Election 2016: Ten IVGID trustee candidates sound off on district issues | SierraSun.com

Election 2016: Ten IVGID trustee candidates sound off on district issues

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Ten residents are in the race to fill three seats on the Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees.

The primary election is set for June 14 in Nevada. For the IVGID race, residents will be asked to vote for three of the 10 candidates; the top six vote-getters will then move on to November's general election.

The three open seats are currently held by Jim Hammerel, Matthew Dent and Phil Horan. Hammerel is the lone trustee not to file for reelection.

In Nevada, early voting for the primary begins on Saturday, May 28. To better inform readers heading to the polls, the Bonanza conducted an email Q-and-A with each candidate, focusing on important district issues such as the future of Diamond Peak Ski Resort and Ordinance No. 7.

Each IVGID candidate was given space for brief biographical information, as well as a word limit of 200 for each of the six questions.

To read more about the candidates, visit the Washoe County Registrar of Voters web page at washoecounty.us/voters, and then click on "Election Information 2016" at the left to view candidate profiles.

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Below, you can read the candidates' answers to the six questions. Their answers are printed verbatim (including typos and grammar errors) in random order:

Benecia Price

Age: 60+

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: 11 years

Current occupation: Registered Signing Agent

Formal education: College without a degree – Business and Real Estate

Current and previous political/governmental experience: IVGID 20/20 Vision Chair of Quality of Life

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

The IVGID Board of Trustees has organized and streamlined the community meeting process. This has resulted in reducing the time required to conduct a meeting which should increase the attendance of Incline Village residents.

Over time the issue of Incline Village becoming a city has been researched. At this time it may be feasible for Incline Village to take on more governing responsibility from the Washoe County.

Having the IVGID board meetings broadcast on Livestream video provides an opportunity for resident owners who are not able to attend the meeting in person keep up with the activities and issues presented at the meetings.

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

The current Diamond Peak Ski Resort Master Plan under consideration will provide additional revenue in lieu of the land sitting idle during the summer months. By spreading out over time the construction of the capital improvements to the area will allow a large portion of the project to be self-funded.

The plan is flexible with the ability to make changes as the years pass. Weather conditions at this time are questionable as to the amount of annual snowfall. This in turn may cause the summer use facility construction time period to speed up in order to generate additional revenue.

Having additional ski runs and lifts would also be attractive to the public and generate additional revenue. Diamond Peak Ski Resort has a long time reputation of being family friendly. The children ski school and activities will need close attention to keep up to the current trends.

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

Ordinance 7 should state the number of passes that can be purchased by a property owner over and above the allotted 5 passes.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

The additional services to be provided in the new contract would be beneficial to the residents. Of course this all depends of the contract terms yet to be determined. At this time is appears the only company that IVGID can negotiate with is Waste Management due to the existing transfer station.

In the future other options should be considered such as IVGID or another waste management constructing a new transfer station or purchasing the existing transfer station from Waste Management.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

Promotion of the Incline Village golf courses, Chateau, Diamond Peak Ski Resort (winter and summer), entertainment etc. Establish a bus shuttle line connecting all of North Lake Tahoe (CA and NV) and Truckee. This would increase the number of users at Diamond Peak in the summer months.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

Make informed decisions for the benefit of the community while promoting stability and cooperation within the Board of Trustees.

——————–

Frank Wright

Age: 67

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: 39 years

Current occupation: I am a retired educator, author, and publisher.

Formal education: BA degree History/Physical Ed, Western State College; MA degree Education/Administration, Western State College; Post Graduate work Californian State University Northridge.

Current and previous political/governmental experience: I have previously run for the IVGID Board of Trustees, and the Nevada State Senate District 4. I am active in local political issues, and have been a strong advocate for change.

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

Rateing the current state of affairs on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best I would put IVGID at a mere "0" yes ZERO. You have total concealment of public records, you have only one person overseeing all financials, Mr. Eick has the only key to our assets. Not very smart! Actually I find it to be illegal. Mr. Eick will not allow anyone to view the financials. The recreation fee is for anything and everything but for our recreation. We are feeding over the top salaries, wasteful purchases, Benefits that are fit for royalty, and we have a current board that approves without question everything staff shoves before them. Not very smart! IVGID has turned it's beaches into a tourist mecca, forcing those who pay the bills out. Advertising all over the world, bringing in thousands of outsiders to crowd our facilities. Forcing the parcel owners to go elsewhere to avoid the crowds.

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

Diamond Peak was built to sell parcels in Incline, it was never designed to be a tourist destination resort. A west facing ski hill that melts with constant sun exposure. Our board has invested more of our money than the ski hill is worth. And the current board has approved a massive plan to spend millions more so tourist can have a place to go in the summer. When the tourist leave in the winter the parcel owners will be stuck with the losses. This includes the massive debt created by trying to make Diamond Peak the "Disneyland of the North". Diamond Peak should become what it was intended to be, a local ski hill for the parcel owners footing the bills. Trying to make Diamond Peak a world class ski resort is a world class folly. More employees, more benefits, and more expensive management positions.

