IVGID board OKs paid leave of absence for GM Horn
September 11, 2013
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The transition in leadership at the Incline Village General Improvement District will hit high gear at month's end when Bill Horn begins a paid leave of absence.
The IVGID Board of Trustees voted 5-0 Wednesday afternoon to approve a three-month separation agreement for Horn, who's served as general manager for more than 11 years.
The deal starts Oct. 1, after which Horn will be paid his full salary through Dec. 31, 2013. The agreement also allows Horn to buy the IVGID-owned vehicle he drives for $1.
Horn said he met with board chairman Bruce Simonian about seven to 10 days ago to discuss the agreement, which essentially carries out the terms in his contract.
Considering the board is preparing to interview candidates for general manager, Horn said it's best if his "shadow" is not cast over that process.
"Whether that shadow is big or small, it's time to block it out," he said.
Horn, 66, announced his retirement during the Aug. 8, 2012, board meeting, saying his last day would be Dec. 31, 2013.
The month prior, the board — at the time consisting of Simonian, current vice-chair Joe Wolfe and former trustees Bea Epstein, Chuck Weinberger and Ted Fuller — OK'd a restructured contract through June 30, 2016, that guaranteed Horn an 18-month severance package should he choose to retire at any point prior.
After Horn's announcement to retire a few weeks later, the 2012 board opted to delay looking into his replacement until the current board — Simonian, Wolfe and trustees Jim Smith, Jim Hammerel and Bill Devine — took over.
A search firm was hired this year to recruit candidates. There are six finalists as of Wednesday's meeting, and interviews will be scheduled soon. The board may vote to hire a new leader as early as October.
"I want to recognize the general manager for all the work he's done," Simonian said Wednesday. "He's one of our few unsung heroes in the district, and he has some of the thickest skin of anyone I've ever met."
Simonian's comments drew a 10-second round of applause from most of the crowd of roughly 65 residents at The Chateau.
IVGID Director of Public Works Joe Pomroy will serve as interim GM through Jan. 1, 2014, or until a new leader is hired. The board's vote Wednesday also grants Pomroy a 20 percent salary increase during that time frame.
Horn recommended Pomroy — who is not one of the six finalists to become general manager — due to his knowledge of water, sewer and trash rates and oversight within IVGID, among other qualifications.
Further, Pomroy has served as Horn's replacement over the past several years when he has been out of town or unable to perform his duties.
During public comment, about 10 residents spoke, some praising Horn for his work and supporting the leave of absence.
Others objected and questioned if the district should sell a publicly owned vehicle for $1. District attorney Charles S. Zumpft said he believed the deal was legal.
According to the agreement, the car — a 2008 Chevy Suburban — is being sold to Horn in lieu of a bonus. The vehicle has 151,000 miles on it, Horn said, and will likely last through year's end.
Horn officially began his role as GM on Feb. 13, 2002, when he signed a five-year contract at an initial salary of $125,000. Over the years, the board has revisited the contract, and had annually approved one-year extensions.
According to previous reports, Horn has made a base salary of upward of $160,000 in recent years, not including potential bonuses and benefits.
IVGID Human Resources Director Dee Carey said Pomroy's temporary pay raise puts his salary close to what Horn currently earns.