Mayor takes on dual role as acting city manager
Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Mayor Neal McIntyre, who was elected in November, has taken on the dual role as acting city manager since the departure of the former city manager, Patrick Marsh.
McIntyre, who was sworn into office Dec. 7, asked Marsh to resign on Dec. 16. When Marsh declined, McIntyre instead fired Marsh. Marsh originally appealed the firing to the city council, but at a special meeting Jan. 11 to consider the appeal, McIntyre said Marsh had agreed to resign and the council instead approved a separation agreement with Marsh.
When McIntyre’s choice to serve as acting city manager, North Lyon Fire chief Jason Nicholl, was unable to take the position due to first district policies, McIntyre instead decided to wear both hats himself.
“Instead of swapping them out a dozen times a day, I think I’d be more efficient if I simply trade in my 10-gallon for a 20-gallon,” McIntyre said. “I sure don’t plan to be the hands-on administrator forever, but we have a city hall with 74 employees, a budget of $49,234,454 per year and we have residents, property owners, business owners and visitors to our community who don’t want to hear about office vacancies. What they want is for city hall to pick up their trash, pave the roads, police the streets, fight the fires, spend money smartly and efficiently and grow the tax base.”
Under city ordinance, the mayor is responsible for naming the city manager, which must then be ratified by the council. McIntyre said he has already started the process of identifying and hiring a city manager who shares his vision. That process was changed when the council amended the city ordinances regarding the hiring and firing of the city manager in October.
“But in the meantime, I’m walking around, talking to city personnel and residents, listening to their concerns, and answering questions,” McIntyre said. “I’m also meeting with my leadership team every day to make sure that we don’t miss a beat. And while we may wait until we have a new City Manager on board before implementing any large, substantive changes, we’re not going to slow down.”
McIntyre said there is new enthusiasm at City Hall, and he wants to capitalize on that by creating what he called ‘Team Fernley.’
“Right now, that’s just a loose framework for the department heads to share their experiences and best practices, but I think it’s going to lay the foundation for the city to better take advantage of the private, state, and federal dollars that are available to our northern Nevada area,” McIntyre said. “There are major dollars available coming up through RAISE grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. We have to be nimble and take advantage of that opportunity and others that are in front of us right this very moment. The people who live, work and play in Fernley deserve the best from City Hall, so we’re off and running and by gosh, I’m going to make sure that happens.”