Guest Column: Time to limit the number of tourists in Incline Village
August 6, 2014
Once members of the IVGID Board of Trustees are elected, they are endowed a wide ranging authority to conduct the business affairs of Incline Village — but that authority does not extend to intrusion on the spirit of Incline.
Indeed, Incline Village has a spirit of its own, a spirit that was born of the aspirations and dreams of all those who came here before us. Dreams of oneness with nature. Dreams of inner freedom. Dreams of an environment not spoiled yet by the clutter of man.
Unfortunately, at times, the Board of Trustees trudges along seemingly unaware of the aspirations of the people. A case in point is the recent proposed changes to Ordinance No 7, which establishes recreation privileges by the Incline Village General Improvement District.
The ordinance states in part that 'nothing in this ordinance shall prevent the District from issuing recreation privileges to employees, former board members, or anyone else in the past, present or future, as approved by the Board of Trustees.
Wowee! Aren't we cowed by this strident and provocative proclamation of authority? Ladies and gentlemen of the Board: How about a little bit of humility? How about some foresight? Do you indeed wish to issue unlimited number of recreation privileges to '…anyone else in the past, present or future…?'
Another part of the proposed (now tabled) changes to Ordinance 7, which deals with the purchase of additional Picture Passes or Guest Access Cards states: 'If any owner wishes to purchase additional Picture Passes or Guess Access Cards, the owner may do so by paying an additional fee as determined annually with the District Annual Operating Budget. Additional Guest Access Cards '…can be used by any individual….'
So what prevents an unscrupulous property owner in Incline Village from buying an unlimited number of Picture Passes or Guest Access Cards as 'gifts' to any number of travel agents, say, in New York or for that matter any entity in the world which is in the business of selling vacations to Lake Tahoe?
It should be obvious that an influx of tourists would intrude on the spirit of Incline: Already the shoulders along Incline Way, Lakeshore Boulevard and Village have become an unsightly and dangerous parking lot as far as the eye can see.
Owners who built multimillion-dollar dream homes along Lakeshore have to live with this eyesore every time they step out of their property.
Sirens wailing through the late hours of the night shatter the dream of oneness with nature. Beaches are overcrowded with unfamiliar faces who bring more of the clutter of man.
This is not the Lake Tahoe and Incline Village I dreamt about.
It is time for the Board of Trustees to pay full attention to the quality of life and wellbeing of the people who elected them.
With this in mind, it is necessary to establish a limit on the number of tourists — because should their numbers continue to increase, it would arrive at a critical mass, which, regardless of the financial benefits realized, would render the quality of life that so many of us came here for to be untenable.
Therefore, instead of searching for ways — such as becoming vendors of picture passes, guest access cards and the like to obtain more revenue from tourists — it behooves the Board of Trustees to search for ways to reduce expenditures and limit the number of tourists.
I have been a resident of Incline Village for the past 36 years and I believe there is ample space to reduce expenses and balance the budget with the current revenue — without resorting to collecting additional income through the sale of unlimited number of Picture Passes and Guest Access Cards to yet more tourists.
Sid Bekowich is an Incline Village resident.