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

Ordinance 7 is a "PUNCH CARD" a punch card without value. Actually a Costco card! Every parcel owner buys 5 punch cards for $ 830.00 or $166.00 each, So if you live in Incline you use the punch cards you paid for to take your guest to the beach. If you live in Crystal Bay you use your punch cards to pay down your guest fees at the golf course. But if you don't live here you can use everything IVGID has to offer for about the same price. Great business model, right! If you don't golf and live in Crystal Bay, you only pay for others recreation. Including the cost to run the beaches. And to make it even more pathetic IVGID takes 63.00 out of your punch cards to toss into the community services fund to pay for everything except your recreation. Much like everything else Ordinance 7 is a community "rip"off. Every employee and their families use our facilities for free, no punch card, just walk on in, Where is the value, well there really is no value. Ordinance 7 is a joke,it needs to go.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

Our trash collection is about to get a major makeover, at the expense of every homeowner. Higher rates, less trash being picked up, and to top it off we get to buy plastic containers. It has been suggested we purchase the transfer station to control our own trash destiny, and the board has done nothing to pursue the idea, because the concept originated with a concerned citizen. We will be forced to purchase Bear Proof Boxes, plastic containers, less trash. Higher trash rates. IVGID collects the highest franchise fee in all of Nevada. Our cost would go down if IVGID was not so greedy.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

IVGID should not be in the tourism business, PERIOD! IVGID is a Sewer, Trash, and Recreation district. Somehow it has morphed into a mega employee benefit program. Hiring expensive consultants, putting up mega billboards, creating magazines, a tourist bus service, giving our facilities away for free to outsiders, creating an exclusive golf course for a few parcel owners, all at the expense of expense of every parcel owner. You don't bring tourist into your town if you want a superior quality of life. And you certainly don't make parcel owners pay to ruin their own community. Go to the beaches on the 4th of July, count the number of local parcel owners, they all have left town or hide in their own homes to avoid the crowds. IVGID is out of control, it has lost the purpose for which it was created. We need to take back our community. We need to elect "local minded trustees" that will bring integrity back to our community.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

Why am I running for office. It is a well known fact that Incline has a well placed "mafia" of electors who follow the lead of a few party bosses. These self-serving individuals control every election, it is impossible for candidates to win any seat on the IVGID board unless these party bosses give their approval. That is why election after election candidates who have never attended a board meeting, and are virtually unknown to the general public get elected.

Political bosses, like Jim Clark hand-pick candidates, tell them how to behave when placed on the board and we end up with massive debts because these candidates won't do what is right. As Bill Devine said at one board meeting, "we were told how to vote" Great way to run a community! I am running to try to end the insanity, to hold our financial managers accountable, to stop wasteful spending. To end the tourism campaign which is ruining our community I am not some party boss's "lap dog", like the current board. Anyone who knows me already knows I am running for all the "WRIGHT" reasons.

——————–

Judy Miller

Age: 70

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: 8 years

Current occupation: retired

Formal education: Bachelor's degree in Mathematics, graduate studies in Computer Science

Current and previous political/governmental experience: Currently on the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Citizens Advisory Board; 15 years of experience in government.

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

A for customer service

D for transparency

F for Fiscal responsibility

Unquestionably, IVGID provides the community with a high quality of service and amenities, and it certainly should, given that property owners contribute a subsidy of nearly $8.5 million dollars to support the recreational amenities.

That doesn't give it an excuse to spend money on things that have nothing to do with recreation or utilities, ignore its responsibility to spend that money wisely, and fail to allow all property owners to participate in the decisions.

IVGID is public, not quasi-public. Information should be readily available to everyone. The "Financial Transparency" on IVGID's website is a travesty. Several CPA's have commented on the deceitful accounting methods IVGID employs. As for public records, IVGID is less than forthcoming. Many public records have been denied as "confidential" without providing the required reference to a statute or making any attempt to remove confidential sections from an otherwise public record.

Lack of transparency and irresponsible spending (especially failure to put many large contracts/purchases out to bid) are two practices that must be curtailed. Our Trustees need to rewrite policies that delegate almost all authority to the General Manager. Existing policies render them powerless.

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

I would shelve the current plan that was based on flawed assumptions and never gave the property owners and residents a chance to make informed choices. First we need to determine what services the property owners and residents really want, but only after giving them the true costs involved. IVGID failed to do that at any time during the master plan process. The SE Group's surveys did not mention cost. The Steering Committee Meetings had no opportunity for public comment.

We can perhaps salvage some of the analysis of the plan. Trustees should select an advisory committee (a public body) to come up with a new plan in meetings that allow public comment. We have so many intelligent, successful people in this community, we should have no trouble developing a plan that will succeed financially and meet the needs and desires of the community. With only one profitable year in the past 10, is that a success?

The current plan will require a bond to be brought before the Board you elect, but not before the voters/property owners. If you want to reconsider the Diamond Peak Master Plan, please keep that in mind when you vote.

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

Ordinance 7 was an attempt to create some organization to a very messy situation. IVGID is a public agency, yet it has been charged with the responsibility of maintaining and controlling access to our private beaches.

The last changes were proposed by IVGID management. Only after public outcry did the Board realize the changes would just make matters worse.

My platform revolves around community involvement and greater Board authority. We shouldn't be delegating to staff the formulation of an Ordinance that significantly affects the property owners and residents.

