Douglas County manager moving on to Grass Valley |

Douglas County manager moving on to Grass Valley

Dan Holler is leaving his position as Douglas County manager.

Colleagues and elected officials reacted with sadness Tuesday to the news that Douglas County Manager Dan Holler is leaving the job he’s held for nearly 12 years to become city administrator in Grass Valley.

“I am saddened by the whole thing,” said County Commissioner Jim Baushke. “He’s been a great county manager, and I hate to see him go. We’re going to be a long time finding someone who’s as good as he is.”

Holler, 47, confirmed Tuesday that he tentatively reached agreement with Grass Valley officials as to terms of his employment. With city council approval Friday, Holler could join the city March 24.

“For the people who don’t think he’s done a good job, they don’t know what all is entailed,” Baushke said. “I had a feeling because of some of the actions of other board members in the recent past, he might be encouraged to seek employment somewhere else. We’ll probably be in a process for the rest of the year trying to replace him.”

In the last few years, Douglas County has wrestled with growth, business, redevelopment, infrastructure and the economy.

Holler came under fire from County Commissioner David Brady in December for what Brady said was Holler’s inability to delegate and tardiness reacting to budget fluctuations. Commissioners held Holler’s salary at $133,078 per year. Brady called for a vote of no-confidence, but the other commissioners refused.

“I wish him well,” Brady said Tuesday. “This is positive for him.”

County Commissioner Nancy McDermid, elected in 2006 to the board, said Holler had been hampered in recent years by a lack of direction from commissioners.

“It was said of Dan that he was the captain of a ship that did not get to its destination,” she said. “But if the owners of the ship don’t give the captain an itinerary, he’s not going to get there. I don’t believe the board gave clear directions. Dan kept the ship afloat, and he kept the staff working. Our situation budgetwise is nothing compared to other jurisdictions in our vicinity.”

Former County Manager Robert Hadfield, who has filled in as interim county manager in Douglas and Lyon counties, said the job is well-known for being a mobile position.

Hadfield said he hoped commissioners would look within to fill the interim position and to eventually replace Holler.

“I’ve always personally believed the reason why you have an assistant county manager is that they are qualified to be the manager,” he said. “It’s disturbing to me oftentimes that people in the community are passed over in favor of some kind of regional or national search.

In Grass Valley, Holler will be filling a vacancy created a year ago when the city council fired City Administrator Gene Haroldsen.

The Grass Valley position was advertised at $135,000 to $138,000 per year.

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