Jim Smith resigns from IVGID Board, hours after being replaced as chair
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the original motion made by trustee Bill Devine. It has been updated to clearly report that he in fact nominated Kendra Wong to the position of board chairperson, and not himself.
The Bonanza regrets this error.
Smith resigns to focus on business, family
Less than 24 hours after the board voted for Wong to replace him, Smith emailed a brief letter of resignation late Thursday morning to trustees, board legal counsel Devon Reese and the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, saying he will spend more time with his family and focus on his “soaring” business — Service Scouts, Inc.
“Heartfelt appreciation to friends and community members that have supported me in my efforts to positively impact Incline Village and Crystal Bay,” he wrote. “Thank you all!”
Smith declined to comment further when reached by phone and email Thursday afternoon.
Smith was elected as an IVGID trustee in 2012, marking his first stint in public office.
In that election, Smith led the way among six candidates for three seats with 2,658 votes, followed by Devine with 2,202 and Hammerel with 2,189. Smith was the leading vote-getter in both the November election and the June primary that year.
His seat would have been up for reelection in 2016, along with those of Devine and Hammerel.
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — In a turn of events that resulted in Jim Smith’s resignation Thursday as an Incline Village General Improvement District trustee, Kendra Wong is now chairwoman of the board, following a 3-2 vote the night before.
“My head is still spinning a little bit,” Wong said Thursday.
IVGID Trustee Bill Devine introduced the scheduled agenda item to reshuffle the board during Wednesday evening’s monthly meeting.
The item called for an examination of Smith’s “management style” as the board’s chairman, as Devine put it.
“I believe that you have brought a management style as chair of the board of trustees that has worked really well for you in the private enterprise,” Devine said. “It is my opinion that you have brought that same management style to your chairpersonship, and it is not effective in this setting.”
Devine said he believes it is not Smith’s duty to “manage” from the chair position. He also repeatedly said his intent to address this issue was not brought on by any “evil intent” or desire to attack anyone.
With that said, Devine motioned to nominate Wong to chair, Tim Callicrate would remain vice chair, Smith would move to secretary, and Jim Hammerel would move to treasurer, effective immediately through December 2016.
The board eventually opted to allow that motion to fail and adopt a new motion to reorganize trustees in a different fashion.
After a public comment period, Devine led the motion to appoint Wong as chair, which was supported by a vote of 3-2, with Callicrate and Smith against.
“Obviously I knew it was an agenda item,” Wong said Thursday. “I didn’t know which direction it would go in.”
DIFFERING LEADERSHIP STYLES
One of the tasks Wong will first have to address includes differentiating her direction from Smith’s, though she said wherever that path takes her, it will have the best interests of IVGID staff, her fellow trustees, and most importantly, her constituency — the community — at heart.
“Our goal is to represent our community and do the best job that we can,” she said Thursday. “Each one of us, every single person, we’re all different, and that also means our leadership styles are going to be different.”
Smith did a good job, Wong added, and she believes he served the district well.
For the immediate term, Wong wants to focus on making sure IVGID staff feels secure in the change, which to her means meeting with General Manager Steven Pinkerton and the senior management team to see what she can do as chair to address any turmoil there may be within the district.
As for Smith’s resignation, “I did not expect this at all,” Wong said. “In fact, he’s going to be my next phone call.”
While it may not have been apparent during Wednesday night’s proceedings, Smith’s choice to decline trustees’ nominations to other positions may have foreshadowed his eventual decision.
“Since this has been an awful lot about me, I’ve done my very best,” Smith said during the proceedings. “I think everybody in this room knows whether or not you’re for or against anything that I believe in.”
Smith went on to credit each trustee’s ability to perform his or her duties; however, he noted a sense of dissent he perceived, either among trustees or from another place.
“I think there is a lot of information out there that people may or may not believe, but I always asked when and where and come to me with what issues there are, because there is always another side to the story,” Smith said.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
Following a brief break, the board returned to reshuffle the rest of the board positions. Smith would recuse himself of being nominated to any other position, simply apologizing and thanking each board member for each nomination.
Wong nominated Hammerel for vice chair, to which Hammerel countered that Smith be nominated; however, Smith declined.
“I’m not interested, sorry,” Smith said.
Wong, Devine and Smith all voted in favor of Hammerel’s appointment to vice chair, effective the next board meeting.
Rounding out the reshuffle, Devine was elected to the position of treasurer, and Callicrate became secretary.
“I want to tell all of you, I support your decision,” Smith said. “I want to thank you for your support these last nine months, and let’s move on to the next item on the agenda.”
As far as any new direction Wong sees the board taking, she said Thursday it’s too early at this point to predict, but it will be something she and the rest of the trustees will address at the board’s Sept. 3 board retreat at 2 p.m. at The Chateau.
“I’m excited about new opportunities and to have a clean slate,” she said.
According to the Sept. 3 agenda, trustees will receive a report from Pinkerton and staff and Reese regarding the process for filing for Smith’s vacancy.
According to the agenda, the board will “discuss and agree upon framework and questions to be asked during the appointment process.”