May 24, 2012 | Back to: News

Election 2012: The race for Incline Village General Improvement District Trustee

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Nothing this election season is arguably more important to readers of the Bonanza that the 10-candidate race for the Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees.On the eve of early voting, in an effort to best inform locals on this important race leading up to the June 12 primary, the Bonanza is dedicating space in this election guide for the candidates to sound off on various issues.Voters in June will be asked to choose six of the 10 candidates; those with the most votes by June 12 will square off in the Nov. 6 general election for three seats. Bea Epstein is the lone incumbent running — Chuck Weinberger and Ted Fuller hold the other two seats.Each of the 10 candidates was asked 11 questions in an email Q-and-A format, with a word cap on each of 250. The following are the candidates' verbatim responses as they appeared in today's print edition. They are presented in random order.

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?IVGID's recreation fees have doubled because of several factors including a declining (and less active) population, increased recreational venue competition, and added debt service. Without a combination of increased resident involvement and more visitor revenue, we'll be forced to increase our fees to subsidize the facilities that we all hold dear. We have fewer residents utilizing our facilities because of several factors, but the one we can most directly control is a perceived lack of value that has resulted from unsatisfactory customer service experiences and more competitive options elsewhere. In order to combat this problem, we need to implement new, creative solutions that will increase revenues and minimize expenses. As a trustee, I would urge staff to implement projects that would make our recreational fess go farther, as well as start new revenue generation programs. I would scrutinize our budget to eliminate all unnecessary spending.I support maximizing revenue at all our recreational facilities to reduce the recreational fee and related financial burden on residents. That means using Diamond Peak in the summer months, monetizing guests of our venues better, making the Recreation Center financially accessible to all residents, and reducing perishable services like empty tee times using modern and successful yield management programs.How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer?It's vital for IVGID's trustees, and all employees, to experience our recreational venues firsthand on a regular basis. One of the reasons we all live here is because of the great amenities that Incline Village and Crystal Bay have to offer. We'll get the most positive outcome with invested, full-time residents as employees.As a young, active couple, my wife and I regularly play golf at both of IVGID's courses. I'm a season pass holder at Diamond Peak, I visit the Village Green daily with my dog Saabi, and we swim at our beaches in the summer. Experiences like that are what make us love our town.If an IVGID employee — including a trustee — isn't utilizing our facilities and venues, they won't be able to identify opportunities for improvement, or spot employees that are making a difference. Visiting our venues ensures a trustee can interact with our visitors to gain valuable feedback and suggestions.What are the top three things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee?One problem I'd like to solve is the lack of accountability. IVGID's recreational facilities should be run more like a for-profit business. In a business, if numbers aren't met, people lose jobs. Conversely, if numbers are met, employees are rewarded. Currently, IVGID employees — including the general manager — are rewarded based on mostly subjective metrics. This reward system does not encourage results-driven behavior. As a trustee, I would base the bulk of the general manager's salary on objective performance metrics.Another problem is a systemic lack of entrepreneurial motivation and empowerment. Typically, some of the best and most creative ideas come from the bottom of an organization — the front-line employees. These people identify problems first, and often solve them before they become larger problems. I would work with management to empower and incentivize employees to voice their creative solutions and ideas as well as champion great ideas to ensure they're implemented when appropriate.Finally, IVGID lacks a consolidated marketing effort. Incline Village/Crystal Bay has arguably the best amenities in Lake Tahoe. Currently, instead of cross-marketing all of our venues, they are marketed in silos — never sharing information or customers. If someone buys a season pass to Diamond Peak she should receive an invite to join a ski conditioning class at the Recreation Center. If an individual plays tennis at the tennis center he should receive an offer to grab lunch at the Chateau.We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher-than-average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses?As a trustee, I would only be responsible for overseeing one employee: the general manager. I wouldn't freeze, nor increase the general manager's salary. I would vote to cut it and motivate the general manager instead by structuring the bulk of his or her salary in the form of performance bonuses tracked on objective, quantitative metrics. The manager's performance numbers would determine whether he or she would receive a performance bonus. When the district wins, the general manager should win as well.The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering wear and tear on some the district's decades-old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?First, “a lot of money” is relative. There are certainly structures and assets that have seen their prime and need upgrades. For this, IVGID should be planning and saving for these future upgrades, rather than waiting until the last minute and floating another bond for the residents to pick up the tab.I believe in the business axiom: invest money into what's making money. If we have facilities that are not contributing to revenue growth, those facilities should be last in line for capital improvements. Investing money into a money-losing operation typically isn't a sound strategy.In terms of ADA compliance, federal regulations stipulates that bringing district assets up to ADA compliance is as funds allow. I would prioritize compliance projects based on usage, cost, liability and other factors. This should be a gradual process that can easily be worked into IVGID's CIP budget without affecting recreational fees.What is your stance on access to IVGID's “public with restrictions” beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?As a trustee, I would have an obligation to my constituents to uphold the 1968 court-approved deed restriction. I recognize it is a divisive topic in our community and I am committed to upholding the court's ruling.I have a beach access plan that would be a win-win-win for residents and IVGID. I urge readers to learn more about it on my website at www.electjim.org/beach.What are the top three things that IVGID is doing well, and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected?IVGID is lucky to have some talented and dedicated staff. The Waste Not Recycling Program provides a valuable service and we owe it to our community and our environment to expand on what they've done. I would like to see the recycling program improve to include things like plastic bags and compostable materials.Our Bear Awareness Program (BAP) has made great strides in getting more residents to use bear-proof garbage receptacles and educating residents on bear awareness. I would like to see this program expanded to reach even more residents. In fact, I have an idea that can help educate residents on bear awareness practices AND generate money that IVGID can use to off-set the cost of bear boxes. Readers can learn more about my idea at www.electjim.org/bears.IVGID prides itself in its transparency and open meetings with all residents. I would like to improve on this even more offering concise, easy-to-understand financial reports, and webcasting all IVGID board meetings to the public. No matter where someone is in the world, they should be able to watch IVGID business over their internet connection.It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem?I am the youngest member of the S.A.V.E. team, and together, we've come up with several strategies to help the IVGID venues increase revenue:• Increase customer service at all venues. This will provide an inviting atmosphere that people (both residents and visitors) will want to return to, and refer to their friends and family.