IVGID GM’s corner: Managing change — as a community
October 1, 2014
In my last column, I mentioned that staff would be recommending a "significant public participation process as part of the implementation plan" for the Diamond Peak Master Plan.
I've had a number of residents ask me, what does that recommendation mean?
It means that the Steering Committee that will guide the implementation process will include a broad cross section of the community.
It means that all of the Steering Committee meetings will be highly publicized and open to the public.
“Quite often I hear criticism that our staff is pushing their own agendas, when in reality we are simply speaking for those who aren’t the loudest voices in the community.”
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It means the results of each meeting will be made readily available to the community.
It also means that the Steering Committee will be hosting several professionally facilitated public forums. These public forums are intended to help better define our community values.
By better defining our community values, we can ensure that the Steering Committee recommendations accurately reflect the will of our citizenry.
Now what do I mean by "community values"? First of all, our community values already exist. The current land uses in our community, the residents we select for our Board of Trustees, the organizations that provide service to our community, the wide range of educational choices in our community and the many recreational opportunities here are all a result of our community values.
There have been countless individual and collective decisions that have resulted in the community we all live in today. Based on the data I've reviewed, it seems like most citizens that have chosen to live here are satisfied with what our collective values have created for our community.
The recent survey on Ordinance 7 asked respondents: Are you happy living in Incline Village/Crystal Bay? Over 98 percent answered yes.
That would indicate that the community has done a pretty good job of creating a community consistent with the values of its residents.
However, as many of you know, deciding whether or not a proposed project or program is consistent with our community values is not a smooth process.
I've heard many stories about the controversy surrounding the 1986 Diamond Peak Master Plan, the nearly decade-long process to construct the Recreation Center, and the contentious meetings regarding the rebuilding of the Chateau.
In each case, it is unlikely there was a discussion up front as to whether or not the proposed project was consistent with our community values. Instead, there was a lot of trial and error before finally coming up with a proposal acceptable to the community.
I am hoping by having a more open dialogue about how the current Diamond Peak Master Plan coincides with our community values that we can have a more productive and less contentious discussion.
After talking individually with hundreds of citizens, I think our community has a lot more in common that most of us realize.
For example, there is a lot of disagreement as to whether or not we are a tourist town or resort community. I think most of the disagreement centers over what those words mean.
I haven't met anyone who wants us to be what I would consider a tourist town. South Lake Tahoe/Stateline is a tourist town, with over 12,000 hotel rooms and timeshares. Their busiest intersections have over 31,000 cars per day.
Reno has over 16,000 hotel rooms and a massive convention center. They are definitely a tourist town.
We have one hotel, one motel and a couple of timeshare projects which I think does not qualify us as a tourist town. The Hyatt has a beachfront and spa. There is no question that they are a resort. Does that make us a resort town? I don't know.
I'd also like to note that as IVGID staff, we have the responsibility to ensure that all voices within the community are heard.
Quite often I hear criticism that our staff is pushing their own agendas, when in reality we are simply speaking for those who aren't the loudest voices in the community.
I do know that most people I've spoken with love it here and want to continue to live here. Most people also realize that nothing is static and that change is inevitable.
The key is to make sure that we manage change in a way that doesn't negatively impact the wonderful environment we all get to experience here on the North Shore.
I firmly believe that the best way to manage this change is as a community, and I'm looking forward to working closely with as many of you as possible to guide us through this never ending process.
"GM's Corner" is a twice-monthly column from Incline Village General Improvement Distinct General Manager Steve Pinkerton, who will discuss issues and offer updates regarding various district matters.