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Sparks swears in new city manager

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Dion Louthan is the new manager for the city of Sparks. He was sworn in Monday at the city’s regular council meeting. Louthan was the assistant city manager of Roseville, California. 

“The things that are important to me are fantastic customer service, being good listeners and we want to pride ourselves on that,” he said. “We’re going to do the best we can with the resources we have available.” 

He previously led the Information Technology, Human Resources, and City Clerk departments, according to a Sparks press release. He also held leadership roles in Henderson, Nevada, and Salina, Kansas.

The council selected Louthan in March. He comes in the wake of a number of high-profile controversies plaguing the city. Former City Manager Neil Krutz was fired in September after barely getting a contract extension a few months before that. 

City Council member Paul Anderson, at the time, listed a litany of reasons for his termination. They included the mishandling of how Krutz fired former Sparks Fire Chief Mark Lawson, including posting a video on YouTube about the firing, which Anderson said exposed the city to costly litigation. Another reason cited by Anderson is that employees are treated poorly.

“Mr. Krutz has created an uncomfortable working environment through intimidation and a culture of fear,” he said. “His performance has not improved as previously represented and expected.”

Louthan sat in on the Monday Sparks city council meeting.

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