Harsh challenged for council seat
In announcing his candidacy for the Reno City Council, the owner of a casting agency for commercials and other productions in northern Nevada said he’d like to see more investment in downtown Reno—more small businesses setting up shop and more area residents setting up housekeeping in downtown condos and apartments.

Zak Gilbert announced last week that he’s going to run against Toni Harsh for the Ward 1 seat on the council.

“We’ve had a lot of growth in the South Meadows and the rest of Reno. I’m anxious to see some of that investment come to downtown Reno,” Gilbert said.

The 32-year-old bought Nevada Casting Group, with offices in downtown Reno, two years ago. Though he hasn’t run for office since his college days, it’s something he said he’s always wanted to do.

Harsh was elected to the Ward 1 seat in 2000. The former Hug High School teacher and mother of four has lived in Reno since 1970. Her council record reflects continual involvement in issues of downtown redevelopment and beautification. She’s served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Historical Resources Commission, the Arts and Culture Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission and Senior Citizens Advisory Board.

Harsh is looking forward to the campaign.

“That’s what makes a race,” she said. “Having a competitor helps define the issues. It really gives the people the opportunity to evaluate the candidates.”

Four Reno City Council members will be up for reelection this year, including Harsh, At-Large Councilman Pierre Hascheff (in office since 1993), Ward 3 Councilwoman Jessica Sferrazza (elected in 2000) and Ward 5 Councilman Dave Aiazzi (elected in 1996).