By Dickson Realty's Kylie Rowe
The new year is almost here, and for many people, that means the next few weeks are a time for reflection and planning. That's true for Reno's mayor Hillary Schieve, who sat down with me to talk about what’s next for Reno and the big projects she and the city government plan to work on in 2018 and beyond. Watch the video above to see our whole conversation, or read some of my favorite moments below.
Kylie: What are your top priorities for next year?
Hillary: Well, there are so many because we are moving so fast as a community. We've done countless surveys with Reimagine Reno and what we learned was that citizens wanted to see downtown revitalized. One of the things that we're working on is a business improvement district. We think that that's going to be the game changer downtown. The BID is really exciting because it will put ambassadors downtown who will really work on some of the most critical areas of focus, such as homelessness. Those ambassadors will work very closely with the MOST (Mobile Outreach Safety Team) team and the Reno Police Department. They will also serve as tourism ambassadors, so when people are walking up and down the streets, that they can easily identify them and get information from them.
Kylie: What do you want to tell companies and individuals about why they would want to live and do business in Reno?
Hillary: Reno has this buzz about it now, and it's got this energy that is super contagious. When people come to Reno, they can feel it. I've been saying it's a Reno revival. There are so many easy ways to sell Reno. I mean 320 days of sunshine, incredible tax climate, the proximity to the Bay Area and some of the best ski resorts in the country 25 minutes away. We sell a quality of life. I was born and raised here, so I've experienced it my whole life. So, for me, it's a pretty easy sell because it's a great place. Of all of the benefits that Reno has, it really comes back to the people. I mean I can't go anywhere without someone saying, "Oh, I've been to Reno, and the people there are so nice." We have that ability to really connect with one another and be that kind of community that watches out for one another.
Kylie: Our population is continuing to grow rapidly. What are some of the things that you're planning for in terms of housing and transportation? What are we going to need to do to accommodate the growth?
Hillary: You have to have a balance because this growth has happened so fast. I know everyone wants to build, build, build, right? We understand that. I also want to say that sometimes, you don't want to do it fast necessarily. You want to do it right because we want to make sure that we have the right kind of product.
I think one thing that we're really focusing on is affordability and workforce housing. The council has gotten very dedicated to changing a lot of the zoning and some of the requirements that we would need to continue to build a product that would get it out there to market. If we don't have a product out there, then it really strains the market. It's really our job to get out there and make it so that we are putting affordable and workforce housing into this market to help with all the growth that's coming in.
Kylie: For any citizen who asks, "How do I get more involved? What can I do?" How can they get in contact with you or your office, or is there an event coming up in January that we need to know about?
Hillary: We have a big event, and it's probably our biggest event of the year, and that's our State of the City Address. I'm really excited about it. That will be Jan. 18, and I'm going to invite everyone to come out and enjoy it. It's really our way of telling the story for the last year of what we have been up to at the city of Reno. I always say I encourage anyone to get involved with our community because we want you to shape it. I don't want to shape it. I want to hear from you. It's important that you guys are living in a community that you built. And you can always reach me; I'm very easily accessible!
Thanks to Hillary for spending some time with me to talk about one of our favorite topics: Reno! If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at email@example.com or call 775-334-INFO. And, don’t forget to attend the State of the City Address on Jan. 18, 2018! The event starts at 5 p.m. and takes place at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, located at 100 S. Virginia St. Reno, Nevada 89501. For more information, click here.