Town board fires manager

GARDNERVILLE - Gardnerville Town Manager Diane Pettitt packed up her office items last week after being asked to resign by the town board.

Board members have begun advertising for a full-time manager and expect to have someone hired by the end of July.

Pettitt said she was taken by surprise when board members said they thought she wasn't taking the town in the direction they want it to go.

She said she hasn't had a chance to think about the future and hasn't made plans. She has worked for the town for 14 years and has been the manager since 1994.

Pettitt said she's an "at will" employee, which means she has no means of appeal the board's decision.

"I serve at the will of the town board," she said.

Board President Loren Orr said the board wants a more hands-on manager.

"The board is trying to establish a different style of leadership. We want a manager that's going to be a little more involved in outside operations like park and street maintenance and have a background maybe from engineering or construction to be able to maintain costs in public works more than we have in the past," Orr said.

He said Pettitt received a severance package that amounts to paid leave until August.

"She has worked for the town for 14 years and that coincides with finishing the 14 years. It is in recognition of the work she's done," Orr said.

He said the board needs more direction from someone who knows how to supervise public works and maintenance projects.

"What you have to understand is the town board is five people who have other jobs and who have had no responsibility in running a town. We rely on the paid employees to run the town and prioritize improvements. We're looking for a stronger leadership role in that regard," Orr said.

In the job posting, the town manager's job responsibilities are described as someone who manages all general office functions, prepares the town's budget and payroll, oversees public works issues with utility companies and project managers, acts as the town's liaison to the county and attends county meetings and is the contact person for the town residents.

The minimum requirements are a bachelor's degree in business, finance, accounting or a related field and five years experience in supervision and management.

Town managing experience may be substituted for the education requirement. Knowledge of maintenance, construction or engineering is preferred.

The position pays between $39,062 to $53,248 with benefits.

The application deadline is June 2. For information contact Douglas County Human Resources at 782-9876.

The board has also changed engineers after 16 years with the same principal members of Lumos and Associates.

During its May 4 meeting, the board voted to work with JWA Consulting, which has an office on Kingsbury Grade.

Pettitt said the board was asked to interview new engineering candidates by the state which had questions about how Lumos became the town's engineer.


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