IVGID trustees mull GM contract, set date for bear-proof trash vote

Kevin MacMillan
IVGID board chairman Joe Wolfe, left, and treasurer Bill Devine listen to public comment at Wednesday's meeting.
Photos by Kevin MacMillan |

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — While IVGID trustees spent little time Wednesday discussing a draft general manager employment contract, a few spoke on whether an annual bonus should be included.

“I want to go on record and say that I’m not in favor of bonuses at all, not in the public sector, and I would not support that type of agreement,” said trustee Bruce Simonian.

During Wednesday’s board meeting, the first of 2014, chairman Joe Wolfe and vice-chair Jim Hammerel agreed some evaluation standards set up for former IVGID GM Bill Horn’s bonus (which had a $25,000 annual cap) — such as communication skills and loyalty to the district — shouldn’t be in the new contract if the board agrees on a bonus.

“I think a bonus is a very difficult thing to come up with for a government,” Wolfe said after the meeting. “It has to be tied to measurable items, and finance is really the only true measurement we have around here … anything else is going to be subjective.”

In December, trustees narrowed their search to two candidates: Incline Village resident Eric Severance, a former GM at Diamond Peak Ski Resort; and Steve Pinkerton, who currently serves as manager of the city of Davis, Calif.

Both will undergo public interviews on Jan. 30, Wolfe said, with Jan. 31 also booked if interviews take awhile. The board then would likely vote to choose one or start the search process over after interviews wrap.

If either lands the job, a committee of Wolfe, trustee Jim Smith and district legal counsel Scott Brooke will begin negotiations to finalize contract details.

A second draft of the contract should be ready for public review at the Jan. 29 board meeting, Wolfe said.

The board spent about 20 minutes Wednesday discussing the first draft, which includes a base salary of $145,000, a $600 monthly reimbursement for vehicle mileage and full recreation benefits, among other clauses.

The first draft should only be viewed as a “framework,” trustee Bill Devine said, and is based off the current Washoe County Manager contract and Horn’s old one. Figures are preliminary.

The next draft will likely not include a salary number and other pieces of information that are better served as negotiating points, Wolfe said.

“In the future there won’t be a number there … so we can talk to those guys,” Wolfe said. “They know their worth so they’ll come to us and tell us.”

One item trustees agreed must be added is that IVGID’s new leader reside in Incline Village or Crystal Bay.

With that in mind, Smith said he would be hesitant to allow anything more than the 2014 standard mileage rate for a vehicle allowance.

At 56 cents per mile, Smith said that option would be more cost-effective, considering a district-resident GM likely wouldn’t approach driving $600 worth of miles each month.

Another issue Smith wants discussed is if the GM should report directly to the board chairman — as was the case with Horn — or to the entire board. Smith said he prefers the latter option, because it allows that person to receive feedback and act on direction from all trustees, not just the chair.

In other action Wednesday, trustees in a 4-1 vote (with Wolfe against) approved a public hearing for 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, to review amendments to the district’s trash laws.

The board will be asked to approve an updated Ordinance No. 1 that, among other things, would mandate wildlife-proof trash containers throughout the community, a controversial issue that’s been discussed for months.

A draft copy of the proposed law will be available to the public by Feb. 6, according to IVGID. Among other changes proposed, fines for violating the law would cost $500 for a first offense, and $999 for a second, both for commercial and residential customers. If approved, it would likely go into effect this summer.

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