Who will be willing to run?

Members of our very small community spent time and money attacking my honesty and integrity while operating an illegal Political Action Committee (PAC).  To be accused of violating campaign laws (which is false), accused of defending Aaron Katz (which is false), accused of being anti-family (I have no idea what this means) by community members operating outside the law is unconscionable.  They purported to be doing this in an effort to “educate the community”.  The Secretary of State decided otherwise and forced them to register as a PAC.  We have another election in two years. Who will be willing to put themselves and their family through such an ordeal knowing we have community members willing to do such dirty work?  Maybe this is why good people don’t run for office.

 

I am still awaiting their offer for charitable donations for their false statements.  Project Mana is my charity of choice. 

Why am I still Tim's campaign partner?

After the recent candidate forum a few residents have reached out with follow-up questions, which I welcome.  One question that’s been asked a few times is why I partnered with Trustee Tim Callicrate.  In order to have a positive change in the operation of the Board, Tim and I BOTH need to be elected. At present, Tim is consistently in the voting minority and unable to implement his campaign promises.  To have a Board that focuses upon our citizen's priorities, fiscal responsibility and accountability, open communication, and effective leadership, BOTH Tim and I need your vote. There are many issues that need to be addressed and it requires a change of the Board to confront them openly and transparently.

As I stated at the forum, I give people the benefit of the doubt.  I met Tim two years ago and interacted with him regarding Board issues.  I never had an issue with his conduct or behavior.  Tim made himself available and listened.  He DID attempt to bring forth some of my ideas and concerns only to be shut out by the current Board majority.  

My objective is to have a functioning Board that welcomes and demonstrates an openness to community input and ideas.  In order to reshape the Board majority to instill openness and a community focus, we need Tim to be re-elected. Together we will collaborate with all Trustees to bring about the needed change for the betterment of IV/CB.  

Understand that TrueBlueFacts, whose members are supporting Kendra Wong and Bruce Simonian, have spread incorrect and hurtful information about me.  I provided them with corrections, but they have ignored it on multiple occasions.  Therefore, if they are spreading lies about me, why would they be doing anything different with Tim?  For example, Tim told me the date and county of his DUI is incorrect.  This occurred around the time his mother passed away and he went through a rough time.  This was before he was elected to the Board four years ago.  He has recently been appointed to a committee with TRPA by our County Commissioner.  I think this too is a testament to his civic mindedness as seen by our Commissioner.

As it relates to Tim's FaceBook posts, things have been twisted….like TrueBlueFacts (TBF) twisted things about me. What I have been told is that TBF cropped and pasted things to appear offensive.  Tim stated at the forum that while some of the posts were his (and he regrets them), others were not.  Still other posts were taken out of context.  The example he showed me was the image with the KKK.  TBF’s ad showed the picture, but according to Tim his comment was admonishing the KKK’s behavior, not supporting it.  If I witnessed any offensive behavior, I would condemn it immediately.

What I am seeing is TBF misrepresenting, manipulating, and making emotional statements that are not truthful or accurate.  I find it offensive and wrong.  Why are they doing this?  Why aren't they talking about their candidates and what they will bring to the table should they be elected?  Tim and I have been open and forthright with our positions.  Our goal was to have the community informed so that the voters can make well informed choices at the polls.  Character assassination does nothing positive for our community.  It definitely isn't a way to bring people together for a common cause.  

I will not mud sling back.  I have given up trying to correct TrueBlueFacts.  They have demonstrated they aren’t interested in the truth. I stand firm with my honesty and integrity.

I am committed to my stated objectives, purpose and my goals.  To accomplish them, we need Tim and others willing to support a positive change.  If only one of us is elected, the Board dysfunction will continue.  I want to bring the community, staff and Board together with a common vision.

If you have any questions, I suggest you call me to discuss.  While I try my best at the keyboard, I am NOT a writer.