• Add more competitive recreational service offerings.• Compete head-to-head with competitors in our market that are stealing away revenue by offering a better product or experience at a better price point.• Market better and smarter by targeting both residents and visitors, and by cross-marketing our venues to ensure all of our recreational venues are represented.• Position IVGID recreational venues as a resort experience.Imagine getting a text message to your phone letting you know there are several tee times available this afternoon at a discounted rate. You book one of them, and upon walking into the club house, the person checking you greets you by name and lets you know there's a sale on your favorite Titleist Pro V1 golf balls.. After your round is over, an IVGID employee informs you of today's dinner specials at the Grill and lets you know that your clubs will be cleaned while you dine.This type of marketing, leveraging customer preferences, would improve customer service and help IVGID's recreational facilities to break even financially. Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay For Life and Golf Fore Education?Yes. Unfortunately, there's no standard policy for renting IVGID venues to non-profit entities. Currently, it's up to the general manager's discretion whether an organization can — or cannot — rent IVGID facilities for fundraising events, and for what price.My recommendation is to draft and publish a policy that all non-profit entities can abide by that takes into account the perishability of the venues, local versus national impact of the non-profit organization, and IVGID's potential to lease the space for a profit to someone else.I believe that problems arise in this area because there is no standard policy that non-profits and IVGID are required to adhere to. This causes confusion, missed opportunities, and frustration for both parties. At the end of the day, the ability for a non-profit to hold an event at an IVGID venue (whether for a fee, or otherwise) should lie in the policies and procedures outlined and approved by both staff and the Board of Trustees. This ensures that everyone receives equal treatment.I serve on the Red, White and Tahoe Blue board and I can see the financial and communal impact non-profits have on Incline Village and Crystal Bay. As a community, we've always supported local non-profits and I intend to maintain that tradition.How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way — if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that idea?Obviously, as a trustee of IVGID, I would represent the entire constituency of Incline Village and Crystal Bay. As with any elected position, a trustee represents more than just their friends, direct supporters, and special interest groups. Listening to the desires of the community is an obligation that a trustee assumes when taking office. I vow to uphold that obligation and do what's best for the community as a whole.I, and the other two candidates I endorse and support: George Del Carlo and Jim Smith, represent three different age groups. We all come from distinctive backgrounds with unique experiences. We're all free-thinking individuals, and although we have a common vision for how IVGID should be managed, we will undoubtedly have varying ideas on exactly how that should happen. I welcome their differences in opinion and look forward to spirited discussions on how we can better our community.Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.Incline Village and Crystal Bay need new ideas and a fresh new perspective. I know we can do a lot better, attract more permanent residents, and take control of our finances. I represent the young families of Incline Village and Crystal Bay and one of my goals as IVGID trustee is to position our community as a sustainable and viable option for new residents looking to move to our great town.My wife and I own property and want to raise a family here. At 32 years old, I've owned my own internet marketing consulting company for over seven years, helping businesses worldwide increase their visibility online. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and I'm not afraid to take chances that will benefit our community in the long run.I care deeply about my town. I've been a board member for Red, White and Tahoe Blue for two years and I'm helping to transform our Fourth of July celebration into one of the best in the nation. We need three like-minded trustees to really make a difference in IVGID. With two other trustee candidates: George Del Carlo and Jim Smith, I know we can make our community a better place in which to live. Thank you for your vote and support.

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?Simply stated, recreation fees have gone up because the majority of people in the community have supported these increases as an avenue for maintaining and or increasing our total recreation experience. If I am elected I would work diligently to bring about more transparency as to where it is that the recreation fees go. I understand the frustration that people express over increases in fees to anything. However, a clear explanation of how our fees are distributed would go far in allaying some of that frustration. Then, we as a community, can decide if the increases are validated. Although a doubling over a 10 year period sounds excessive, it may very well be within reason. The bigger question, one that I don't feel has adequately been addressed yet, is to answer the bottom-line question of WHERE? Where are the fees being distributed?How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer?Access and utilization of the district's recreation facilities and other venues for a trustee is extremely important. To me, the ability to visit a facility and/or venue for the purpose of gathering pertinent information and feedback is a critical component to effectively serve the community. Is the ‘product' meeting the desired needs? How is the customer service? Does a concern or concerns that a constituent may have brought to the Trustee's attention exist? This has been a sensitive topic in the past as ‘utilization of a facility or venue' implies that one might be getting a ‘freebie.' I believe there are many instances where an issue has been brought to the attention of a trustee and that, by the very nature of the situation, a better sense of the issue is gleaned through use of said facility/venue. I support the access or use of a facility or venue by a Trustee; but to further establish and strengthen open lines of communication, I would promote documentation of said trustee use.What are the top three things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee?I hesitate to attach a label to things that are wrong at IVGID. I do believe, however, that any organization can look to improve upon its' performance. With that said, these are the first three items I would focus on:• Communication; I don't know that it serves anyone to place blame, but the level of frustration that a majority of community members have expressed to me when voicing concerns about IVGID are directly linked to poor communication. I am a strong believer that two-way communication may not lead to agreement, but it does lead to respect.