On February 1, a week-long application period will close for an open seat on the Reno City Council in Nevada. The vacancy is the only regular at-large seat on the council, which has seven positions. The other six positions are held by the mayor, who is also elected at-large, and five members who are elected by ward. The city council will hold a special public meeting on February 15 to select the new member.
David Bobzien held the at-large council position before his resignation. He was first appointed to the council in 2014 and then elected to a full term in 2016. Bobzien resigned after Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) appointed him to serve as the director of the Governor’s Office of Energy.
Reno held elections for mayor and both the Ward 2 and Ward 4 city council seats on November 6, 2018. The other four city council seats were last elected in 2016. The council’s appointee to fill the at-large vacancy will serve until the seat is up for election next in 2020.
A special election was considered to fill the vacancy, but the council voted 5-1 in favor of using an appointment process. The council member who voted in favor of the special election, Ward 1 member Jenny Brekhus, said she wanted voters to make the decision. The cost of a special election was estimated at a maximum of $175,000, and it would not have been held until three to four months in the future, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.
Reno is the third-largest city in Nevada and the 89th-largest city in the U.S. by population. The other three largest Nevada cities—Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas—are holding elections in 2019. The primaries are on April 2, and the general elections are scheduled for June 11. City council seats are on the ballot in all three cities, along with the mayor’s office in Las Vegas.