IVGID GM’s Corner: We are all here because of Lake Tahoe | SierraSun.com

IVGID GM’s Corner: We are all here because of Lake Tahoe

Steve Pinkerton
IVGID GM’s Corner

Steve Pinkerton

Thankfully, mercifully the election season is over! While the rhetoric at the national level likely won't die down anytime soon, I'm hopeful that popular culture will find something else to focus on for a little while.

With this break in the action, it is a great time to remind ourselves that government is here to provide service, not just filler for news shows and ink for what is left of the print media.

After this barrage of constant negativity, it is a great time to remind all of us in the Lake Tahoe Basin how fortunate we are to live here!

In fact, I had a great reminder the other night as I watched an amazing sunset unfold on Burnt Cedar Beach.

That sunset reminded me of an incredible sunset back on the Friday of Labor Day Weekend in 2014.

My wife and I were at Harvey's Outdoor Amphitheater, finally getting to fulfill a 40-year old dream of seeing the Eagles in concert.

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You would think that when the Eagles came on stage, all 7,000 of us in attendance would have their eyes affixed on the Band.

Instead, everyone was in awe of the late summer sunset unfolding on the Lake.

Even the band stopped momentarily after their first song and took in the view. While it isn't uncommon for a touring band to lose track of where they might be on a specific night — that never seems to happen at Lake Tahoe.

Fast forward two years later, we are out to dinner. I mention to the waiter that two years ago that same weekend we'd seen the Eagles in concert.

While the waiter didn't remember the Eagles concert, he immediately remembered the sunset.

We then discussed other amazing moments at the Lake such as those mornings after a snow where the Lake perfectly reflects the white-capped mountains or when those approaching storms bifurcate the sky between shimmering light and ominous darkness. And those hikes through a deep forest which suddenly open up to the shimmering Lake.

I bring up these moments to remind us why we are here. We all came here for the Lake and its environs.

While IVGID has provided plenty of man-made amenities over the past 50 years — those amenities could be anywhere. The best part about our amenities is that they are on the north shore of Lake Tahoe.

It is a humbling reminder to those of us whose livelihood is based on maintaining and operating these amenities. We are not only a steward for our assets, but a steward of the Lake and its fragile environment.

When we are extracting water out of the Lake or disposing waste, it is done with great care and due diligence in respect of our Lake and its watershed. While we aren't required to restore the creeks that run across our properties, we jumped at the chance to garner state and federal grant monies to improve water quality, reduce sedimentation to the lake, and restore fish habitat and passage.

When it came time to update our solid waste collection, we not only met County requirements for containerization, we are also taking steps to collect trash in a manner more sympathetic to our wildlife.

As we review possible changes to our beaches and ski area, we are not only interested in providing the most cost-effective improvements or the most aesthetically pleasing project. As a custodian of the environment, we also want to minimize the impacts on the flora and fauna. In addition, we want to build a project with minimal impacts on light, noise, traffic and historic resources.

I find it ironic that we are all here to enjoy the environment, but much of the local political rhetoric always seems to boil down to bottom line project and operational costs.

Finances are a critical component to everything we do. They are just a means to an end.

Our ultimate goal here at IVGID is to provide the best SERVICE possible within our economic constraints. I've provided you with plenty of metrics, budgets and audits in past columns which I believe demonstrate our proficiency at living within our means. I'm certainly proud of our management of the bottom line.

However, I'm even more proud of the role IVGID plays as a steward of the beautiful environment we get to live in. As I noted above, I believe the actions demonstrate our commitment to the long term health of the entire region.

In an IVGID survey conducted several years ago, we asked residents if they were happy living in Incline Village/Crystal Bay. Over 98% responded yes!

That is an incredible number. Now if I could only get someone other than the remaining 2 percent to call me once in a while!

Seriously, anytime you have any questions of comments, please email me at sjp@ivgid.org.

"GM's Corner" is a recurring column from Incline Village General Improvement Distinct General Manager Steve Pinkerton, who will discuss issues and offer updates regarding various district matters. He may be reached for comment at steve_pinkerton@ivgid.org.