North Las Vegas City Manager Gregory Rose is taking 30 days of executive leave effective immediately, he announced today.
When reached on his cell phone, Rose, who has served as city manager since late 2003, would not say why he was taking the time off.
“I can’t say at this point,” he said. “I’ll see how things develop over the next 30 days. I’ll leave it at that.”
The city would not comment other than to confirm Rose’s leave.
Rose said the move has nothing to do with recent controversy surrounding the city’s handling of funds it received from the quarter-cent More Cops sales tax initiative that was approved in 2005.
Police and other officials lately have been questioning the city’s management of more than $34 million in More Cops sales tax funds it has received to date, specifically the city’s decision to shift funding for 32 police officers from its general fund and a separate public safety tax fund to More Cops.
The More Cops measure states that its funds may only be used to hire and equip additional police officers and cannot be used to “replace or supplant existing funding.”
The city has denied any wrongdoing, and Rose has said the shift was meant to correct a simple “coding error.” The 32 recently hired officers should have been funded by More Cops all along, he said.
Rose has in the past butted heads with some sitting City Council members over the handling of the city’s budget and contract negotiations with employee unions.
City Councilmen William Robinson and Robert Eliason voted against a contract extension for Rose earlier this year. The extension was approved 3-2 in the split vote. Rose’s contract runs through September 2013.
Two new council members, Anita Wood and Richard Cherchio, joined the council after that vote.
Immediately after tonight's City Council meeting, Cherchio said Rose has a “different philosophy” about the future of North Las Vegas than the council. He declined to elaborate.
Asked whether he thinks Rose will return to his job at the city, Cherchio said, “I hope he decides to move on.”
Mayor Shari Buck has supported Rose in the past. She was out of town and couldn’t be reached for comment today.
Maryann Ustick, the city’s assistant city manager of development, will serve in Rose’s stead.
Rose joined the city as its assistant city manager in February 2001. His current salary is $202,060.
Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0285.