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. Daughter Eliana is now a Wooster High School student.
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. Her second term focus will be upon the implementation of these plans.
Jenny is the former director of the northern section of the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association and served on the Regional Transportation Commission’s Citizen Advisory Committee. In 2003, she received the Pinecone Award for environmental excellence as a public agency representative when she worked as a planner for the City of Reno. Her involvement with her daughter’s schools include roles as a Mount Rose Elementary School parent leader and as a team support lead for Wooster High School’s track and cross country programs.
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.
- Access Advisory Committee
- Building Enterprise Fund Advisory Committee
- Financial Advisory Board
- Recreation & Parks Commission
- Regional Planning Governing Board
- Reno City Planning Commission
- Truckee Meadows Water Authority
- Ward 1 Neighborhood Advisory Board
- Washoe County Stadium Authority
- Western Regional Water Commission – TMWA appointee