Carson city manager quits job after 12 years |

Carson city manager quits job after 12 years

Jill Keller, Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City Manager John Berkich will leave his job next month to take an assistant manager’s position in Washoe County, he said Friday.

His official resignation came during a closed meeting with city supervisors a day earlier.

Although Carson officials made no public announcement of his resignation, Washoe officials issued a statement on Berkich’s hiring Friday afternoon.

Washoe County is a larger organization and presents “a lot of opportunities and a lot of challenges,” Berkich said, and will allow him to continue working on regional solutions for Northern Nevada.

Berkich said he isn’t sure yet if he will leave behind the giant-size jar of Tums that sits prominently on his office desk when begins his new position Feb. 3 to oversee Washoe human services and criminal-justice systems.

In the past 12 years as city manager, Berkich has been running the city, many times working nights and weekends to get projects done, city supervisors said Friday.

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“I’ve always been impressed with his energy, hard work, willingness to put in whatever hours that were necessary and his dedication to the people of Carson City,” said Mayor Ray Masayko.

Lately, Berkich has been embroiled in a land-sale protest with the Bureau of Land Management to delay Douglas County from developing a key piece of commercial property near the boundary between the two counties.

The protest has inflamed Douglas County commissioners, who have had harsh words for Berkich and Carson City.

The land sale comes at a time when Carson struggles to attract retail outlets while commercial development booms in northern Douglas County.

Berkich, who noted the Washoe County opportunity came up “rather quickly,” said he accepted the offer Thursday before meeting in a closed session with Carson supervisors for his twice-a-year evaluation. He said decided to tell supervisors right away because it was the first opportunity to relay the news.

Carson City supervisors had approved a three-year contract for Berkich in July.

He will leave after making $99,000 a year. The salary range for his new position is $102,190 to $132,641. He will be one of two assistant county managers in Washoe County.

Supervisors and Masayko said Thursday’s announcement was a surprise to most of them, although Supervisor Jon Plank said he had a gut feeling something was going to change.

“I had a couple of bones to pick with him (during the evaluation), but we never got there,” Plank said. The announcement was made before the evaluation could take place, he said. “I can only wish him the best, he served us well.”

“It’s our loss,” said Supervisor Robin Williamson. “We wish him the best.”

Supervisor Richard Staub said he believes Berkich was very professional and competent.

“He’ll be sorely missed,” Staub said. “Anyone who comes after him will have some pretty big boots to fill.”

The city will take the next month to put a transition team into place and begin the recruitment process, officials said.

Washoe County made the announcement of Berkich’s appointment Friday.

“We are very excited to have John join our team,” said County Manager Katy Singlaub. “He will be bringing the best of Carson City and the Carson Valley together to Washoe County.”