INCLINE VILLAGE - Six months into the fiscal year John Singlaub, executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, finally received his requested cost-of-living salary increase - the same raise every other agency employee received last July.
But his raise wasn't granted with confidence. Many governing board members, at their meeting Wednesday, continued to express doubts about Singlaub's ability to oversee the operations of the bi-state planning agency.
"We can't, in good conscience, go forward in spending taxpayers money to increase (Singlaub's salary) until we get some correction on John's performance," said board member Coe Swobe.
Ten governing board members approved Singlaub's raise at the agency meeting on Wednesday at the Chateau in Incline Village, defeating four opposing votes. The action will increase the director's salary to $132,958.
"I think to deny (Singlaub) a cost-of-living increase just sends the wrong message," board member Steven Merrill said. "And does not set the tone that we want to turn this around into a positive experience."
In a separate motion, board members Jim Galloway, Chuck Ruthe, Coe Swobe, Bruce Kranz and Mike Weber all voted to further postpone Singlaub's raise until March, after Singlaub's leadership development plan is approved and implemented.
Galloway said he wanted to postpone Singlaub's raise because it would be "better for the harmony of the board." But when the motion to postpone the raise failed, Galloway changed his position and voted in favor of the cost-of-living increase, which is retroactive since July 2007.
Singlaub's raise comes two months after his performance review in November, when governing board members voiced dissatisfaction with the director's management, leadership and communication skills.
Five of the 15 board members were absent for the November vote, and so the board failed to reach the majority necessary to grant Singlaub his requested salary adjustment.
Board member Shelly Aldean requested in November the adjustment be reconsidered at the next governing board meeting.
Following his review, Singlaub was directed to create a development plan over the next 90 days that will pro-actively improve his leadership abilities.
At Wednesday's meeting, Singlaub said the development plan, which will set milestones for improvement, will be ready for board approval in February.
"(Singlaub) was very receptive to the comments I made," said Aldean. "And hopefully all members of the board will make constructive comments, whether they be positive or negative."