New city worker would focus on reaching under-served groups

Creation of a citizen outreach coordinator position is among issues going before the Carson City Board of Supervisors on Thursday.

This person would work with people in the Hispanic community - at least to start - to get information about the city to them, said City Manager Linda Ritter.

This employee would report to the city manager and help other staff members communicate with various citizens' groups and identify their special needs, according to the staff report.

The person hired to do this job would be responsible for getting this group and, the city hopes, other under served groups, integrated "so we're one community," Ritter said.

"We're doing it on a six-month basis to start," she said. "If it's a success, we'll re-evaluate it. I just want to get it started."

Ritter said she believes board members will be amenable to the idea. Several city departments are excited about the idea.

Getting information about such things as business permits and health services is very important, Ritter said.

"There are so many things to do. Whoever we recruit will be very, very busy," she said.

Information gathered for the city's master plan, Envision, shows that the Hispanic population is growing substantially. This is why the person hired to do the job must be able to speak Spanish and English, Ritter said.

Other duties would include making contacts with residents, helping to organize volunteers who could assist with outreach efforts - such as non-English language interpreters - and helping to foster a good relationship between the city and various ethnic groups, the staff report states.

Figuring out which other groups need more attention and information, and how best to help them obtain access to city government will be a significant part of the job, Ritter said.

There are some city employees who are bilingual, but use of their skills has been informal and only as needed. This employee would allow city departments to determine if they are providing enough services and appropriate services.

Compensation for the position, including benefits, would be $49,400 annually. The money to pay this employee would come from the general fund.

Initial funding for the position would end on June 30, which means supervisors would have to decide earlier that month whether the job should become more permanent.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber a or 882-2111, ext. 215.


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