Reno City Hall Cheats the Citizens... Again.

Sam Says, Let's Make 'em Obey the Law!!!

A watchdog's job is to monitor evil government. The evil Reno city hall and its Planning commission (and the taxpayers' Planning department that schmoozes with the developers as if they worked for them) make this more than a full-time job. In June the Planning commission okayed the RSCVA's massive expansion scheme. Sam Dehne filed Appeals (costing him $50 each) addressing several specific problems that were ignored.
Then the Writ cost him another $200. It would be nice... except that in Reno citizens cannot always expect an honorable decision by the judges.

Note: The judge trampled on the law and logic... by eventually refusing to allow Sam's Appeal to be heard. This bogus "ruling" despite the fact Reno city hall blatantly broke the law! So forget the Note below.

NOTE: On 2 August, 2000 Judge Brent Adams ordered city hall to explain its wrongful actions. Thank you judge Adams for displaying integrity. Citizens would like to have a jury trial... so the blatant corruption of Reno city hall can be put on display... and those council critters can be deposed under oath.

...........................................................(THE) ORDER FOR RESPONSE
"Petitioner Dehne filed a petition for writ of mandate on July 10, 2000. The Court has reviewed the petition and has determined that a response would assist the Court in making a decision. Respondents shall, within forty-five (45) days of this Order, answer or otherwise respond to the petition pursuant to NRS 34.150 et seq."
Here are a few of the problems Sam cited in his Plain English "Appeal":
1. Traffic on all surrounding streets will be a shambles; it already is. This resulting traffic chaos, gridlock, and road rage will be very dangerous and unpleasant for all Reno citizens and tourists.
2. The RSCVA also plans to use the proposed north parking lot for staging and loading/unloading of huge trucks which is plain stupid.
3. The RSCVA, itself, is such a mess that they haven't yet figured how big the convention center will be.
4. The RSCVA is in such disarray that it has had to fire its CEO and replace him with a subordinate who is guilty of infractions similar to what the CEO was fired for. In other words, RSCVA has proven over and over that it cannot be trusted by the citizens of Reno.
5. A project of this massively devastating nature demands a full Environmental Impact Study (EIS). Trucks, dirt, noise, pollution, danger, blight, ruination of property values and quality of life for thousands of innocent citizens in the neighborhood are just a few of the negative impacts that are being ignored. Unfortunately, there appears to be little chance of properly compensating for, or offsetting, this ravagement and ruination.
6. The Southeast Governing Board originally turned this moronic project back. And nothing has changed to allow a reversal of that denial. It is not what the community wants or needs. Only special interests will benefit. Apparently those special interests "got to" these perverted city hall surrogates. Surprise!
7. Citizens of immediate neighborhoods demand a right to have a say and to live in peaceful quiet. If they were told the truth about RSCVA incompetence, they would rise up in opposition against the blundering bureaucrats.
8. One Southeast NAB member spoke out vehemently against the very existence of the convention center in the middle of what used to be a neighborhood... giving a myriad of reasons why the Parking lot should be denied... and the center itself moved elsewhere. Now he has capitulated to the other side with the double-dealing bureaucrats.
9. The RSCVA has proven it is not trustworthy, and their bureaucratic self-serving leaders are thumbing their collective noses at the citizens and the advisory board and the Planning Commission by swiping some $250,000,000 (give or take 10 or 20 million $$$dollars) of citizens' taxes for this ill-fated project... before they even have any government approvals. This is arrogantly WRONG!
(Note: governmental approvals were garnered AFTER THE FACT... surprise!)
10. Citizens cannot trust the RSCVA... or Reno city hall period!

Reno city hall broke the law and refused to schedule a Hearing for these Appeals. A Writ of Mandamus was filed so that an honorable judge could be searched for... who would order them to follow the Laws of Reno.
Pro se; Acting on own behalf
and on behalf of all simililarly
and adversely affected citizens
of Reno, Nevada

....................................................................................................Case No. CV00 03489
....................................................................................................Dept No. ___6____
CHARLES McNEELY (city manager), DONALD
COOK (city clerk)

Pursuant to NRS 34.150 et seq., Petitioner (on behalf of himself and all similarly and adversely affected citizens)

hereby petitions this Court for the issuance of a Writ of Mandate directing Respondents to obey the Law.

This Petition is brought on the following grounds:

1. The Respondents violated their oaths of office when they knowingly refused to abide by the rules of the

Reno Municipal Code (Section 18.06.400(h) Appeal) and wrongfully approved Reno-Sparks Convention

Authority (RSCVA) requests to expand its Convention Center and Parking Lot. This wrongful action was

taken despite the fact that Petitioner had filed official Appeals of the projects and was not given the due

process of the Law.

2. Petitioner has suffered damages as a result of the actions of the Respondents.

3. A Writ of Mandate is proper to compel the performance of acts by Respondents from the offices held by

Respondents and to determine damages to be awarded to the Petitioner.

4. Petitioner, himself, has no plain, speedy, or adequate remedy at law to compel Respondents to perform

their duties that the Municipal Law of Reno demands of them.

