Changing of the guard at Ranchos Improvement District |

Changing of the guard at Ranchos Improvement District

A countdown clock is ticking for Bob Spellberg; he’s retiring on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m., culminating a 30-year career as the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District (GRGID) manager.

Everyone is invited to send Spellberg off with a smile at the GRGID open house on Thursday, Nov. 30 from 3-6 p.m. The GRGID office is located at 931 Mitch Drive.

Spellberg came to Gardnerville from Ely, where he worked as a city clerk from 1982-1987. A desire to be “closer to civilization” led him to apply for the GRGID manager position, and he started on Oct. 1, 1987.

“The District has been in existence since 1965,” he said. Several GRGID managers came before him, but none stayed as long as Spellberg.

Reflecting on his decades as manager, Spellberg noted, “There were about 7,000 people in the district when I started in 1987. There are between 10-11,000 people now…quite a bit has changed over the past 30 years. I’ve always had a good relationship with our engineer, with the developers. I’ve always had great boards to work with.”

Numerous housing developments were initiated/completed with Spellberg’s oversight, including Cedar Creek, Heritage, Pleasantview, Silveranch, and Rocky Terrace. Water wells 6, 7, 8, and 9 were built under his purview, as were Blue Rock and Mitch Drive parks.

The GRGID complex has expanded over the years of his tenure as well. What began as one small office grew to include several buildings and a maintenance yard.

Spellberg joined the Ranchos Volunteer Fire Department (now called Ranchos Fire Rescue) as a volunteer firefighter in January 1988. “I’m still an active volunteer and will continue with that,” he said.

Still, the lure of retirement beckons. His plans include playing with his grandson; swinging the golf clubs; tinkering with model trains; visiting the shooting range; enjoying RV vacations and weekend excursions with his wife, Rhonda; and trips to Las Vegas to visit family.

“I’ve have 35 years in public life,” Spellberg said with a smile. “They’ve been good years. It’s time to pass the reins over and let somebody else have fun.”

Holding those reins is new GRGID manager Greg Reed, who came on board Oct. 2. Reed brings a rich background in public service to his new position.

“I’ve been in the water utility business my whole life,” he said.

He spent 16 years as assistant general manager of a public service water utility in Maine, followed by a one-year position in Cincinnati. A colleague in Ohio who had ties to the Silver State encouraged Reed to consider relocating to Nevada, which he did in 2007. He worked for a year at the Kingsbury GID and was manager of the Round Hill GID for the last nine years.

“I’ve been working in Douglas County for the past 10 years,” he said. “I enjoyed my time up at the lake, and I welcome the opportunity to work closer to home.”

Reed moved to the Ranchos in 2010. “What drew me was that view right over there,” he said as he gestured toward the Sierras. “In Maine, the mountains are nowhere near as tall…here you can see forever. And I like that it doesn’t rain here all summer long, that you can count on it being sunny from Memorial Day to Labor Day.”

This will be the first time in Reed’s career that he lives within the boundary of the utility he works for.

“I can walk to work now. I’ve never done that before,” he added.

Reed said he looks forward to the challenges and opportunities inherent in his new role.

“I’ve worked in surface water; there are wells here. The District handles parks and rec, and I haven’t done that in the past. There’s always something new to learn.”

Reed looked around the office and said with a laugh, “I’m taking over everything except those,” referencing the enormous, spiny cacti that arch over a south-facing window. The cacti have thrived under Spellberg’s care for the past 27 years, and he’ll be taking some of them with him after his last day on Dec. 4.

Congratulations to Bob Spellberg on a successful three-decade-long career at the GRGID, and a hearty welcome to new manager, Greg Reed.

Amy Roby can be reached at