County begins a year of change

In November 2014, Clark County voters approved changing the form of government to a home rule charter. It was a move that came after several years of controversial decisions, opinions and actions by the jurisdiction’s elected leaders. That, coupled with a growing and changing county landscape, indicated clearly that citizens felt change was needed.

Just before the Jan. 1, 2015, effective date, the first major action that will move the county toward this change in government was taken. Commissioners David Madore, Tom Mielke and Jeanne Stewart wisely (and as dictated by the home rule charter itself) appointed County Administrator Mark McCauley to become the acting county manager. He will hold that seat at least until the full five-member county council is seated in January 2016.

McCauley, who has a military background and a master’s in business administration, had been the county administrator since September 2013. However, he has been with the county since 2001 and has held high ranking administrative positions in public works.

Based on his strong resume and the good reputation he has developed as a county employee, McCauley will be able to handle the job, and handle it well.

With a charter that will separate the executive and legislative powers of county government, many more changes will be on the way this year.

And as this process continues, the three elected leaders who make up the county council until the two new members are elected this November should continue to keep in mind that this change in government was approved and supported by the people — the voters of Clark County that they were elected to serve. This, unfortunately, isn’t necessarily a given. Mielke and Madore have proven themselves to at times be unpredictable when it comes to their actions and decision making.

In the end, it will benefit the people of Clark County and the long-term stability of the government for the implementation of the charter to be as smooth as possible.