City Manager Larry Werner resigned effective Dec. 19 in a letter this week to Mayor Robert Crowell, voicing regret but saying in an interview that retirement and travel beckon.
Werner, 65, has led Carson City’s government departments and staff since Feb. 7, 2008. He called it a wonderful experience he wouldn’t have traded for anything. He wasn’t sure whether Deputy City Manager Marena Works would apply for his job. When reached, Works said she wasn’t ready to make a decision on that yet.
The mayor Tuesday said Werner “was pressed into service at a difficult time in our community” and credited him with helping keep the quality of life as intact as possible through an economic downturn.
“He was able to put those pieces together,” said Crowell, asserting it was done without as many problems as in other communities.
The mayor said he plans at the first Board of Supervisors meeting in November to recommend a nationwide search for a replacement, though he isn’t averse to vetting someone local for the position during that process.
“We need to cast a wide net,” Crowell said.
Werner, meanwhile, said he was leaving a strong management team and city staff in place.
“Although I do feel some regret in making this decision at this time,” he said, “I have no concerns about the management of the city.”
He praised the staff, department director and elected officials.
“I want to especially thank the Board of Supervisors for their support and for the contribution to the overall, positive direction for the city, its citizens and its visitors,” he wrote the mayor.
In an interview, he cited family considerations and retirement options that include travel. Werner recalled with fondness his first trip ever to Europe last summer, plans for another to Alaska next year and the opportunity to go “snowbirding” with his spouse, Marie, in their travel trailer.
“We love travel,” he said. “We love river cruising.” He said the European trip, for example, included a cruise on the Danube River.
Werner also said he had a health scare earlier this year that turned out to be no long-term problem, but got him thinking. He said he is likely to return to do more in his hobby of gunsmithing, but probably won’t fashion it into a full-blown business. He said he may later seek consulting work in his field of civil engineering.
A graduate of Carson High School and the University of Nevada, Reno, Werner is a registered civil engineer and land surveyor in Nevada and Washington state, as well as a registered water rights surveyor in Nevada.
His government career includes stints as a public works director, a state public health engineer and water quality permits officer, city engineer, as well as an assistant and interim city manager whose capstone in public life was as Carson City’s manager.
Both his letter of resignation and a news release put out by City Hall noted that his lack of concern about the city’s management going forward was due to “the best staff, department directors and elected officials that I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with.”
In his disclosure statement filed early this year, Werner listed his compensation as $140,169. With additional benefits, he said Tuesday, it was nearly $200,000 in value.