Officials call Stark a '10' as Lyon County manager

By Karen Woodmansee

Appeal Staff Writer

Lyon County Manager Dennis Stark received a vote of confidence from the county commission after six months on the job.

Though he acknowledged the need to establish future goals for Stark, Commissioner Bob Milz said he was satisfied with the job Stark has done.

"In my opinion on a scale of 1 to 10, you are a 10," he said. "You get along with staff, keep us informed. You did a fantastic job on the budget and we are pleased you are here."

Commissioner Larry McPherson, who admitted to disagreeing with Stark, was more reticent.

"He's OK, I'm not really going to say anymore," he said. "I think he's doing a commendable job. Fortunately his is able to work with staff."

Stark was direct in his response. "Can I unpack?" he asked.

Referring to the disagreements with McPherson, Stark said it was only natural there would be conflict between him and the commissioners occasionally.

"I wasn't hired to be a 'yes man' for the commission," he said. "We're going to butt heads. We're going to have issues and we're not always going to agree."

He said he appreciated the consideration that has been given him and that his input has been valued.

Stark listed among things he worked on that he was proud of during the past six months were the way county personnel handled the Fernley flood; the success of the Extreme Makeover Home Edition Show; the Highway 50 corridor study' water issues; Silver Springs General Improvement District and the Silver Springs Airport issues; the jail problem; the lands bill; the Silver City Schoolhouse Community Center; employee forums; and the 2008-2009 budget process.

"It's been a learning experience," he said. "Me getting used to you and you getting used to me. It's a real team effort and we have a well-functioning organization."

He said everything he and his family learned about the county on several trips has proven correct.

"We enjoy it," he said. "It's exciting and it's been an eventful six months but we feel we made some progress."

Stark said the county staff was "second to none" and made his job easier.

"I will be first to admit everyone makes mistakes," he said. "It's owning up to them and making the best of a situation that positive results can occur."

Stark, who was hired Sept. 17, 2007, will not be eligible to receive a salary adjustment until he has been on the job for one year, according to Human Resources Director Steve Englert.

Commissioner LeRoy Goodman said he found working with Stark enjoyable, and received good comments from Fernley officials about their dealings with the county manager.

Commissioner Phyllis Hunewill characterized the budget process as the smoothest one in 10 years and said it reflected on Stark's ability to work with staff.

"Even the people in Silver City like him," Milz said. "That's a plus."

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.


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