Supervisors will pick justice of the peace; planning commissioner named

Carson City resident Greg Brooks speaks to the Board of Supervisors on Thursday before being appointed to the planning commission by a unanimous vote.

Carson City resident Greg Brooks speaks to the Board of Supervisors on Thursday before being appointed to the planning commission by a unanimous vote.
Photo by Scott Neuffer.

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The Carson City Board of Supervisors decided Thursday to interview all prospective justice of the peace candidates at an upcoming meeting as part of an appointment process.

Instead of a special election, supervisors voted unanimously to begin an appointment process but nixed a proposal for an internal selection committee to narrow the candidate pool to five finalists. Applicants interested in the vacant seat have until Jan. 19 to apply, and all candidates will be interviewed publicly at the board’s Feb. 1 meeting.

The appointment will replace former Justice of the Peace Kristin Luis, who was recently appointed by Gov. Joe Lombardo to department 2 of First Judicial District Court. Luis is replacing Judge James Wilson, who is retiring Monday.

Luis’ previous seat in department 2 of justice/municipal court is up for election this year along with the seat in justice/municipal court department 1 occupied by Justice of the Peace Thomas Armstrong. The board’s appointment would fill the rest of Luis’ term. Whomever is appointed would have to file for the office if they want a new six-year term.

Filing for judicial office ends Jan. 12.

Daniel Spence, who is contracted as a conflict attorney for the city, expressed interest in the vacant justice of the peace position during public comment and encouraged supervisors to interview all who are interested.

“It would behoove this group to see as many people and see who the community really wants because that’s who they are going to be repicking again in a very short order,” Spence said.

“I think we’ll have people who file to run and won’t put their names in,” said Supervisor Stacey Giomi. “Because they don’t want to give up a job for a temporary gig. I think the numbers will be potentially higher on the filing than they will on this (the appointment).”

Unlike district court judges, justices of the peace in communities with a population of under 100,000 don’t need to be licensed attorneys, according to NRS 4.010. They must be qualified electors, however, and have a high school diploma. According to a draft of the application, the base salary for justice of the peace is $145,000 per year.

In other action:

• Supervisors unanimously appointed resident Greg Brooks to the Carson City Planning Commission for a four-year term.

Mayor Lori Bagwell maintained the commission and any committee serves the community best with a cross-section of people and well-balanced ideas.

“I thought Mr. Brooks’ answers really lent (themselves) to that — that it starts with an open mind and how do I benefit the community as a whole, how do I have that 30-year look, how do I help shape where we’re going?”

Brooks is president of Better Cities Project, a national nonprofit.

“Housing, planning, zoning, and growth issues are a big part of my day-to-day work; part of the value I could bring to Carson City is a broader picture of what cities across the country are struggling with, prioritizing and solving,” Brooks wrote in his application.

Brooks also highlighted the need for more workforce housing in the community.

“With only two years in the city full-time, I can't call balls and strikes on long-past decisions,” he wrote. “But I will say this: I believe Carson City needs a practical, implementable vision for bringing more housing (particularly single-family starter homes and workforce housing) into the community. Important work has been done on this front, but it deserves ongoing attention because virtually every other local issue, right or left, economic or social, is adjacent to getting that right.”

Thursday, Brooks said much of his professional experience has been making complex, contentious issues before the public “understandable and actionable.” He said consensus on an issue doesn’t mean everybody is going to walk away perfectly happy.

“But it does mean we walk away with decisions,” he said. “And I’d rather see that than just endlessly gummed-up works.”

• Supervisors unanimously reappointed Samuel Mozingo to the Open Space Advisory Committee and, after interviewing several applicants, appointed a new member, Aeryn Mcqueary.

Each will serve a four-year term on OSAC.

“Working with the public would be my first priority,” said Mcqueary, who has a background in park and environmental planning.

She said her other equally important priority would be to retain as much open space as possible “and still work to satisfy the economic development goals of the city council and staff and the citizens.”

• Supervisors unanimously reappointed Barbara D’Anneo to the Carson City Cultural Commission for a three-year term.

Asked about the sculpture planned for the roundabout at South Carson and South Stewart streets, which the Cultural Commission had recommended to supervisors, D’Anneo said, “We worked on behalf of the city and gave to you our best take on what we thought was appropriate to have in the roundabout.”

D’Anneo said with the right leadership, Carson could become a destination for the arts. The city already has 18 arts organizations, she said. The challenge is bringing all partners together in a cohesive mission.

“There needs to be a commitment financially as well as socially and in every other way to grow arts and culture in this city,” she said.


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