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Carson names interim city manager

Jill Keller, Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City supervisors on Thursday named Andy Burnham, currently the city’s Development Services director, as interim city manager.

Burnham’s appointment officially begins Feb. 1. He expects to keep the title for two to three months before city officials select a permanent replacement.

City Manager John Berkich will leave Carson to be assistant manager of Washoe County at the end of the month.

Burnham, 52, who has filled in for Berkich in the past, said he is unsure if he will seek the job permanently.

“I don’t (want the position) at this time, but you never say never,” Burnham said. “I would have to see if it fits with my future plans.”

The salary range for city manager was approved during contract negotiations this year at $99,000 to $107,700 a year. Supervisors also added an incentive for Berkich to make an additional $19,500 by accomplishing 10 work goals, including economic development, improving community relations and pushing construction of the Carson City Highway 395 bypass.

It has not been determined whether Burnham will receive a temporary increase in pay as interim city manager.

Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko said the selection of Burnham will assure a smooth transition from when Berkich leaves and a permanent city manager is hired.

“I think, I and the board felt he had the background and the skills to manage the city on an interim basis,” Masayko said.

Masayko and Supervisor Pete Livermore have been appointed to the steering committee and will work with the city’s personnel office to review the job description and set out an action plan and tentative budget for the recruitment process. The committee plans to report back to the Board of Supervisors at its next meeting Jan. 16, Masayko said.

Supervisors agreed Thursday to search for a permanent city manager by first looking in Nevada and eastern California and will not hire outside consultants to help, Masayko said.

The city hired Burnham as the capital projects manager, moved him into a slot as its engineering service manager then named him development services director in July 2000.

His experience includes working as the community development director in Douglas County before becoming a partner in an engineering firm, where he did the majority of the work that went into drafting a master plan for Douglas County.

Burnham plans to continue projects already in progress during the next few months in his temporary position, he said.

“Probably the biggest issue is the continuation of trying to move the freeway forward,” he said.

The budget finalization process for the upcoming fiscal year will also present a challenge because it is “particularly troublesome” this year with declining sales tax revenues, Burnham said.

He also plans to continue working with Douglas County to resolve issues surrounding a protest Carson filed against the sale of public land in northern Douglas County.

The father of three grown children, Burnham lives in Minden with his wife, Katy, a teacher. If he applied and was appointed as the permanent city manager, Burnham expects he would move to Carson, he said.