Clark County's chief administrative officer will step in as county manager.
Commissioners on Monday voted to approve Don Burnette as successor to Virginia Valentine, who is leaving the job to lead the Nevada Resort Association.
Burnette, 46, has been with the county since 1990, holding various management jobs. He has been in his current position since 2002, overseeing administrative services, human resources, social services and the public guardian's office.
"I think Virginia has done an excellent job in positioning the county to deal with the challenges that lie ahead," Burnette said. "I plan to follow suit."
Commissioners Tom Collins and Chris Giunchigliani voted against appointing him. Both said they preferred hiring Burnette as interim manager and recruiting other candidates while deciding the county's future direction.
But Commissioner Steve Sisolak said he dislikes appointing interim leaders. They're often afraid to take risks and be enterprising because they don't want to jeopardize their chance at making the interim job permanent, he said.
"They serve two masters," Sisolak said.
Burnette said he will talk with commissioners to get their ideas about how they want to shape county government. Meanwhile, he will prepare to guide the county through 2011 as the county wrestles with a budget crunch compounded by the state taking county revenue.
"I expect it to be more challenging than the last (year)," Burnette said.
Contact reporter Scott Wyland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-455-4519.