Editorial: Give Dodge a contract

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By The Staff

The lack of stability has hurt City Hall over the last dozen years. As such, the Las Vegas City Council has rightly placed continuity as one of its chief goals.

Too often, petty politics has caused turnover in the city manager’s position. New mayors have come in, with the proverbial swagger intent on installing their loyalists. And that means employees have had to undergo new processes, new rules, new management styles at regular intervals.

Meanwhile, San Miguel County, a bastion of stability, has had the same manager for more than a decade. And that manager, Les Montoya, has developed a smooth-running machine.

The city, by contrast, is less organized. In fact, ordinances and resolutions have sometimes been hard to find. A couple of years ago, a councilor offered to look in his shed for a resolution because the city didn’t seem to have it.

Last March, the City Council unanimously approved Mayor Tony Marquez’s recommendation of Timothy Dodge, then Santa Rosa’s manager, as Las Vegas’ new manager.

More than nine months later, Dodge enjoys the support of not only the City Council but also the likely new mayor, Alfonso Ortiz. That’s good news for those who want to see the city improve its operations, instead of keep its head barely above water.

Dodge has brought stability to City Hall. Now, a council majority wants to give Dodge a contract, possibly before the March 2 election. That would provide still more security in the upper levels of management in city government.

But Mayor Tony Marquez and to a lesser degree, Councilwoman Diane Moore, seem opposed to entering a contract before the next election. Marquez, who isn’t running for a second term, said a contract should be left up to the next governing body.

Ordinarily, we may agree with such an argument. But in the city’s case, we don’t. This is a great chance to ensure that this rare period of stability continues. We as a community shouldn’t take any chances.

If we wait until the next governing body takes office, it’ll take still more months to give Dodge a contract. That’s because the new mayor and council will want some time to evaluate the city manager before they negotiate an agreement.

This mayor and council can properly evaluate Dodge, now that he has been in office more than nine months. As it stands, everyone seems to agree that Dodge is doing a good job.

Too many managers have parted ways with the city unhappily over the years. Isn’t it time we keep someone who shows promise?