No county manager candidates get panel endorsement | RecordCourier.com

No county manager candidates get panel endorsement

With an interview panel recommending none of the 11 county manager candidates, county commissioners are at a crossroads in that process.

Members of the interview panel discussed the possibilities when they took their 6-4 vote on Friday.

Commissioners could decide to interview the entire field of candidates themselves. They could pick another interview committee or they could start the process over.

Human Resources Director Wendy Lang is scheduled to discuss the process to date and confirm a Sept. 25 meeting where commissioners are supposed to interview candidates.

“I’m very uncomfortable with the situation, I feel like I’m being asked to split the baby. What concerns me if we don’t come up with some names I can see commissioners saying great we’ll take the 11 and handle it ourselves. I agree this is not the best pool.”

— Bill Henderson,Panelist

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Panelist Dave Brady said Friday he felt commissioners had to do a better job in establishing qualifications for county manager.

Each county commissioner appointed two members of the panel to reduce the number of county manager candidates from 11 to not more than six.

That was interpreted for panel members as meaning any number up to six.

Brady said he didn't see anyone among the candidate pool who he felt would be a good candidate for county manager.

Brady said he felt like a baseball coach who sent a scout out to get him some pitchers.

"He comes back with a catcher, a first baseman, a left fielder and two soccer players," he said. "I feel like we haven't been given a field of candidates that really lends itself to the position we're trying to fill."

Panel member James McKalip said he agreed with much of what Brady said.

"I expected to see some assistant county managers or maybe someone from a county similar to ours," McKalip said. "I don't know how many times I wrote in my notes the words 'economic development,' as if that were the only priority. Were there some candidates I liked better than others? Definitely. But this was not what I expected."

Panel member Jacques Etchgoyhen said he didn't see a county manager in the crowd.

"I was vastly underwhelmed," he said. "None of the people we saw had managed anywhere close to 100 employees, much less 600. Finding someone out of the box is a possibility, but it's unlikely. Sometimes you do these and there's someone who really stands out and you feel good about it and I don't have that sense."

Panelist Bill Henderson said he had concerns about the process, though he could come up with one or two names off the list.

"I'm very uncomfortable with the situation, I feel like I'm being asked to split the baby. What concerns me if we don't come up with some names I can see commissioners saying great we'll take the 11 and handle it ourselves. I agree this is not the best pool."

Panelist Brian Krolicki had good things to say about the applicants.

"We met some really incredible people today, but not one of them really rang the bell for me," he said.

Brady recommended the county hire a search firm to find the next county manager using specific criteria.

County Manager Larry Werner spent the final hours of his last day working for the county listening to the panel deliberate.

When the 6-4 vote came through not to recommend any of the candidates, he said he felt it was the best decision for the future of the county.

The Record-Courier filed an open meeting law challenge to the process on Friday with the Nevada Attorney General's Office.

The newspaper contends that because the county manager is a public official under Nevada law, the county is not allowed to redact information from candidates' applications. In Nevada, public officials like county manager or school superintendent must be interviewed, hired and reviewed in an open meeting.

The county cited state administrative code for public employees in justifying redacting addresses and phone numbers from the applications.

if you go

What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners

Where: CVIC Hall, Minden

When: 9 a.m. Thursday