IVGID trustees Hammerel, Wong speak on recent board, GM issues | SierraSun.com

IVGID trustees Hammerel, Wong speak on recent board, GM issues

IVGID Trustee Jim Hammerel, at a previous meeting, issued a statement prior to the April 29 meeting, saying he is "tired of members of this board showing a lack of respect to staff members."
Kevin MacMillan / North Lake Tahoe Bonanza |

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Jim Hammerel last week became the second IVGID trustee to admonish fellow board members regarding public criticism of General Manager Steve Pinkerton.

Hammerel issued a statement toward the beginning of the district’s April 29 regular board meeting, saying he was “taken aback” by recent comments from chairman Jim Smith and vice-chairman Tim Callicrate about the job performance of Pinkerton, who he said was “negatively affected by this transgression.”

“The internal email being leaked to the media was unfortunate, but could and should have been prevented by using more discretion. The subsequent interview given by our vice chair should not have occurred and violated our own policy that our chair acts as the board media spokesperson,” Hammerel said, according to a webcast of the meeting. “… Frankly, I’m exhausted. I’m tired of members of this board showing a lack of respect to staff members, tired of putting out our own fires, and tired of trying to appease a small group of malcontents rather than doing what’s in the best interest of our silent majority.

“I’m tired of hearing of conspiracy theories, personal vendettas, and witch hunts. Most of all, I’m tired of wasting time and money.”

Hammerel’s comments followed those made at the board’s April 28 budget meeting from trustee Bill Devine, who accused Smith and Callicrate of gutting trustee morale and disrespecting IVGID, its staff and residents.

According to previous reports, Smith and Callicrate said they were shocked and saddened by Devine’s comments, which came a week after the chairman called out Pinkerton in an email to trustees and senior staff, and after Callicrate criticized Pinkerton and said he should be replaced.

While Callicrate apologized for how he handled his criticism, he said he stands by his comments, and Smith said he continues to have concerns about Pinkerton’s inability to meet board-approved deadlines for agenda packets.

The issue has brought forward several opinions via letters to the editor in the Bonanza and comments from residents at IVGID meetings, regarding the board’s relationship with IVGID staff, and how effectively trustees communicates among themselves.

Prior to the April 29 meeting, the Bonanza sought comment from the fifth trustee, Kendra Wong, regarding those issues.

“I’ve heard really good, positive feedback from the employees that Steve is doing a great job … and doing more to engage our community than I’ve seen in the past,” Wong said when asked about Pinkerton’s performance the past year (his first day was April 28, 2014), although she declined to comment further until his formal review occurs. “Any time you manage an employee, there’s always opportunity for improvement — I didn’t necessarily agree with all the comments (first made by Callicrate and Smith) in the story … but I think as a board, we’re trying to figure out how to work together, and unfortunately that doesn’t happen overnight.

“… But, I think our chairman is going a great job letting all trustees speak their minds … and I feel listened to by all my fellow board members.”

The board last met Wednesday to discuss the 2015-16 budget; click here to view a webcast of the meeting.

IN OTHER IVGID NEWS

The boat ramp at Ski Beach opened May 1. Due to Lake Tahoe’s drought-aided low water levels, boats longer than 23 feet cannot launch, and the size limitation may be further restricted as levels worsen this summer, according to a district statement.

The Recreation Center is selling boat launch passes; if there are further restrictions or closure of the ramp, IVGID will issue a prorated refund credit that can be used for the following season, officials said.

New at the ramp this season are larger bumper curbs that enhance safety during boat launching.