bonanza staff writer
May 25, 2005
In a meeting called last Tuesday by the Washoe County Commissioners, tax appeal board member Gary Schmidt was censured and told he would need to get training to continue his position on the Board of Equalization.
The vote split three to two, with commissioners Robert Larkin, Bonnie Weber and David Humke calling for censure and commissioners Jim Galloway and Pete Sferrazza in opposition.
"This whole thing should never have come before the public," said Incline Village resident Dale Akers, who has been an active member of the local tax revolt group. "It's a tempest in a teapot."
Commissioner Jim Galloway agreed with Akers.
"It could have involved taking a little more time, but not a sanction," he said. "The time and the friction were unnecessary. Groups have issues all the time, but the best thing is to move on."
During the meeting, the commissioners viewed a tape of Schmidt during a BOE meeting - one in which he was reprimanded for disorderly conduct.
"The charges originally questioned my character, then they changed to malfeasance, and finally they said I was biased," Schmidt said. "But my bias was against the D.A.'s office."
Galloway said Schmidt had presented issues that were appropriate to address and that he had not been disruptive.
"The chair of the Board of Equalization, Steve Sparks, could have told him to stop any time, but he didn't," Akers said.
Schmidt said he may file three separate lawsuits in response.
He had been threatened in a letter from Commissioner Bonnie Weber with removal from the board just before the mass tax appeals were presented to the BOE from the Village League to Save Incline Assets, a group formed to protest the rate at which taxes have been escalating on the North Shore.
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