We had several community meetings regarding Ordinance 7. First, the community identified major beach problems: overcrowding and parking; a number of different solutions were proposed. But the Board and IVGID management pushed the issue aside. If you've been attending/listening to IVGID meetings or have read my guest columns in the Bonanza, you know I'm not afraid to deal with issues.

Jane Bekowich has put a lot of time and effort into formulating a plan. I would again recommend Trustees select an advisory committee (not a secret staff committee) to review her plan, providing a public forum for discussion. The current Ordinance is just not working. Doing nothing is not an option.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

Our GM was put on notice when he was first hired 2 years ago, that unless IVGID controls the transfer station, we are at a distinct disadvantage in negotiating the terms of our contract with Waste Management, which effectively has a monopoly since they own the transfer station.

We have very little ability to negotiate anything with Waste Management, except perhaps to suggest we will build our own transfer station if they do not provide us with very favorable terms.

Sadly, this appears to be another example of our Board and GM not dealing with issues of the highest priority. Or if there has been serious consideration of the problem, it has not been clearly communicated to the public.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

Because of the way IVGID is funded (with huge subsidies, not just property taxes, from local property owners) I believe it owes a duty to those property owners to determine if they really want to encourage increased tourism. We need to weigh the costs (both economic and social) as well as the benefits. Then Trustees can use this information to decide if IVGID should be more or less involved in promoting tourism. If the decision is to encourage tourism, the GID should be putting pressure on other agencies to do the marketing. This should be a regional effort funded by more than just local property owners.

IVGID doesn't receive any portion of the occupancy tax paid by hotel and vacation rental customers. IVGID has the "power" to provide public recreation for the inhabitants of the District and the State of Nevada. Marketing our amenities to outsiders should be done by a tourist district, visitors association, business association or the County/State, not IVGID. It really isn't fair to expect the property owners to pay for the amenities and then continue to pour even more money into an endeavor (marketing) that may have a very negative effect on our quality of life.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

I have already demonstrated my commitment to improving our community by working to make IVGID accountable to both property owners and residents. I openly expressed my views in public comments at IVGID Board meetings, guest columns right here in the Bonanza, as well as my website: electjudy.org

Why residents should vote for me:

I have the experience and demonstrated commitment to deal with many of the issues IVGID faces:

Experience: Management experience in both private sector and government (7 years as manager of IT at San Jose International Airport where I developed budgets, worked on public bidding projects and contracts). Decades of experience in the hospitality industry, having owned and operated a private business in the Tahoe Basin.

Community service: I currently serve on the Washoe County IV/CB Citizens Advisory Board, as well as volunteer time to maintain websites for several community non-profit organizations.

Personal commitment: 3 generations of my family have made the Tahoe Basin their home, so my concerns are for the future.

I pledge to first listen to residents and property owners, learn as much as I possibly can about the issues, and then lead in an effective manner, not rubber-stamp every proposal presented by IVGID management.

——————–

Matthew Dent (incumbent)

Age: 33

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: Since 2009

Current occupation: Principal at Tahoe Investment Properties, Inc.

Formal education: Construction Management (B.S.) California State University, Chico; Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.) University of Nevada, Reno

Current and previous political/governmental experience: Several years of working throughout California and Nevada for local, state, and federal governments constructing infrastructure projects totaling more than $500 million; currently serving as IVGID Trustee since September 2015; previous member of the OCYR; and a presidential campaign volunteer.

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

In short: Needs improvement. There is still a lot to do regarding fiscal transparency, zero-based budgeting, upholding board policy, and increasing consistent communication that engages homeowners and residents.

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

What a loaded question to answer with a written response limited to only 200 words. My priorities would center on mountain safety, community engagement, and accountable budgeting plans. I would enjoy discussing this issue further with anyone interested in contacting me. My email is dent_trustee@ivgid.org

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

Over the past 8 months, community members have expressed several concerns related to Ordinance No. 7 and a first step in addressing these issues starts with conducting an impact study. Only then will we be positioned to effectively manage intended and unintended outcomes related to changing the ordinance.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

Discussions between IVGID and Waste Management are in early negotiation stages and the board will be updated in early summer. At that time, our community can discuss Waste Management's proposal or alternative options such as hiring a new provider.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

For starters, IVGID can do a much better job promoting our venues and services to local residents and visitors to stimulate our community's economy. Many people have expressed concerns about how growing tourism will influence our community in the short and long term. This question #5 should be included in our next Flash Vote survey to gauge the community's stance on the topic.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

Before appointed last September, the board asked the same question. My response remains the same, "I want to serve my community, I can add value, and… I think it will be FUN." Of course the role requires significant amounts of time and effort as I've experienced, but it is fun. Serving as Trustee allows me to meet my community and contribute more than 20 years of hospitality, customer service, and construction management experience. Voters can entrust me to represent their concerns and ideas, to uphold board policies, and create early and transparent communication between all community stakeholders.

——————–

Paul R. Longshore

Age: 46

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: 18 years

Current occupation: Deputy Sheriff, Washoe County Sheriff's Office

Formal education: B.S. Criminal Justice Arizona State University, Intermediate and Advance P.O.S.T. (Nevada Peace Officers Standards and Training.)

