North Las Vegas City Manager Gregory Rose is taking 30 days of executive leave effective immediately, he said Wednesday.
When reached on his cell phone, Rose, who has served as city manager since late 2003, would not say why.
“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 controversy surrounding the city’s handling of money it received from the quarter-cent More Cops sales tax initiative approved in 2005.
Police and other officials have been questioning the city’s management of more than $34 million in More Cops sales tax money, 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 be used only 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 “coding error.” The 32 recently hired officers should have been funded by More Cops all along, he said.
Rose has butted heads with some City Council members over the handling of the city’s budget and contract talks 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.
After Wednesday night’s council meeting, Cherchio said Rose has a “different philosophy” about the future of North Las Vegas than the council.
Asked whether he thinks Rose will return to his job, Cherchio said, “I hope he decides to move on.”
Maryann Ustick, the city’s assistant city manager of development, will serve in Rose’s stead.
Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at email@example.com or 702-383-0285.