Opinion: Give me liberty or give me secession | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Give me liberty or give me secession

Steven Kroll


This opinion column from Mr. Kroll was originally submitted to the Bonanza in late October, prior to Monday’s ruling from the Nevada Supreme Court against his beach access lawsuit.

In his October 1st  and 15th Bonanza columns, IVGID General Manager Steve Pinkerton uses the word “community” a total of 43 times, and each time is like a dagger to my heart.

That is because the “IVGID community” he is referring to explicitly and outrageously excludes the Crystal Bay component of this district, as if residents on this side of the tracks did not exist and were not full and equal members of that community.

It appears Mr. Pinkerton’s and the district’s intent is to render us invisible and unaccountable to, whatever decency and neighborliness and the law itself might have to say about that contemptible action.

IVGID’s “community” is, in Mr. Pinkerton’s own words, Incline Village alone. Professing his “interest in doing what is best for our community,” the general manager promises that he “will not be bringing anything back to the Board of Trustees that is not in the best interest of the citizens of Incline Village.”

This was not a slip of the tongue. His October 1st column physically describes “our community” as follows: “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.”

What about the three casinos, the famous Cal Neva Resort, the motels, small businesses, and hard-working taxpayers of Crystal Bay? We’re part of this community too, you know.

But Mr. Pinkerton apparently doesn’t hear that, doesn’t see us — to him and his employer, this village is invisible. This is the shameful official policy of the district and each of the trustees as IVGID’s website trumpets with the headline: WELCOME TO INCLINE VILLAGE.

Having identified the geographical area IVGID considers within its “community,” General Manager Pinkerton then spells out exactly what he means by “community values.”

“First of all, our community values already exist,” he writes (with his double-talk translated by me in parentheses): “The current land uses in our community (the restricted beaches), the residents we select for our Board of Trustees (only and always 1968 Incline Village property owners who are his bosses) and the many recreational opportunities here (the restricted beaches) are all a result of our community values.”

That comes off as hypocritical. Crystal Bay residents who can’t use the “community beaches” still have to pay $730 a year for IVGID venues that are already open to the general public for a daily fee. Some opportunity.

Once it is understood that General Manager Pinkerton means only Incline Village when he describes his duty as “responsibly managing our assets in a way that is consistent with our community values,” then taxpayers outside that town had better hold tight to their wallets.

The beach properties, for example, belong to the district as a whole, whoever may or may not legally have access and use of them. That means that income earned from the beach properties belongs to all of IVGID’s taxpayers, not just to 1968 property owners.

It means expenses related to the beach properties cannot be paid from the general fund, but must come exclusively from the segregated Beach Fund. Otherwise, IVGID residents end up forced to contribute financially to the support and upkeep of recreational facilities from which they are excluded — something that would be illegal and IVGID has sworn under oath it does not do.

The stealth destruction of our community by those elected to represent the district as a whole must be condemned by every fair-minded IVGID resident. Giving lip service to “our community” while embracing the “exclusivity of our amenities” and the concomitant invisibility of the people of Crystal Bay is more than insulting.

Speaking only for myself, it is intolerable. I do not allow myself to be made invisible by irresponsible, insensitive, inept public servants whose salaries I help pay. I will not permit myself to be excommunicated from a community I’ve been a member of and contributed to for more than 30 years.

The legality of this discrimination is now before the Nevada Supreme Court, but whatever the outcome there, I will demand recognition and respect from my government until such time as our legal relationship is officially severed. “One District One Team” indeed!

Steven Kroll is a Crystal Bay resident.

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