One of the leaders of the panel that rejected all county manager candidates has withdrawn his application for the job saying he was pleasantly surprised by the quality of candidates.

“There are other applicants better positioned to serve as Douglas County’s next county manager,” Minden resident Dave Brady wrote on Wednesday. “The commissioners will have a difficult choice to make, which I guess is a nice problem to have.”

The names of 39 of 42 applicants were released by the county and will be discussed at a meeting 3 p.m. Monday. The two applicants who refused to have their information released will not be considered. With Brady’s withdrawal, that leaves 39 candidates still in the mix.

Commissioners are seeking to interview candidates on Dec. 17.

A substantial number of the candidates hail from western Nevada, including nearly a dozen Douglas County residents.

Bradley Hurley, who served briefly as assistant county manager, has applied for the top spot.

Also on the list is outgoing Nevada Controller Ron Knecht.

Commissioner Larry Walsh said he would be happy to review the 39 applications and bring back recommendations for candidates to interview.

Commissioner Dave Nelson said he felt the people who put down less than $100,000 for the salary should be eliminated from the list.

“What happens next is really important,” Commissioner Barry Penzel said. “If three of us agree someone should be interviewed on the 10th, then we should interview them, though we should have a cut for the number.”

Penzel asked whether commissioners would be willing to offer the job to someone on Dec. 17 for discussion. He said the new board would have a chance to ratify the choice at their Jan. 7 meeting.

Genoa resident Jim Hartman said he felt the process requires the aid of a search firm and should be made by the new board that takes office on Jan. 7.

Missing from the list is interim county manager Jenifer Davidson, whose announcement she would seek the position prompted a contentious Nov. 21 meeting.

“I chose not to apply for the position at this time,” Davidson said on Thursday. “I look forward to working with the successful applicant as a member of their team.”

On Thursday, Douglas County commissioners approved paying Davidson at the lowest level of a county manager retroactively.

Davidson has been serving as interim county manager since the beginning of September, being paid 10 percent higher than her regular pay.

Total amount is $1,501 a pay period, according to Human Resources Director Wendy Lang.

North Valley resident Lynn Muzzy opposed the increase county employees’ cost in general.

“If you don’t start at the top, I’m not sure you’re ever going to reach that goal,” he said.

County Employee Association President Mike Avila said his group discussed the issue and felt that it was the fair thing to do when someone is asked to do a job that they are paid for it.

County commissioners meet at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1616 Eighth St., Minden.