IVGID trustees seek facts on rec center expansion project grant termination
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The IVGID Board of Trustees will come together for a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Chateau to discuss the facts that led to the termination of the recreation expansion project grant from the David and Cheryl Duffield Foundation.
Since the unfortunate loss for the community, there has been confusion both from the community and board members and Chairman Tim Callicrate said he decided to call a special meeting in order to get the facts straight.
“We need to get a full, clear, concise, legitimate chronology of what was said by whom, when, and contingencies from the Duffield Foundation on what they were anticipating and expecting of the board and the district.”
One of the biggest miscommunications is in regards to the knowledge of the need for unanimous support for the scope of the project.
After Jim Dugdale, a representative from the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation spoke to General Manager Indra Winquest letting him know that the foundation was looking for unanimous support from the board, Winquest said he notified each board member about the updates from Dugdale.
“When we met with the foundation and were told specifically what the expectations were, I reached out within a 24 to 48 hour period and spoke with each individual trustee basically giving them an update on what was going on, what the status was at that point in time, and what the expectations were from the foundation,” Winquest said.
Trustee Sara Schmitz, who voted against the redesign of the project but ultimately to support the board’s decision to send unanimous support to the Duffields, said she never had that conversation with Winquest.
“There are no facts that can corroborate or substantiate that a unanimous decision was required for modification of the design and the grant agreement,” Schmitz told the Tribune.
Winquest is hoping the meeting will bring forward the facts and clear up these miscommunications for the board.
“I did speak to all five trustees,” Winquest said. “Bottom line is people need to understand that when you’re working with a donor on a project of this size and this scope and this much money, there are just going to be expectations. Assuming the expectations are not unreasonable, there is no reason to not unanimously support it.
“We had to reduce the scope to get the cost down, and that’s what we did, and the project was still a beautiful project,” Winquest added. “We could have come in and determined that we really needed that additional gym space and done a phase two of the project later on.”
The meeting will also clear up facts that have been spread on the internet in the last few weeks, especially in regards to an email sent out by Trustee Kendra Wong, which called for Trustee Schmitz resignation from the board.
Although the letter technically goes against the board’s newest Code of Conduct, it was adopted three days after the email was sent. Otherwise, Wong’s email broke no open meeting laws according to Callicrate.
Wong did not respond to request for comment for this story.
Since the announcement of the termination of the grant from the Duffield Foundation, there has been a petition for resignation of Schmitz.
The petition calls for the Washoe County Commissioners to remove Sara Schmitz from office pursuant to NRS 318.080(6) which says “the board of county commissioners of the county… may remove any serving trustee serving on an appointed or elected board of trustees for cause shown, on petition, hearing, and notice thereof by publication and by mail addressed to the trustee.”
Schmitz said she will not be able to attend the special meeting due to prior commitments, but is hoping to move forward from the loss and continue to talk about options that the board can take moving forward for the recreation expansion project.
“This has been a huge community priority … it’s something the board does together,” said Schmitz. “I look forward in January to our new board and I look forward to reviewing with that board what is on our five year plan. It’s an opportunity to say this is a priority and let’s start talking about that priority.”
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