Current and previous political/governmental experience: None, besides almost 22 years of Law Enforcement, which is governmental and can be quite political at times.

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

Good, I think IVGID does a great job at its core of water, sewer, and trash collection services. I do believe there needs to be more improvement and accountability of the recreational and concession services they provide for our community. I would like to see IVIGID outsource certain concession to local businesses instead of government involvement where we, the taxpayers, are on the hook for financial expenses or losses.

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

I think Diamond Peak is an underutilized asset in Incline Village. I believe it has mass potential as long as it is done in a fiscally responsible and aesthetically pleasing way. I believe some back side runs should be created for our winter enthusiast. Not only will this add to overall attractiveness of the Ski resort, It will add length and options to ski runs, increase the amazing Tahoe views, and Snowflake lodge could be utilized more as a high base camp and alleviate some of the overcrowding of the base lodge. I also agree with the summer Diamond Peak Project. Having the mountain open in the summer, with mountain bike downhill trails, additional hiking, zip lines, and mountain coasters is a great idea if done responsibility. This will be entertaining for everyone in our community and hopefully offer the youth additional outlets to keep them out of trouble. This would also be a center point to attract much need tourism dollars for community. Surrounding communities are expanding their attractiveness trying to entice more tourism. If we don't capitalize by using our assets to their fullest potential we will be left behind and our community and businesses will suffer.

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

There are only a few Ideas I have that might better suit beach use. Continue to have 5 picture passes issued to each owned parcel, with the ability to purchases 3 additional guest passes. Guest passes can be refilled if used up before the years end expiration. A picture pass holder needs to accompany guest for entrance into the beach. If they are truly your guest, you should be with them, or at least show them entrance into our amenities. Only picture pass holders would be allowed to park in the beach area parking or allowed to launch a boat. Boat services are exempt for launch besides the launch fee. Guest passes holders can park in over flow areas, the Rec Center lot, or in a safe, responsible, and LEGAL parking area. If a parcel owner rents a property out, the parcel owner can assign 1 picture and 1 guest pass per long term renter (Min. 6 month). Special events by parcel owners, requiring additional guest, can submit a request to the IVGID board for a vote of approval. The additional guest punch passes will only be reviewed for non-peak times that do not conflict with community beach events or holidays.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

Waste removal is one of the key responsibilities of IVGID, and a negotiation with Waste Management is crucial for our community. Waste Management is the premiere disposal company for Northern Nevada and they own the only Transfer Station in Incline. If there were other comparable companies that could provide better service I would say open it up to a bidding process to get the best deal, but there is not. So IVGID needs to negotiate the best deal for its constituents. I would also work with Waste Management on pursuing any federal Keep Tahoe Blue funding to help offset or lower waste removal cost for our taxpayers.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

We need to be extremely involved. IVGID needs to make sure our community has a voice and understanding in the Truckee-Tahoe growth, as well as how to capitalize on that growth. Incline is part of the Tahoe basin like it or not. Other communities are improving their infrastructure, attractiveness, and entertainment value to entice tourism dollars. If we do not do the same in a responsible manner, we well end up dealing with traffic and congestion problems without the benefit of helping our small businesses capitalize on visiting income. Although we want to keep our small town feel, it is important that our community has an attractiveness to capture tourism dollars and taxes for our community.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

My platform is rather simple, "Justice, Fairness, and Conservative Accountability". I have lived in and served this community for the last 18 years of my almost 22 year Law Enforcement career. I have always been held to a higher standard and accountable for every action I do. Being accountable requires the highest level of integrity and I hope to bring this level of integrity and accountability to our local government. Although, daily law enforcement decisions can be seen as political debates, a "Just and Fair" decisions must be the outcome. I am not a politician per say but I want to ensure that "Just and Fair" decisions are being made for our community by IVGID.

In addition, I believe the Incline Village / Crystal Bay area has a great opportunity for responsible future growth (I.E. CalNeva, Boulder Bay, New Leaf, Diamond Peak, Walk Path, Golf Courses, and our Beaches). I want to keep our small / hometown feeling, but improve upon our attraction to small business, young families, and tourism. We need to make sure we are giving them a "Just and Fair" voice I our government and the ability to thrive in our community. Without them our town will struggle to survive and grow as a community.

——————–

Peter W. Morris

Age: 63

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: I moved to Incline full time in January 2009; bought my first property here in 2005

Current occupation: Business Owner of BrightStar Care

Formal education: Educated in England, graduated from Bishop Wordsworth School; B.S. equivalence certification from University of Washington; Certified Senior Advisor

Current and previous political/governmental experience: This is my first experience working in a government position. I have conducted business with many governmental organizations around the world.

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

IVGID is much improved. While there is room for continued improvement, I believe the rancorous days are past and a renewed spirit and purpose permeates the district at board, staff and resident levels. The work that has been put into increasing communication out to and back from the public; the increased ease of access to that information; and the continued recruitment of quality staff members, has been noticeable and welcome.

I was delighted with the Diamond Peak Master Plan: both the outcome and the process used to reach that outcome was an indicator of a maturing, caring and engaged board. The process enabled the community at large to come together really well to support – in overwhelming numbers – the decision by the board to adopt the plan. Similarly, other matters have largely been well processed, communicated and adopted.

