Selwyn Harris / Pahrump Valley Times - Town manager candidate Laurayne Murray embraces Susan Holecheck after Holecheck was named Pahrump’s next town manager on Tuesday.
The former mayor of Mesquite was chosen to replace Bill Kohbarger as Pahrump’s interim town manager on Tuesday.
Susan Holecheck’s first day on the job is scheduled for Monday.
Board members voted 4-1 in favor of the former mayor.
Board member Amy Riches provided the lone “nay” vote before a near capacity audience.
Following the meeting, Holecheck gave her thoughts on how the selection process unfolded over the past two weeks.
She suggested that the process seemed a bit rushed, which made her a bit cautious, particularly after a six-month probationary period was added just prior to the vote.
“I think it moved a little bit faster than perhaps what the board was ready for and I agree from an aspect of a potential candidate. I was not even aware of what the salary or benefits might be or even when I might start. I heard that they expect me to start on Monday and that startles me a little bit because I am employed and I obviously want to give my employer proper notice. I have been there over a year and I think we would all agree that would certainly be the proper thing to do,” she said.
The former mayor also noted that the shorter time frame has a way of adding additional pressure as she performs the duties of her position.
“I’m following a gentleman who has had the job for over five years, who no doubt has done a fabulous job. I want to do that same great job, if not more. I was going into it looking at a longer period of time.
“It’s not insurmountable. I have six months to reach my objectives in what is now defined as a shorter period of time and I am really looking forward to the challenge, but the six months was kind of a shock to me,” she said.
Holecheck, who presently resides in Mesquite, said she is looking to resolve a few other personal matters in the days and weeks to come.
She is also concerned about the impending Nevada Supreme Court decision related to the future of the town board’s existence and the position she was hired for.
“I’d like to find a place to live here and I do want to jump right in to it. But to be quite honest, I’m a little concerned about the term.
“Pahrump is awaiting a Supreme Court decision on whether or not the town board will remain in existence. I guess in my mind when they talked about an interim town manager, I thought they meant interim until they receive the Supreme Court decision and knew whether or not they were going to be a remaining board.
“In my mind, I’m thinking to myself it could be 10 months, 14 months, or 17 months, which is great because it gives me an opportunity to move here and really get to know the staff and the department heads and get my feet on the ground,” she said.
Holecheck also spoke about incorporation, which for many local residents is a very important issue.
Holecheck said that during her tenure as mayor, the City of Mesquite has reaped great financial benefits after becoming incorporated.
“It’s huge. We got the opportunity as a city to create what’s called a ‘redevelopment agency’ which covered our blighted areas. We also got the opportunity to create what’s called a ‘city tax.’ The potential to generate revenue from land sales and everything else is huge.
“Here in Pahrump we have a lot of land although the BLM owns a large percentage of it, but the reality of it is with our population, Pahrump drives Nye County. We contribute to the success and the well-being of the county. My goal is to let Nye County know that we matter and I think that we need it,” she said.
Holecheck, meanwhile, provided her reasoning to why she would leave her marketing coordinator position at Mesa View Regional Hospital in Mesquite for a job that may evaporate in as little as a year and five months.
“I’ve had a fondness for Pahrump for a long time. I own land in Pahrump and that’s part of it. I care about Nevada; I care about the issues and the people. I think this is a great avenue for me because I can do the things that I feel passionately about.
“I collect the information and pass it on to the elected board where they have to make some very, very tough decisions. I think that once you have been in a position of service, you love working with people even though you can’t please everyone all of the time,” she said.
The new town manager moved to Nevada in 1991.
Her mayoral term in Mesquite ran from 2007 to 2011.
Incidentally, no mayor in Mesquite’s history has ever earned a second term by voters.