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Commissioner discusses resignation with governor

Gregory Crofton

Steve Weissinger said he met with Gov. Kenny Guinn this week to discuss his resignation from the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

The job of replacing Weissinger, in the third year of a four-year term, is the governor’s. The last time a seat was vacant on the board was 1991 because a commissioner died, according to County Clerk Barbara Reed.

Weissinger said he notified his fellow commissioners about his resignation on Monday and met with Guinn Tuesday. The governor told him to keep his ears open in his neighborhood for possible candidates, but no names were mentioned.

Weissinger’s replacement must live in the Gardnerville Ranchos. The governor historically relies on recommendations submitted by the Board of Commissioners.

“As I sit down to write this letter I do it with a heavy heart and a sincere apology to my family,” wrote Weissinger. “I do not take this decision lightly but in essence I believe it is the right decision … To say it has been a difficult time for the past five months for me personally would be an understatement. I fully accept responsibility for my actions, faults as a man and human being.”

Weissinger was convicted last month of misdemeanor embezzlement. He served eight days in jail and paid a $1,315 fine for stealing money from Raley’s at the South Lake Tahoe Crescent V, where he was a cashier supervisor.

Weissinger is also accused of drunken driving. He is scheduled to appear Dec. 10 for a hearing at Carson City Justice Court.

The Board of Commissioners did not deal with Weissinger’s resignation until the end of it meeting Thursday at Stateline.

Weissinger made no statement about his resignation, other than to mention his meeting with Guinn. He told his fellow commissions he had already “given the exclusive” to a Reno newspaper. During a break at the meeting, he declined to answer questions.

Vice Chairman Bernie Curtis requested that county staff look into “how this moves forward” and how the vacant seat will be filled once Weissinger’s resignation takes effect Dec. 31.

Board Chairman Kelly Kite supported Weissinger.

“I know events outside this job necessitated your decision,” Kite said. “But I want to commend you. I think your job as commissioner has been exemplary.”

The issue of Weissinger’s resignation also came up at the beginning of the meeting. At a public hearing, John Garvin, a resident of Minden and co-chairman of the county’s Sustainable Growth Initiative Committee, accused county staff of pre-selecting Weissinger’s replacement.

“I am referring to a person in the county manager’s office who, I believe, has taken steps to line up an outside candidate, Kevin Kirkeby, to move into District 1 for the purpose of establishing residency,” Garvin said. “I can only assume this back-door process was authorized by Mr. Holler. We have nothing against (Kirkeby) personally; however, it is out of line to attempt to pull in an outsider to represent District 1.”

County Manager Dan Holler dismissed Garvin’s comments during a break.

“We’re not out there saying ‘Hey, go do this,'” Holler said. “A few months ago, we gave him building permit information. He was treated the same as anyone else who has interest.”

According to Garvin and Holler, Kirkeby is a field representative for Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. Garvin said Kirkeby has also been a commissioner in White Pine County.

In other action Thursday, the county gave an update on its work to regulate vacation homes. Commissioner Tim Smith said a meeting last week on the subject at Zephyr Cove was productive. But he cautioned that any work done must move on a parallel track with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, which, he said, is “moving at glacial speed” on the issue.

Clerk Reed said the county had received more than 50 percent of the 3,500 vacation rental surveys her office sent out. She said the information will be put into a database. It indicated that 1,655 residents who filled out the survey were not using their homes as vacation rentals, while 222 were. More than 480 of those surveyed objected to such a use, and 1,353 did not object.