It is the case however, that I want to leverage the processes successfully employed for the Diamond Peak Master Plan to examine in more detail and sooner, other upcoming plans, including Community Services; Beach Improvements; integration of the District with the Regional Master Plans; the perennial issues of the Recreation Fee; and really critically, resolution of the beach access (Ordinance 7).

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

This winter Diamond Peak maximized the gifts of Mother Nature and created a highly profitable, extremely efficient and thoroughly enjoyable skiing experience.

Summer operations must be developed. We have an underused asset that, carefully developed, can provide an amazing summer experience while significantly adding to our general coffers. I am not deaf to the concerns about noise and congestion, but believe they can be overcome with thorough analysis and communication.

Besides critical water clarity work, using Diamond Peak lifts to access the Rim Trail is a no-brainer: there are many in this community who simply do not have the ability to hike or bike the entire length of the trail in order to access the truly incredible, world renowned views and vistas available from the top of the peak. Yet access is right in our own back yard, using an asset the community already owns! Let us do something for our community now.

Similarly, Snowflake Lodge is another clear opportunity: redeveloping a setting where visitors can enjoy perhaps the best view of the lake will improve a truly unique asset we own today.

All these things can significantly increase revenues and profits and potentially positively impact the Recreation Fee.

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

Ordinance 7 continues to be a confusing mess and leaky sieve. Its original intent has been broken. It must be updated. It should allow access to bona fide residents and guests while limiting and prohibiting access by others.

We must though, recognize we are in a tourist environment. Not only visitors come to enjoy our beaches and facilities, but property owners specifically purchase and invest to service that need while seeking to offset some of the expenses of owning property. We must find a balance for all stakeholders.

The prior update attempt, however well-intentioned, did not succeed: we must start over. We need to strip Ordinance 7 to its individual components and address each separately. We must seek the input of all stakeholders: not only property owners, but frankly the many other constituents whose views and needs must be met, be they long or short term renters, businesses relying on recreation facilities, realtors, rental agencies, hotels, schools, churches, etc.

Through workshops, public hearings and steering committees, we'll create a fact-driven draft update. After review and finalization we'll have an Ordinance the community can get behind, can embrace and champion as another reason why they are proud to call Incline home.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

There simply is no alternative to negotiating a contract with Waste Management. Minimally, there is no viable alternative to using their transfer station and the time to have started any analysis of alternative was years ago.

Given this, I think IVGID has developed a very good waste plan and management strategy. The new container standards, the increased access for the community to use the transfer station, etc. are all very welcome and go a long way to helping reduce the bear-human interface that residents want to see improve with our Porcine neighbors. The focus on cost control has also been welcome to see.

While IVGID may not have the strongest hand going into negotiations, both sides do want to work together and I am impressed with our current GM's extensive experience in negotiating such contracts.

Once negotiations are concluded, it will be appropriate to review longer term alternatives for the next renewal. A viable alternative may or may not arise, but at the very least it will serve to keep Waste Management focused on providing excellent service as they will undoubtedly desire to maintain their contract at the next renewal.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

As defined in NRS 318, IVGID's realm of control is restricted to water, sewer, trash, and recreation. However, as a major employer in the IV/CB area and the only local quasi-governmental agency present here, IVGID needs to represent our district in the Truckee-Tahoe region.

We cannot sit back and let tourism overwhelm us; we must be active and create a future that works for our constituents.

IVGID's mission is to… 'provide …. community oriented recreation programs and facilities with passion for the quality of life and our environment…' Tourism growth compels us to own that mission and develop and protect our quality of life.

Recently IVGID has looked inward when determining its place. While protecting assets and delivering first class services will remain paramount, we cannot bury our heads and ignore the facts: tourists are coming in greater numbers. Property owners – especially those who purchased investment properties – will demand more and better services from and access to district assets. We must engage regionally to inform our decisions and ensure our voice is heard.

Tourism offers an advantage: careful and appropriate access to our facilities can generate financial benefit, potentially expediting investment and balancing recreation fees. An outcome all would relish.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

I want to make Incline the best place to live and recreate.

I ran international businesses working with governments, individuals and businesses. Proud of my accomplishments and business and leadership skills, my experiences are critical for a trustee.

I invested here 10 years ago because of the amenities. My now 13 year old daughter learned to ski at Diamond Peak; learned to swim here; and attends summer camps. We love the disc golf course; keeping our kayak at the beach, and practically living there during the summer. This community is in our souls.

In addition to being a senior and single father of a teen, I have adult children who love to visit with their families. As a business owner and entrepreneur I am engaged with many seniors. I address all aspects of our community. The combination of my business acumen and breadth of understanding of families, children, adults and seniors is unique.

I believe our community works; wholesale changes are not necessary. But in working to optimize our facilities and services, room exists to improve communication, engagement and openness.

Every stakeholder is important: I promise to be open to ideas, engage with everyone and communicate clearly, thoroughly and regularly.

