Guest Column: We must hold public officials accountable
March 10, 2014
EDITOR’S NOTE: To read Mr. Simonian’s guest column from last week, click here.
Bruce Simonian is among a misinformed segment of the population that thinks IVGID is somehow immune to the requirements of the NRS. They think IVGID is quasi-government. It’s not. IVGID is a public agency, and as such, its board members are all public officers. IVGID is not a private corporation.
I suspect this may be part of the reason why Simonian thinks he has done no wrong. In a private business, there is nothing wrong with promoting your friend when he applies for a job.
In the public sector, you must disclose that relationship, and if it is more than a casual acquaintance you may even have to refrain from participating in the hiring process altogether.
Mr. Simonian has ignored his duty to the public and engaged in activities that demonstrate he was partial to one candidate for general manager. He knew before the job was announced that Mr. Severance did not have the minimum requirements for the job, yet he kept silent.
He knew the summary provided by the consultant indicating that all the remaining candidates possessed at least a bachelor’s degree was in error, yet he chastised other board members for not being “diligent” because they relied on the consultant’s document.
And now we are told that he and Mr. Severance hoped the board would approve a waiver of the requirement; why didn’t they ask the question at the very beginning? Probably because Simonian was on the committee that came up with the job description. He tried to get the board to drop the degree requirements before the GM job was posted, but Bea Epstein and others insisted the degree requirement remain.
But now he accuses those members of the community who dare to speak publicly what others have expressed privately — that Simonian should resign — of slander. Yet he is not specific about what he considers slanderous, nor does he ask any of the “slanderers” to retract any part of their statements.
If we really want to improve this community, then all of us need to learn the truth and participate in the decisions made by IVGID. Although the attendance at board meetings is generally minimal, the recent introduction of streaming video on the IVGID site opens the opportunity for more people to be informed.
Judith Miller is an Incline Village resident.
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