Genoa offers job to interim manager

Genoans decided to select experience over potential in asking Sheryl Gonzales to shed the interim from her title and become the town's new manager.

Gonzales served as the county's events coordinator last year, focusing on Genoa's annual fundraiser, Candy Dance.

Genoa Town Board members decided to offer Gonzales the position after after a brief debate on Tuesday. Gonzales, a Foothill resident, was up against Minden resident Kimberly Petersen and Reno resident Alex Kloske in the top three.

Board member Brian Williams called Candy Dance the 900-pound gorilla in the room.

"The time when we could have trained whoever to do this is gone," he said. "Candy Dance is a big event and we're rolling the dice when we put someone in who hasn't been to Candy Dance. We're just aware of the mistakes of one of the candidates."

Board member Bill Donohoe said he felt that all the candidates were qualified.

"It's tough to figure out the best fit," he said. "But we need to think further than just comfortable. We need to find the best fit for the town and select the best qualified."

Donohoe pointed out that the town has never hired a town manager who knew how to operate Candy Dance.

"Every manager we've hired came off the street," he said.

Board member Dave Whitgob said he felt that regardless of who took the job it was up to the board to help that person succeed.

"Where that person is weak, it is up to us to step in and mentor," he said.

Chairwoman Kitty De Socio said she felt the town needed to find ways to diversify its economy so it is not so dependent on Candy Dance.

"I plan on living here the rest of my life and I want a stable town and we need a balanced person to achieve that," she said.

Genoan Lisa Bommarito opposed Gonzales' selection as town manager. She said she felt Petersen was a better candidate and that Gonzales had divided townspeople while coordinating Candy Dance.

However, resident Les Kynett pointed out than the board received nine letters of support for Gonzales.

Genoa native Bill Brooks said townspeople would never agree entirely.

"I've lived here all my life and you will never get consensus in this town for anything," he said. "If you want to have a viable self-government in Genoa, you have to have a solid revenue base or make sure Candy Dance is successful."

Brooks said he didn't want to see the town stall or lose ground.


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