Her experience in Nevada and knowledge of state and local issues easily convinced Carson City supervisors Thursday to select Linda Ritter of Elko as the city's next manager.
"She's a Nevadan," said Supervisor Shelly Aldean. "She can hit the ground running."
Ritter said she was thrilled and excited when she was called back to the meeting after her hourlong interview with the board. She plans to start work in Carson on June 15.
The board and Ritter quickly settled on terms for her employment, which are a starting salary of $94,050, with an automatic pay bonus in December of $4,950 and a $3,000 vehicle allowance.
Ritter will have a 180-day probationary period, during which she will be paid $23,512, or three months' pay, if the board terminates her. If she remains past her probationary period, she will be bumped up to a $99,000 a year salary with the potential to earn a 20 percent "pay-per-performance" bonus. Ritter earns $83,666 as city manager of Elko.
Ritter said she plans to live in Carson City. "I would have it no other way," she said.
Her first order of business, after meeting with board members and staff to establish "visions" for her work, will be to start financial projections for the city.
"I will probably be taking a look at doing short-term revenue projections," Ritter said.
She also plans to work with the city's committee on economic vitality and look for ways to lure retail. "I think we need to do it," she said.
Ritter was ranked as top candidate by all board members, with David Fraser of Beliot, Kan., second, and Jim Palenick of Bay City, Mich., third.
Several supervisors said they liked Fraser, but his experience level was not equal.
Supervisor Richard Staub said Palenick was "well-seasoned" for the job, but there was no need to go across the country "when one of the top candidates is from Nevada."
"Linda Ritter is the correct selection for Carson City," Mayor Ray Masayko said. "Her ability to move into the job was clearly superior to the other candidates. This is a good career move for her and certainly a good choice for Carson City."
Ritter, a Reno native, grew up working in her family business, Industrial Wood Products, there. She graduated in 1980 with a bachelor's degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, in business administration with an emphasis on economics.
She has spent the past 20 years working in Elko government, first for the county then for the city. She currently is city manager and chief financial officer.
Elko has watched revenues decline for the past five years and faces many of the same budgetary issues as Carson. Ritter has served for many years on a technical advisory committee to the state Legislature dealing with taxation issues.
Ritter told the board she plans to be in Carson for a long time.
"I don't move a lot," she said. " I believe in committing to an organization. I feel that consistency is really important for an organization."