Commissioners approve contract for first woman to be county manager

Jenifer Davidson

Jenifer Davidson

A $208,000 five-year contract to hire Jenifer Davidson as Douglas County’s first woman county manager was approved by commissioners on Thursday.

With insurance and benefits the contract will cost the county $290,000, which Human Relations Director Wendy Lang said was a savings of $50,000 over the budgeted amount.

County Commissioner Danny Tarkanian made the motion to approve the contract, saying that over the past two weeks he’s been very happy with Davidson’s responsiveness.

“If you hire somebody with a one-year contract and they do a great job, other jurisdictions will be looking to hire her,” he said. “She has an opportunity to be a great county manager.”

Commissioner Sharla Hales said she reviewed the contract carefully.

She said she liked the five-year contract and that commissioners would have to vote affirmatively not to extend it.

“I like that longevity of leadership to sustain forward motion,” Hales said. “I think it’s a good contract.”

Commissioners Walt Nowosad said he had no doubt that Davidson would be able to handle the job.

He pointed out that the five-year contract doesn’t mean Davidson or the county are trapped.

“She can leave any time and we can separate any time we want to,” he said. “That’s a good part of the contract.”

Under the contract either the county or Davidson can part ways with 30-day notice.

“Jenifer Davidson is going to be an outstanding county manager,” Commissioner Wes Rice said.

Davidson said she values the faith the commission has placed in her.

"I am honored to have been selected to carry out their vision for our community," Davidson said. "Every day, I am inspired by the skilled and dedicated professionals we have working to provide critical services on behalf of the organization. I am excited to continue to work with our outstanding leadership team to tackle the short- and long-range strategic priorities of the Commission, Douglas County businesses, and residents.”

In 2007, Davidson met her husband Ryan when she moved back to Douglas County from Boise after college. Ryan is an active duty service member of the Nevada Army National Guard. Together, they are raising a 3-year-old daughter.

Commissioners also approved a one-time salary adjustment for employees to cover the cost of an increase in the Public Employment Retirement System expected in July. The county already approved a similar increase in the contract with Douglas County deputies and sergeants last month.

Lang said the total for both represented and unrepresented employees will be around $587,000 that has already been budgeted.


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