Sara Schmitz (925) 858-4384

The Names Behind TrueBlueFacts

TrueBlueFacts officers: Gene Brockman (endorsed Kendra Wong and Bruce Simonian), Jim Clark, Jim Croley, Ed Gurowitz, John Iannucci, Chuck Otto, Steve Pulver, Kaye Shackford, Joe Shackford, Joe Wolfe (endorsed Kendra Wong and Bruce Simonian)

TrueBlueFact Donors to Wong and Simonian (public info from SOS website)

Kendra Bruce

Jim Clark $500 $500

John Iannuacci $1,000

Steve Pulver $200

 Joe Shackford $500

Kaye Shackford $500

Joe Wolfe $1,000 $1,000

Yet another TrueBlueFacts post is incorrect.  I provided factual content to the author and requested they not post their incorrect article about me and instead help to bring our community together with accurate information.  I suggested they speak with Tim and me directly to get correct information before posting articles to divide the community.

Update on Short Term Rentals

The Board of County Commissioners directed the Manager’s Office to schedule an item for one of the Board’s December meetings to discuss short-term rentals. The Board will discuss whether they will confirm the current unlawful Code provisions for short-term rentals, or direct staff to work on regulations for short-term rentals. Given that imminent discussion by the Board, enforcement staff will temporarily pause any further enforcement actions specific to short-term rentals until after the Board’s direction is given.

Bob Webb Planning Manager, Planning and Building Division | Community Services Department bwebb@washoecounty.us | Office: 775.328.3623| Fax: 775.328.6133 P.O. Box 11130, Reno, NV 89520-0027 1001 East Ninth Street, Reno, NV 89512

My presentation at the IV/CB Republican Women Candidate Forum

My husband and I decided to retire here in IV/CB because of all the amazing recreational facilities and the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe.  Upon my arrival, I began attending IVGID Board meetings to learn more about our community.  What I observed was, and still is, a dysfunctional Board.  A Board that has eliminated its fiduciary oversight and has demonstrated a lack of community focused leadership.

Having a successful business background with project management experience, I feel my skills will focus the Board on the priorities of our residents.  You may wonder how this will be accomplished. First, it requires Tim and me to BOTH be elected.  If only one of us is elected, nothing will change…dysfunction will prevail.  If Kendra and Bruce are elected together, they will have the (4) votes needed to purchase the Parasol Building and take on up to a $10M bond without a vote of our residents.  This highlights the importance of this election and why “TRUEBLUEFACTS” has come forward to spread misinformation, hostility and fear.  It’s a concerted effort to undermine both Tim and me in order to promote the election of Kendra and Bruce so the Board majority can continue to ignore the voices of our community and accelerate their free spending ways.

Now that we have this out in the open, what Tim and I believe is needed is to begin with a comprehensive audit because our Board and Audit Committee haven’t been overseeing the details of the District’s financials. We have financial accounts being withheld from public view.  This cloak of secrecy needs to be lifted so our community has ALL of its financial information revealed.  With this, we can begin the clear prioritization of spending on things like a dedicated dog park and upgrades to our existing facilities and our vital infrastructure instead of spending $2.3M on a very nice equipment storage building or a new administration building.  

Our community has been complaining about beach overcrowding with nothing being done.  There are too many easy ways to obtain beach access and we need to begin a process of restricting access so our residents, the ones paying the Rec and Beach fees, can enjoy THEIR beaches.  We’ve had a temporary dog park for far too long. Kids playing soccer and Lacrosse shouldn’t be playing in the “dog park” grass. Enough talking, we need FOCUS…. not on a new administration building or equipment building or coasters at Diamond Peak.  We need to FOCUS on what residents’ value and support.  Everyone in our community should know what the Top 5 priorities are and hold the Board and Staff accountable for delivering on them.

I attended the Capital Improvement Project meeting a few weeks ago.  Instead of reviewing last year’s projects and discussing the coming year initiatives, Mr. Pinkerton and Mr. Eick talked about process.  In other words, we learned nothing about what was completed last year or anything about what will be completed this year.  As a former Project Manager, this meeting missed its mark.  The only way to discover what projects are completed is by reviewing year end financials to see where the money was spent.  Mr. Pinkerton moves budget dollars around and uses his “discretionary spending”, so it appears even the Board doesn’t clearly know where OUR money is actually being spent.

