IHGID officials mum about resignation

After submitting his verbal resignation at a regular meeting of the Indian Hills General Improvement District on Nov. 14, general manager Dennis Longhofer did not turn in paperwork to give up his $107,000 a year job.

"He (Longhofer) hasn't quit. He hasn't signed his papers yet. That much I can tell you," said trustee Bill Eisele on Tuesday. "But I was told this morning not to speak to the press."

Chairman Brian Patrick said in a previous interview that the formal resignation was expected by Monday. On Tuesday, he said negotiations were ongoing and district officials would not comment.

They were not talking on the advice of Indian Hills attorney Jennifer Yturbide, a member of the Minden law firm Brooke, Shaw and Zumpft, Eisele said.

"I wish I could tell you more," he said.

The issues swirled around a performance evaluation by consultant Sandra Haugan, a review designed to scrutinize the district at all levels and key positions, including the general manager, assistant to the manager, and head of human resources.

The constructive criticism was taken well by other employees, Eisele said.

"I can't see where this is a personal thing," Eisele said in a previous interview. "He's done a great job with the water and sewer plants. He's very capable in those areas, but as far as management goes, he had difficulty working with the crews."

Trustee Laura Lau said she was saddened by last week's turn of events. She feels Longhofer has done a good job, putting money in the bank and bringing in good ideas.

"He has worked diligently to make sure connection fees were handled appropriately," she said. "He may be light in management, but we failed as a board.

"To get someone to be productive, you encourage, support and guide them in the right direction, not micromanage or bully," Lau said. "That is what's been going on."

In June 2006, months after he started working in the district, Longhofer refused to submit a drug and alcohol request by then-trustees Art Baer and Riley Evans.

At that time, Longhofer called the incident a personal vendetta.

The personnel code required a request for drug and alcohol testing be communicated to the general counsel or manager, but the counsel was not available when called, according to Riley and Baer.

Susie Vasquez can be reached at svasquez@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 211.


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