Lyon parks board unhappy about being kept in the dark | NevadaAppeal.com

Lyon parks board unhappy about being kept in the dark

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

Some Dayton residents and their parks advisory board are unhappy over what they see as an autocratic decision to reorganize the county Parks and Recreation Division – and at the loss of their “point person” on parks issues.

Lyon County Manager Donna Kristaponis reorganized the division in late July without notifying the Central Lyon County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Though no changes are planned, Kristaponis faced some tough questions at a recent meeting of the advisory board.

The reorganization makes Planning Director Rob Loveberg responsible for park planning. County engineer Dick Faber will be in charge of park construction and maintenance. Finally, Edrie LaVoie, executive director of human services, will be in charge of park and recreation programs.

Under the plan, Kristaponis said then-parks and recreation supervisor Jannette Hoffert would work for LaVoie and oversee the recreation programs, but Hoffert resigned to move to Idaho.

“I believe Jannette has done a terrific job,” Kristaponis said. “She has not resigned as a result of our reorganization.”

Hoffert, however, said she resigned because she felt the job she was offered was less than the one she currently held, and she believed the county was not adequately committed to it. She later said she and her husband would move to Idaho.

“The way this was handled was way brutal, and what I see going on here is damage control,” Hoffert said. “Now it is up to the community to hold them accountable to what they say they will do.”

Hoffert said the job she was offered came without any funding, and would be reviewed at the end of the year to see if the position was justified. She felt it was “set up to fail.”

Board member Bob Elston, of Silver City, said he was concerned about how things would operate.

“Jannette has served as a point person for all of these services,” he said. “Now that parks is completely diffused into the county bureaucracy, with no point person, now it’s less efficient.”

Some of the 30 or so residents attending the meeting were also unhappy that most staff would be relocating from offices at the Dayton Community Center to the county’s human services office in Silver Springs.

LaVoie said the only reason for the change was Silver Springs was more centrally located in Lyon County, since her department will be taking over some programs in Fernley. She added that some staff will remain in Dayton.

Kristaponis emphasized that no changes in the Latch-Key Program or other after-school programs were planned, though the teen program still needed a building for its activities this fall.

Board members also complained that Kristaponis didn’t always forward recommendations to the commissioners, and also changed meeting agendas.

Elston said he was concerned about the independence of the board.

“If you can take things off or put things on our agenda, it diminishes our board,” he said. “If you throw stuff out or something is imposed on you in a way that’s autocratic, then I don’t want to do it.”

Kristaponis said she does send the commissioners what the board decides, but “I’ve seen boards want things that are not in the best fiduciary interest of the county, but if we have been remiss in responding to you, we need to fix that.”