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Sparks mayor makes deciding vote to keep city manager

Ed Lawson stands at a podium that says “City of Sparks.” Behind him, there is an American flag and another sign that reads, “City of Sparks.”
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson spoke at the State of the City Address on Sept. 13, 2022.

Sparks City Council voted not to terminate the city manager’s contract on Monday.

Three out of five council members voted to terminate Neil Krutz without cause. Krutz began his career with the city in 1997 and was appointed city manager in 2019. The deciding vote came down to Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson, who spoke highly of the city manager.

“Mr. Krutz has an exemplary record. Never been written up for anything, has no blemishes on his record. And everyone has a bad year,” Lawson said after voting.

Krutz came under public scrutiny for how he handled the stepping down of the Sparks Fire Chief last year, which led to a wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit. Kurtz received a poor yearly evaluation compared to the year prior by the city council. Some of the lowest scores were in leadership, management, and relationships with the council and community.

Krutz said he loves his job and will strive to do better. His contract goes until June 2025.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning journalist covering politics, focusing on democracy and solutions for KUNR Public Radio. Her goal is to provide helpful and informative coverage for everyday Nevadans.
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