Guest Column: Latest IVGID ethics charges are laughable
May 27, 2013
Ever eat at Crosby's? Probably — the place is popular with locals and is a gathering place. What was your average food tab there? Twenty-five dollars? Thirty?
Former IVGID Trustees Ted Fuller and Bea Epstein stand accused before the Nevada Commission on Ethics of a conflict of interest for failing to recuse themselves from a board vote to exempt the meals provided by Crosby's for The Incliners club from an IVGID tax of 7.725 percent on those meals. Both Fuller and Epstein are members of the Incliners along with much of the 50 and older population of the village. By the way, 7.725 percent of $30 is $2.31.
The complaint was brought by Frank Wright of Crystal Bay who, having been resoundingly rejected in his bid for a seat on the board, has continued his campaign of harassing the board and IVGID staff wherever possible, but this business represents a new low, even for Wright and his buddies, or perhaps a new high in foolishness.
Yes, indeed, Fuller and Epstein stood to save as much as $2.31 on meals at Incliners gatherings, along with all the rest of the club. Now I don't know how often The Incliners meets, but let's say it's weekly, with a meal at each meeting. That's an astounding $120.12 in a 52-week year! Ethics charges? Hell! We should string them up!
Now the argument can be made that it's not the trivial amount of money, it's the principle that a board member should never vote where there is any possibility of a conflict, and if it weren't for Wright's demonstrated animus toward the board, the staff and IVGID in general, I might have some sympathy for that position. But both Fuller and Epstein served long and honorably and are no longer on the board. What is to be gained by these charges?
The answer is that Wright once again gets to mount his high horse and posture as if he were a champion of the Right (in every sense of that term). He, along with Steven Kroll and Aaron Katz, will take any position, no matter how petty and ridiculous, to attack IVGID, and to what end? Every attack, every bit of bombast at a board meeting, every lawsuit and charge takes time and money away from what the board needs to be doing, namely the work of administering the GID, and no amount of sanctimonious posturing justifies that where an issue as silly as this is concerned.
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Predictably, Wright will rejoin the Commission felt this was serious enough to take it up, and on the face of it, that's true. But I can tell you from my own experience bringing ethics charges against a (sitting) board member some years ago that the preliminary screening by two Commissioners is there to weed out only the most egregious wastes of the Commission's time — everything else goes to the full Commission where, if there is any rationality left in the world, these charges will be laughed out of the room, as well they should.
Ed Gurowitz has lived in Incline Village since 1995 and is active in the Democratic Party. He can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.