IVGID trustees look toward future with new leadership | SierraSun.com

IVGID trustees look toward future with new leadership

Josh Staab
jstaab@sierrasun.com
Kendra Wong has gone from serving in her first-ever role as an elected official nine months go to becoming the IVGID chair.
Courtesy photo |

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Following an Aug. 26 reshuffling of trustees, newly appointed Incline Village General Improvement District board chairwoman Kendra Wong is still getting used to her new role.

Wong, elected in 2014, began her first-ever stint in public office roughly nine months ago, with the first IVGID board meeting of 2015 taking place Jan. 14.

In a recent interview, she said she believes she is still learning how to be a board member, and it’s that understanding she hopes will help drive the district forward.

“I have butterflies in the stomach, similar to those you have on the first day of class,” she said.

Wong, an associate professor and business department chair at Sierra Nevada College, served as chair for the first time during the Thursday, Sept. 3, board retreat.

There, she and trustees Jim Hammerel, Bill Devine and Tim Callicrate discussed how to recalibrate in the wake of former chairman Jim Smith’s sudden resignation, how to begin the process of filling his vacant board seat, and how best to prioritize future board responsibilities.

Wong likens her position to that of a liaison between the community and IVGID staff, and believes prioritizing a completed district strategic plan can dictate and drive budgeting processes.

“The Diamond Peak discussion is reflective of how the board can make decisions that are not in a vacuum, to make the best decision possible for the community,” she said.

‘DIFFERENT DEMOGRAPHIC CIRCLES’

IVGID is a large district, added board treasurer Tim Callicrate, and the reshuffling of trustees presents members with an opportunity to reach a broader demographic than perhaps had been pursued in the past.

“I feel that perhaps we (the board members) all travel in different demographic circles,” Callicrate said this week. “There is a lot of conversation that is going on that is not in a vacuum, but we need to broaden our information gathering to the realization there is a bigger group of people that will be for and against a certain thing.”

Callicrate admitted he hasn’t always agreed with the direction of the board, and has openly criticized fellow trustees in the past.

However, he acknowledged that while disagreements will permeate through any board, he believes the current inception of the board is poised to be successful.

“I’ve admitted that I have made mistakes; I just don’t want to make the same ones moving forward, or over and over,” he said. “I don’t want to forecast the future; I just want to learn from the past.”

Trustee Bill Devine motioned to nominate Wong to the chair position during the Aug. 26 meeting.

With her now appointed to the position, Devine believes the board has renewed its pledge to echo the voice of the community it serves.

“I hope the board will act as a board, give direction as a board and stay honorable to the board systems,” Devine said this week. “My instincts are — regardless of (Wong’s) experience — I believe she also believes in the total voice of the board.”

Moving forward, Callicrate believes the board has the opportunity to be more fiscally responsible and aware as well as more communicative with its constituency.

“I don’t care if it’s a dime or $100; it’s someone else’s money that I am spending,” he said.

NEW TRUSTEE TO BE CHOSEN NEXT WEEK

Regardless of any past disagreements board members have had, both Wong and Callicrate agree bringing on a new trustee will present the board with fresh opportunities and a chance for new perspective on existing issues.

Further, Wong and Callicrate agree whoever is appointed to the position will need a robust knowledge of the community and the issues it faces.

“We are going to be choosing a new colleague that will hopefully be an individual that can bring fresh perspective that we can collaborate with and not be a rubber stamp and maybe even challenge us,” Callicrate said. “I would like that; I am very optimistic.”

The selection process for a new trustee is already under way. Those who wish to submit their candidacy for the vacant seat have until noon on Friday, Sept. 11, to file an application.

Interviews for the position will be conducted by trustees at the Wednesday, Sept. 16, board retreat meeting, where all interested candidates must be present in order to be considered, according to the district.

During the meeting, “trustees all make their final decision and the selected interested candidate will be sworn in and begin serving their term immediately,” according to IVGID.

Questions should be directed to district clerk Susan Herron at sah@ivgid.org or 775-832-1207.