Opinion: More propaganda from IVGID’s general manager
December 30, 2015
My first husband was born in Hungary. He fled during the uprising in 1956 and settled in the United States. After enough time had elapsed that he felt it safe to visit his homeland, he and I travelled to Budapest.
This beautiful country was under Communist rule. Propaganda was part of the daily vocabulary of the Hungarians. Any and all statements made by government were suspect.
Even though the economy was in shambles, the government kept insisting the people were so fortunate to be part of the Soviet Union. Every day the government-owned papers and airwaves were filled with fabricated stories about the government's successes.
IVGID General Manager Steve Pinkerton's recent columns in the Bonanza are rife with that same kind of propaganda. For example, his statement earlier this month that Diamond Peak has had several years of positive operating cash flow is utter nonsense.
The only thing that has prevented Diamond Peak from collapsing, like many of its peers, is the subsidy called the Rec Fee. Whether or not you support the Rec Fee isn't the main issue; it's whether or not a government agency is being honest and forthright in its communications to the public.
IVGID now uses governmental type accounting "funds" rather than enterprise funds (business-type) so it doesn't have to show depreciation as an expense.
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The only operating expenses it shows are services and supplies, Diamond Peak employees/benefits and a smidgen of the actual costs for HR and Accounting. Depending how successful they want to look, they even include the Rec Fee as revenue.
In his latest GM corner, Mr. Pinkerton again attempts to convince the populace that IVGID is serving us well. He tries to deflect recent criticisms of IVGID finances by boasting how IVGID is the envy of other public agencies, how its net position has increased, etc.
The only reason for any of this is because our Board permits IVGID to keep charging a Rec Fee, currently at $730, to cover bonds for the Chateau and other improvements, even though those bonds have been repaid.
Property owners have no say in what these excess Rec Fees will buy, since apparently neither the board nor the public ever see detailed budgets or financial reports, and it's my opinion IVGID doesn't provide anything that even vaguely resembles a profit and loss statement for its business ventures. Staff looks at the Rec Fee like a tax: guaranteed revenue that needs no justification.
It's one thing for the Bonanza to present purely informational columns about IVGID's programs and services; it's quite another for the paper to provide free space for Pinkerton's propaganda.
To the Bonanza: Demonstrate that you are not a government-owned paper. Mr. Pinkerton is using his biweekly column to spread his propaganda about IVGID's financials. Before publication, his statements should be reviewed by independent accountants who are not associated with IVGID and are allowed equal space to refute his biased comments. Otherwise, as journalists, you are doing a disservice to this community.
To Mr. Pinkerton: Your job is not to tell us what you think we want to hear; your job is to tell us the full truth.
To the Community: Please let the Board and GM know that you expect full disclosure to the public of IVGID's revenues and expenditures for each venue and program. Most of us don't mind providing some support, but only if IVGID is transparent in its operations and finances.
Judith Miller is an Incline Village resident and a member of the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Citizens Advisory Board. She may be reached for comment at email@example.com.