John Barrette: Hot stuff takes center stage in governance |

John Barrette: Hot stuff takes center stage in governance

John Barrette

The Hot Club of Carson City and the Hot Club of Cowtown fused in consciousness for me at week’s end, as well as for the brains of the operation around our house.

My workweek concluded with the Board of Supervisors choosing Carson City’s next city manager after a five-month process that was beauty to behold. Government often wheezes and clanks, as it should and must in a democratic format, but when it works in open and rational ways to make public decisions — both because of and despite politics — it becomes the greatest spectator sport in the world.

Watching and hearing this latest wheeze and clank in governing was akin to taking in a performance by a jazzy musical group such as the Hot Club of France, the Hot Club of San Francisco, or the Texas-based Hot Club of Cowtown.

My wife, Jean — the aforementioned brains at my household — liked the selection made by the Board of Supervisors.

Mayor Robert Crowell may be right when he says Carson City wouldn’t have gone wrong with any of the five finalists for the community’s top executive post. But the unanimous choice was former Marine Corps Col. Nick Marano.

Jean, community-spirited everywhere she has lived, looked the five candidates over at an informal city reception about a month ago. I told her Friday evening before we went to the Genoa Cowboy Festival to hear the Hot Club of Cowtown that Marano got the job and Jim Nichols, former No. 2 guy in Midland, Texas, and Las Vegas city management, was the runner-up. She said those had been her first two choices.

Jean, who met Marano and his wife at the reception, said it was brilliant for the couple to attend together and displayed insight into the community.

Personally, I haven’t a clue as to whether Marano will work out; no one knows the future, not even Jean. The selection process, however, was as glorious to a lifetime politics/government watcher as was the performance Friday night in Genoa by the Hot Club of Cowtown, a favorite group that plays cowboy-jazz-swing music with special verve.

Now let’s cap this reverie with an observation from the interviews for city manager during Friday’s board meeting.

Fire Chief Stacey Giomi, a local candidate for the post, and Marano, set to be his next boss, both cited Henry Ford, the late automaker, while making points to the board.

Giomi cited Ford for saying that coming together is a beginning, keeping together progress, but working together is success. Marano, to make a different point, noted Ford said once that if he asked some customers their desires, they would tell him they wanted a faster horse. My take? Both good things to bear in mind.