So what do Tim and I promise?

1.      We will put our community first by prioritizing projects and spending based on community input and we will stop Mr. Pinkerton’s unreported discretionary spending and hold him accountable to the Board approved budget.

a.      We say no to purchasing the Parasol Building

b.      And No to zip lines and coasters at Diamond Peak

2.      We will lift the veil of secrecy concealing our District’s finances and public records.

3.      We will address beach and facility overcrowding.

4.      We will implement an open dialog between the Board and members of our community.

By fulfilling these four simple objectives, we will rebuild trust and our community, Board and staff will share a common vision.

Don’t be fooled by TrueBlueFacts that AREN’T, please vote for Tim and me to have YOUR voice heard.

Our response to anonymous assault ads and malicious emails

It is unfortunate a citizen in our wonderful community is attacking our candidacy with anonymous assault ads and malicious emails. To me, these are cowardly acts of a bully hiding his or her identity while spreading vicious gossip and rumor.  Although I have my thoughts about the author, I will make no public statement.    

Tim and I are running a campaign founded on facts, constructive objectives and the highest ethical standards.  We have no intention of changing the Board’s direction on the Katz litigation, nor do we want to make our private beaches public.  We will not outsource our recreational venues. We value all employees and the outstanding service they provide to our community.

As your Trustees, we will implement fiscal responsibility and accountability, transparency, and open communication. We will listen to all points of view and represent the best interests of all citizens to the best of our abilities.

Please know Tim and I are available to meet with you or chat by phone.  We care deeply about your concerns and will go the distance in finding answers and solutions.  We believe IVGID can better serve our residents with a Board that will always put our community first.  

With your support, we can and will make IVGID better together.

Sara Schmitz (925) 858-4384 sara@sara4IVGID.com

Tim Callicrate (775) 336-9925 tim2tahoe@msn.com

Local "Fake News" (The Rumor Mill)

What people won’t dream up! Is it fear? What motivates people to just make “stuff” up? Here is what I’ve heard:

  1. Tim Callicrate, Matthew Dent and myself would overturn the decision related to the Katz case. The role of a Trustee is to listen and make decisions based on input from the community at large. The community has spoken clearly and the decision was made unanimously to pursue recouping legal fees. There is no plan to change directions. The community and the Board have spoken.

  2. Tim Callicrate and I have a plan for making the beaches public. To the contrary, Tim and I both have heard from many in our community that changes are needed to limit beach access so that residents are able to enjoy the beaches.

  3. Tim and I intend to fire staff and outsource the venues. We have heard NO ONE in our community express an interest in taking such action. This is a harmful rumor because it impacts the staff who serve our community.

PLEASE if you hear rumors, please share so we can have open dialog about the issues.

Hurtful Rumors Need To Stop

One such hurtful rumor is if elected, Tim Callicrate and I intend to displace staff and outsource the venues such as the golf courses. This is utterly false and more importantly is hurtful to the wonderful employees who have families and lives dependent upon their employment with our District. When "making stuff up", understand innocent people are unnecessarily impacted. If you hear ANYONE making such outlandish comments, please stop them for the sake of those employees who are valued and appreciated. They deserve better.

IVGID Will Not Obtain Land at Diamond Peak - Will Remain With US Forest Service

Excerpt from article:

As a result of the impasse, the Tahoe area property was excluded from the draft entirely which means it will remain in the hands of the Forest Service.

“We all agreed to just pull the lands so it is not included in the bill at all,” Berkbigler said.

Steve Pinkerton, general manager of IVGID, did not return multiple calls for comment.

Here is the entire article: https://www.rgj.com/story/life/outdoors/2018/09/04/tahoe-dropped-lands-bill-washoe-tribe-wants-land-reno/1090866002/

This has significant impact on the Diamond Peak Master Plan.  It also impacts the DRAFT Community Services Master Plan. One would think you'd obtain rights to the land before spending time and money developing plans for expansion.  Back to the drawing board.

