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Clark County’s top administrator gets pay bump, bonus

Updated December 7, 2021 - 7:01 pm

Nearing the end to a “very difficult year,” Clark County Manager Yolanda King on Tuesday called the county “an exceptional example” of how government can be a safety net for vulnerable constituents as it made progress to counter the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It obviously left little to no time to do other important things that we do in our community, but we managed to do so somehow,” King said during her annual performance review, where she again received glowing commendation from county lawmakers.

The county commission unanimously approved giving King something she did not receive during her 2020 review, despite also garnering similarly high praise: More money.

King was rewarded with a 4 percent merit raise and 8 percent bonus. She will now earn more than $340,000 yearly, including longevity pay, and will receive a one-time payout of roughly $22,000, according to the county.

“I think you have a lot to be proud of,” Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said.

King did not rattle off the efforts in 2021 to steer the 11th largest county in the U.S. through the second year of a public health crisis, but instead pointed to a report she prepared in advance of her review.

It cited expanding vaccination access since doses were first made available early this year; providing tens of millions of more dollars in rental and other housing assistance, although the high-demand program has been criticized for delays; and restoring the county’s financial standing after deep cuts to the budget in 2020.

Standard and Poor’s upgraded the county’s economic outlook on Sept. 30 from negative to stable.

Highlights from the year

The report also highlighted creating 764 affordable housing units, transitional housing for more than 1,500 individuals and households, and the Operation Home Program, with the goal by this time next year to permanently house 2,022 families who are currently in motels or temporary housing.

In February, the commission adopted the All-In Clark County Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, and the county has successfully negotiated 10 collective bargaining agreements this year with employee groups.

The county also funded 84 positions for nearly $5 million, largely focusing on supporting an increase in caseloads such as in the Department of Family Services, where workers have urged officials to act amid conditions they say are unsafe for staff and clients.

The report says the county is facing unprecedented recruitment and retention challenges and that while Southern Nevada’s economy appears to be recovering, the unemployment rate is still high. As officials prepare to enter 2022, they plan to remain cautious because of the unknown long-term economic and social effects of the pandemic.

“As we’ve come to this point, we’re beginning to see so much of what we worried about in the rear-view mirror,” Commissioner Jim Gibson told King. “You have not just focused on the past but you continue to focus us and your entire team on what lies ahead, because there is so much yet to be done.”

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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