CARSON CITY (AP) - Veteran Nevada state Archivist Guy Rocha has announced his retirement plans, saying he doesn't want to oversee the possible gutting of his agency because of the state's budget crunch.
The 57-year-old Rocha plans to retire Feb. 2 - exactly 28 years to the day he assumed his position. When he began the job in 1981, he was the youngest state archivist in the nation. Now, only the archivists of New Hampshire and Maryland have served longer.
During his tenure, Rocha earned a reputation as the state's "myth buster" by making it his mission to debunk commonly held but erroneous beliefs about the Silver State.
Now, Rocha is turning his attention to the state's financial crisis and proposed budget cuts of as much as 34 percent over the two-year fiscal period beginning July 1.
Rocha warns such cuts would devastate his agency and other state departments, and leave the public without many vital programs and facilities.
Rocha says past budget cuts and the prospect of even more severe cuts are causing a "brain drain" of hundreds of dedicated state employees.
Dan Burns, spokesman for Gov. Jim Gibbons, says the state and national economies are faltering and government must deal with that reality by slashing budgets.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)