After four years and a lot of work, Richard Glover is retiring as Lyon County's public administrator.
Glover is probably Lyon County's least known public official. The public administrator is the one who is often first on the scene when a death is discovered; he contacts the relatives, secures the home and takes inventory of the contents. He also assists the sheriff in securing any guns, prescription medications or alcohol found in the home.
They don't get much attention.
Jason McLean, of Dayton, and Franklin Roller, of Yerington, are running for this position, where you only get paid if the deceased had an estate - and most of them don't.
It is not considered a full-time job and there is no salary; though the county allows the public administrator to bill $50 per hour when going to a decedent's home and $35 per hour for paperwork, Glover said.
He said completion of an estate can take a year, and the public administrator cannot bill the estate until it is closed and the final statements are done. Often there is no estate because the deceased had no assets.
"There are about 30 I never got paid for," he said, adding that he handles about 20 cases per year, both visiting the scene and handling the paperwork.
Glover believes the job should be a paid, full-time position because of the county's growth and the time required to complete all of the duties.
"I just had a call to Wellington," he said. "It takes four hours driving time there and back. How can you do inventory right with that time available."
Glover, 62, of Dayton, who also works as a machinist for Niotan Co. in Mound House, has decided not to seek re-election to the position he has held for four years. He said he spends about four hours a day on paperwork and more going to the scene and cleaning out the house. Then the public administrator must look for heirs, and if they can't find any, clean the house, get it ready for sale.
"The worst part is the smell," he said. "The job has its ups, but it's got a lot of downsides."
Glover said the positive aspect is when he finds relatives of the deceased, especially getting to know the deceased through what they left behind, and to help the relatives achieve closure.
"If we find they were in the military, once of the nicest is to get them over to Fernley, and get them a plaque and give them a decent burial," he said.
McLean hopes to make the job a full-time paid position by 2008.
"It needs to have its own office and yard to maintain estate inventories," he said. "Right now, there's no yard for that and the county does not pay for that."
McLean, a truck driver who earned a master's degree in economics in May, considers this his first step in politics. He said he was aware that payment was not assured, but he intends, if elected to clear estates as soon as possible.
"Yeah, there's a lot of pro bono work," he said. "But I want to maintain the integrity of the office. Richard Glover has done a great job and I want to continue that."
McLean, who was a soldier for 10 years and a correctional officer for four, was born in California and raised in Nevada.
Dr. Franklin Roller, a retired physician, said he was curious about the position.
"I understand somewhat what's entailed and I have dealt with public administrator in Carson City," he said.
"I just want to see how the mechanisms of some government offices work."
He was unsure whether the position should be paid or full- or part- time.
"I don't know the demands on the public administrator in Lyon County," he said, adding that his goal if elected is to do a good job.
Roller has been a resident of the Yerington area for 20 years; before that he lived in Illinois and California. He practiced medicine in Yerington as a general practitioner until his retirement 10 years ago.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 882-2111, ext. 351.
Candidates for public administrator
• Jason McLean, of Dayton
• Franklin Roller, of Yerington