Recall petitions of Incline Village Trustees resurface lost $25 million potential grant money, raise questions of fault
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev.— Petitions for recall against Incline Village Board of Trustees Matthew Dent and Sara Schmitz have been circulating the community, with many once again questioning the true fault of the fall out of the potential $25 million grant from the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation.
The loss of the grant is one of the main reasons behind the petition for recall against Trustee Schmitz. The grant was still in negotiations, meaning it was not promised to the district, and was still in the conceptual design stage when the agreement was terminated by the Duffield Foundation following a 4-1 vote on the approval of the design, to which Trustee Schmitz voted no.
“When I voted ‘no’ on the approval of the design, I did not know I would scuttle the entire project,” said Trustee Schmitz. “I voted ‘no’ on the design to allow the District time to allocate funding that could deliver a multi-use gym.”
Former Chairman of the Trustees Tim Callicrate, who is also spearheading the petition for recall against the two Trustees, was able to speak with David Duffield at Crosby’s Tavern & Gaming, where Duffield told Callicrate he could be quoted on the following: “The main reason we gave the money to the district was because of Indra. The main reason we took it away was because of Sarah.”
The statement above was confirmed by Executive Director of the Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation Jim Dugdale to be sustainably true.
While the Recreation Expansion project grant was terminated from the Duffield Foundation, Dugdale confirmed that the foundation is still happy to continue working with IVGID on other projects already in the works, and that there was no hidden agenda with the grant, as has been accused by members of the community.
Trustee Dent explained that the district can still expand the recreation center, as the funds are still available, along with the ability to bond, and believes the board should take the time to do the project correctly with the focus on what the community needs.
Both Dent and Schmitz agree that there are multiple lessons that were learned through the process of losing the $25 million grant, including the need for a Trustee and legal counsel to be involved in proceedings similar going forward.
“Everything should be in writing,” said Dent. “We did not have anything in writing that assured if the project was stated, that it would be completed. All contracts were being done one at a time, with the ability for the termination at any point.”
Callicrate also believes that Trustee Schmitz is the reason that multiple people have left the district, including former General Manager Indra Winquest, Director of Finance Paul Navazio, and Director of Public Works Brad Underwood.
“She is the reason why our district is going down the toilet,” said Callicrate. “Because of her incessant micromanaging and her narcissism where she denies any culpability for anything.”
Trustee Dent believes that people leave the district for their own various reasons, but it should not be blamed on poor leadership accusations from the community.
“We are thankful for our employees and the amount of time and energy they spend at the district,” said Trustee Dent.
Trustee Schmitz understand the community still blames her for the loss of the grant money, but hopes she can help the community better understand her decision.
“Admittedly it was the vote that ended the collaboration, but the reason I said ‘no’ was based on errors and misunderstandings,” said Trustee Schmitz.
Through misunderstandings and lack of communication, Schmitz explained that she was unclear that the foundation was looking for a unanimous decision on the design, and hopes in the future, better communication can be had.
Recall petitions are still circulating in Incline Village, with booths set up at Raleys and the Incline Village beaches.
The board will be addressing the vacant leadership positions at their upcoming meeting on Wednesday, July 26. To learn more visit http://www.yourtahoeplace.com/ivgid/board-of-trustees/meetings-and-agendas.
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