• Partnership in the Community; IVGID, in my experience, has consistently been an excellent Partner in the Community. However, IVGID should pursue and ‘trumpet' this position more actively. On occasion, IVGID comes under attack for allegedly getting involved in something that they shouldn't due to a perceived lack of statutory designation. There are restrictions on certain things IVGID can and cannot do (that is the reason for retaining Legal Counsel), but that should not hamper IVGID from being a unifying voice for our community. I will support continuing partnerships in the community.• Conflict Mediation; Governmental Entities tend to bring out strong emotional responses from the people they are designated to serve. It is challenging for a person in a position of public service to absorb the criticism that comes with the territory and not lash back. One has to look at the intent of the message, not always the delivery. I have spent an entire career dealing with such situations and I come well-equipped for the challenge.We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher-than-average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses?Freezing wages and bonuses done strictly to ‘save money' is a narrow-minded approach. By the same token, it is just as narrow minded to automatically give cost of living raises and bonuses based solely on the passage of a calendar year. I believe that to maintain the best employees you need to recognize their value. You establish contractual incentives that are performance based. When drafting said incentives, you take into account the current economic climate along with the value that an employee who meets said incentive goals brings to the organization. These are tough times and employees recognize that. They also recognize and respect an organization that validates the challenges they are facing.The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering wear and tear on some the district's decades-old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?This one depends primarily on one's definition of ‘a lot of money' and when one ultimately spends it. ADA compliance mandates are exactly that: Mandates. Certainly, there is a time allowance, however, they have to be done. When you start to look at updating facilities (including the ADA Mandates) you have to weigh the risk of the old adage “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” Absent doing away with a facility in its entirety, upgrading a facility is unavoidable. IVGID staff studies these projects continually. They receive direction from the board, and that direction is based on feedback from the community. I trust the process, however, as with most controversial issues, I believe that there is room for improvement when it comes to presenting the decisions to the community.What is your stance on access to IVGID's “public with restrictions” beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?When this issue came up in the past it was discussed, debated and ultimately challenged in the courts. The current court ruling upholds the 1968 Deed Restrictions. My current stance supports that position. I do not envision myself initiating a revisiting of the issue. However, if the issue were brought up again, I would welcome the opportunity to revisit it and explore other options.What are the top three things that IVGID is doing well, and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected?Top three things:• Utilities/Water/Sewage; It is widely recognized that IVGID continues to manage this area at a very efficient level.• Partnership with North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District on Defensible Space Management; Our local Fire Department, NLTFPD, has developed a nationally recognized program for defensible space management and IVGID has been a valuable partner in this endeavor.• Customer Service; My personal experience with IVGID employees, from various administrative and management positions to part-time/seasonal employees has been excellent. It is apparent to me that good customer service is impressed upon the entire organization.I think the best way to improve upon an already established good product is to acknowledge the good work being done, and then to challenge those involved to strive to exceed what has already been accomplished.It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem? The first step is to identify how much money is being lost at a particular venue. Then, what factors come into play that affect said loss. Finally, what options are there to stop the loss, are they realistic options and are they the options that the community wants. Ultimately, the community decides what it wants and what it is willing to pay for to attain that.Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay For Life and Golf Fore Education?I believe IVGID should continue to allow use of its venues for nonprofits to hold fundraising events. Whether the use is free or a charge depends largely upon the venue and the potential loss of revenue during the time that the nonprofit is using it. Also, there is a consideration that should be weighed and that has to do with nonfinancial benefits to the community. This is all part of being a partner in the community. I believe that IVGID already has a policy in place for handling such requests. If not, I would help develop one. How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way — if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that idea?I am not ‘swayed' by any special interest groups or individuals. A Trustee is a representative and therefore should reflect the wishes of the community. A Trustee should be dedicated into delving into the intricacies of a pertinent issue deeper than the general public typically has time for. A Trustee must gain the trust of the community through his/her dedication to the task and by listening and then addressing all concerns. Ultimately, it is the wishes of the community that should be adhered to, but this entire process is brought about through communication and respect.Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.For me, this is not a contest to see who is the ‘Best.' I am an honest individual who is not afraid to stand for what I believe in. I am approachable and I will work hard to gather and disseminate accurate information to my constituents. If you want a Trustee who will answer your questions in a straight forward manner, and you vote me in; then I believe you will be satisfied with my service.

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?Recreation Fees have increased over the last 10 years because we live in a community that is 50 years old; and during the first 40 years little was done to maintain all the venues that make this community unique and different from other communities around Lake Tahoe. That deferred maintenance has been the major contributing factor to the increases in recreation fees. So, over the past 10 years a concerted effort has been made to address a multitude of Capital Projects which have now been completed. Those projects include: Tennis courts expansion (2003), a new Chateau (2004), total renovation of the Championship Golf Course (2004), and Championship Golf Course Bridge Project to protect the lake (2004), a total renovation of the Diamond Peak Lodge (2008), replacement of the Vehicle Shop floor in the Diamond Peak Ski Resort Maintenance Building (2008), completion of Diamond Peak's BMPs required by TRPA (2008), replacement of the decrepit staff trailer with the Parks Maintenance Building (2008),brought Burnt Cedar restrooms into ADA compliance (2009), replacement of the Skiers Services Building (2010), installation of the Crystal Quad Lift, renovation of Snowflake Lodge, improvement of snowmaking capacity and replacement of the Ski Resort Compressor over various years, and brought Preston Field into ADA compliance (2012). In addition, there have been utilities projects i.e. the Effluent Export Pipeline (ongoing), Sewer Projects (2003), completion of the Public Works Building (2003), major paving projects (various years), fire flow water main project (various years), upgrades at the Treatment Plant (2003 andamp; 2005), and Restoration Projects on Incline and Third Creeks (ongoing).If elected, I will continue to protect our venues in the interest of our resident shareholders whose homes and property values are impacted by the quality of the venues in the community. I will make every effort to remain fiscally conservative without sacrificing quality of service, regulatory compliance and operational safety for consumers and employees.How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer? While it is important for a trustee to enjoy the same access to the district's assets as any resident, it is more important for a trustee to be accessible to the consumers and to the constituents in the community. Their concerns and their wishes must be more important to a Trustee than one's own personal opinions or desires. Interactions with the community, whether at venues or at community events, are critical to the effectiveness of a trustee. Willingness to keep an open mind is also a paramount qualification.What are the top 3 things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee?The top 3 problems IVGID continues to face are: the diminished funding from Washoe County and the need to continue to address capital projects while trying to keep a stable recreation fee and to address the needs of the community.The first problem IVGID continues to face is the diminished funding we receive from Washoe County. As we all know, our tax dollars go directly to Washoe County who then returns only a minimal percentage to our community for our operations. This funding is supplemented by our Recreation and Beach Fund fees. As a trustee I will continue to make every effort to bring change to the system currently in place and work diligently to maintain fiscal solvency. Secondly, IVGID has the responsibility to address government mandates (i.e. ADA regulations, water purity mandates etc.) and protect the community's assets. In order to do so, IVGID must continue to plan, develop and implement government mandated projects to avoid crippling fines and maintain the venues to provide safe and quality environments for all.Thirdly, IVGID is expected to be all things for all people. In order for this to happen, careful study and assessment are imperative. As Trustees we have the responsibility to listen to the community, instruct staff to conduct feasibility studies, to make recommendations, to assess cost and to make recommendations of findings.We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher than average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses?Over the last 3-4 years, IVGID has both frozen wages and cut positions in order to maintain lower costs while still providing the quality services the community expects. While freezing wages and bonuses are only one way to save money, cutting costs and expenses is an even greater way to save money. Ingenuity and creativity continue to exemplify ways IVGID has addressed the economic downturn.The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering wear and tear on some of the district's decades- old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?I would better describe the district's capital projects plan as judicious and responsible in that it is looking forward and planning ahead so that the mistakes made in the past are not repeated in the future. This community's real estate value is enhanced by the variety of assets we all can enjoy. The effort to maintain our structures/venues at high quality levels has already begun. ADA compliance mandates are being addressed to avoid governmental fines and to be responsible caretakers of the community's assets. While maintenance of venues and structures carry a big price tag, careful planning can be used to help keep costs at a minimum. In the same way as we maintain our homes so they maintain their value, so to must we maintain our assets so they don't lose their value. To have a plan of action is to be prepared for all contingencies.What is your stance on access to IVGID's “public with restrictions” beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?Since 1968, the beach issue has been visited numbers times by different boards. Each time the public has spoken and the boards have indicated that a deed restriction revocation is not in their jurisdiction and determined it is for the courts to decide. During 2007-2008 there was a 3 day community meeting solely on the beach access issue. After 3 eight hour days of testimony, the community was very clear and spoke over whelmingly against considering any change to the beach access deed restrictions.What are the top 3 things that IVGID is doing well and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected? IVGID continues to maintain excellent service at all venues, employs outstanding professionals and replacements when necessary (i.e. golf, skiing) and continues to remain financially stable in these trying times. If elected, I would continue to support the professionals and respect their expertise .It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem? Each year careful analysis is done to determine profit and loss for each venue. Staff is directed to provide data and to make recommendations to address loss issues. I would continue to encourage staff to look at alternate solutions including ways to cut costs, maximize staff effectiveness, and increasing revenue streams.Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay for Life and Golf Fore Education? IVGID is the caretaker and operator of the community's venues. We are the shareholders in those venues and are a community of caring civic minded adults who act responsibly and compassionately toward one another. Per capita, this community enjoys the benefits of a large number of nonprofit charitable and philanthropic organizations. Their charitable and philanthropic works depend on annual fund raising opportunities that then benefit this community and all in it. The use of our venues for charitable events varies from venue to venue based on capacity, seasonal restrictions, and overhead costs. Therefore, the cost to these organizations needs to be structured based on these criteria. The cost to a nonprofit can range from a free rate through a nominal rate. Rates should be such that the district should have no out of pocket expenses.How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way — if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that ideas? As an elected member of the board, my responsibility is to the community at large and not to any one interest group. My decisions are based on information and community input, on comprehensive research and study of issues, and are made with the best interest of the community in mind. My friends know me well enough to know that while I value their opinions, I will not be swayed by pressure or be influenced by personal feelings or personalities. We share a mutual respect and can always agree to disagree. Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.As a community member and trustee, I have served this community tirelessly for the past 8 years. During that time I have demonstrated my total commitment to this community. With your help, I will be able to complete some of the projects still on the drawing board. I am a reasonable, ethical, unbiased, independent thinker and good listener.

