City of Reno

Staff Report

1 Staff Report (For Possible Action): Review, discussion and potential direction to staff regarding the Anti-Graffiti Task Force Report and Recommendations.


Department:City Manager - Neighborhood ServicesSponsors:
Category:Status Update

Recommendation and Proposed Motion

Recommendation: The Anti-Graffiti Task Force and staff recommend Council accept the staff report and request the City Manager to utilize more than 2 hours of staff time to determine the feasibility and financial impacts of the recommendations contained herein.


Proposed Motion: I move to accept the staff report and request the City Manager to assign staff time to determine the feasibility and financial impacts of the contained recommendations.

Staff Report Formal Body

Summary: The Council-appointed Anti-Graffiti Task Force, after meeting and conferring for the past 6 months, has produced the attached report and recommendations in an effort to combat the economic and social impacts of graffiti.


Background: In the spring of 2013, a concerned number of Reno citizens, property and business owners approached the City Council to express concerns that graffiti in our community had reached a “tipping point.”  On June 19, 2013, the Council formed the Anti-Graffiti Task Force for the purposes of evaluating the City’s graffiti problem, and to prepare recommendations on best practices to mitigate graffiti through enforcement, education and eradication. The Anti-Graffiti Task Force met regularly between August of 2013 and February of 2014.


Discussion: The attached report and recommendations were constructed through considerable deliberation and discussion regarding the current state of graffiti in the Reno area, national best practices, and an emphasis on a three-pronged approach of enforcement, education and eradication. Throughout the process, Task Force members heard from some of the leading experts in graffiti enforcement and education before determining which recommendations would be most impactful on the graffiti issues facing the City. In the end, the Task Force provided 11 recommendations aligned in the three categories listed below:



·         Initiate a formal relationship with a non-profit for the establishment of an education campaign.

·         Develop a comprehensive education campaign targeted at two primary audiences: the general public for awareness and the identified at-risk population who may be tempted to engage in graffiti activity.

·         Utilize the Office of Communications and Community Engagement (OCCE) to conduct media outreach to the citizens of Reno

·         Identify programmatic changes to arts and culture efforts and increase legal offerings to young adults who might engage in graffiti activities.



·         Re-establish the Graffiti Enforcement Team (GET) within the Reno Police Department.

·         Utilize a Bill Draft Request (BDR) to make changes to existing Nevada laws on graffiti.



·         Conduct an annual graffiti count in cooperation with the University of Nevada, utilizing a true research approach, to establish yearly baseline conditions.

·         Incorporate graffiti eradication provisions into City construction projects and franchise agreements.

·         Obtain property clean-up waivers from property owners and do so as a regular course of business.

·         Strengthen and coordinate a robust “Adopt-A-Block” program.

·         Explore the feasibility of establishing a volunteer citizen over-watch team to assist in enforcement and eradication.


Financial Implications: Determining exact financial implications are difficult without first determining which, if any, of the recommendations will be adopted by Council.  While there are hard dollar costs associated with the education campaign and the re-establishment of the GET Team, there are additional soft dollar costs associated with the many of the other recommendations.  Additionally, there are some recommendations that likely will involve little or no cost to the City.

Legal Implications: None at this time.

Meeting History

Apr 16, 2014 3:00 PM Video Reno City Council Joint Special

Aric Shapiro, 1995 Dickerson, representing Reno Artworks, said that he participated in a few of the Anti-Graffiti Task Force (Task Force) meetings, and discussed Reno Artworks' projects, and their interest in developing and implementing an arts education program with the intention of mitigating the proliferation of graffiti in Reno and increasing community pride through public arts and education.

Deputy Chief Mac Venzon, Reno Police Department, thanked the Council, Task Force members and staff for their hard work and dedication, and stated that a comprehensive report and set of recommendations had been developed for the Council's consideration.

Tray Abney, Vice Chair of the Anti-Graffiti Task Force, presented the report.

Council Member Delgado thanked everyone for their contributions to the process, and discussed the need to consider fully funding the City's anti-graffiti efforts during the upcoming budget process.

Discussion ensued regarding the 'at risk population' identified by the Task Force; educating children about the negative effects of graffiti before they begin tagging activities; the process and rationale for drafting a potential Legislative Bill Draft Request (BDR) to strengthen anti-graffiti laws; ways of utilizing the political structure inside the community to get the necessary changes before the Legislature without the City having to submit a BDR; restrictions for the use of fees collected from graffiti fines; the possibility of recruiting high school civics students and University of Reno, Nevada (UNR) fraternities and sororities to participate in the Adopt-A-Block program; including along with a property owner's sewer, utility or Business License invoices a waiver allowing the City to abate graffiti on their property whenever it occurs; budgetary issues related to allocating a police officer to work with the graffiti program, and funding (perhaps $25,000) to initiate an education campaign in cooperation with an agency such as Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB); encouraging the general public to get involved in the process by calling in graffiti, helping to clean up graffiti, and talking with neighbors about the issues; defining the difference between graffiti and art as 'permission'; negative economic impacts of graffiti; possibility of keeping the Anti-Graffiti Task Force intact; need for a facilitator of the anti-graffiti effort; role of the education process in helping citizens know how they can help with the graffiti removal process; role the Neighborhood Advisory Boards (NABs) previously played in the City's anti-graffiti efforts (used their City-allocated funds to purchase flash cameras, sponsor neighborhood clean ups, etc.); and the continued relevancy of the report prepared by the Anti-Graffiti Task Force.

The Council upheld the staff recommendation.

MOVER:Oscar Delgado, Council Member
SECONDER:Sharon Zadra, Council Member
AYES:Robert Cashell, Jenny Brekhus, Sharon Zadra, Oscar Delgado, Neoma Jardon, Hillary Schieve
ABSENT:Dwight Dortch