——————–

Philip J. Horan (incumbent)

Age: 75

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: 15 years

Current occupation: Retired with part time financial consulting and engaged in volunteer activity

Formal education: Bachelor of Science Business Administration Creighton University 1963; Bank of America 1963-1992 Executive Management including 12 years in International Locations; Perot Systems 1992-2001 Executive Management including 5 years International Locations

Current and previous political/governmental experience:

Election Poll Worker: 2002-present

Washoe County Board of Equalization: 2006-present

Washoe County Board of Adjustment: 2006-2014

Washoe County Planning Commission: 2014-present

Washoe County Senior Advisory Board: 2011-2013

State Health Insurance Program: 2006-present

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

Stable and improving. Under the direction of the Board of Trustees we have in place an excellent management team that has developed/developing long range plans for our venues. Decisions about how these plans are implemented remain a challenge that will continue to require input from our community. Since his arrival General Manager Pinkerton has increased significantly the amount of financial data available online. This has had two very positive impacts: financial information available to our community and information available to our managers to make more informed decisions. We continue to work toward providing brief and simplified reports that show financial performance for each of our venues.

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

I would proceed on the current path and work towards advancing the accepted Master Plan. This Master Plan has options and once approved by TRPA the assumptions in the plan can be tested based on the current market and projections. Our Ski resort is a niche market and does not compete directly with the big resorts. Skiing is not a growth industry. We need to consider hosting different types of year round activity at this venue in order to generate revenue that is not dependent on just winter weather.

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

Ordinance 7 is the District's ordinance regarding Rates, Rules and Regulation for Recreation Passes and Recreation Punch Cards. It needs to be updated and that update should be done in a measured and thoughtful manner as this ordinance impacts every parcel owner and their guests. I would propose that we begin the process through public outreach: what does the community think Ordinance 7 is and isn't. I understand that the last time changes were proposed our community members came forth and provided input so I would like to have that happen again. This would be an extensive period and I would like to openly volunteer to be the Board of Trustees lead on this adventure.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

I was on the General Managers Committee to review the contract and bring recommendations back to the full board. Those recommendations were adopted with minor changes and I continue to support the current strategy of negotiating with Waste Management based on those recommendations.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

Lake Tahoe is a destination… Incline Village/Crystal Bay is not. With that said, two of our venues, ski and golf, are more dependent on guest user fees. We should promote those venues by leveraging the visitor participation programs in the Tahoe region.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

For the past 15 years, I have volunteered for numerous local organizations as well as supported our community through my participation on Washoe County Boards and Commissions. These activities have benefited our community and I want to continue to contribute and improve the quality of life in our community. I served on the Board of Equalization that was involved in a vote that ultimately resulted in the property tax refunds to Incline/Crystal Bay property owners. During my tenure on the Washoe County Senior Advisory Board, working with others in our community, we were able to implement Meals on Wheels to IVGID Seniors that continues today. Additionally, I have volunteered for the State Health Insurance Program for the past 10 years in order to help IVGID seniors with their questions regarding Medicare which has been a rewarding experience.

I would like to continue to support the community by continuing as an IVGID Trustee. My years of successful high level executive management and Board level experience have been and will continue to be a valuable asset to the Board. I bring an even temperament and a level of business maturity that is essential in our Board's discussions and decisions. I believe I can make a difference.

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Robert James Olmer

Age: 59

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: 28 years

Current occupation: President of Sierra Adventure Marketing LLC, Incline Village Multiple Property Owner and Investor.

Formal education: City University of New York, Marketing/Management

Current and previous political/governmental experience:

• Director of Finance and Advisor/Gibbons for Governor

• Former Board Member and Vice President of Ski Lake Tahoe

• Former Board Member of the Incline Village Chamber of Commerce

• Honorary Board Member of the Northern Nevada Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

• Former Board Member of France Ski International

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

Like most government, IVGID has grown over the years with few checks and balances and for the most part what I perceive as poor direction by some of our past and present Trustees. Labor costs at IVGID have gone up 13% year over year. In addition, I believe that IVGID missed budget in 2014/15 by over 1 million dollars and we had to dip into our reserve fund to cover this loss. Even though bonds have been paid off, monies that IVGID still collected from property owners in some cases went to pay labor cost when those monies should have been used for capital improvements. Homeowners are constantly subsidizing benefits for everyone else with little thought as to what is in the best interest of the property owners and residents of Incline Village / Crystal Bay. I would like to see added value and benefits for property owners and residents with the possibility of offering free season passes at Diamond Peak to the aforementioned. We also need to make sure that our property owners and residence receive preferred tee times at our golf courses.

Overall I would give IVGID a 5 on a scale of 1-10.

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

First and foremost, I wanted to congratulate Mike Bandelin on a great ski season, he is an awesome employee and has a work ethic second to none.

