Meet the Sparks City Council Ward 4 candidates

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 6:56 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The general election is a week from today, and wanting to represent Ward 4 on the Sparks City Council is incumbent Charlene Bybee, and newcomer, Damon Harrell.

If you live in the Wingfield Springs area or the Vistas, you are a part of Ward 4. Charlene Bybee has been the Ward 4 council member for 8 years.

Besides prioritizing policy and budget, Bybee shared what goals she has if re-elected for her third and final term.

“We’re really trying to make Sparks as business-friendly as possible, and our top job or top responsibility is public safety.”

Damon Harrell has lived in Northern Nevada for 15 years. This is his first year running. Harrell found interest in holding a city council position after the challenges he faced.

Harrell shared that if elected he wants to have an open communication cycle with community members.

“When we got into the pandemic, what frustrated me at the city council level was that there was no communication anywhere. I had no idea where my opponent stood on the pandemic or the governor’s actions because there was no communication,” Harrell said.

Both candidates want to prioritize public safety. The two mentioned what they want to focus on if elected.

“Our top responsibility is making sure our citizens feel like they’re safe and we do that through our priority of public safety. Capital funding for the schools, making sure we’re building and maintaining new schools. So, a lot of regional work that we do,” Bybee said.

“Do we need more heads? Do we need more training, or do we need more vehicles? To me, that is number one; working with the chief and finding a way to satisfy his needs and the city of Sparks’ needs with policing and outreach,” Harrell said.

From the building of new housing and highways, growth is a topic many are concerned about in the area of Sparks.

“I am in favor of growth, but I think the perspective of growth needs to be from the existing citizens of Spanish Springs and of Sparks, not the next 25 thousand,” said Harrell.

“I wish there was a silver bullet. The more we build, the better, because it will just help with pricing because we just have such a demand,” Bybee mentioned.

Both candidates were asked what they want voters to know.

“All politics is local, and my late campaign slogan has been if you want to change Washington you have to start with City Hall. I believe everyone that is elected should act as a representative of those people who have elected them,” Harrell said.

“It’s hard because we’ve lost some trust. As far as my vote won’t count, but it does, it does and it’s just more important than ever,” Bybee said.

For more information about Charlene Bybee, click here.

Damon Harrell’s website can be found here.