IVGID Board Meeting Highlights - August 27, 2018

The Board voted unanimously to approve an additional $70,000 of public money to pursue continued legal action by independent Counsel Beko to recover the District's costs in responding to the Katz lawsuit and appeals.  The District, according to the Board packet, has spent nearly $400,000 contesting Mr. Katz' legal actions.  The Board, along with a large group of citizens attending the Board meeting, expressed support for Attorney Beko's continued efforts to seek the recovery of "every penny of the District's legal fees".

Mr. Pinkerton received his annual performance review receiving a "meets expectation" rating.

The Board approved an easement for Nevada energy to move electrical lines overhead in an effort to avoid future problems.  The intention of the easement is to facilitate replacement of the aging and failing power conduit across Third Creek between Jennifer St. and Apollo Way near Mercury Ct. The easement will allow for overhead wires where required to avoid sensitive lands and the avalanche zone.

The Board approved the identification and selection process for retaining a Legislative Advocate (lobbyist) for the 2019 Nevada Legislation Session.

The Board approved the identification and selection process for the engagement of new Legal Counsel to begin on January 1, 2019.  The Request for Proposal (RFP) will be directed by the General Manager with the final candidate for Board consideration determined by the General Manger and Trustee Horan.  Current Legal Counsel will also be submitting their proposal for consideration.

Candidate Forum Highlights - July 9, 2018 Sierra Nevada College

Below is the content of an email I shared with my email subscribers back in mid-July.  I spent many hours reviewing the audio, taking notes and doing my best to summarize and hit the highlights.  You may also click to hear the audio, if you choose. 

Here it is in it's entirety:

I will list the questions asked at the Candidate Debate/Forum and provide a very brief response as stated by each candidate. Then I've provided a link to a file containing more details.  This will allow you to QUICKLY scan through the questions and delve into detail for the topics of interest to YOU.  I hope this format works well!  Feedback is always welcome and appreciated.  Please understand I did not transcribe, but tried my best to summarize candidate responses.
 

Opening Comments (2 minute limit):

I've summarized all candidate statements. I've also provided a link to view Tim's and my opening comments in their entirety.

In order of moderator selection:

Sara Schmitz (excerpt only)  - My objectives are to uphold the laws, policies and responsibilities of a trustee while listening to our community and working with other Trustees to provide clear direction to our GM for the implementation of our community's priorities.  I will work to rebuild trust, improve Board communications and insist on financial responsibility and transparency.  Click to view in its entirely.

Tim Callicrate (list of campaign promises) - Tim is recommitting to his campaign promises of 4 years ago.  Fiscal Responsibility, IVGID Culture, Facilities and Operations.  Click to view Tim's opening in its entirety.

Bruce Simonian (summary of opening remarks) -  Bruce moved to Incline Village in 1979 raising six children here. He volunteers with Rotary and IVGID. As former owner of Simonian flooring, he worked at most venues. He sold the business in 2009 allowing him to become a Board member. As Trustee, he worked to keep the Rec Fee flat, worked on Ordinance 1 & 7, and examined outsourcing the golf courses. He also traveled to Washington DC to obtain funding for the SEZ and the effluent pipeline.  It was during the recession and no funds were appropriated.

Kendra Wong (summary of opening remarks) - It was a difficult decision to run again. Her husband is bombarded at Raley's and it is difficult for her to go out because of all of the IVGID questions. She loves the community and the recreation opportunities offered by IVGID. She has 3 reasons for running for reelection.

  1. Responsible long term planning - IVGID is in the middle of the Community Services Master Plan and she would like to see this to fruition.
  2. Communication - IVGID has implemented a new survey tool.
  3. Finances (she ran out of time so no additional details here)

QUESTIONS FOR ALL:

Below are the questions asked of all candidates.  I have provided a very brief summary of each candidate's response.  For the detailed summary, I have provided a link for each question. Responses are in alphabetical order.


The Diamond Peak Master Plan ($17M) - For/Against?

