Incline board may replace Minden law firm |

Incline board may replace Minden law firm

by Kevin MacMillan
Former IVGID General Manager Bill Horn, left, and the district's legal counsel, Scott Brooke, listen to public comment at a March 27, 2013, board meeting.
File photo |

After nearly 15 years providing legal advice to the Incline Village General Improvement District, a Minden law firm may be replaced next summer.

The district has had a contract with Brooke Shaw Zumpft since May 31, 2000. The firm replaced legal counsel Noel Manoukian, a Carson Valley resident and former Supreme Court justice.

The district board is expected to discuss changing attorneys today.

“I am the one who instigated that,” Board Chairman Joe Wolfe said this week. “The concept behind it is I wanted someone here in town, someone who pays a rec fee, who lives here.”

A change in counsel is something Wolfe has pushed for since he was elected four years ago, he said, but the issue died because previous board members didn’t support the idea.

This summer, however, the contract of the Minden-based firm of Brooke Shaw Zumpft was not renewed, and the district first advertised its intent to entertain candidates in the Aug. 7 edition of the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.

Later this year, a request for proposal for candidates was advertised. The district received three bids, IVGID General Manager Steve Pinkerton said.

“We are reviewing those and anticipate coming with a recommendation to the board (today),” Pinkerton said.

Over the past 14 years, Scott Brooke has regularly attended district board meetings and worked with district staff and trustees on legal matters. At times, other members of the firm, including Charles Zumpft, have attended meetings.

Over the years, the firm’s contract has changed in terms of hourly rates. For example, in 2011, the firm charged the district $198 an hour, according to financial records. That figure is up to $225 for 2014.

While Wolfe has supported seeking new counsel for years, so too has board vice-chairman Jim Hammerel, who brought the issue up in meetings after he was elected in 2012.

“I think Mr. Brooke has served the district very well over the years and has been a great resource for IVGID, but I think it’s time to start anew with some new ideas,” Hammerel said.

The current contract for Brooke Shaw Zumpft expires June 30, 2015.

“My belief is we will hire someone before Mr. Brooke’s term ends,” said Wolfe, adding that it would allow Brooke’s firm to work with the new attorney to get him or her acclimated to the role.