Assistant county manager might apply for top job
On Thursday, Assistant County Manager Jenifer Davidson announced she was planning to apply for the county’s top job.
Davidson shared her plans during a discussion on the progress toward hiring a new county manager.
“I am considering putting my name in the hat for the position,” she said.
Because Davidson could be a candidate for the office, she withdrew as the person who would work with Human Resources Director Wendy Lang on hiring a search firm.
“I was previously involved and provided her with direction,” Davidson said. “Now I’m going to take a step back from the process and have her report directly to the board.”
Because the update was not slated for action, commissioners could only talk about it, but that didn’t stop Nancy McDermid from suggesting that the county might not need a search firm after all.
“We laid out the process prior to learning that the interim county manager was interested in putting in for the county manager position,” she said. “I have been concerned that if we get people in our key positions who do not know Douglas County or Nevada with the Legislature coming up.”
Commissioners instructed Lang in September to work with Davidson to hire a search firm to aid in finding a new county manager.
Lang said she has reviewed several firms and will have the job description revised and posted by the end of October.
Commissioner Barry Penzel said he wanted future discussions on the county manager’s position agendized so commissioners can take action.
Chairman Steve Thaler agreed with Penzel.
“The question is whether we’re going to spend $50,000 on a recruiting firm,” he said.
Commissioner Dave Nelson said he was happy Davidson was planning to apply for the job.
“I’m very happy she put her hat in the ring, but I do believe it’s just one more hat in the ring,” he said. “I’d like to see us go forward with the current plan of action.”
County commissioner-elect John Engel was enthusiastic at the prospect of Davidson becoming county manager.
“I strongly support her being out new county manager,” he said. “I look for several qualities when hiring someone, but two of them are intangible. Those are integrity and honesty. She has been forthright in every encounter I’ve had with her.”
He also felt Davidson’s experience with water as Minden Town manager would be valuable.
“She has a fundamental understanding that I haven’t seen in any of the other candidates,” he said.
Davidson is a 2000 graduate of Douglas High School and holds a degree from Boise State University and completed the University of Nevada, Reno, supervisory management program.
She was administrative services manager at China Spring Youth Center before becoming town manager in 2011.
She was named assistant county manager in March.