North Lake Tahoe Bonanza editorial: Can’t we all just get along in the sandbox?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza editorial staff.
Above this editorial space, readers often see a cartoon, produced by local resident Rex Norman — although he prefers to go by his much-cooler pen name, Killbuck.
This week, you’ll see a parody on what figures to be a busy boating season at Lake Tahoe this year as the Western drought continues.
A few weeks ago, we published a cartoon related to the communication issues of IVGID trustees and the district’s barely year-old general manager, Steve Pinkerton.
That satire of Pinkerton edging a pirate-like plank with nowhere to go but down drew a few chuckles — and criticisms — from readers, which means, in our view, the cartoon did its job.
It also drew a suggestion from one reader about a future cartoon he thought we should draw up. Long story short, the idea was as follows: There is a big sandbox labeled “IVGID,” and inside are six children. The kicker — the children’s faces each represent an IVGID board member, with a sixth being Pinkerton, and the kids aren’t playing. Instead, they’re “not getting along in the sandbox.”
Considering everything that’s been in the news recently about IVGID board chairman Jim Smith’s email that called out the job performance of Pinkerton; blistering comments from board vice-chairman Tim Callicrate; and equally blistering statements of admonishment and shame from trustees Bill Devine and Jim Hammerel, the cartoon made sense, but in the end we chose not to promote the idea.
However, we feel it’s a spot-on visual, hence the title of this editorial, and it’s worth strong imagery among residents as we count down the days to the Thursday, May 21, board workshop at The Chateau, where the trustees will listen to public praise and criticism before being asked to give a preliminary vote on the all-important 2015-16 budget.
We feel it is of utmost importance that the IVGID board not let recent statements and accusations get into the way of this major job, and that’s to approve a budget that charts a path for the next fiscal year for employees to stay employed and planned capital projects to continue.
Is the proposed budget perfect? Of course note. Frankly, some residents have brought up very valid arguments in terms of bonds that have sunset not coming off the recreation fees, among other concerns. And, with new board members and some new staff, including Pinkerton, working together for the first time on a fiscal budget, room for improvement surely exists.
But the prepared budget, by every indication, was created legally and with the best intentions by IVGID’s financial staff. Considering that, it’s imperative the five trustees set aside their professional (and, perhaps personal) concerns and differences with each other and focus on the more-important task — approving the budget so this government body can continue to operate at a mature level.
To become mired in arguments and accusations and to suggest not enough time has existed to do the necessary homework to be prepared one week from today, that is not acceptable, in our view, and it should be considered a failure by the IVGID electorate.
Let’s not forget that, in the end, trustees are employed only by the people of Incline Village and Crystal Bay. Cut them a break next week and play nicely.