Scene in Passing: Several scenes from the shifting sands of time

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Reflections and tidbits capture our fancy today, along with two questions, as scenes here and elsewhere keep passing like grains of sand in an hourglass.

Carson City’s Board of Supervisors did itself proud in establishing a pristine process for selecting the next city manager. It ought to abrogate bogus assumptions that a small cadre runs the city and each decision is a “done deal” around here.

Whether a local, regional or national candidate for the post wins the questionable prize, residents ought to know the hunt was legitimate. The profile of whom to seek and a pay package range have yet to be established, but process decisions up to now have proven top drawer. The prize, by the way, is questionable because a city manager always sits in the community hot seat. It takes a rare breed to succeed.

Deputy City Manager Marena Works also deserves kudos for stepping up to be interim city manager. Her decision to do so and forgo, at least for now, seeking the permanent top post speaks well of her political and governmental insight and skills. The interim prize is even more questionable because it is warming the hot seat, to mix metaphors, for someone else. Good on ya, Works.

Good on ya, also, to Ande Engleman and your Ethics Ordinance Review Committee crew. Engleman was the chairperson of the temporary panel that spent considerable time and energy reviewing a local ethics ordinance, then recommended it be scrapped in favor of state law on the same subject. The panel also stressed ethics training for elected officials and staff.

Next, the tidbits and questions.

Cindy Hannah is taking over as Animal Services manager at $63,440 annually, according to Nikki Aaker, city Health & Human Services director. Hannah, the HHS chronic disease prevention and health promotion manager until now, will earn about $7,500 less than the incoming library director next year and $10,000 less than the library’s interim chief, who is the deputy director.

Does that mean that, in Carson City, library books and technology have an edge over stray cats and dogs on that wind up on the streets or in the pound? Book are beloved to this writer, but doggone.

In the orgy of coverage about President Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago and the sesquicentennial of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, nowhere did I hear mention of the fact the address was given 100 years and three days prior to JFK’s assassination. Maybe these orgies require such dates match up perfectly. Given that:

Did you know JFK’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, obscured news of the deaths by natural causes that same day of two stellar authors from Great Britain?

One was Aldous Huxley, who penned “Brave New World” and “The Doors of Perception.” The other was C.S. Lewis, author of “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at


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