5. Petitioner's request for a Writ of Mandate is necessary in order to compel Respondents to (a) comply with

the dictates of their offices, (b) prevent further harm and injury to Petitioner and other citizens likely

situated, and (c) compensate Petitioner for his damages.

6. This Petition is made and based upon the (partial) Exhibits attached hereto and the Memorandum of

Points and Authorities filed herewith.

WHEREFORE, Petitioner requests this Court:

1. Issue a Writ of Mandate compelling the Respondents to vacate wrongful actions

(Agenda Cases 18 D and 18E of 27 June, 2000) taken at the Reno city council Hearing of 27

June, 2000 and hold a new and proper Hearing after legal noticing has been provided

concerning the specifics of Petitioner's 2 (two) official Appeals of 23 June, 2000.
2. Advise Respondents that any action taken by RSCVA relative to carrying out the

wrongful approval of the RSCVA Convention Center and Parking Lot Expansions would be

inappropriate until after the decisions of legally constituted Appeals Hearings.

3. Award costs, interest, attorneys fees (as appropriate) and such other remedies as may be appropriate.

DATED this __10th__ day of __July__, 2000.
___Sam D. Dehne___


I. Statement of Facts
* A Writ of Mandate should be issued by this court to compel Respondent to do what the Law requires.

* On 14 June, 2000 the Reno Planning Commission made certain Decisions concerning 2 (two) RSCVA requests.

* On 23 June, 2000 Petitioner filed 2 (two) separate Appeals of those Decisions by completing Appeals forms and filing with the Reno city clerk and paying two $50 fees within 10 days; as per the dictates of the Reno Municipal Charter Law; Section 18.06.400(h) Appeals.

* The Respondents thereupon participated in a conspiracy to defraud the Petitioner and the Public and also obstructed justice by willfully not obeying the specific dictates of the Reno Municipal Charter... even after being warned specifically by Petitioner of the illegitimacy of their actions. The Reno Municipal Charter states very plainly:
(Section 18.06.400(h) Appeals) "The decision or recommendation of the planning commission may be appealed by completing an appeal form and filing it with the city clerk and paying any fee within ten (10) days of the date of the planning commission meeting at which the decision was made. The city clerk shall set the appeal for public hearing before city council and mail a notice of the hearing to the appellant and all others who were mailed a notice of the hearing before the planning commission."
These mandatory actions were never taken.

* The Petitioner's appeal was not handled according to the law; which resulted in his not being able to legally challenge and appeal the previous actions of the Planning Commission and thereby establishing the potential for damages to him and all similarly and adversely affected citizens.

* To exacerbate their already perfidious actions, the Respondents failed to give even token acknowledgment to Petitioner's Appeals in the Official City Hall Log Book on the day of the city council Hearing of 27 June, 2000. Only the RSCVA's Appeals were entered as part of that record. Citizens had no way of knowing that Petitioner had filed Appeals against these decisions... for entirely different reasons than the RSCVA.

* Each of the wrongful actions by Respondents was also officially objected to (verbally at the city council podium and in submitted writings) on 2 separate occasions by the Petitioner at the Reno council meeting of 27 June, 2000. In other words, Petitioner went far out of his way to advise and warn the Respondents of the illegality of their actions and the possible consequences of such illegal action.

* The Respondents ignored the warnings and continued their pre-planned mendacity's and wrongfully ignored the dictates of their own Reno Municipal Charter.

* Respondents' wrongful action has now set in motion the possibility for the RSCVA to start expansion projects that were approved illegally. The court should recommend the RSCVA cease and desist from any project activity until after a proper Hearing is held according to the Law.

* Section 18.06.400(h) Appeals of the Municipal Charter is plain and simple. It says what it means and it means what it says.

II. Legal Argument

1. To put this report in perspective, the court should be made aware that Petitioner has attended virtually every Reno city council and RSCVA meeting for the last 3 years. This makes him a veritable expert on the mendacious conduct of these 2 bureaucracies.

2. This particular problem started a few years ago when the RSCVA voted to expand its Building and Parking Lot. Enough lobbyists were recruited to convince the legislature to approve a massive taxpayer-funded bond to pay for the very questionable expansion scheme.

3. These machinations caused Petitioner to become suspicious of the entire process. Notwithstanding the very questionable legality of the project, there were many critical issues that were not properly addressed during the weeks and months leading up to the Planning Commission Hearings of 14 June, 2000.

4. Therefore when the projects came before the Reno Planning Commission, Petitioner was prepared to speak extensively in opposition. And he was prepared to provide extensive information to challenge the schemes.

5. However, at the Planning hearing Petitioner was wrongfully given a measly 3 minutes to present his case while the RSCVA had virtually free reign at the podium (but that is a different issue).

6. Eight days after the Reno Planning Commission's questionable decisions, Petitioner filed his official Appeals, paid $50 for each Appeal, and officially demanded that the Law be obeyed as per the Reno Municipal Code.

