Reno City Council Ward 2: Duerr vs Kenny

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 12:01 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Early voting continues and who will represent Reno City Council Ward 2 is in question. In her bid for a third term, Naomi Duerr faces first-time candidate Jay Kenny.

In what would be her final term on the council, Duerr wants to finish projects such as the Moana Pool and an open space corridor on Virginia range. However, if reelected, her number one priority is to stop street racing and intersection takeovers.

“Those things are happening and we need to equip our police with tools and tactics that they need,” she said. “Some examples include better software, integrated software to tie us together with Washoe County and Sparks in a better way.”

Kenny, who is a UNR alumni, baseball player and owner of Doughboy Donuts, calls himself a political outsider. Like Duerr, he believes the number one issue for families in Ward 2, which covers much of South Reno, is public safety.

“They (residents) don’t feel safe, crime is on the rise,” he said. “With the population growth, our current levels of police are back 15 years.”

Aside from policing, both candidates are also focused on traffic.

“As you come off Damonte, you go into Steamboat Parkway and then Steamboat Parkway crosses Veterans and that section of road is very challenging,” said Duerr. “There have been hundreds of accidents just at those intersections in the last five years or so. One of the things I’m really excited about is that we are working with RTC. I held a public workshop in May and they are planning to totally improve that section of road. Lane widening, adding turning lanes.”

“Traffic is buttling up everywhere in town and growth,” said Kenny. “How do we continue to build but listen to the people and listen to the voice of the people? They feel forgotten.”

The growth he referred to has been a topic of conversation for voters who continue to struggle with housing affordability.

“We have to start looking at it (affordable housing) regionally, instead of just locally,” said Kenny. “The growth is going to continue in our area, and I think it’s important to not only work with Washoe County, work with Sparks and also work with the state but also making sure that developers and builders and people who live in those areas are all sitting down at that table and breaking bread.”

“Taking a look backwards, I have already supported six separate affordable housing projects, which is hundreds and hundreds of units, just in Ward 2. Four are built, two are underway,” said Duerr. “Some of the policies that we have already adopted are things like, we have been waiving sewer fees, entirely, if you bring in an affordable housing project.”

Duerr told KOLO 8 News Now that when speaking with developers, one obstacle to building affordable housing is sewer capacity. Therefore, she has been co-sponsoring a project to put new sewer pipes in some areas around Virginia Lake.

She also recognizes that building this type of housing is not the only solution, as those who qualify often get priced out by rent increases.

“I’ve asked the legislature to look at that and we’re going to look at it at the city too,” said Duerr.

For Kenny, the time for change is now. The father of two said he decided to run after seeing a kid being pricked by a needle at the baseball field.

“For someone to be already there for eight years, I think that’s long enough and I think that’s what’s important for people right now,” he said. “They don’t want to continue to see appointments at the city council, they want to make sure they have clean parks, they have police in the streets protecting them, and right now we’re lacking all of those things.”

Duerr who is a Geologist and owns a water management, consulting and mineral exploration busines, believes the council continues to need a doer with her attitude and experience.