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?This is the number one issue in this election. Frank Wright and I, your “community watchdogs,” are the candidates who have publicized these facts (check out the minutes of past Board Meetings). 74.65% of recreation venue/general fund operational revenues are spent on employee salaries/benefits. Another 19.5% are spent on servicing $18+ Million of bonded indebtedness. Staff has incorporated a “capital improvement projects” element into our budget which calls for another $36.5 Million to be spent over the next 5 years [that's another $885/year increase in our Rec Fees (for a total of $1,715/year)]. And the Board encourages staff to give away MILLIONS worth of use of our recreational facilities to favored private businesses and nonprofits so they can make money off our facilities at our expense! And you wonder why our Rec Fees are so high?I have an actual plan to reduce our Rec Fees by 50% over three years, and to eliminate them altogether in five. It's called “CEO:” Close (the Hyatt Sports Shop and our Marketing Department), Eliminate (Trustees' salaries, our General Manager's bonus, fuel for him to commute to/from Reno, his yearly pilgrimage to D.C., memberships in the Chamber of Commerce/League of Cities, weekly Bonanza half-page advertising, two lobbyists paid to influence legislation and our attorney's wasteful presence at every Board Meeting) and Outsource (the beaches). I just saved us $2.25 Million (1/3 of our Rec Fee), you likely won't notice the loss of any of this and I've only just begun!How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer?Important. But certainly NOT FOR FREE! I'm sorry; if you're a Trustee, you don't need to play golf six days/week at the public's expense to “feel” what we have to offer. If you require a salary and free recreation privileges to be a Trustee, maybe you should find something else to do. I've repeatedly asked the Board to eliminate both perks (this is another of my issues – again, check out the minutes of past Board Meetings), and it has refused. And it's not just current Trustees. Do you realize IVGID's attorney gets free recreation privileges? And so do our 750+ employees and most of their families. And they get free use of our beaches too (even if nonresidents)! And do you realize all past Trustees get free recreation privileges for LIFE? And so do former employees with a minimum of ten years of IVGID employment. I will vote to ELIMINATE ALL of these freebies. And you wonder why our Rec Fees are so high?Furthermore, I believe it's unethical [NRS 281A.400(7)] for a Trustee or IVGID employee to grant or receive free recreation privileges when the public is charged a fee (this is one of the reasons why the current Board is under investigation by the Nevada Ethics Commission). When I eliminate this practice, everyone will have to pay to use the public's recreational facilities, and we'll reduce our Rec Fees.What are the top three things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee?IVGID is in denial. It calls itself a business with the perception of being “quasi-government” (kind of like being “quasi-pregnant”). But IVGID is 100% government. Once IVGID accepts what it really is, it will start acting like government. NO GOVERNMENT, ANYWHERE, does what IVGID does. Governments don't: compete with local businesses, donate away public moneys and facilities (especially to private education and religious organizations), give special perks (not available to the public) to their employees, make a profit off their utility customers, spend MILLIONS promoting themselves to the “tourists of the world” (so we can be “THEIR Tahoe Place”), contract WITHOUT going out to public bid nor have a Godfather. But IVGID does.IVGID MUST get out of its “businesses.” GIDs were not created so they could engage in “for profit” commerce at local property owners' expense. Since we're a “company town,” most residents look to IVGID for employment. Most businesses hope IVGID won't be their competitor. Many want IVGID to become their customer. Others want IVGID to donate free access to our recreational facilities so they can increase THEIR businesses. Nonprofits want donated access to our recreational facilities so they can fundraise. And who is the gatekeeper for this special treatment? Our General Manager (our Godfather). And if you're not a “team player,” you're forced off the team (ask Porters).When we eliminate these giveaways, we'll eliminate the massive infrastructure costs associated with their administration, and we'll reduce our Rec Fees. And you wonder why they're so high?We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher-than-average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses?Look across the country. Governments are laying off employees, implementing wage cuts and reducing benefits. But here in IVGIDville we're on the Titanic! The ship is sinking yet we're handing out pay increases and bonuses. And why? Because our Godfather is consumed with “ego;” IVGID must be “Tahoe's Premiere Employer.”IVGID gets an allowance from the County — it's called its share of our taxes. This year IVGID's allowance is budgeted at $2.4 Million. If that's sufficient to provide the general governmental services IVGID is empowered to provide and there's money left over, I say yes – pay our employees more. However until then, being fiscally responsible means living within one's means.NO BUSINESS can survive paying its employees 74+% of operational revenue. And where exactly is the $1.037 Million coming from to reimburse the County for our share of property tax refunds? Local property owners are already paying nearly $7 Million/annually to subsidize our Godfather's ego yet that just doesn't seem to be enough. How much more should we be paying “during these tough economic times” so we can offer our employees annual cost of living raises?Is IVGID working for us, or are we working and paying for IVGID? And you wonder why our Rec Fees are so high?The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering wear and tear on some the district's decades-old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?NO! We can't afford it! And besides, for whose benefit is all this “stuff” we've amassed? There's the perception our recreational facilities are actually used by a majority of residents. This perception couldn't be farther from the truth. Last year staff performed a “Parcel Utilization Study.” The intent was to determine the percentage of parcels whose owners/occupants actually used each of our recreational facilities during the year. The results were sobering. On average, the percentage NOT using any particular facility (even once) was a whopping 84%! In other words, our recreational facilities AREN'T here for local residents' use because if they were, we'd actually be using them (and why exactly don't we?). Our General Manager calls us “stakeholders” as if we had some real “stake” in the “outcome” of our recreational facilities. I disagree. We're nothing more than IVGID's “piggy bank;” the silent “uncle” who pays yet never realizes a payday himself. I say either make our recreational facilities exclusively for our use and benefit (we residents who actually pay) and eliminate or drastically reduce our user fees, or outsource their operation to professionals who actually know how to successfully run a business. A friend of mine once told me the easiest way to get out of a hole is to stop digging. So I say NO to continuing what we've been doing for the benefit of tourists, local businesses, nonprofits and staff.And you wonder why our Rec Fees are so high?What is your stance on access to IVGID's “public with restrictions” beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?