IVGID board tables talks on creating admin positions amid criticism | SierraSun.com

IVGID board tables talks on creating admin positions amid criticism

Kevin MacMillan | kmacmillan@sierrasun.com

Jim Smith

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — IVGID's legal counsel and board chair admitted to erring when they created Friday's special meeting agenda that resulted in residents accusing the board of being deliberately deceitful and nontransparent.

Trustees took no action at the meeting on agenda items related to creating positions of assistant general manager and an administrative assistant to the board.

Board Chair Jim Smith and the district's legal counsel, Jason D. Guinasso, said the agenda items were poorly worded, as the real motivation was for trustees to provide direction to General Manager Steve Pinkerton on developing a potential staff reorganization plan.

The district has no succession plan for senior management, Guinasso said, which puts it at risk if senior managers leave or retire — or if they receive other job offers.

"The concern is what happens when that talent leaves," said Guinasso, adding that the matter needed to be discussed at a public meeting due to Nevada's strict laws on personnel decisions. "And the general manager has a concern with respect to this issue."

Guinasso admitted to rushing the issue by advising the agenda items be worded as they were.

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Part of the hurry was due to the board's 8-hour strategic planning session scheduled for this Tuesday at the Hyatt, so the board and Pinkerton could better address the plan.

"It's imperative that we address this now," Smith said Friday, before making a motion to direct Pinkerton "to build a formal succession plan for each of the district's departments, as well as for the general manager."

When trustee Bill Devine asked Smith why the agenda items were not worded that way, Guinasso took the blame.

"I was trying to keep the agenda item as simple as possible…" he said. "… Unfortunately, the language I chose was a bit clunky to accomplish that."

The board took no action, based on counsel's advice that a vote may violate the Open Meeting Law.

Former IVGID trustees Gene Brockman and Bea Epstein were among those who criticized the board and counsel during public comment

"Please be clear about the language so we don't get into this quagmire again," Epstein said.

Board Vice-President Tim Callicrate apologized to the public for the "ambiguity" of the agenda items.

"We have had so very little time, the five of us, to get together to even talk, and this is the awkward aspect of things … in learning the process," he said. "… Today was a very big learning moment for us."

On Wednesday, Pinkerton said he'll work on a succession plan during the district's budget process in March and April.

After being in his role for nine months now, he said a reorganization is likely needed to better utilize staff while providing better service to residents.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For transparency’s sake, a reporter was not in attendance at Friday’s special meeting; this story’s references to that meeting are based on viewing recorded video of the proceedings.

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If you go

What: February regular meeting of the IVGID board

When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25 (meet and greet starts at 6 p.m.)

Where: The Chateau, 955 Fairway Blvd.

More online: yourtahoe place.com/ivgid — click on “Board Meetings & Agendas” to download the agenda.