Tim Callicrate - Not in its entirety. Is interested in what the community wants, hiking/biking and Snowflake lodge.
Sara Schmitz - Not in its entirety. To make the full implementation work requires a significant number of tourists. This places the District at risk for the ROI.
Bruce Simonian - Yes, we need revenue generating activities to financially support the non-revenue generating biking/hiking activities.
Kendra Wong - Yes, tourists need something to do.
Click here to view the more detailed summary of the candidates responses.


Parasol Lease Modification - What is your position for the future?

Tim Callicrate - Opposed - Wait 9 years until the CCR's expire, then look at it.
Sara Schmitz - Opposed - No public documents are available that identify issues with the Southwood building.
Bruce Simonian - In favor - we need a new Administration building.
Kendra Wong - In favor - It's less expensive than building a new building. 
Click here to view the more detailed summary of candidate responses.
 

Management of the Districts Assets - Should we take on debt?

Tim Callicrate - We need a thorough audit of our finances before taking on new debt.
Sara Schmitz - I'm not confident with financials since multiple financial accounts have been identified as privileged and are outside the purview of the public. Comprehensive infrastructure and financial audit first.
Bruce Simonian - Let the Board decide whether cash or a bond is best.
Kendra Wong - Financing terms that match an assets lifecycle make sense.
Click here to view the more detailed summary of candidate responses.
 

Should IVGID take on code and land use (from Washoe County) to deal with short term rentals?

Tim Callicrate - No.  Pete Todoroff has been working with the County on this issue.
Sara Schmitz - No. We need to work with the County on enforcement of existing CCR's and laws.
Bruce Simonian - No. We don't want the negative impact on our local economy.
Kendra Wong - No. If you have an issue, it's your problem.  It's not a communitywide issue.
Click here to view the more detailed summary of candidate responses.
 

User Fees - How should they be determined?

Tim Callicrate - Reduce expeditures on marketing to tourists and use funds elsewhere.
Sara Schmitz - Take marketing dollars and put funds to use for the residents.
Bruce Simonian - Venues are weather driven. Concerned about DP revenue due to global warming.
Kendra Wong - Diamond Peak brings in revenue to subsidize all of our recreation. 
Click here to view the more detailed summary of candidate responses.


Beach Overcrowding - What would you do?

Tim Callicrate - The Board has been working to eliminate trespassers and violators.
Sara Schmtiz - Obtain detailed beach use data to formulate a solution for the residents.
Bruce Simonian - It's been a known issue since the 70's. Go early to get a chair.
Kendra Wong - Demographics have been changing. Attend mid-week.
Click here to view the more detailed summary of candidates responses.


What is your take on the GM's discretionary spending of $50K per initiative?  Your thoughts on the spending for the Flashvote (GSI lawsuit)?

Tim Callicrate - Legal action was in violation of NRS law.
Sara Schmitz - Board Policy should be changed to limit the spending to budgeted initiatives. The GM should produce a publicly available monthly report on his spending.
Bruce Simonian - Trustees need to speak to staff to understand what's going on.
Kendra Wong - Dealing with emergencies is the main reason for this spending authority. 
Click here to view the more detailed summary of candidate responses.

 

QUESTIONS TO INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES:

Responses in order of question asked.

Kendra Wong - What is your greatest accomplishment and biggest failure and what would you do differently?

  • Greatest success was reducing the length of the Board meetings.
  • Biggest regret was not supporting Trustee Horan from the onset.

Bruce Simonian - You stated you're running to eliminate divisiveness. There was divisiveness when you were a prior Board member.  How will you be different this time?

  • Listening and validating concerns.

Tim Callicrate - You have been in the minority, if that remains unchanged what will you do differently?

  • I've tried to find common ground. Budget issues seem to be the largest challenge.

Sara Schmitz - I was asked about my article in Tahoe Daily Trubune (shared in a prior status report and on my BLOG). 

  • The article was an accurate and factual representation of the information regarding Open Meeting Law violations and the audit issues.

Click here to view the more detailed responses and rebuttals.


QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE:

There seems to be a "good 'ol boys" "status quo environment. Tax payers pay for our beaches and we're being told to "go midweek" or "go early". Please address this status quo mentality.