“One Division, One Team.” Yet we discriminate against our own citizens (Crystal Bay). The beach deed restriction is a farce. IVGID had no problem avoiding deed restrictions (park and recreational use only) when it gave away our lands underneath the Parasol and Visitors Center's buildings after spending $1.25 Million in acquisition costs. What's different here?IVGID has issued bonds guaranteed by all residents (including Crystal Bay's) to improve the beaches. It grants the beaches preferential water and sewer rates subsidized by all utility customers (including Crystal Bay's). It operates its water treatment/pumping plant on the beaches, yet pays no rent [which costs all utility customers (including Crystal Bay's)]. And our latest audited financial report reveals $164,272 of our Rec Fees (including Crystal Bay's) were spent on the beaches.IVGID needs to be removed as our beach steward. The Board has a conflict of interest. Our Trustees are not 100% loyal to Crystal Bay residents' beach interests, nor to those of 60% of local property owners with beach access who can't vote (because they're nonresidents). Charging us over $1.6 Million/annually to “operate” the beaches for 117 days/year ($13,675/day)? And charging us kayak rental and beach launch fees? Real “stakeholders.”I have a proposal. Let's charge Crystal Bay property owners their share of our beach acquisition costs, give them ten years to repay and charge them Beach Fees. Given 58% of beach use is by outsiders (guests), what's the problem with a handful of additional users who actually are residents?What are the top three things that IVGID is doing well, and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected?I've been searching for the answers for the last two years! I thought as I peeled away the layers I would eventually find a core of good. Boy was I wrong!Notwithstanding, the quality of our drinking water is one of the few things IVGID does well. But don't take too much credit IVGID. Mother Nature did most of the work; all you did was pump it out of the Lake.Then there's the quality of food offered at Diamond Peak's Snowflake Lodge. But wait; this isn't an IVGID operation. It's outsourced to a private business (Brimm's Catering). So don't take too much credit IVGID.Finally, there's the cleanliness of our facilities. Whether it's IVGID's administrative offices, The Chateau or the Recreation Center – clean! But wait; this isn't an IVGID operation either. We've contract with a private (FAAD) janitorial business to clean our facilities. So don't take too much credit IVGID.If we outsource and contract business operations to people who actually know how to properly run a business, we will end up with a quality product or service and won't have to spend 74% of operational revenues on employee wages and benefits. And you wonder why our Rec Fees are so high?It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem?Who said this is a “problem?” According to Trustee Weinberger, no one expects a golf course or park to make a profit. And according to former Trustee Brockman, our Recreation Center was always intended to lose $400,000 annually. Our Tennis Center can't make a profit because it caters to less than 1% of local property owners/their occupants. That leaves Diamond Peak which operates at a $1+ Million annual loss. These facts explain why each year your Board budgets to lose $7 Million or more!And who said the problem is “perceived?” With 74+% of recreation operational revenues spent on employee wages/benefits and another 19+% spent on debt service, it's IMPOSSIBLE to operate ANY of these facilities at break even – no perception here. I say stop selling use of our recreational facilities to the public (keep them for ourselves as our private country club); outsource their operations to professionals; or, sell them off. And don't be naive. If anyone is willing to pay us for our recreational facilities, rest assured, they'll continue to be available for our use WITHOUT our having to pay Rec Fees.Finally, here's an idea: who would stay at the Hyatt, Biltmore or Cal Neva if our recreational facilities were not open to the public? Who would frequent local businesses? What would Lake Tahoe School or Sierra Nevada College do for their physical education programs? Should not local businesses be paying us rather than we subsidizing them?Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay For Life and Golf Fore Education?The purpose of government is NOT to giveaway use of the public's assets to anyone. But IVGID has cultivated the notion our recreational facilities are here for worthy nonprofit use because “it's part of what being a community is all about.” Ask the County what it charges AYSO or Little League to use its athletic fields. Ask Squaw Valley what it charges its ski team to train on its mountain. Ask any city if its public meeting facilities are available for free religious or political advocacy purposes.Each year IVGID receives HUNDREDS of requests from nonprofits to use our recreational facilities for little or no cost. Who bears the cost of this philanthropy? And who decides which causes get free use and which ones do not? Shouldn't you be the one to determine to whom your donations are made rather than vesting discretion in our Godfather? And you wonder why our Rec Fees are so high?Here's my plan (announced at the Board's April 25, 2012 regular meeting). Let's encourage contributions into a private fund to be used to pay the public's cost whenever it makes our recreational facilities available for nonprofit use (I'll be the first to contribute). Local property owners will suffer no financial loss; worthwhile nonprofits will still be able to use the public's recreational facilities; no one will be forced to donate to a cause he/she does not support; and, donors will realize an income tax deduction! How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way ? if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that idea?This may be the most important election in IVGID's history because for the first time the truth has been made public and voters are being offered REAL choices. IVGID has used the power of government to publish misinformation because it's in its interest and not ours. Once the public is educated, I will poll residents and property owners for their views. As long as the consensus of opinion is ethical and legal, I will put their views ahead of mine/my friends'. I didn't come here to have my neighbors subsidize the cost of my golf, skiing, meals or my children's private education or day care.An example: last year we learned that the owners/occupants of 69 local parcels (out of 8,248) used our Tennis Center at least once! Yet the Tennis Center is budgeted to lose (as does everything IVGID touches) $145,279. And on average, 84% of local property owners are subsidizing the costs for 16% of property owners to use the remainder of our recreational facilities. Why exactly does our Board and staff refuse to listen to what the majority of their constituents are saying by their actions?If you're a segment of the public who wants to perpetuate your own personal benefits at the expense of others (and you know who you are), don't vote for me because I will won't stand for it. And you wonder why our Rec Fees are so high?Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.Instead of recreation, our Rec Fee allows IVGID to operate businesses at a loss; nearly $7 Million/year, $61 Million over the last eleven. Our Rec Fees pay for philanthropy, private educational opportunities for a select few, lobbyists to influence legislation, losses at restaurants, bars, retail clothing sales facilities, sports equipment rentals, the Sports Shop in the Hyatt Hotel, ski and golf instruction, wedding planning, catering, banquet/meeting facilities, etc. We spend over $830,000 annually marketing our recreational facilities to the world's tourists. Our utility rates have increased 20% in two years, with another 26% increase already projected over the next three. IVGID's spending is out of control. It is limited government which has become BIG government. As you read every other candidate's answers to these questions, ask yourself: what does any of this have to do with your quality recreation? And do other candidates have a clue? If you don't understand there's a problem, what makes you qualified to offer solutions?I don't need a job. I will not accept a salary nor free recreation privileges. I am not part of a “team of candidates” intended to “pack our Board” with wolves. I am a free-thinking independent willing to tell it like it is. IVGID requires tough love, and I know exactly where to administer it. If you agree and want REAL CHANGE, unleash your watchdog and please vote for me. And if you want to learn more of the truth, go to www.electAaron.org. And thanks for reading!

