Lyon County manager candidates looking forward to interviews

Lyon County is facing a lot of the same challenges as Washoe County, and that's one of the things that convinced Jerry McKnight to apply for the position of Lyon County manager.

McKnight, Washoe County's finance and operations manager for the Department of Water Resources, said he did have some concerns about the way the job became vacant.

"It concerns me, especially the fact that it hasn't been resolved totally," he said, adding those concerns didn't keep him from being optimistic about the job.

In fact, McKnight applied for Lyon's county manager position in 2004, but was passed over in favor of Donna Kristaponis, then of Las Vegas.

Media reports at the time indicate Commission Chairman Phyllis Hunewill expressed support for McKnight over Kristaponis, but in the end the vote was unanimous.

Kristaponis was fired on Feb. 15 on a 3-2 vote by the commissioners, who then immediately voted to hire Bob Hadfield as interim county manager. They have been advertising for a permanent county manager since.

County Commissioners Phyllis Hunewill, Bob Milz and Don Tibbals voted to oust Kristaponis while Larry McPherson and LeRoy Goodman were opposed.

McKnight saw a lot of potential for accomplishment in the opening.

"The fact that it's a manger position," he said. "It's one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, let alone the state, and there are a lot of opportunities for making a difference in the growth and future of that area."

McKnight, a resident of Fallon who was Nye County manager, also said Lyon County was a good place to live.

Lyon County Commissioners will hold candidate interviews at 1:30 p.m. during it's regular meeting Thursday.

"I have friends there and go fishing there a lot," he said. "I'll know more after Thursday."

Ronald Stock, another of the candidates for county manager, will be arriving in Nevada today, but already feels he has a grasp of the county.

"I thought it's a nice place to live and raise a family," he said, adding it would be a step up in his career.

Stock is the city manager of Leesburg, Fla. At the same time he has been a faculty member at Florida State University, where he teaches public management.

He said Lyon County officials have provided him with financial information about the county so he could familiarize himself with its situation.

"That gave me a little understanding about how the government is set up," he said. "I'll learn more as I am in the community."

Lionel Bushey II, city administrator for Eagle River, Wis., said "location, location, location" was what interested him about the position.

"I've been in the general area, Carson City, Reno Sparks," he said. "Also, it's an advancement; a little bit more of a challenge than where I am right now."

Bushey was a finalist for the Nye County manager job that went to Barbara Blumenfield.

He said he was aware of what happened with Kristaponis.

"It's always a concern," he said. "I'm a career administrator, so you have to deal with those things."

He was optimistic about his chances, saying if he wasn't qualified, he wouldn't be there.

"The part that has to happen now is, is there a good fit," he said. "Are we going to click, that's the bottom line."

The fourth candidate, William Jon Caime, current county administrator in Hart County, Ga., could not be reached for comment.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.

If you go

WHAT: Lyon County Commission meeting

WHEN: 9 a.m. Thursday

WHERE: 27 S. Main St., Yerington

CALL: (775) 463-6531


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