Members of two regional Realtor groups have rejected a plan to merge into one association.
Leaders of the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors and the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors had said one group would give members a bigger political voice and streamline the organizations.
Critics, however, said the interests of Sierra Nevada members would be drowned out by Reno members.
The Sierra Nevada Association represents about 800 members from Carson City, Fallon and Douglas and Lyon counties. The Reno-Sparks Association has about 3,000 members.
The associations would have had an equal number of representatives on the governing board.
Jim Shirk, who used a newspaper ad to oppose the merger, said the decision is great for the Sierra Nevada group. Leaders couldn't convince him that the move would help members or cut down on fees.
"It's like the Democrats joining the Republicans," Shirk said. "What's the gain? There is no gain."
Sierra Nevada leaders thought of the merger after their chief executive officer announced she would retire. Combining with the Reno group would have been one way they could have saved money because they wouldn't have needed a replacement.
Bill Driscoll, president of the Sierra Nevada Association, supported the merger, but said members "made their decision and we're going to go forward."
He said leaders declined to release the vote tally for the good of the association.
"What we don't want is to set up a situation where it's divisive," he said.
But there was no reason for leaders to also ask members not to give the tally, according to Shirk.
"I didn't know I lived in China," he said.
Wayne Capurro, president of the Reno-Sparks association, said he was "a little disappointed" with the vote but "the members have spoken."
The new president of the new association would have been from Reno-Sparks, but the president after that would be from Sierra Nevada.
The new name of the group would have been the Realtors Association of Northern Nevada.
The National Association of Realtors, one of the largest trade groups in the country, represents commercial and residential real estate workers.
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