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?Fees have gone up because a. the economy over the past seven years has hurt Incline Village residents and visitors, and b. The IVGID Board has tried to maintain the level of service to the community. I would work with the other Trustees and staff to find a balance of services and look for ways to be more efficient.How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer? A trustee should be very aware of all the district recreational facilities either through use through visits to them and talking to the people who do use them.What are the top 3 things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee?I do no not believe that there are things wrong with IVGID. Even through rough and changing times the trustees and staff have worked hard and done a good job providing a good level of services to Incline's population. There are always ways to improve. One would be to better communicate to the community the choices we are facing.We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher than average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses?The trustees should consider all options available to maintain economic viability for IVGID. I feel having a job is better than lay-offs. I normally support salary adjustments but I would consider hard decisions and ways to work through our tough times with the least amount of pain. Fairness is very important to me.The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering wear and tear on some of the district's decades-old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?The district is responsible for a very large amount of assets to provide vital services and recreational venues. It is prudent management of those assets to have a 5-year capital budget. Every effort should be to improve useful the life of our assets. We will always spend large amounts of money to meet mandatory requirements i.e. ADA.What is your stance on access to IVGID's “public with restrictions” beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?I have, in the past and still do, support the decisions of the trustees on beach management. I do not as support options that could be put our beaches at risk of being deemed public beaches.What are the top 3 things that IVGID is doing well and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected? a. Great water service.b. Our sewer service seems to be very good.c. Staff has done a good job under trying times with the operation of Diamond Peak.I would work with the other trustees and staff to improve all of our services.It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem? I would support the appointment a Task Force for each of our venues made up a trustee, staff members and community members to review each venue and make recommendations to the board.Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay for Life and Golf Fore Education? YES , IVGID has great venues and the community has very good not for profit organizations that or a vibrant part of our community These together make our community a great place to live.How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way — if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that ideas? Not very much. I believe in majority rule, and would work hard to identify that majority.Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.I do not know that I am the best candidate, but I do have some 40 years of experience in management and governance that will help me be an effective trustee.

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?A) Over a three day period I interviewed most of IVGID's department heads in order to get some semblance of what is actually going on at our district. I am pleased to say that for the most part these department heads are talented and dedicated. However, I believe that their creativity has been stifled. In most cases, department heads are not always given the tools or the objective to run their departments as it pertains to our recreational venues as a profit center. When IVGID has gone into a concession agreement the concessionaire not only makes money IVGID gets a percentage of the profit. Frankly, either we run our recreational venues as profit centers or we have no business running them at all. If elected I will not agree to any increase in bonded indebtedness.How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer?A) I believe that it is crucial for Trustees to utilize our recreational facilities but I would put restrictions on the usage of some of the facilities. Further, it is imperative that IVGID staff and Trustees visit other area recreation facilities in the area so they are aware of what our competition is doing.What are the top three things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee?A) IVGID budgets to loose money every year at recreational venues.B) IVGID enters into third party agreements that benefit IVGID not the property owner/tax payer.C) IVGID does not foster entrepreneurship or creativity amongst it's employees.Where ever possible we need to run our recreation facilities as profit centers that will Keep our recreation fees as low as possible.We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher-than-average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses?A) I do not necessarily believe that one size fits all so employees need to see some light at the end of the tunnel and should be given incentives for superior performance. In today's times and considering that many state and county employees have received pay cuts cost of living increases can no longer be automatic until our economy improves.The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering wear and tear on some the district's decades-old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?A) There is little to no evidence that any of the facility upgrades that we have done at IVGID has translated into an increase in revenue for our district. In addition just a small percentage of our residents actually use our recreational facilities. I believe that many of our facilities can be upgraded without spending huge sums of money while still remaining compliant with ADA rules. We need to be creative and work with potential partners and sponsors that can help subsidize the cost of upgrades. We cannot afford to float bonds without a clear understanding of what our return on investment will be.What is your stance on access to IVGID's “public with restrictions” beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?A) Our beach access should remain “public with restrictions” which is our current policy.What are the top three things that IVGID is doing well, and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected?A) IVGID has hired talented and dedicated employees and I would empower the aforementioned to increase customer service while decreasing expenses.B) IVGID's utility department is strong and their communication is good via their monthly newsletter that comes with our utility bill. If elected I would encourage IVGID to develop an online newsletter so that some residents and many condo owner that do not receive the monthly mailed newsletter would have the opportunity to access this information.It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem?A) This question in many ways can be answered the same way as question number 1, so I am going to reiterate my response:Over a three day period I interviewed most of IVGID's department heads in order to get some semblance of what is actually going on at our district. I am pleased to say that for the most part these department heads are talented and dedicated. However, I believe that their creativity has been stifled. In most cases, department heads are not always given the tools or the objective to run their departments as it pertains to our recreational venues as a profit center. When IVGID has gone into a concession agreement the concessionaire not only makes money IVGID get a percentage of the profit. Frankly, either we run our recreational venues as profit centers or we have no business running them at all. If elected I will not agree to any increase in bonded indebtedness. Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay For Life and Golf Fore Education?A) As a former Board Member of the Northern Nevada Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation I understand that community support is a very important element when it comes to raising money for a charity or a cause. IVGID's facilities belong to residents/taxpayers and it unfair to pick and choose which charities will get special favors. For that reason IVGID should offer a discounted rate to non profits based on a first come first served basis.How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way — if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that idea?A) IVGID Trustees should represent the majority of residents as long as residents have a clear understanding of the issue/issues.Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.A) I am one of only a couple of candidates for Trustee that took the time to interview IVGID department heads. In fact there have been little if any interviews conducted by current Trustees with any IVGID employees. I have been a resident of Incline Village for 24 years and was Senior Sales Manager at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe and Director of Marketing for Alpine Meadows Ski Resort for over 10 years, currently I own my own strategic marketing company based in Incline Village. Like it or not we live in a tourism based economy and need a trustee that can balance the needs of our residents against the needs of our tourists that help support our economy. To my knowledge there isn't any Trustee who is either on the board currently or who is running that has any experience in tourism. I have both domestic and international tourism experience and if elected I will be a valuable asset to the board and can bring insight to the aforementioned that does not currently exist. I have also sat on several boards both locally and internationally and will use this experience to run IVGID in the best way possible to benefit the residents of Incline Village.

