By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 03/08/17 – 12:19 PM PST |
SAN BERNARDINO >> San Bernardino City Manager Mark Scott’s public interview Wednesday to be city manager of Reno, Nevada, didn’t take long, opening with his endorsement of the other candidate.
“I have a dramatic announcement,” Scott said in his opening statement, after Assistant Clark County Manager Sabra Smith Newby had been interviewed for an hour. “I think you’ve already met your future city manager, and it is she.”
Scott said no city manager should take a job on a 4-3 vote, and he didn’t want to put Reno in that position.
The withdrawal opens up the possibility Scott — by most accounts a popular city manager who is operating on a month-to-month contract — will continue working for San Bernardino long term.
“I will talk to the Council about how we might make it work now that I am having to drive 130 miles (round-trip from Cathedral City) a day,” Scott said by email Wednesday. “I need to see if I can do that.”
This was to be Scott’s second and final public interview with the Reno City Council, with the first selecting him and Newby as finalists and a series of private one-on-one interviews with council members following.
Tuesday was his first opportunity to meet with Reno staff and council members, which is when he decided he wasn’t “sold” on the position being right for him, Scott said.
His initial one-year contract in San Bernardino ended in February. In January, he applied for the position in Reno. Under Nevada law, his application was a public record once he was chosen for an interview, and interviews with the full council were public — something potentially damaging the credibility of applicants, Scott told the Reno council.
He had hinted during Monday’s San Bernardino City Council meeting, at which his month-to-month contract with the city was approved, that he might not accept the Reno post if offered.
But it was only a hint — “Don’t say that on TV,” he told Councilman Fred Shorett when Shorett tried to clarify Scott’s comment — and he flew into Reno for a community event Tuesday and the interview Wednesday.
Scott also hedged when asked Monday if he would commit to San Bernardino longer term.
“From a professional standpoint, this year has been more rewarding for me than any other,” said Scott, who took over in February 2016 and has overseen the city’s exit from bankruptcy. “But I’m a 67-year-old man who’s been living separate from my 43-year wife for three of the last five years. I can’t do that forever.”
Scott said he moved out of his San Bernardino apartment last week, and instead has been commuting daily from Cathedral City.
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