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Washoe County’s longtime manager to retire July 1



washoe-150x150-2940071-3191302Washoe County Manager Katy Simon has announced she will retire from the position she has held for 15 years on July 1.

“It has been my great honor and privilege to serve the people of Washoe County, my fellow employees and the Board of County Commissioners for most of my adult life, most recently as county manager for the past 15 years,” said Simon. “It’s been a truly gratifying and wonderful career for which I am deeply grateful. But it’s time for a change for me and opportunities to contribute to the future of local government on a national and international level are tugging at my heart.”

Prior to becoming county manager, Simon was Washoe County’s deputy county manager and also held several other positions in finance and management at the county since 1978.

The Board of County Commissioners (BCC) will begin a national search as quickly as possible to replace Simon and will appoint an interim manager as needed until a permanent manager is in place.

“Katy took Washoe County from a strong, well-managed county to being one of the very best local governments in the nation,” said BCC Chairman David Humke. “Despite the enormous challenges of the recent recession, she leaves us in a strong financial position with high employee morale as well as the outstanding customer service she instituted that is now the standard for the County.”

Simon said she feels there is never a good time for such a major change, but it was important to her to see the county through the 2013-14 budget cycle and the current legislative session.

“We’re at a point where the county is financially sound, citizen satisfaction with Washoe County government is strong and the region’s future is bright, so it’s a great time for new leadership to take the county forward,” said Simon. “The past five years have taken a toll on all of us, and I can leave knowing that we’ve made it through the toughest economic times in all our lives.”

Some of Washoe County’s accomplishments during Simon’s tenure include:

  • Bond rating upgrades, including the most recent one during the depths of the recession
  • The successful start-up of the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District
  • Implementation of the employee classification and compensation system which twice won State Legislature awards for objectivity and fairness
  • The 2013 Citizen Survey which achieved an 18 point (44 percent) increase in citizen satisfaction since the last survey and a 90 percent satisfaction rating from citizens on how the County handled the recent fiscal crisis
  • Featured in the IBM Center for the Business of Government report on collaborative services, the national National Association of Counties report on responding to the fiscal crisis, and the Alliance for Innovation national study on navigating the fiscal crisis
  • Construction of the nationally-recognized Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center and the Mills Lane Justice Center, both without a tax increase
  • Protection of thousands of acres of pristine open space
  • Acquisition and construction of new parks and trails
  • Winning the Nevada Taxpayers Association Cashman Good Government Award in two of the past three years, and three times overall
  • National recognition in the book Results that Matter for our performance measurement program, as well as for being the #1 Local Government in the US for Waste Reduction three times, the #1 and #2 Digital County in the US for our population, the National Association of Counties award winner for our 2008 Natural Resources Management Plan, and for being identified as a model program for Juvenile Services and Social Services

View Katy Simon’s full letter announcing her retirement to the BCC.

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