  • Tim Callicrate - Property owners should come first.  We need to make changes.
  • Sara Schmitz - Beaches are an asset to our community. We need to work together and make changes to the access rules.
  • Bruce Simonian - The majority of beachgoers are residents. There is a narrow opportunity for a solution.
  • Kendra Wong - I don't know a solution for our beaches.

When I moved here picture pass holders had to accompany their guests to the beach.  Can this be re-implemented?

  • Tim Callicrate - The community needs to speak. He is against the "call in" for guests.
  • Sara Schmitz - We need to make a changes that have a positive impact for residents
  • Bruce Simonian - People on our beaches are property owners and their guests.
  • Kendra Wong - Ordiance 7 has been a priority of the Board. Let the Board know your thoughts.

Question for Sara Schmitz, you stated you wanted to work with Trustees Dent and Callicrate to create a"new majority".

  • Sara Schmitz - I have similar fiscal philosophy as these two Trustees. I'm an independent person doing my own research and reach independent conclusions. I intend to collaborate with all of the Trustees. I have no intention of voting based on another Trustee's vote


Question for Kendra Wong related to the lawsuit and land sales. What will you do to hold staff members accountable for their actions on these issues?

  • Kendra Wong - Nothing. We have an amazing staff that serves our community.

If you were working with the GM today, what would you identify as the #1 priority?

  • Tim Callicrate - An in-depth financial analysis - a forensic audit.
  • Sara Schmitz - The audit and reinvigorating the Audit Committee.
  • Bruce Simonian - Communication. Our finances are great.
  • Kendra Wong - Responsible planning and caring of our assets.

Click here to view the more detailed responses and rebuttals to these questions.


WHEW!  This was a LOT of work...I hope it is helpful to those unable to attend the event...Sara

Highlights From the IVGID Board Meeting

DRAFT Community Services Master Plan: It identified the following as high priority for our community:

  • Dedicated Dog Park
  • Dedicated Rectangle Fields
  • Walking Paths/Loops/Natural Surface Trails
  • Warm Water Pool
  • Youth & Adult Wellness/Fitness
  • 55+ Programs
  • Improve/Maintain Existing Facilities

I will highlight the plan, but for our review here is the link to the draft plan delivered to the Board.  There is an interactive community meeting scheduled for August 6th at 5:30 pm at the Chateau.  Please attend and provide your feedback. 

On page 91 of the DRAFT Community Services Master Plan, the costs are identified by options ranging from $7.7M-$16.6M* for the dog park, rectangular fields, and enhancements to Village Green and Incline Park. The enhancements at Village Green and Incline Park include 3-4 bocce courts, additional skate park features added amenities and shade, bump track bike park pavilion with additional seating and potential restroom, group pavilion, additional parking, picnic sites, event pavilion, adventure playground, family picnic area and sloped lawn for grass amphitheater seating.

The Recreation Center is planned to be reconfigured and expanded to include administration offices, multi-use meeting rooms, gymnasium & fitness/wellness/therapy rooms, warm water pool with slide and other features for an estimated $19.6M*.  There is an additional $2.250M* for the sprung structure/field house.

This totals to $29.55-$38.45M* of proposed capital improvement projects for Community Services.  This doesn't identify staffing increases or recurring costs for maintenance after completion. 

The plan also recommends the implementation of the Diamond Peak Master Plan ($17M).

COMMENTARY: The District also has plans for improvements to our beach facilities and upgrades to golf facilities.  How much spending can we afford?  What are our priorities?  We continue to build elaborate plans but don't seem to set a priority and execute.  How will all of this, should it be approved, impact our Recreation Fees?

Public Correspondence: Although the Board made no policy change, the correspondence continue to be excluded from the Board packets.  The agenda item containing significant changes to the distribution of public correspondence to the Trustees and the public was removed from the agenda.

Approval of Indebtedness Report: The materials/report was not included in the Board packet for Trustees and public review, but was made available to the Trustees the day of the meeting.  Although the public had no opportunity to review and the Trustees had very limited time, the report was approved.

