Public will help pick TRPA executive director |

Public will help pick TRPA executive director

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency wants members of the public to help select its next executive director.

The agency received about 100 applications for the job at the end of July. By October, a committee of the TRPA Governing Board is expected to have cut that number to five. That’s where the public comes in. Eight residents who represent various sectors of the community will be chosen to serve on a panel. The panel will question the candidates for about three hours.

“It will allow everyone to observe that interaction in live scenarios,” said Jerry Wells, acting director of the TRPA. “See how individuals respond to questions … from groups like the League (to Save Lake Tahoe) and the Board of Realtors.”

Each member of the panel will be chosen to represent an aspect of the community: businesses, homeowners, environmental groups, local activists, local organizations, non-local interested parties, media and TRPA staff.

Panelists will have a chance to question people interested in being executive director before the Governing Board conducts its interviews, which will be open to the public and accompanied by a public hearing.

“If they apply for the panel and don’t get picked, it doesn’t mean they can’t come up and still be a participant in the process,” Wells said.

Juan Palma, who resigned as executive director last spring, was hired in October 2001 after a year-long search. The process took so long because the first candidate selected by the Governing Board turned down the job.

The public was included in that selection process as well, said Michele Chouinard, human resources manager at the TRPA, but involvement came through resume filtering and committees instead of a question-and-answer panel.

— People interested in being on the panel should e-mail nominations to the agency at, or fax them to (775) 588-4527, or send them to TRPA, 128 Market St., P.O. Box 5310, Stateline, NV 89449. Nominations must be received by Sept. 17 and should include which sector of the community each nominee represents.

n In addition to the search for an executive director, the TRPA is also in the process of hiring a public outreach director. It received about 95 applications for the job. The position is expected to be filled by Oct. 1.

— Also, on Aug. 20, the agency opened its doors to a team of consultants who work for Strategica Inc. The firm was hired to review how the TRPA staff interacts with each other and how it work with the residents and property owners.

The review is expected to cost about $75,000 and be completed by the end of February. TRPA operations were last reviewed by an outside agency in the mid-1990s.

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