Opinion: IVGID trustees Smith, Callicrate should step down or face recall | SierraSun.com

Opinion: IVGID trustees Smith, Callicrate should step down or face recall

Ed Gurowitz
Special to the Bonanza

You’ve heard the expression “XXX is the new black?” Well, in government it seems that slapstick is the new democracy.

This is happening at every level from the Federal Government’s inability to get anything done to the Nevada Legislature’s preoccupation with guns on campus and Michele Fiore apparently having inherited the mantle of crazy from Sharron Angle, to the Washoe County Board of Education’s rendition of the gang who couldn’t shoot straight.

Now this virus has apparently reached the IVGID Board of Trustees.

You’ll recall that about a year ago, after an exhaustive (and expensive) search for a new general manager, the board had it narrowed down to two candidates, one local and one from out of the area.

Only then was it discovered that the high-priced search firm had failed to notice that the local candidate didn’t meet the requirements for the job, although that information had been there from the beginning of the search. That left Steve Pinkerton, who was at the time City Manager of Davis, Calif.

Mr. Pinkerton was hired, and as far as this and many other informed observers could tell, he hit the ground running. He did extensive homework, read Board minutes going back many years, met with community members, and quickly demonstrated an impressive grasp of the state of the district financially and statistically.

In only a year on the job, he seems to have brought maturity and intelligence to the GM job, and worked well with a staff that has been continually and unfairly under attack by self-appointed community watchdogs.

Enter the 2015 board and Chair Jim Smith and Vice-Chair Tim Callicrate. Mr. Smith has all of two years as a trustee under his belt. Mr. Callicrate is new to the current board, but has served as a Trustee in the past.

Mr. Smith, as a trustee, was instrumental in hiring Mr. Pinkerton, but seems now to have decided it’s his job to (a) throw his weight around as chair and (b) undermine Mr. Pinkerton.

The first shot at this was the clown show when Mr. Smith unilaterally placed on the board agenda a move to hire an Administrative Assistant for the Board because of the workload on the board and the staff. This move was in blatant disregard of Nevada’s Open Meeting Law and never got off the ground.

Then, Smith and Callicrate, without consulting the board, went public with a call for Mr. Pinkerton’s removal because he wasn’t getting board agendas to them quickly enough.

For this heinous offense, the district should go through the trouble and expense of another search, and waste the year of learning Mr. Pinkerton put in. Ridiculous.

It should be noted that Smith has a history of this kind of move. He essentially took over Red, White and Tahoe Blue from its founders, and turned it from a community-based event that supported local nonprofits to a slick and expensive event that appears to be far from the intent on which RWTB was founded.

Trustee Bill Devine last week had finally had enough and denounced Smith and Callicrate publicly for their actions, for which he is to be applauded and honored.

The community needs to stand up as well. For too long the only voices heard have been those of a fringe group who can’t seem to find anything they like about IVGID.

Now is the time for the majority to break our silence about the way Smith and Callicrate are attempting to hijack the governance of this community.

The job of the board is to be the stewards of the district’s assets, not to provide a forum for egotism and megalomania. Smith and Callicrate should step down or face a recall.

Ed Gurowitz is an Incline Village resident.