Works selected for interim post
Deputy City Manager Marena Works was named Thursday to serve as Carson City’s interim city manager beginning the day after Larry Werner’s retirement Dec. 19.
The Board of Supervisors’ decision, which capped a meeting on issues ranging from labor contracts and Animal Services to dialogue about a sales-tax hike for capital projects, had been expected despite the option of applicants for the interim post not on city staff.
“I would be honored to do this if that’s your decision today,” Works said before the vote.
“We need consistency,” said Supervisor John McKenna. “We don’t need disruption now.”
Mayor Robert Crowell told Robert Van Nort of Gardnerville, an applicant with extensive experience as both an interim and permanent city manager, that he had an impressive résumé and thanked him for applying.
Van Nort said he offered his services to provide the board an alternative. The other interim applicant, Tom Stone of Genoa, didn’t appear to be on hand.
In earlier meetings, the board decided the interim city manager won’t be considered as Werner’s replacement and retained Ralph Andersen & Associates of Rocklin, Calif., to help city government’s human resources department find a pool of candidates. The process is expected to take about three months.
Fire Chief Stacey Giomi has said he might consider applying to become city manager.
He awaits determination of the profile and pay package. He also is pondering personal aspects of his next move because he is completing 30 years service with the city soon.
Giomi was on hand Thursday morning when the board took up labor contract extensions for his employees and shorter-term pacts with other city workers.
He and Bob Schreihans, a captain and paramedic who is the firefighters association president, were on hand to answer questions about the proposed extension.
Schreihans said extending the 3 percent pay-hike pact through mid-2020 provides longer-term direction and stability during a time of change, noting Werner’s leave-taking and other possible alterations in the top echelon of city staff.
Finance Director Nick Providenti said the firefighters’ cost in the out years after 2017 would be $570,000.
He also said the cost for a similar extension involving the Fire Department Classified Chief Officers Association would be $61,000 in those out years.
Providenti said agreements reached with most others on city staff, which cover current and coming years, would have a $3 million price tag but had already been built into the budget.
“We project without (tax) hikes, we can cover these for five years,” Providenti said.
Only Lori Bagwell, a declared candidate for supervisor in next year’s elections, questioned approving the contracts.
“According to statistics,” she said, “the average (city) home declined in value from $215,000 in 2011 to $150,000 in 2012, or a 30 percent decrease.” Taxpayers are laboring under recent increases in sewer, water and other fees as well, Bagwell said.
McKenna said Bagwell made some good points, but staff has assured the board sufficient revenues will come in to cover the moves, and he lauded firefighters for being reasonable.
“What’s the purpose of Carson City?” McKenna asked rhetorically. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s public safety.”
In other action, the board gave first-reading approval to changes in the Animal Services ordinance defining strays and making five days the period before a stray dog or cat becomes the city’s property if an owner hasn’t appeared. The changes were sparked in part by the euthanasia last summer of a dog after the owner came forward but couldn’t pay fees to recover her pet.
Another vote will be needed to finalize the changes.