IVGID GM’s Corner: The importance of an informed public | SierraSun.com

IVGID GM’s Corner: The importance of an informed public

Steve Pinkerton
Steve Pinkerton

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week, the Bonanza introduces “GM’s Corner,” 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.

Greetings! As the new General Manager for IVGID, I’d like to thank the Bonanza for offering me the opportunity to pen a biweekly column.

I’m a strong believer in making sure that our organization provides, clear, consistent, and comprehensive information to the public.

“Program and policy initiatives are far more successful when they’ve been fully vetted in advance by the community. I’m also hopeful that if we provide more information in advance, we’ll be able to have a more productive dialogue in regard to the pros and cons of each issue.”

I also believe that it is our responsibility to solicit as much feedback from the public as possible. This column will be one of many ways that we reach out to the community.

I would also like to thank all the citizens of Incline Village and Crystal Bay who have put out the welcome mat for me and my family. My goal was to meet at least 1,000 residents during my first three months on the job — and I think that I’ve exceeded that!

It has been a pleasant indoctrination into the Lake Tahoe lifestyle, and I really appreciate all of the time folks have spent educating me about IVGID and Incline Village/Crystal Bay. I’ve got a lot more to learn and I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming months.

I’ve also immersed myself into the operations here at IVGID and have been impressed with the wide variety of tasks performed by our staff. I look forward to working more closely with each of the operations and get on a first name basis with all of our great staff.

While I’ve attempted to cast as wide a net as possible in my early days on the job, there have been three areas where it became clear that I needed to drill down and get involved in the details right away:

• Ordinance 7 commanded my attention Day One on the job — and when an overflow crowd showed up at the Board Meeting on my Day Three, it was obvious that any modifications to the Ordinance required far more public dialogue.

• Trash collection has also been at the forefront for IVGID during my short tenure and has also required additional community dialogue before any changes are contemplated to Ordinance 1.

• Finally, the update to Diamond Peak’s Master Plan has generated a great deal of community interest — and I am looking forward to reviewing and recapping the SE Group’s findings at the September 10th Board Meeting (6pm at the Chateau). As with any Master Plan, the initial review of the final document is the beginning of the process for considering the future of Diamond Peak and does not imply approval of any aspect of the Master Plan.

I realize there has been a lot concerns about each of these three proposed initiatives. Change can be disconcerting, particularly when there hasn’t been enough dialogue as to why a proposal is necessary in the first place.

For each initiative, there was outreach by the staff to communicate the proposed changes. Public meetings were held, mailers sent, surveys filled out, and a lot of face to face dialogue with interested parties.

However, it is not unusual for the vast majority of the public to be unaware of proposed changes until right before the Board is considering approval.

One of my top priorities as General Manager will be ensuring that we have an informed populace well in advance of Board consideration of major community issues.

Program and policy initiatives are far more successful when they’ve been fully vetted in advance by the community. I’m also hopeful that if we provide more information in advance, we’ll be able to have a more productive dialogue in regard to the pros and cons of each issue.

Much of the negative feedback we received on Ordinance 7 was based on misinformation. While we still have a long way to go before we reconsider changes to Ordinance 7, I’ve received feedback that the public forums have greatly increased attendees’ knowledge about the Ordinance. As the knowledge level increased with each Public Forum, the tenor of the dialogue improved as well.

I’m hoping that we can elevate the level of the dialogue regarding trash collection and the Diamond Peak Master Plan as well. I plan on talking more about Ordinance 1 (trash collection) in a future column and you’ll find me talking about the Diamond Peak Master Plan next Wednesday night at 6pm at the Chateau.

As I noted above, this is just beginning of the process for reviewing the future of our ski area, and I’m hopeful that next Wednesday will mark the beginning of a robust and productive discussion as well.

Thanks again for your warm welcome to IV/CB!