Guy W. Farmer: Some of Carson City’s top jobs will be filled in 2014

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

As 2013 draws to a close, the Carson City Board of Supervisors and Western Nevada College are looking for replacements for departing, or departed, leaders. I hope they’ll recruit people who know something about the colorful history and traditions of Northern Nevada and Carson City.

Mayor Robert Crowell and city supervisors are recruiting someone to replace outgoing City Manager Larry Werner, who will retire next month. Although the board is contemplating a nationwide search, it’s important to find candidates who actually live in Carson City. Werner, a Douglas County resident, has done his best but isn’t affected by taxing and spending decisions made by his bosses on the board, acting on his recommendations.

Mayor Bob noted that Werner “was pressed into service at a difficult time in our community” and credited him with helping to maintain our quality of life during an economic downturn. While acknowledging Werner’s accomplishments and recognizing his strong family ties to Carson, I think the board should choose a qualified person who lives in the capital to replace Werner. I can think of a couple of well-qualified Carsonites, and I hope they apply for the position, which offers a salary and benefits package worth about $200,000 a year.

In a recent column, my friend and Appeal colleague John Barrette urged Mayor Bob and the supervisors to take their time in the search for Werner’s replacement, rather than rush to make a decision they might regret. I agree with John; no need to rush when we already have a deputy city manager who can handle the position on an interim basis.

At the same time, the Nevada System of Higher Education must recruit a new president for WNC following the resignation of longtime President Dr. Carol Lucey. She was going to step down once a national search was under way, but she resigned Oct. 19 because “the presidential search process has not yet begun.” Translation: The System of Higher Education and Board of Regents dropped the ball, so she departed immediately.

How can it be that the president of our respected community college announces her resignation in July, and the state’s powers that be in higher education don’t follow up on her resignation for more than five months? I call that bad management. We know that Dr. Lucey was unhappy with the 2013 Legislature, which enacted painful budget cuts for community colleges. Apparently, she wants to speak out on this issue, and I encourage her to do so. WNC Finance Director Chet Burton will serve as interim president until her successor is named. Let’s get on with it.

The local Library Board late last month named 29-year-old Sena Loyd of Carson City as the new library director; Loyd, who has a master’s degree in library science, has been the manager of the library’s digital learning center for about a year. She prevailed over another professional librarian, 44-year-old Amy Geddes of Carlsbad, Calif., in a close vote. Loyd replaces former Library Director Sara Jones, who resigned early this year after local voters defeated a measure that would have resulted in a big new library at taxpayer expense. I congratulate the Library Board for rejecting unqualified candidates who didn’t possess library science degrees.

The remaining leadership positions in city government and at WNC are important to our community, and I hope we attract well-qualified candidates with strong connections to Carson City and Northern Nevada.

Guy W. Farmer has been a Carson City resident since 1962.


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