County announces manager candidates
And the candidates are:
Melissa Evans worked as director of workforce development for Southern Nevada’s Workforce Investment. She is a graduate of Northern Arizona University. Her previous position was with the City of Las Vegas.
Pat Bridges is the former publisher of The Record-Courier. A Minden resident he worked for Swift Communications for 10 years before retiring from The R-C in April. He is a graduate of the University of Florida.
Melissa Smith is governmental programs and chief financial officer of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy headquartered in Los Angeles. She holds a degree from the University of California, Davis.
Greg Highfill, a Minden resident, was director of emergency preparedness, safety, security and facilities engineering at Carson Valley Medical Center for two years. He is a retired U.S. Navy chief petty officer corpsman, who served at Pickel Meadow Mountain Warfare Training Center.
Priya Dey-Sakar did a fellowship with the Fuse Corps City on New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board. She worked for Shell International Exploration from November 2012 to 2015 and for Chevron for four years from 2008 to 2012. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a masters in business administration and a bachelors in civil engineering.
Carson City resident Rob Hooper has been president and chief executive officer of the Northern Nevada Development Authority for the past decade. He is a University of California graduate.
Minden resident Clark G. Leslie is an attorney for Nevada Attorney for Injured Workers for. He was chief deputy attorney general for a decade. He is a 16 year resident of the county.
Dell C. Atkinson is a Laramie, Wyo., resident who has been executive director of the North East Wyoming Economic Development Coalition for the past four years. He previously served as director of the Uinta County Economic Development for eight years.
Recent Gardnerville resident Robert Laurie is assistant general counsel to the Imperial Irrigation District. His resume lists 30 years representing public and private clients in land use proceedings. He is a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran.
Plainwell, Mich., resident Kai Phillips most recently worked for T-Mobile as a consultant and internal auditor. He holds a masters of business administration he earned in 2018.
Henderson, Nev., resident John S. Ridilla is a deputy city attorney for the City of Las Vegas, where he advises the redevelopment agency, public works and other city departments. He has worked for the city for about a decade. He graduated from UNLV’s Boyd School of Law in 2005.
While the address for a resident who votes or owns property in Douglas County is public record, county officials contend that doesn’t apply in the case of applicants for county manager.
The names and information of 11 applicants for the $168,000-$235,000 job were released as part of the agenda on Tuesday, but the county redacted the addresses and phone numbers for those candidates who didn’t sign a waiver.
County Manager Larry Werner’s last day is Friday and the county is moving forward with hiring his replacement.
A 10-member panel was appointed to winnow the candidates down to six in preparation for interviews with county commissioners.
Deputy District Attorney Cynthea Gregory said that county code and state law make information on a person’s application confidential.
“Candidates were requested to sign a release, authorizing the confidential information to be made public,” she said. “The release form also allowed applicants to request certain information, such as personal addresses, to be redacted.”
That’s why some of the applications include the information and others don’t.
However, the position of county manager is considered a public officer under the Nevada Open Meeting Law.
Nevada Press Association Executive Director Barry Smith said that if the information is available to the panel, it should be provided to the public. There is no evidence any of the information redacted from the applications was provided to the panel.
“I can imagine only one reason people would want their addresses redacted: So the public doesn’t know where they live,” he said. “Why is that a secret?”
Panel members meet starting at 8 a.m. Friday at the historic Douglas County Courthouse, 1616 Eighth St. They will interview the candidates in 45-minute sessions starting at 8 a.m.
The meeting will not be live-streamed.
About half of the 11 candidates for county manager who will be interviewed on Friday are Carson Valley residents.
Among the local candidates are former Record-Courier publisher Pat Bridges, Northern Nevada Development Authority Executive Director Rob Hooper, former Carson Valley Medical Center director of emergency preparedness Greg Highfill of Minden, Gardnerville resident attorney Robert Laurie and Minden resident attorney Clark Leslie.
Also revealed on Tuesday are the 10 interview panel members, nominated by county commissioners.
Dave Brady, Bill Henderson, Linda Holly, Jon Shafer, Jacques Etchegoyhen, Brian Krolicki, Denise Geissinger, Carl Schnock, Alonzoe Fuller and James McKalip were named to the panel.