Carson City manager has busy first day

New Carson City Manager Linda Ritter and Development Services Director Andy Burnham look over paperwork on Ritter's first day at City Hall on Monday.

New Carson City Manager Linda Ritter and Development Services Director Andy Burnham look over paperwork on Ritter's first day at City Hall on Monday.

The first, most obvious change on the desk in the Carson City office of the city manager is the replacement of former manager John Berkich's economy size bottle of Tums with a new sleek flat-screen computer.

The woman who now sits behind the desk said it is one of her most important pieces of office equipment. She uses e-mail to respond to residents, city staff and the media, and uses the computer for calculations and reports.

Linda Ritter had a busy first day as the city's manager Monday, meeting with staff, department heads and getting the "hand off" of updates by interim manager Andy Burnham. The Reno native made the move from Elko, where she served for 20 years in city and county government.

Ritter left Elko as city manager and chief financial officer to take on the challenging Carson position and be closer to family, she said.

For the first two weeks, Ritter said she is looking forward to getting out to meet with staff and take a look at operations.

"To put faces to the issues, it's important to get out of the office," Ritter said.

A popular manager in Elko, Ritter said she likes Carson City's community atmosphere so far.

"Carson City still has that small-town feel that I love so much," she said.

Ritter plans to concentrate on getting oriented with current city business during the next few weeks, meeting with staff, and educating herself. She will assume "everything runs fine" at first, she said.

"I want to get to know how the organization works, how it flows," Ritter said.

She plans to meet with the Board of Supervisors and develop common visions and goals to be used for future updates to master plans, for instance, she said.

Ritter spent last weekend unpacking boxes after moving into a rental home in Carson. For the first time in a long time, Ritter spent time with her father and family without making the four-hour trip from Elko. She also planted a garden.

Her husband, Skip, a forester and safety officer for the Bureau of Land Management, will remain in Elko until employment arrangements can be made. Their son, William, 22, lives in Idaho with his wife, who is expecting their first child in July. The Ritters' daughter, Stephanie, 20, is a student at the University of Reno, Nevada.

City supervisors approved a starting salary of $94,050 for Ritter, with an automatic pay bonus in December of $4,950 and a $3,000 vehicle allowance.

She 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 Ritter 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.

Her first board meeting is Thursday.


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