I was on the Diamond Peak Steering Committee and have also worked as a part time ski instructor at Diamond Peak. In addition I have extensive Ski Resort Management experience both domestically and internationally. It would be difficult to project out 25 years and because of global warming a one degree change in our average temperature in the Sierra could greatly affect the future of Diamond Peak. I would much prefer to focus on things that we should be working on immediately to both improve the customer experience and safety. In terms of winter at Diamond Peak…we need to upgrade the beginner experience as it pertains to the lift and the loading configuration on the School House lift. To facilitate the great number of beginner and novice skiers at the resort we should also open if at all possible additional beginner and novice terrain. This would help with customer retention and overall levels of business. In terms of summer… I would like Diamond Peak as a test, to open hiking and biking trails with a limited food and beverage operation to support these initiatives. At this point I believe that the community is split regarding moving ahead with many of the elements of the DP Master Plan and I think we need more input from our residents and property owners in order to proceed beyond hiking and biking trails. Diamond Peak is a small ski resort and because of its low base elevation and exposure we are somewhat limited as to what we can achieve during the winter months.

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

We need to protect the sanctity of our beach Deed Restriction and abide by its language that our facilities be for the use of "property owners and their tenants."

There have been many great suggestions by residents regarding the update of Ordinance 7 during community meetings and I would defer to the aforementioned as we move forward. Personally however, I do not believe that we need to make major changes to Ordinance 7 beyond the update of the family tree and better control over who accesses our beaches. I would also implement a preferred parking program at Aspen Grove for residence and property owners this summer season. I am disappointed that IVGID has not made updating Ordinance No. 7 a priority.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

What appears to be the biggest challenge as in pertains to Waste Management and our community are the challenges with wildlife. According to IVGID over 90% of the human-bear conflict problem relates to commercial solid waste lack of containment. The current franchise with Waste Management mandates that it provide dumpster's to commercial customers, and that those dumpster's be wildlife resistant to the extent they're placed in the public right of way. But Waste Management does not provide such dumpster's to its customers and IVGID does nothing to force Waste Management to do what it has agreed it do, why not?

That leaves the residential solid waste customer. By and large residential customers don't contribute in any meaningful way (other than psychologically) to the human-bear conflict. However, we are behind the times as compared with other communities and our current system is outdated so we need to figure out what the best most cost effective way would be to deal with our challenges while protecting our WILDLIFE.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

One of the reasons that I live in Incline Village/Crystal Bay is because of the exclusive nature of our community. I want to be clear that all initiatives by IVGID should benefit the property owners and residents first. IVGID has spent millions of dollars over the years promoting and managing tourism initiatives. As a former Senior Sales Manager for the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe and former Sales and Marketing Director for Alpine Meadows Ski Resort I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding tourism and recreation to the table. I also worked as a part time ski instructor at Diamond Peak for two seasons and have been an active participant with Airbnb and have been ranked by them as a Super Host because of my consistent 5 star ratings by guests. In my opinion IVGID has wasted its money on its advertising initiatives. Most of IVGID's advertising dollars have been spent promoting Diamond Peak. I have spoken to literally hundreds of visitors and the reason they go to Diamond Peak is because of price and convenience. We have a Visitors and Convention Bureau in Incline and they work closely with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association who in turn promotes tourism for the North Shore of Lake Tahoe which includes Incline Village/Crystal Bay. I believe it is their responsibility to promote tourism to Incline Village/Crystal Bay and not IVGID's. I would much prefer that we reallocate IVGID's marketing dollars to senior and youth programs that would benefit our residents and homeowners.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

I believe I have lived in Incline Village/Crystal Bay longer than any other current Trustee candidate. In addition I am a multiple property and business owner in Incline Village and would bring a skill set to the board that it has never had before. I want to make sure that we preserve and protect the special nature of our community and environment.

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Steve King

Age: 37

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: 18 years

Current occupation: Owner of Wired Solutions

Formal education: Incline High

Current and previous political/governmental experience: None provided

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

Based on my conversations with the residents of the Village, there seems to be a significant amount of distrust and disappointment in both IVGID and the Board of Trustees. As a long term resident myself it saddens me to see how much respect and trust IVGID has lost within the community. If elected, I will work to restore the trust and respect that IVGID and Incline Village residents deserve to have with each other.

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

As trustee of IVGID it's not my job to do it myself. The board needs to set the vision for Diamond Peak future based on what the residents of Incline Village want. Once we have that vision then the person that will be responsible for carrying that out will be the current or future GM. That person must understand that the board is going to hold him or her solely responsible if that vision is not executed right and on budget. We will need strong leadership to be able to execute these projects correctly; on time and on budget. To be clear, I will make sure that the GM understands that the projects which use tax payers' money will be their sole responsibility and the board will provide guidance but it is not their place to be held accountable for projects outside of their control. I think that people lose sight of the fact that the General Manager of Incline Village, a paid staff position, is responsible for the management and follow through on large public works projects. The IVGID board should provide direction and advice, make sure that the constituents' desires and needs are met and that the project stays on track and on budget.

