Incline Village eyes town status | SierraSun.com

Incline Village eyes town status

One step closer.

That is where the latest Independent Incline drive stands after Tuesday’s Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting, where the commissioners voted unanimously to move forward with the idea of dissolving the Incline Village General Improvement District into the “Town of Incline Village.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, county commissioners voted unanimously to allow county staff to work with Independent Incline members to create an advisory question for the November ballot, which would allow Incline Village and Crystal Bay voters to vote yes or no on the idea.

Washoe County Assistant Manager Dave Childs presented the proposal to the county board. In a Thursday phone interview, Childs said the idea was received well by the county commissioners.

“My sense was that the board understood the goal Incline has to control its own destiny; everyone seems to understand also that this is not a financial-plus or financial-minus for either party,” Childs said. “The sense I got is that the county seems open to putting the advisory question on the ballot.”

Tuesday’s presentation is similar to what the IVGID Board of Trustees heard from IVGID lobbyist Mary Walker at its April 30 meeting. At that meeting, the IVGID board got a chance to hear the proposal and offer feedback.

On Tuesday, the county commissioners got the chance to do the same.

Jim Clark, Incline resident and chair of the current Independent Incline Committee, attended Tuesday’s meeting in Reno.

“Absolutely,” Clark said when asked if he felt the commissioners were receptive of the idea. “All the trustees, they all made comments in favor of the proposal.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners also voted 5-0 to begin negotiations regarding a proposed interlocal agreement which would spell out the terms and conditions concerning the creation of the Town of Incline Village.

Gene Brockman, vice-chair of the IVGID Board of Trustees, has been involved recently and in past years with Independent Incline. He also was at Tuesday’s meeting.

“All five commissioners made a positive statement that they support the concept of Incline Village, the town,” Brockman said. “I think we got a very positive indication from the Board of County Commissioners.”

Now that Independent Incline has support from the commissioners, the next phase in the process is to get the advisory question on the Nov. 4 ballot that takes place June 11.

That’s the date of the next IVGID Board of Trustees meeting. At that meeting, trustees anticipate hearing updates to the proposal, including answers to concerns the board raised at the April 30 meeting.

Some of the concerns raised include:

– Potential conflicts between employee benefit packages if the town is made and a county employee moves to the new town to work, but is under a different benefit package.

– Whether the boundaries of the new town should include current IVGID and/or North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District boundaries, or less or more.

– Whether the new town should simply be called “Incline Village” (as proposed) and not include Crystal Bay.

– Whether Independent Incline members are 100 percent sure no employee, IVGID or Washoe County, will lose his or her job if the switch is made.

– Whether the latest Independent Incline idea conflicts with current beach access-driven litigation against IVGID.

At today’s meeting, trustees will vote their approval or disapproval to put the question on the November ballot. If the IVGID board votes “yea,” then the issue goes back to the county board this summer, for a similar vote. If that goes through, then Incline Village/Crystal Bay citizens could see an advisory question on the November ballot.

While it is impossible to predict the future or speculate about what it could hold, Childs said Tuesday’s positive approval from the county board could bode well for Independent Incline.

“I’m hopeful it’s a step forward, and I hope, I see it as a an opportunity to build a stronger bond between IVGID and the county,” Childs said. “Really at this point, it’s not something that’s going to shift a lot of responsibility to Incline. But symbolically, its important to Incline, and I think that is what is most important.