Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: Looking to move to higher ground

By From page A2 | January 15, 2014

“City Manager inclined to work in Incline Village,” said the clever headline in Sunday’s Enterprise.
“If the stars align for Davis City Manager Steve Pinkerton,” begins the story under Dave Ryan’s byline, “he soon could become the general manager for the Incline Village General Improvement District in the Lake Tahoe area of Nevada.”
Wow, that’s a mouthful to fit on a business card. It’s also stunning to think that anyone in the upper echelon of management could ever desire to actually leave the City of All Things Right and Relevant.
Doesn’t the sun rise and set on Davis alone? Isn’t this the very top of any city employee’s profession, especially one whose previous stops were in Manteca and Stockton? How can it possibly get any better than Davis?
The Enterprise’s Ryan notes that the Incline Village General Improvement District “is responsible for water, sewer, waste and recreational services for the northeast shore of Lake Tahoe.”
Best of all, though, there is no Incline Village City Council to order Pinkerton around and keep him up late at night with endless meetings.
This assumes, of course, he is offered the job and accepts it. Yes, at this point he is only a candidate, but with “City of Davis” on his resume, you’d think he’d be a lock.
“Last month,” Ryan explains, “Incline Village trustees narrowed their search to two candidates to be interviewed at the end of this month: Pinkerton and Incline Village resident Eric Severance.”
What an odd coincidence. If Pinkerton manages to wrest the job from Severance, will there be a severance package offered by the City of Davis?
Pinkerton has been with us a mere 28 months, which must have seemed like a lifetime given the many people in this town who consider themselves his boss. Then again, as short as his tenure has been, it was still long enough to sign us all up for our massive new waterworks with our correspondingly massive new water bills. Who knows, maybe Pinkerton got a look at his own water bill and said “I’m outta here.”
Added Ryan: “Pinkerton said in an interview Friday that the constant work at City Hall is a combination of intellectual stimulation and adrenaline.”
Translation: those dreadfully long City Council meetings are running me into the ground.
“You’re never bored,” Pinkerton said. How could you be bored with five separate council members bending your ear morning, noon and night and a local columnist tracking your every step and misstep?
“I’m not actively looking,” Pinkerton noted. “This is a unique opportunity. I’m very happy in my current position. The quality of life here is incredible.”
Translation: It’s so incredible I want to move.
“Still,” Ryan’s story goes on, “with family friends in the Lake Tahoe area and a wife who loves to ski, Pinkerton said the opportunity in the Sierra Nevada is too good to pass up.”
Given that you can ski only four or five months of the year in the Sierra, maybe Pinkerton should seek employment with the Mt. Hood General Improvement District in Oregon, the only spot in North America to offer year-round skiing.
Pinkerton told Ryan that Tahoe “was a place we’ve always wanted to live” and added that he’s always loved the mountains, especially because he’s from Missouri.
I can relate. My North Dakota mom had the same fascination with those gigantic mountains on her Northern California doorstep.
“City Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson said she understands Pinkerton’s motivation, adding that not too many people would pass up an opportunity to live at Lake Tahoe.”
Count me among those who would rather winter in Palm Springs than Incline Village. Ten below zero is not my idea of a good time.
“City Councilman Dan Wolk seemed to agree (with Swanson). In an email he wrote that he couldn’t comment on confidential performance evaluations, be he did write that Incline Village is a tempting prize.
Said Wolk: “My wife and I were married in Incline Village. It’s a wonderful community, so I can understand, when coupled with his personal connections, Steve’s interest in this position.”
Hey, Dan. My wife and I were married in Woodland, but we wouldn’t want to live there.
Mayor Joe Krovoza said simply “I hope we don’t lose him.”
Well, if we can figure out a way to lower the daytime temperature by 50 degrees and turn the Covell overpass into a ski jump, I think we have a shot.
Otherwise, it sounds as if Nevada will win this gamble.

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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