Douglas extends manager’s contract
County Manager Larry Werner had his contract renewed after Douglas County commissioners voted 3-2 to extend it to Dec. 31, 2019.
Two vocal opponents of Werner’s spoke during public comment at Thursday’s meeting against renewing Werner’s contract.
North Valley resident Lynn Muzzy pointed out difficulties with the budget, the flood committee and issues with the roads as reasons Werner’s management failed.
It was Muzzy who pointed out that Werner was a Democrat at the July county commissioner meeting.
Jobs Peak resident Virginia Starrett said she felt that the LLC which manages Werner’s contract was being paid far more than it should.
“We need a less entrenched person who can bring a fresh look and will work at a fair level of compensation.”
Foothill resident Jim Slade supported extending Werner’s contract, especially since a new assistant county manager was hired.
Bradley Hurley is scheduled to start work Sept. 18. Werner’s old contract was due to expire at the end of this year.
“Mr. Werner is well-respected by his employees and that’s a very important issue.”
Slade pointed out that regardless of the contract’s length, it could be terminated by either party with 30 days notice.
“He is staying on in part because he has a commitment to Douglas County. He has done a good job.”
Commissioner Dave Nelson said he felt Werner was preventing him from the changes he felt were necessary.
“I still think I ran on seeing some changes in the county that cannot happen with this county manager,” Nelson said. “He’s stopping my progress and what I want to do for the county.”
Commission Chairman Barry Penzel supported extending Werner’s contract.
“He will time and again act in the very most ethical manner to protect the interests of Douglas County residents,” Penzel said. “I want him to know that going forward he has my support, even though we sometimes argue. It’s a good relationship, he’s a good person.”
Under the contract, Werner will be paid $14,333 a month, which includes salary, insurance, travel, housing and per diem.
Should either Werner or the county terminate the contract, there would be no severance or pay-out beyond the month of the notice.