Schieve: RSCVA board is 'worst I've ever served on'
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve isn't happy with the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority Board and she wants the Legislature to help her fix it.
In a recent City Council meeting to discuss the council's legislative agenda, Schieve lambasted the board that is responsible for promoting tourism in the region in an effort to grow room nights with the help of $22 million in room tax revenue.
But Schieve says it's not working.
"It's probably one of the worst boards I've ever served on so far," Schieve said at the meeting. "What they've been doing hasn't been working, period. The board absolutely is too large. A lot of the members are not engaged."
The 13-member board is a hybrid of public and private officials, including representatives from the county's largest casinos, the Chamber and elected officials from Reno, Sparks and Washoe County.
Questions of in-fighting and ineffectiveness have plagued the RSCVA board for years, but Schieve is new to the board, having been appointed shortly after she was elected mayor in November.
"I feel like there's a lot of tension in the room," she said. "I'm walking into it with a new fresh perspective that we should be excited about tourism and the things we can do. I just don't feel that from the board."
The Nevada Resort Association is pursuing legislation to change the composition of the board, which others have criticized as unwieldy. But so far, the association's lobbyist Greg Ferraro is staying mum on the approach they will take for the restructure, which is being undertaken at the urging of board member John Farahi.
Schieve said she's not sure how the board should be restructured, noting that she's worried the city of Reno could lose one of its two spots on the board if its size is reduced.
"I don't know if the Chamber needs to be on there," she said.
In the meeting, Councilman Paul McKenzie warned Schieve and others could have a difficult time shrinking the board.
"Changing that may be a very big battle because they have those high-powered lobbyists fight that," McKenzie said.