*Excluding development costs or soft costs such as A/E fees, sewer and tap fees, FFE, contingency, testing, etc.

New Facts or Non-Facts?

The Tahoe Daily Tribune published my article on July 5 correcting Jim Clark’s “Incline Village History Lesson” (published June 15).  I was required to provide all references supporting my factual corrections to his article.  I have observed, over the past two weeks, articles whereby once again the facts are not correct.  Mr. Simonian and Mr. Otto’s articles were stating facts yet, based on my reading and research, they are not.  I have called the Publisher of the paper asking for the references for these two articles.  Either there are new found facts which I will be happy to read or they are propagating misinformation.  Our community deserves accurate information.  Misinformation works to divide us as citizens while diverting attention from the important issues.  I look forward to hearing back from the Publisher on this issue.  UPDATE:  They printed a retraction on Mr. Otto's article and allowed a resident to correct Mr. Simonian's article.  We need correct information so voters can make educated decisions in November. 

My Letter To The Editor - Rebuttal to Jim Clark's June 15 Article

It’s interesting how facts are lost or distorted to promote the idea we are a community of “Hatfields and McCoys”.  Why would anyone in the community want to create artificial divisions among our citizens? Why would anyone choose to breed discord over unity? We are a small community and as such it is important for us to listen to differing perspectives, find common ground, and work together to improve our community and quality of life. 

So let’s get the facts correct.  The IVGID Board has been cited 15 times by the Office of the Attorney General for Open Meeting Law violations in 2017 (AG File 13897-260).   The District was also admonished for violating the “spirit and intent” of this law (AG File 13897-224 & 226). Mr. Clark’s editorial incorrectly stated that all complaints were dismissed.   Additionally, the District’s financial audits have not all been “clean” as many report.  In 2017, IVGID’s 2016 Audited Report had to be restated.  Our Independent Auditor, Eide Bailly LLP, identified a “deficiency in internal control that we consider to be a material weakness.”  Despite this significant finding, no substantive internal process changes were brought before the Board.  In fact, rather than exercising greater oversight, the Audit Committee Policy 15.1.0 was modified from meeting “at least four times per year” to “must meet annually”.  Although greater attention was needed, our Audit Committee reduced their involvement.  Mr. Clark also misstated the divide regarding our beaches.  After listening to citizens and reading the February 24, 2016 Beach Facility Study, the suggested change to our beaches with the greatest response has been “addressing crowds and access”. To solve this involves community input to design and implement a plan that enhances our property values and our quality of life.

While the “Hatfields and the McCoys” makes an interesting storyline, the issue at hand is about proper Board oversight and our rights as citizens to participate in our governance.  The choice is clear: the voters have a choice of “business as usual” or a “constructive change in Board oversight and leadership”.  These are important issues we can solve together to strengthen and improve our community.

 

Ears to the ground --- SO UNTRUE

I've heard amazingly false tales and thought I'd share.  Maybe you've heard them too.  I'll share talking points so you can help put the craziness to rest.

  • "I'm a puppet of Aaron Katz".  I've never met nor spoken to him.  I am an independent thinker and researcher.  I will serve this wonderful community with honesty and integrity.
  • "I want to make the beaches public".  To the contrary, I think we have an issue with beach overcrowding.  I would like to work with our community to design a solution that enhances our property values and our quality of life.
  • "I plan to 'privatize' the venues". I would like to see us leverage our local businesses rather than duplicate their services.  This builds a strong thriving community.  An example is the food and beverage service at our beaches.  After Brimm's decision not to renew their contract, the GM decided to build a staff rather than solicit bids from other local vendors.  Other local businesses have shown an interest in providing these services and would have welcomed the opportunity to submit a bid. This is not privatization.
  • "I plan to reduce services and cut staff".  My husband and I decided to move to Incline Village/Crystal Bay BECAUSE of the many recreational opportunities. Maybe I'll finally take up golf!

Most of this is trying to create fear.  Don't let your friends fall for it.  If in doubt, call me at (925) 858-4384 or email me at Sara@Sara4IVGID.com.

