Reno voters have twice (2012 & 2016) elected Jenny Brekhus to the Ward 1 Council seat. Jenny has been focused on how cities work for nearly her entire life; when she was growing up in northern California, her father was mayor/council member of her hometown. This experience encouraged her to pursue a graduate degree in city planning and to work for three cities prior to pursuing elected office.
In 1998, Jenny and her husband, Armando Ornelas, were drawn to Reno as a western city situated where the mountains meet the desert. They settled into their adopted hometown and started a family. They have one daughter, Eliana who plans on attending college in New Hampshire.
Since she was elected during the Great Recession, Jenny’s first term focus was restoring the City’s fiscal well-being. She advocated for the adoption of financial safeguards and prudent fiscal policies to make the city more resilient for the next downturn. Jenny championed the preparation of a city master plan and downtown action plan to guide growth and investment decisions.
Jenny’s second term focus involves implementation of the Reno Master Plan including a needed overhaul of the zoning and subdivision ordinances. Both as a City Council member and as a Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Governing Board Member and Truckee Meadows Water Authority Board Member, Jenny is a leader in efforts to address the region’s infrastructure shortfalls and housing affordability/supply challenges in this period of robust growth.
Jenny holds dual masters’ degrees from the University of New Mexico in public administration and community and regional planning. Her Bachelor of Arts (classics major) is from the University of California, Berkeley.
She enjoys outdoor recreational activities in all seasons and processing the homegrown bounty of her family’s backyard garden. Jenny mostly likes to stay at home and read with her cat by her side, but is sometimes coaxed by her husband to go out to hear loud live music.
- Building Enterprise Fund Advisory Committee
- Civil Service Commission
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Subcommittee
- Financial Advisory Board
- Historical Resources Commission
- Regional Planning Governing Board
- Special Events Subcommittee
- Truckee Meadows Water Authority