Our Opinion: More than meets the eye
In the space of a month, three out of the five members of the Indian Hills General Improvement District have been replaced.
The new blood had the trustees, and at least one audience member, praising themselves Tuesday on a new, cooperative era that they expect to replace the old, acrimonious one in which the trustees divided themselves into two groups and sniped at each other.
But there’s more to this picture than meets the eye, and Indian Hills residents should be keeping a close watch.
For starters, one of the new trustees, Rhonda Pascoe, used to be a district employee. Her appointment means she’s overseeing the people she used to work with – and one she used to answer to – district manager Jim Bentley. This could easily be a conflict of interest.
Then, there’s the Bentley issue. The three former trustees made no secret of their displeasure with his performance. Now that they’re gone, he wants their comments expunged from his file. He reasons that with those comments gone, if you just count the remarks from the other two, who have supported him all along, he’s justified for a 5 percent raise to his $60,366 salary. That raise was denied when he had his annual review – a process that happened before the recall.
This is all wrong. Where in the real world does someone draw criticism from a majority of his bosses, then get a raise anyway just because that majority moved on? Maybe the trio’s complaints were off base, but they were made, and it’s wrong for the board to consider editing this history. Plus, the current board shouldn’t even be considering a raise for Bentley. The three new members have not watched and worked with Bentley, and they are not qualified to comment on his performance, especially when the comment involves doling out the taxpayers’ money.
Indian Hills needs a cooperative board. What the community doesn’t need is a board full of good old boys and girls who are ready to say yes to whatever they are asked.