7. Rather than follow the dictates of the Reno Municipal Code and set a proper Public Hearing date for this Petitioner's Appeals, and rather than mailing a notice of the hearing to the appellant-Petitioner and all others who were (previously) mailed notices of the hearing as per Reno Municipal Law, Respondents wrongfully combined Petitioner's Appeals with RSCVA Appeals (Appeals that had absolutely nothing to do with Petitioner's Appeals).

8. There was never any notification of Petitioner's Appeals, or the nature thereof, sent to the citizenry; as demanded by Law. Citizens never had any notification and had no way of knowing that Petitioner had numerous valid challenges to the RSCVA scheme.

9. This Petitioner did not let it stand there. He went beyond his call of duty and informed Respondents of their blunders at the Reno city council Public Comment podium. His efforts were scoffed at. The Respondents proceeded to break the law and the city clerk prevaricated when he stated at the 27 June, 2000 meeting; "This public hearing was properly noticed and no correspondence was received." This was a ludicrous and false statement.
And of course no correspondence was received; because notifications of Petitioner's Appeals WERE NEVER SENT OUT to the public as demanded by Law. Petitioner paid for those mailings with his filing fees. To further exacerbate an already ludicrous situation, Mr. Griffin went on to say; "The city attorney's office informed us that the public hearing is properly noticed." This was false information from the attorney and Mr. Griffin knew it to be false.

III. Conclusion
* The very simple fact is that the Reno city Law states exactly what the law says to do, and Respondents steadfastly refused to obey that Law.

* Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court issue a Writ of Mandate directing Respondents to . . .

1. Vacate all actions taken (or approved) on these two issues by Respondent and order that proper and legal Hearings be scheduled and convened after all legal notices are properly mailed and filed according to the Law of the Municipal Charter; Section 18.06.400 (h) Appeals.

2. Punish the Respondent perpetrators to the fullest extent of the Law.
3. And order costs and damages paid to the Petitioner as per Law

DATED this __10th__ day of __July__, 2000.

297 Smithridge
Reno, Nevada 89502
(775) 825-1398

___Sam D. Dehne___
Petitioner Appeal of 23 June, 2000
Section 18.06.400 (h) Appeals (from Reno Municipal Charter)
Appeal letter (of RSCVA Appeal) that was received


SAM DENIS DEHNE, deposes and says:

1. He is a citizen of the city of Reno and the county of Washoe, Nevada.

2. He is deeply concerned with government problems in Reno, Nevada.

3. He is the author of the attached Writ of Mandamus filed against
CHARLES McNEELY (city manager), DONALD
COOK (city clerk) - Respondents in the instant matters.

4. He has posted the Writ of Mandate to the Internet at:

5. Further affiant sayeth naught.
DATED this __10th__ day of __July__ 2000.
___Sam D. Dehne___
this____ day of _______, 2000

From Reno Gazette newspaper:
Papers filed (By Sam Dehne) to nullify approved expansion of Convention Center
By John Stearns
Reno Gazette-Journal
Tuesday July 25th, 2000
Reno citizen Sam Dehne has filed papers
in Washoe District Court asking a judge to
nullify Reno City Council actions in June
that approved expansion of the
Reno-Sparks Convention Center and
construction of a new parking lot for the center.
Dehne alleged that his appeal to the council of Reno Planning Commission
recommendations to approve the projects was improperly noticed. He wants
Judge Brent Adams in a writ of mandate to order proper and legal hearings be
scheduled on his appeals and writes that “the court should recommend the
RSCVA cease and desist from any project activity until after a proper hearing is
held. . . .”
RSCVA is moving forward on the project. On Aug. 1, it will request bids for the
center’s construction. It already has received bids for building the parking lot and
on Thursday the board will vote on giving that contract to Granite Construction.
Dehne’s petition for a writ of mandate names the Reno City Council, mayor Jeff
Griffin, city manager Charles McNeely and city clerk Donald Cook as
City spokeswoman Sharon Spangler said the judge has not asked for a response
to Dehne’s petition, “so it would be inappropriate for us to really talk about it.”
Typically respondents have 10 days after being served the petition to respond. In
this case, a court official said the city would have until July 31 to
respond. After that, Dehne can file a response and the package is submitted to
the judge for a decision.
Dehne has repeatedly said that the project warrants an environmental impact
study, saying the larger center, in part, will create adverse traffic and safety
impacts on surrounding neighborhoods, including his. He also objects to the
parking lot across Peckham Lane from the center, saying that pedestrian safety
cannot be protected by a traffic signal at Peckham and Coliseum Way. He said a
pedestrian underpass would be better.
Dehne said he filed two appeals on June 23 to the June 14 Planning Commission
decisions approving the RSCVA projects. At the June 27 City Council meeting,
an RSCVA appeal of a Planning Commission recommendation for a parking lot
fence was noticed. The city was advised then that the notice of RSCVA’s appeal
was enough to cover all appeals.
Dehne objected to the city’s handling of his case during public comment, but
was not present when the council later addressed his appeal.
Dehne wrote that without individual notice of his appeal and mailing notices of his
appeal to all others who were mailed notices of the hearing, as required, “citizens
had no way of knowing that (he) had filed appeals against these (Planning
Commission) decisions . . . for entirely different reasons than the RSCVA.”
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