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

It needs to have a probationary period in which data is collected from the residents of Incline Village. Based on that data, the board can decide whether or not to adjust Ordinance No. 7 based on community input. The IVGID board's responsibility is to the residents of the Village and the board needs to reassert that as their primary mission.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

I believe in the bidding process. Being selected for a winning bid means that the company needs to be able to execute on their bid. The last couple of years have proven that not bidding out projects has caused a community backlash and ended up costing the resident tax payers and business owners in this community more money than the delay that a bid process could cause a project. The IVGID Trustees need to demand a stringent bidding process be implemented for all projects regardless of size with complete transparency to the residents of Incline Village. The IVGID board provides a voice to the residents of the Village and needs to not be pressured by unelected staff into making hasty decisions that might not benefit Incline as a whole in the long run. IVGID needs to remember that they are the voice and executors of the people's will, not the staff of IVGID. The tax payers are who ultimately hold the Board accountable.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

In my humble opinion, we live in one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. We need to find a middle ground in regards to tourism and the residents' desire for privacy while limiting the inconveniences created by tourism. Incline Village is an amazing place, one that would be unfair to have IVGID acting as an obstacle to both residents and visitors alike, allowing them to enjoy everything Incline has to offer in the proper and least intrusive way possible.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

I ask myself every day, why would I want to be a part of the IVGID board? Then I leave my house and am reminded on a daily basis by other Incline Village residents how important having someone who represents their views will be in making the Village's future bright and fruitful. I have had hundreds of conversations with concerned citizens about how paramount it is to make IVGID accountable. I love this community with all my heart and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. As a long term resident of the Village, I can honestly say there has been a growing disconnect between IVGID and our community for far too long. As a citizen, small business owner, and vested member of community, I saw no other choice but to run for IVGID Trustee and fix this disconnect between elected officials and the community they SERVE. Running my own successful business for the last 18 years has taught me many valuable lessons, which I will bring to solving Incline Village's problems in a transparent and fiscally responsible manner. I will always put the best interests of our home and my community first. Thank you and please Vote Steve King on June 14, 2016.

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Steven B. Thomason

Age: 38

How long you have been a full-time Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident: 14 years

Current occupation: Local Business owner. The Local

Formal education: Sierra Nevada College

Current and previous political/governmental experience: None

How would you rate the current state of affairs with IVGID?

I think that IVGID has lost the faith of the local community. There really needs to be a reorganization of the current and new members to show concise goals and actions to be taken. Accountability and Transparency are lacking for the locals to see what is really happening in a positive way.

If you had the chance to do it all yourself, how would you set up Diamond Peak Ski Resort for success over the next 25 years?

Concidering that the current plan has already been approved to move forward we will have to wait and see what happens. The current GM and board need to make sure that we stay with in our budget and the proper actions are made to make our mountain profitable in the winter and summer months. There should be multiple summer activities open to the locals and general public. Not limited to but including, disk golf, down hill mountain bike trails, Summer lugs run ect. The interior of the main lodge needs a facelift something fierceas well to keep up with other competing resorts. still looks like it was last redone back in the 70's.

How would you — if at all — approach updating Ordinance No. 7?

Without seeing concrete numbers that we have an over population issue at our beaches I do not see any reason to make any revisions, currently. I am at Incline and Burnt Cedar beach all summer long with my wife, children and other families from our community. We have had no problems or issues with there being too many people at either location. There is, obviously, an influx of part time owners and renters that show up every year around the 4th of july. However, concidering they are only really here for a few weeks I feel there is no reason we all can not get along and enjoy the beautiful community we currently live in.

What is your view on IVGID's current negotiations with Waste Management regarding the future of trash service in this community?

With out knowing more information about this, I would say as long as the bidding process is fair and the job is getting done right. Things could Probably stay the way they are.

Where do you feel IVGID should be in the discussion regarding the Truckee-Tahoe region as a whole seeking to grow tourism?

I feel that IVGID needs to really look at what all the other communities around the basin are doing currently to get an idea on what to do with our own town. I feel That IVGID really needs to look at the possibilty of defining a true "Town Center" here. I constantly get asked where Incline is by tourists. My response is "your in it!" They always leave with a bit of a puzzled look on their faces. IVGID should be working with other communities to bring in more tourism to help boost our local economy.

Lastly, why are you running for office, and why should residents vote for you?

I am running because I feel that as a resident, business owner and family man that we do not have enough young blood representing the true heart beat of this community. We are a great community that wants to see this township progress into the future. There are alot of issues that need to be looked at and reevaluated for us to move forward.

EDITOR’S NOTE

This is the first in a 2-part series prepping readers for the June 14 primary. Next week, the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza will feature statements from candidates in the races for Assembly District 26 and Washoe County School District Seats A and G.

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IVGID Forum set for May 24

The North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and Sierra Nevada College are partnering to host an IVGID Candidate Forum from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, in the Tahoe Environmental Science Center on the college’s campus.

The session will begin with candidate opening statements, followed by questions for the candidates, as created by Bonanza staff and drawn from the suggestions of area residents, ending with brief closing statements.

All 10 candidates are expected to attend. Residents are encouraged to submit questions to the Bonanza for consideration to be asked of the candidates.

Appropriate questions by email must be sent to Bonanza Editor Kevin MacMillan at kmacmillan@tahoebonanza.com, with the subject line “IVGID Candidate Forum Question(s).”

You may also drop off written questions at the Bonanza’s office at 925 Tahoe Blvd., Suite 206. The deadline to submit questions in person is 5 p.m. Friday, May 20; by email, the deadline is 5 p.m. Saturday, May 21.

Watch the forum online: Can’t make the event in person? Sierra Nevada College will record the forum at the following link — livestream.com/snc/events/5333269 — go there to watch live, or feel free to view the video after the event has transpired.