Keeping it clean

I met with Dan Zimmerman, Principal of Incline Elementary School, and the Operations Director for the North Lake Tahoe Boys and Girls Club. While volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, I found myself routinely picking up trash. They listened to my concerns regarding trash on the school grounds and in our community. They plan to develop and roll out a program to educate and teach students to be good stewards of their school and our community.  THANK YOU! 

IVGID Policy needs some improvements

I have been studying Board Policies, Practices and the Ordinances and am finding discrepancies in language and in how reality is compared to policy.  Policies are put in place for a reason and if they need to be changed, then they should be amended to ensure accuracy and clear intent.  

Today I will focus on only one of the discrepancies related to unbuildable lots.  I think the issue of selling the unbuildable lots will resurface, so I am researching in preparation.

Policy 16.1.1 specifically calls out that unbuildable lots are excluded from the Recreation Roll (Section 1.0 item 3).  Therefore, the unbuildable lots of Bitterbrush should have never had Recreation fees associated with them.  But wait.....read on and you find language on the next page (Section 2.0 item 7) that states unbuildable parcels may be removed from the Recreation Roll following the owner's petition. Then later in Section 5 item 1, it explains how an unbuildable lot can be reinstated to the Recreation Roll.  Then there is a diagram showing this removal/reinstatement for unbuildable lots.

So how is it we have a policy that clearly states unbuildable lots are excluded from the Recreation Roll but then language about how to move them on/off the Rec Roll?  We need policies that are well written, clear, and then used for decision making.  How will this one be clarified?

Maybe what I am finding is why Mr. Guinasso is in the process of writing the completely new "IVGID code".  Maybe all of these will be replaced.  I wonder how the Board will decide how this policy is to be understood?

Highlights from the Board meeting

Our Village Voice (Facebook) did an excellent job of highlighting the meeting.  I am sharing their post.

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Wednesday, June 13th IVGID BOARD MEETING Brought Some Good and Some Bad News

First, the Good News:

1. The 2017/2018 Community Services Special Revenue Fund budget was amended to reflect $850,000 of additional revenues from Diamond Peak with related expenses of $370,000. The beginning fund balance at July 1, 2017 was also increased by $484,338 due to some extra cash lying around that was not included in the original budget. Budgets every year are done about six weeks in advan...ce of the end of a fiscal year so estimates can be off. Long story short, we apparently have an extra $964,000 of additional funds over and above the budget. *Keep in mind this improvement relates only to the Operations of the recreational venues. It does not reflect any variances which might exist in the budgeted amounts and expenditures for Capital Projects. We will not get that information until sometime in August. Mother Nature has been good to us the past three years providing ample snow to make Diamond Peak successful.

2. A genuinely streamlined meeting – under two hours!

Now, the Bad News:

1. Red White and Tahoe Blue (“RWTB”) Fourth of July events have been drastically cut back. There will be no Parade, and no activities on the fields at Aspen Grove. The Lion's Club breakfast, the Rotary Club duck races and the Beer and Brats will still go forward (added by Sara Schmitz... WINE AND CHEESE AT ASPEN GROVE ON JULY 2 IS ALSO STILL ON!!!. First time a Locals' Discount ($10 off) is being offered.). Fireworks are still on hold due to Washoe County’s concerns with unresolved safety and traffic issues. On June 26th, RWTB is scheduled to appeal the County’s current refusal to provide a Fireworks Permit. We will all have to stay tuned until then.

2) The New and Improved Incline Park Ball Fields next to the Middle School will be delayed for another year. According to Brad Johnson, there were no bids received from contractors for the $1,200,000 project. IVGID will seek bids this fall for an early start of construction in May, 2019 (providing they receive an acceptable bid).

3) Although the Holman Family Bike Park’s Beginners Pump Track is complete, construction of the Advanced Pump Track is delayed until donated funding can be secured.

4) US Forest Service funding of approximately $300,000 for water system improvements to increase firefighting water flows has been cut back and will not be available this fiscal year. It is unknown what IVGID intends to do to continue the program.