Minden names new town manager
May 3, 2018
Minden will probably be looking for a new superintendent after the town board appointed JD Frisby town manager on Wednesday.
Frisby has been with the town for a little more than two years and is a certified engineer.
At their April meeting, town board members accepted the resignation of longtime manager Jenifer Davidson, who took the assistant manager job with Douglas County. They appointed Frisby interim manager and directed Board Chairman Matt Bernard to finalize an agreement.
Bernard said he believed the action gave him the leeway to discuss a longer-term contract, and once there he said it made sense to see if the board would support giving Frisby the job.
Bernard said the salary of $98,280 was in the middle of the range Douglas County has for town managers.
He pointed out that Davidson was making $130,000 in salary and benefits when she left.
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On Wednesday, board member Bill Souligny expressed surprise at the item.
He said he felt that it would be better to advertise the job and interview applicants.
"We only have 3,200 population and 19 staff, so it seems a little top heavy," he said. He pointed out that Davidson started at a much lower salary and worked her way up.
Board member John Stephans, who was on the interview committee that hired Frisby in 2016 said he stood head and shoulders over the other applicants.
Stephans said his concern was that Frisby would try to continue doing his previous job while still managing the town.
"I don't want to see our town manager be the eyes on the ground as superintendent," he said. "I'd like to see him as the overseer."
Bernard said that when the board didn't decide to open up the position last month. He addressed Souligny's concern about starting Frisby at slightly more than Davidson's last salary, saying the two individuals brought different skills.
"They were apples and oranges," he said.
Board member Glen Radtke said he didn't have an issue with the salary, or a 90-day separation clause in the contract, but he did expect the town to fill Frisby's former position.
"I don't want JD to do both jobs," he said.
Town Board member Roxanne Stangle, who was on the board when Davidson was hired, said they were in a different position now.
"We'd only had the position for a short time before that," she said. "We have an employee in our midst whose work ethic and teambuilding skills we know. I think we're wasting town money by searching for someone outside."
Town board members made clear they're not looking to exceed the current expenditure for personnel, which is $1.5 million. Frisby will have to hire someone within those parameters.
Frisby came to Minden from a Cedar City, Utah, engineering firm. He grew up in Mesquite and graduated from Virgin Valley High School in 1999 before getting his engineering degree.
He is married with four children and is active in youth sports as a coach.
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