CARSON CITY — Gov. Jim Gibbons has no plans to have Kirk Montero sworn in as Nevada’s tourism director now that a state panel has opposed the appointment, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Asked Tuesday whether the governor planned to challenge the state Commission on Tourism by having Montero take the oath of office for the $117,000-a-year job despite the commission’s opposition, Gibbons communications chief Dan Burns said, “Not at this moment, no.”
Tourism commission members said Monday they would continue with their efforts to find a new executive director based on advice from the state attorney general that Nevada law requires the governor to appoint one of the three finalists recommended by the panel.
The commission is vetting candidates and had not forwarded its recommendations when the governor named Montero on Christmas Eve.
“We tried to make an appointment. They voted unanimously to continue their search, but they also let us know they would do everything they could to expedite the search process,” Burns added. “That is really what we’re looking for.”
The post has been vacant since Tim Maland resigned in September. Montero, 60, is station manager for US Airways at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Before that, he was reservations manager for Reno Air.
“The appointment was never made, it was merely announced,” Burns said. “What we were looking for was an assurance that this process would be expedited. It’s just too long for a state that relies on tourism to be without a tourism director.”
Burns said Montero could be among the three finalists the commission chooses but said he doubted that given its 9-0 vote to continue the search. One commission member, Ryan Sheltra, said Monday that Montero “would not have made it into my top 10.”
A search committee should have about a half dozen finalists for the commission to consider in January, said Lorraine Hunt-Bono, former lieutenant governor and commission member.