County commissioners to vote today on Nichols separation agreement |

County commissioners to vote today on Nichols separation agreement

James Nichols


What: Douglas County Commissioners

When: 1:30 p.m. today

Where: 169 Highway 50, Stateline


If Douglas County commissioners reject a proposal for County Manager Jim Nichols to leave his position, he could continue under his current contract.

Neither the county nor County Manager Jim Nichols have taken action to terminate his employment, county Human Resources Director Wendy Lang said.

While the contract between Nichols and the county provides for written notice to terminate the contract, none has been filed, Lang said.

“Jim has neither resigned nor has the County taken any action to terminate his employment, therefore I have no notice to provide,” Lang said Friday in response to a request from The Record-Courier.

“Jim has previously expressed his concerns about his ongoing ability to be an effective leader as the County Manager,” she said. “He has therefore suggested that the board discuss a possible voluntary separation agreement.”

The only notice so far has been Nichols’ statement at a Dec. 29 team-building workshop, Lang said in an email.

County commissioners are scheduled to discuss a separation agreement with Nichols on Thursday.

Nichols has a three-year contract with the county with an automatic two-year extension.

According to the contract, either party could terminate the contract with 60 days notice.

All of the provisions before county commissioners on Thursday, including six months of severance pay, are included in Nichols’ contract.

There’s no indication that either Nichols or the county gave 60 days notice of the termination of the contract, which is why it’s being referred to as mutual.

Under the contract, a different notice period could be provided if parties agree. There would be no requirement for severance, if Nichols voluntarily resigned.

None of the provisions would be in place if Nichols was terminated for cause, as defined by the contract. In that instance Nichols was supposed to receive 15 days notice.

County commissioners meet 1:30 p.m. at the Tahoe Transportation Center on Highway 50 in Stateline. The item is near the end of the three-hour agenda.

Nichols was hired in 2014, and alerted commissioners that he’d decided to seek a mutual separation from county employment at a Dec. 29 workshop.