Guest Column: We must demand honesty, integrity from IVGID trustees
March 10, 2014
IVGID board of trustees ex-chairman, Bruce Simonian, has done a great disservice to our community and has mistakenly perceived that a "joined forces" group of four residents, of which I was stated as one of, has formed to "dismantle" his character. This is entirely his perception.
Most likely born of the public comments in a recent board meeting which four people came to publicly ask for his resignation from the IVGID board. I can only speak for myself, and autonomously as always, regarding my decision to call for his resignation due to the circumstances surrounding the nomination of Mr. Severance for IVGID general manager.
It is disconcerting that we (the four people stated in the column) are accused of collusion in our decision to speak at the public comments section of that meeting on the very same topic.
I can assure the residents of this community that this was definitely not the case. We came independently and spoke independently. Mr. Simonian stated our reasons for speaking were to "boost our own standings as watchdogs." I do not feel the need to "boost my standing" for any reason by speaking what I think is right.
Mr. Simonian needs to get a grip on reality and stop blaming others for his deception in this public debacle which he certainly had a big part of causing. I think that Mr. Severance is an upstanding member of the community and educated in his trade, but he did not qualify from day one.
By Mr. Simonian's own admission in his guest column, he and Mr. Severance had discussed the lack of the qualification and the possibility of a waiver. Mr. Simonian did not state that he went to the other board members to discuss this.
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So I would have to believe Mr. Simonian's statement that "nothing was hidden" and it "was always out in the open" was not correct due to the other board members not being included in this private discussion and not being informed of it in a timely manner.
I certainly did not "slander" Mr. Simonian's name. I simply stated facts that were presented by other members of the board of trustees in saying in a board meeting that they were not made aware of knowledge that board member Simonian had regarding the qualifications of Mr. Severance.
I stated my opinion of the dishonesty by omission to the other board members during the process and feel that the implication of this clearly called for Mr. Simonian to resign from the board.
There has been much discussion about this lack of integrity in Mr. Simonian's position in having been involved in making a decision and casting a vote in such an important position to fill.
His timeline may be correct for the events leading to the public debacle, but all of the items stated could have been easily avoided if Mr. Simonian had done the right thing and strongly pointed out that he knew that Mr. Severance did not have the qualifications needed and asked for a waiver instead of letting the issue slide to be hopefully unnoticed.
This is where it should have started and ended and didn't. So now Mr. Simonian is trying to pass the buck to the other trustees, the IVGID HR director and the four people who are strong enough to ask for a resignation that should have been forthcoming by Mr. Simonian for information that he had at least a year ago.
My intention and my actions by no means showed any intent to smear Mr. Severance. And most likely this is shared by the other people Mr. Simonian included in his column.
The four people named in Mr.Simonian's column have never said a disparaging word about Mr. Severance's reputation. It is unfortunate that Mr. Simonian has let his friend go through this due to Mr. Simonian's lack of accountability in his actions.
Mr. Simonian's guest column is doing nothing but playing the name game ("bullies") toward members of the community and the members of the board who shifted the torch to "light me on fire" instead of his taking the torch of integrity and admitting that he was the one who could have stopped this at the onset.
Like it or not, Mr. Simonian, the buck stops with you and that could be the reason that no one, by your admission, has stood up on your behalf.
Margaret Martini is an Incline Village resident.
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