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