Anjeanette Damon and Chanelle Bessette from the Reno Gazette-Journal will interview Mayor Geno Martini and Councilman Ed Lawson regarding the City of Sparks, its relationships with the City of Reno and Washoe County as well as the various challenges that our community faces.

Anjeanette Damon is the government watchdog reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal.  She has been covering local, state and national politics in Nevada for more than 15 years.  She is a graduate of the Reynolds School of Journalism at UNR and has a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


Chanelle Bessette joined the Reno Gazette-Journal this past March, where she covers such topics as real estate, local government, economic development and community news for the city of Sparks.  Before joining the newspaper, she wrote about business and technology for Fortune and Forbes.  She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno honors program in 2013 with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and English.


Mayor Geno Martini has served as the City’s 24th Mayor since February, 2005.  Mr. Martini is currently the longest-serving mayor of Sparks.  As Mayor, Mr. Martini presides over the state’s fifth largest city.  Under Mayor Martini’s tenure, the City has seen an additional one million square feet of retail businesses open.  He has guided the City during the highest growth periods ever, along with the most tumultuous economic challenges.

Mayor Martini presides over the Truckee Meadows Water Authority and serves on the Board of Directors for the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities, and the Board of Directors of the Truckee River Flood Management Authority.  Mr. Martini  serves on several other boards, including the Western Regional Water Commission. 

Mr. Martini is a life-long resident of Sparks, graduating from Sparks High School as Student Body President in 1964, and is a graduate of the University of Nevada.  In 2009, he was inducted into the Sparks High School Hall of Fame.  He retired in 2005, following a 30-year career in the banking industry. 

Mayor Martini has received many awards and accolades most recently the 2014 Politician of the Year Award presented annually by the Human Services Network.  Other awards have included the Sparks Chamber Citizen of the Year Award and its Lifetime Achievement Award.  He has been awarded the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Hope Award and the Nevada Chapter of Associated General Contractors SIR Award (Skill, Integrity and Responsibility.)  He is active in a number of civic organizations including serving on the Board of Governors of Northern Nevada Medical Center and is the past president of the Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

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Ed Lawson was elected to the City Council in November, 2010 and reelected in 2014.  He was born in Sunnyside, WA, and grew up in Las Vegas, NV.  He attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.  Councilman Lawson worked for the Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) for 15 years, holding positions in sales and management and served on the organization's government relations committee.  He is active in the Sparks Rotary Club and volunteers time to the community.  A champion of economic development, Councilman Lawson also plays a significant leadership role with the annual Kid's Free Fishing Day, which attracts more than 3,000 kids to the Sparks Marina.  In 2014, he was recognized as the Public Official of the Year by the Builders Association of Northern Nevada.  Mr. Lawson and his wife Dianne have two sons who graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno.


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