STATELINE, Nev. — Despite substantial public comment for a different candidate, Douglas County commissioners voted 4-1 to offer the county manager’s job to State Director of Administration Patrick Cates.
Cates has been reappointed to his current position by Gov. Steve Sisolak.
In an email to The Record-Courier (a sister publication of the Tribune), Cates said he is interested in the job.
Commissioner Dave Nelson spoke in favor of former State Controller Ron Knecht, who was in the audience on Thursday.
“I don’t know how anyone can look at these qualifications and not hire this man,” Nelson said.
Douglas County Republican Party Chairman Dick Schwabe was among the residents to spoke in favor of hiring Knecht.
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“Ron Knecht is the most qualified candidate,” Schwabe said. “He has a long history of governmental experience.”
Schwabe pointed out that though Knecht lost the state controller’s race this year, roughly two-thirds of Douglas voters supported him in the 2018 election.
“It would be an honor to have a man of his stature employed as county manager,” he said.
Genoa resident and legalized marijuana opponent Jim Hartman took issue with Knecht’s support for Question 2, the 2016 question that legalized marijuana.
“If you go into choosing him, go into it with eyes wide open,” Hartman said.
County employee Shawnyne Garren suggested that the county pick someone who didn’t have too many close relationships.
“You need someone who’s going to lead and set an example and do it with clarity,” she said. “One of the biggest problems is a trust issue and that needs to be considered very carefully. This position will get scrutiny from all directions.”
Resident Jim Slade said the lack of faith in county government is a critical issue.
“In the wake of Tiregate and other issues