Hillary Schieve

Hillary Schieve
Mayor
Reno, Nevada

Favorite Music

Loves the band KISS, not just because she grew up listening to it, but because she recently awarded the famous painted-face band members the key to the city for work they’ve done with veterans. Also has a soft spot for classical music because she was a competitive figure skater—and where would that world be without the likes of Swan Lake?

Challenge

As an entrepreneur (see below), Hillary says the city once wanted to charge her $5,000 to move a sign two feet. In the process of objecting, she was amazed at redundancy of forms and lack of city coordination she encountered. When she became mayor, she wanted to do something about it.

Solution

Early in her administration she created a program called “Business First,” where firms coming in for a license or other needs are given a single tracking number, like you’d get at FedEx to follow a package—so you and the city always know where you’re at in the process: who you spoke to last, what they said, who you need to see next. Using Accela software, the program is supervised by business relations manager Michael Chaump and based on Reno Direct, a city program that gives ordinary citizens a tracking number when they call 334 to ask questions or report problems.

Lessons Learned

People love to be treated efficiently and are likelier to start businesses in Reno, and stay there, depending on how friendly their experience is dealing with the city.

Hillary’s Background

Grew up in Reno, but moved around for her skating career—for example, to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Went to Maui for several years to expand the family jewelry business (and to warm up from all her time on the ice?). Bonus: It was the only state that allowed signing up for insurance with pre-existing conditions. That was important because Hillary had previously become very ill and had the life-changing event of a kidney transplant from her sister.

She says this in turn made her an activist for organ donations, which got her interested in fixing and improving things in her community. When as an entrepreneur she started an online collectible clothing business, and then opened two brick and mortar stores, she and several others sought the city’s help to create a vibrant district around the stores. She began going to city meetings, which was such a frustrating experience she found a silver lining: It motivated her to run for office. She was elected a city council member in 2012 and mayor in 2014.

Startling Fact

Having reason to go to the Bay Area to get her kidney transplant at Stanford, she stayed in San Francisco four years and taught figure skating with legend Dorothy Hamill.

Connect with Mayor Schieve or Michael Chaump!

CaldeiraR@Reno.gov (Hillary’s chief of staff), or ChaumpM@Reno.gov

NOT GETTING CITYPALOOZA?