Guest Column: IVGID candidate clueless to facts about beaches | SierraSun.com

Guest Column: IVGID candidate clueless to facts about beaches

So one of our IVGID candidates, Robert Olmer, says of the district-owned beaches: “they’re not private beaches, and they’re not public either — but they belong to us.” It is the kind of meaningless double talk that all of the current trustees and all those seeking to fill that position appear to subscribe to.

Unfortunately, it is not these politicians, but those who choose to elect them who bear the burden for the kind of leadership that can be expected to follow from such willful ignorance.

If the beaches are neither public nor private, what word in the English language would this forked-tongue provide? “Public” is defined in what is called a dictionary as “of or concerning the people as a whole.” “Private” as “belonging to or for the use of one particular person or group of people only.” The words are mutually exclusive: It’s either one or the other — can’t be both, and can’t be neither.

When this candidate for public office moves on to proclaim that whatever the beaches may be “they belong to us,” it’s an outright insult of voters who would help pay his $9,000 salary if he wins.

“Too much is at stake in terms of taxes, property values and community cohesiveness for voters to continue tolerating purported leaders who are clueless to the actual facts.”

The “us” that the beaches belong to is obviously and correctly IVGID itself, of which I am a dues-paying and heavily taxed voting member.

But because I live in Crystal Bay instead of Incline Village, I do not get to use and enjoy all of what “belongs to us,” as this candidate gets to do. The voters over here apparently have become simply invisible to him. Worse than forgotten — just not there.

Until this General Improvement District switches from at-large trustee elections to voting by districts, this taxation without representation and personal insult and exclusion of part of our community will continue, and the hypocrisy of IVGID’s “One District One Team” motto will live on.

This District is a creation of Washoe County, which in 1965 extended to it legal authority to “provide facilities for public recreation.” The beach properties were purchased by the District in 1968 pursuant to that authority.

If “they’re not public,” as this candidate for trustee asserts, how does he square that with the plain language of the law mandating “public” recreation? This question should be put to every candidate, and if he or she answers: “oh, we just do what the lawyers tell us,” it means (1) they don’t know what they’re talking about; (2) they’re willing to abdicate their responsibilities of independent thinking and decision-making to paid staff; and (3) they care nothing of the stigma of second-class citizenship which has been so unjustifiably imposed upon a segment of their own community.

The legality of this is now before the Nevada Supreme Court — something apparently none of the IVGID candidates is even aware of, much less knowledgeable about. Too much is at stake in terms of taxes, property values and community cohesiveness for voters to continue tolerating purported leaders who are clueless to the actual facts.

Steven Kroll is a Crystal Bay resident whose lawsuit against IVGID regarding beach access is before the Nevada Supreme Court. Learn more by visiting http://www.tahoedailytribune.com, keyword “Steven Kroll.”