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Washoe County Manager, Eric Brown (Photo: washoecounty.gov)

Washoe County Manager Makes Twice The Salary Of Nevada’s Governor

County Manager Eric Brown makes over $331,000 per year for managing a county of 480,000 residents

By Megan Barth, December 12, 2023 1:01 pm

According to the 2020 census, Nevada is home to approximately 3.1 million people. The two largest counties, Clark and Washoe are home to approximately 2.4 million and 480,000 people, respectively. The current manager of the Silver State is Governor Joe Lombardo who makes $163,474 per year. The current County Manager of Washoe County is Eric Brown makes over $331,000 per year and is poised to make significantly more if the county commissioners approve a new salary and benefits package.

To put Brown’s salary in perspective, the average salary in Reno, Nevada, as of November 2023, is $24.63 an hour or $51,235 per year according to Zip Recruiter.

Overseeing the largest county in Nevada, Clark County Manager Kevin Schiller. He was appointed and replaced Yolanda King in November 2022. King has retired. King’s total compensation over the years as County Manager is listed below.

Total compensation of Yolanda King (Screenshot: Transparent Nevada)

Last year, The Globe reported on wide-spread pay raises for Brown and county employees. Since Brown’s hiring in 2019, Brown has received annual raises in his base pay–amounting to 30 percent, not including bonuses or cost of living increases.

According to today’s agenda, the board of commissioners will take possible action to extend Brown’s employment agreement, increase his salary, approve a lump-sum bonus, and extend his severance package from six to twelve months.

Agenda item for County Manager Eric Brown (screenshot of Washoe County Commissioner’s agenda)

According to public documents, Brown received an overall favorable review from direct staff, four out of five county commissioners, city-wide elected and appointed officials, department heads, and eternal stakeholders.

In a slick presentation (see below), the 2023 accomplishments of the county manager include hiring a sustainability consultant, hiring consultants to improve election integrity, and launching an Equity and Inclusion initiative.

Recently, The Globe reported Washoe County hired a consultant from Fuse Corp to “develop plans to reduce emissions and improve climate resiliency across multiple sectors such as buildings, transportation, energy, food and waste.” The contract is in conjunction with the county’s launch of a Green Recovery Plan to conduct a community-wide green house gas inventory to reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 or sooner. This is the second consultant hired from Fuse corporation.

Manager Brown released the Green Recovery Plan in April 2022 citing the 2019 law passed unilaterally by the Democratic majority that calls for a net zero emissions goal by 2050. The plan also cites various “scientific” studies which uniformly find that air pollution resulted in a spike of COVID-19 related deaths and conveniently concludes “these findings provide extra motivation for combining ambitious policies to reduce air pollution with measures to control the transmission of COVID-19.” (emphasis added).

In June 2023, The Reno Gazette Journal published the following article, after an exclusive interview with Registrar of Voters Jaime Rodriguez and Manager Brown where Brown noted that the County’s election system needed a massive overhaul. ‘Take it down to the studs and start over,” Brown stated.

Subsequently, an 80-page audit conducted by The Elections Group found that Washoe County’s election process was error prone and confusing and made recommendations to hire additional people, increase training and communications, and provide resources employee’s need to support and increase productivity.

Although the $100,000 audit was initially delayed due to a tied vote by the County Commissioners, Governor Joe Lombardo appointed Clara Andriola who sided with Chair Alexis Hill and Mariluz Garcia to approve the audit.

The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging department falls under Human Resources. After an exhaustive search for the Equity and Inclusion initiative, we came up short. However, in the January 2023 Board of Commissioners meeting, Brown stated, “This whole area of equity and inclusion … I think the county lags. If you look at our strategic plan, it’s woefully lacking in addressing these issues. It’s an operation principle I’d like to see deployed more pervasively to make sure those who are underserved get served.”

According to This is Reno, “a project to update the county’s website at washoecounty.gov with accessibility features for people with vision and language differences is already underway, according to Elizabeth Jourdin, who is part of the county’s human resources team.

The Washoe County Board of Commissioners monthly meeting is currently underway and we will provide an update to the meeting in a subsequent article.


Item 8 - CM_Accomplishments_2023


Editors note: we have corrected the piece to reflect the accurate name of the Clark County, NV County Manager.


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Megan Barth
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