IVGID board chairman, vice-chair blast GM Pinkerton; time for him ‘to go’
If you go
What: IVGID Board of Trustees April meeting
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29 (meet and greet starts at 6 p.m.)
Where: The Chateau, 955 Fairway Blvd.
Agenda: It was not published as of press time Wednesday. Visit ivgid.org and click on “Board Meetings & Agendas” to stay up to date.
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The IVGID board’s top two trustees made strong statements this week about the job performance of General Manager Steve Pinkerton, with the vice-chair going so far as saying he should be replaced.
“I myself am just not comfortable anymore with Mr. Pinkerton,” Incline Village General Improvement District Board Vice-Chairman Tim Callicrate said Wednesday. “There are credibility and integrity issues there … and my feeling is it’s his time to go.”
Callicrate’s comments came hours after board Chairman Jim Smith heavily criticized Pinkerton for his preparation for a pair of IVGID meetings next week.
According to emails obtained by the Bonanza, Pinkerton submitted several PDF documents to Smith, Callicrate and Legal Counsel Devon Reese at about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, with information to be included in the agendas for the 2015-16 budget meeting on April 27-28, and for the board’s regular April meeting on the 29th.
In a response email sent at about 12:20 a.m. Wednesday to Pinkerton, Smith (who was on a business trip in Milwaukee for his company, Service Scouts, which represents Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers) said he was “very frustrated” for not getting information until 7:15 p.m. Central Standard Time Tuesday, as it gave him only several hours to approve in order for the meetings to be properly agendized.
Nevada’s Open Meeting Law states that “written notice of all meetings must be given at least three working days before the meeting.”
Further, Smith took issue with the packet documents boasting page counts of 344 and 417 for the budget and regular meetings, respectively.
“I’m not sure how I or any human can (possibly) read 761 pages of public documents between 7:16pm and before 9am the following morning and approve in time…” Smith wrote in the email that was also sent to Reese, Callicrate, and trustees Bill Devine, Jim Hammerel and Kendra Wong, as well as the district’s senior staff. “In sincere and respectful consideration to my colleagues, we Trustees will need to read and prepare for these meetings, and the lateness and volume of the materials leaves us with only a couple of business days to prepare for the most important meetings of the year.”
IVGID decided late Wednesday to still hold the budget meeting next week, but only for one day, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at The Chateau.
The regular meeting will go on as scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, at The Chateau.
When reached by phone Wednesday, Pinkerton said it can “be a struggle” to get agenda packets prepared.
“We always aspire to meet the deadline, and we’ve had an overwhelming amount of material that we need to put in the agenda,” he said. “We are working our hardest to do it sooner, to their (the board’s) desire, and we do want to give them as much time as possible. It’s just always a struggle with public agencies … a lot of work goes into it, and in a small environment (with IVGID), we sometimes don’t have as much support staff to pull it off.”
In his email early Wednesday, Smith wrote that Pinkerton’s actions were “unacceptable” and they “have a direct negative consequence on my ability to perform my job as the chairman.”
“I am entirely dissatisfied with the timing of the agendas and board packets to the Trustees,” Smith wrote. “… Having the agendas and supporting materials is critical to our job as elected officials — no Board member can be expected to review hundreds of pages of documents and deal with the complexities of the issues we are facing without having adequate preparation time.
“I am now obligated to share my concerns with my fellow Trustees and Senior Staff to advise you that this pattern will need to be specifically remedied and addressed in your performance evaluation.”
Considering the Bonanza was unable to look into this story until Wednesday morning, Smith was unable to return requests for comment, as he was in meetings all day Wednesday with the Brewers’ senior management team.
In December, the IVGID board (which was amid transition with Callicrate and Wong replacing former trustees Bruce Simonian and Joe Wolfe) directed Pinkerton to make meeting agenda packets available to the public seven days prior to meetings, in an effort for residents to be more informed.
That work begins to pile up, Pinkerton said, because it takes time to compile and vet the many pages of meeting minutes and written statements from residents that by law must be included in agenda packets.
“There is a heck of a lot of correspondence that consumes a lot of those pages,” said Pinkerton, whose one-year anniversary as general manager is, ironically, Tuesday, April 28, the day of IVGID’s budget meeting. “The last week or two has been really challenging, because the board has asked for a lot of details to the budget, and it’s taken us days, nights and weekends, and we still were not able to get it out late last week.”
When asked how much he and the senior staff have worked on the budget documents for next week’s meeting, Pinkerton said, “There has got to be 200 man hours a week that have been put into the budget lately … a lot of time and energy.”
‘MY JOB IS TO DO THE BEST JOB FOR THIS DISTRICT’
Still, Callicrate said Pinkerton’s trend the past several months of submitting agendas at the “zero hour” is unacceptable, and it’s made the district “as transparent as a filthy window.”
“The budget is the most important thing that the board of trustees has to contend with … and it should be done in a very transparent, easy to understand and easily accessible way,” Callicrate said. “… Now, the bulk of the employees and staff are truly dedicated, hard-working individuals who do their job very well … But when our only employee, the general manager … has had one year under his belt, and he knows how the cycle is now … to have all these pages sent to us only days before our two biggest workshops, that’s unacceptable.”
Callicrate went on to call it a “huge disservice” and “a complete travesty,” considering the draft budget needs to be sent to the state by the third Thursday in May.
“Things just aren’t going well, and this is the absolute worst organizational oversight I’ve seen in the district in my 30 years living in this community, and it all stems from Mr. Pinkerton’s inability to properly lead and reach out and be proactive,” he said.
Aside from not meeting the board’s deadlines for agenda packets, Callicrate said he has other issues with Pinkerton’s job performance, which he plans to bring up at the board’s April 29 meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at The Chateau.
Further, Callicrate said he wants to ask trustees to reconsider a past board decision to hold Pinkerton’s public performance review in August, and to instead agendize it as soon as possible for an upcoming meeting.
When asked Wednesday to rate his own performance the past year, Pinkerton said it’s “been a very steep learning curve.”
“I’ve tried to spend a lot of time getting a good feel for the staff and the community, and I feel comfortable I am where I need to be now,” he said. “… As general manager, I’m under review 24/7. There’s constant feedback … and I’m constantly soliciting feedback. There is a lot of varied interest on the board, and that comes with the territory.
“But it’s my job to do the best job I can for this district, which I endeavor to do every day.”
When asked if he feels the current board provides him the proper amount of guidance to perform that job, Pinkerton was quick — and short — with his response.
“I get a lot of guidance,” he said.
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