Ask Joe: Is Sparks mayor impacted by term limit ruling?

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Updated: 3/07/2014 6:53 pm
The Reno mayor's race and the issue of term limits have been hot button issues lately.  One of our viewers has a question about the issue.
Terry Tiernay wrote in asking about the recent Nevada Supreme Court ruling on term limits. Her question is since the Sparks mayor
started on the city council in 1999, why was he allowed to file to run for another term as mayor ? 

Sparks Mayor Geno Martini has filed to run for another term.
He does have a long history as an elected leader in Sparks.
He was first appointed to the Sparks City Council in 1999.  He was then elected in 2001 and re-elected in 2004.
   He was appointed mayor in 2005 when then-Mayor Tony Armstrong died. 
Martini was then elected to a full term in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.
I checked with Adam Mayberry at Sparks City Hall about this. The difference they tell me is  that the Sparks city charter clearly differentiates the positions of city council and mayor.   In Sparks,  the mayor does not vote unlike in Reno.
What happened in Reno is there was some ambiguity in the city charter that led to a lawsuit and the Nevada Supreme Court decided term limited council members cannot run for mayor.
   In Sparks, the charter is clear that mayor and council are two different parts of the city government.   So Mayor Martini is allowed to run for a third term as mayor, even though he did serve a stint on the city council.

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