Ritter can keep job; mayor’s wife resigns | NevadaAppeal.com

Ritter can keep job; mayor’s wife resigns

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Linda Ritter can keep her job as Carson City’s manager, if she chooses, but that news didn’t stem the next wave of drama to roll through City Hall: Liz Teixeira, wife of Mayor Marv Teixeira, resigned early Wednesday morning.

“Yes, I’m still employed,” Ritter said. “And we have a lot of work to do.”

Ritter confirmed that Liz Teixeira, the city’s community relations officer and a city employee for 18 years, gave notice that her last day with the city would be July 25.

Teixeira didn’t provide a reason for resigning and isn’t required to do so. She sent an e-mail stating her intention to Ritter and Ann Silver, the city’s Human Resources director, before 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Ritter had recently decided to shift Teixeira’s duties, requiring her to work 24 hours a week in the Human Resources Department coordinating the city’s new employee Health and Wellness Program.

The move was one of several staff reassignments made by Ritter that she said would save money and provide funds to fund a full-time auditor for the city.

“Under my contract, I have the ability to assign manpower,” Ritter said. “We’re able to do this to save money.”

Efforts to reach Liz Teixeira Wednesday were unsuccessful. The mayor said he wouldn’t comment for his wife.

The mayor also had little to say about Ritter retaining her job.

“Linda (Ritter) works for the board; we work for the citizens of the community,” he said. “But when you’re working for five bosses, it can be difficult.”

The news that Ritter would be allowed to keep her job came after a closed-door meeting held late Wednesday morning with the district attorney’s office, the supervisors’ legal counsel. District Attorney Neil Rombardo said the meeting was related to “potential litigation.”

“No one indicated there were misactions or improprieties,” on Ritter’s part, said Supervisor Robin Williamson following the meeting. “We all want the best for the community and hopefully we’ll all work together to get it.”

Rumors had been rampant in city offices that Ritter had been asked to resign because of the way she was handling the budget cuts, but the mayor and supervisors refused to confirm that.

Some members of the Board of Supervisors said there’s plenty of work still to do, especially when it comes to addressing budget concerns.

The city’s $117.6 million budget is $600,000 in the red, and the funding gap needs to be removed during this fiscal year, which began July 1.

The city manager didn’t say Wednesday whether she planned to stay in the job to accomplish that.

“I may do things people won’t like,” she said. “But I have been instructed to fix the deficit.”

Part of her plan to do that included the staff reassignments.

One example is the citizen outreach coordinator. It started out as a full-time position, but as a way to keep down overall operating costs, the person in the job, Javier Ramirez, was also assigned to coordinate the city’s Community Development Block Grant program.

And one of the office managers in the executive office at City Hall has also taken on Web-related responsibilities that had been the duty of a Sheriff’s Department employee, Ritter said.

In Liz Teixeira’s case, she would have spent 16 hours each week performing the duties from her previous job description, which included coordinating the activities of Partnership Carson City, a group that focuses on local efforts to eliminate the use of methamphetamine. The rest of her time would have been handling the health and wellness program, mandated by the city’s insurance carrier, St. Mary’s HealthFirst.

Ritter said it is important for the city to have a full-time auditor, rather than the half-time position currently in place.

Sue Johnson, the city’s new finance director and the former internal auditor, recommended the job be expanded and funded full time. This would allow that new employee to continue financial performance auditing and add financial oversight duties which, in turn, would help control the budget.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

For your information

Carson City Manager Linda Ritter was hired in June 2003. Visit http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20070711/NEWS/107110064 and look under the Web Extras section to read minutes from Board of Supervisors meetings regarding her job performance.