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?A lack of effective management has contributed to most venues sustaining losses over the past years. This combined with the requirement to service the current IVGID debt and the rising operational expenses has required increasing our recreation and beach fees to subsidize all. We need a definite change.• Initially we need simplify our confusing financial reports. Too much data. A simple bottom line (net income) comparison of year to year results by venue would help all to measure and assess performance.• Next we must hold our Recreation/Beach Fees at their current level.• Then we need to analyze, review, streamline and refocus each recreation operation to increase revenue generation and then become self-sustaining. Each recreation venue will develop a detailed business plans and after a critical review of each we can then allocate the proper mix of resources (personnel/budget).• As we review the recreation venues we will also review the IVGID administration and utilities. An in-depth look at the services provided and resources (personnel/budget) required for the services. With a critical eye to eliminate waste and streamline each.• As we refine, streamline and refocus the current operations we then look at our strategic and 5 year Capital Improvement Program. Based on a streamlined IVGID we can project our future event driven or time driven requirements.The debt will be initially serviced at the current level but then at an increased level as efficiency improves. As income increases we can also reduce our recreation/beach fees.How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer?As you review the responsibilities of a Trustee you quickly realize they not only represent the entire Incline Village/Crystal Bay community but must make decisions that ultimately affect all. To ensure you fully realize the extent and logical conclusion of your decision(s) all relevant information must be considered. Gathering this information is the basis of this question. I believe the voters trusted each Trustee enough to represent and to make decisions on their behalf then the Trustee should have complete and unfettered access to all of the General Improvement District's venues/facilities. This allows the Trustee to evaluate the results of their decisions and make adjustments as required. As to how they get access is their personal choice. As an elected Trustee (only the Trustee and not family members) you are authorized free passes to all venues. Some Trustees have turned down this benefit and pay the required fees for venue/faculty access while others accept this benefit.What are the top three things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee?Issues requiring correction are the lack of professional service and amenities in the majority of the recreation venues, the failure to hold management and staff to fiscal and service performance standards and these cause the loss of value to each of shareholders (Community Members).I would ensure policies and procedures are developed and implemented to teach, coach and inspire employees to provide the most professional of services. Higher levels of customer service produce more satisfied customers and higher levels of revenues. By increasing customer service and maintaining a focus on our cost structure, each of the venues can become more self supporting. The current system is broken and must be rebuilt to 1) establish high service training standards, 2) fully implement a comprehensive training program for employees based on established standards and 3) provide scheduled reviews (with both internal/external input) to ensure the standards are maintained.Employees in positions of responsibility must be held to measurable goals/objectives concerning both fiscal and service standards. Currently the goals and objectives are vague and subjective in nature and are not measurable. This would ensure the established standards are met and all would fully realize fiscal and service accountability are top priority. These actions will increase efficiency and eliminate waste.The lack of quality service and accountability has reduced our asset value. Currently many residents and nonresidents do not utilize our facilities. Improved and more professional services would help create return customers, begin increasing revenues and would increase the value of all venues.We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher-than-average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses?I do not favor creating a system which has annual cost of living increases for wages. Wages established for each IVGID employee should be based on duties and responsibilities. These are already established and must be periodically reviewed to ensure they are fair. I believe we should compare the current wage and benefit packages for all employees to their private enterprise counterparts to ensure fairness.Bonuses are a way to reward extraordinary performance and should not be given to employees for just doing their jobs. Again, measureable goals and objectives for each employee position could determine whether a bonus is in order.We have great employees and during tough economic times they must understand it will also be tough for IVGID. In private business during the current tough economic times wages were reduced and positions eliminated to ensure business/companies kept their doors open. IVGID employees have not faced a substantial reduction in wages and few have faced the elimination of their positions. In fact, I now see management not only increasing the number of employees but also moving them up the pay scale. This needs to be fully vetted.There are also union represented employees in IVGID and these labor agreements must be fully reviewed and analyzed before agreement to ensure IVGID does not get into annual cost of living increases or longevity pay (increase wages based on years worked) which cannot be sustained during tough economic times.The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering wear and tear on some the district's decades-old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?I believe IVGID has the responsibly to each of our shareholders (members of the community) to ensure all of our venues and facilities are safe and meet all required code standards. We must be compliant to all safety codes/regulations to preclude the possibility of being responsible and/or liable for an accident, injury or death. With that as a background I will not let capital improvements control IVGID financially. Our 5 year plan has to be continually reviewed and updated to ensure it is financially feasible without Recreation/Beach Fee increases. Before we incur more debt we have to fully analyze the benefit to ensure it is fully justified.Facilities/assets do require upgrades based on wear and tear and our management must ensure they are properly maintained to preclude catastrophic failures and increase the service life of each asset. This will allow the Trustees to ensure the budget and strategic plan includes the correct amount of Operations andamp; Maintenance monies and replacement funds.What is your stance on access to IVGID's “public with restrictions” beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?I fully support the current 9th Circuit Court ruling on the “public with restrictions” beaches. The deed restrictions were established when they were purchased, are well advertised and are fully disclosed to all whom buy parcels in Incline Village and Crystal Bay. I cannot support any action that would open these beaches to more personnel than currently allowed by these deed restrictions. Further, I will oppose any action that would change or modify the current deed restrictions.What are the top three things that IVGID is doing well, and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected?IVGID can be proud of award winning water treatment facility, our community activities that support non-profits (schools, Red White and Tahoe Blue, seniors, veterans, etc.) and how it strives to protect the environment. All of these and others make us all proud to be a member of the Incline Village and Crystal Bay community. I would continue to support all of these from improvements in the treatment facility, supporting community activities to more conservation efforts to improve our community/environment.I believe there is an untapped resource in this community - the great wealth of knowledge and expertise we have in our community members. We need to develop a plan that would allow community members to participate in strategic planning sessions to tap this valuable resource. We need to provide this “think tank” with incentives (not all monetary) to develop ideas on how we improve the Greater Incline Village/Crystal Bay Community. I truly believe they would present and fully develop new ideas that would greatly improve our community.It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem? There is no question many of the IVGID venues have in fact lost money over the past years. As I outlined in question #1 all the venues need to be analyzed, reviewed, streamlined and refocused to initially make money and then become self-sustaining.I do not believe that regardless of what corrective actions are taken that certain venues will always lose money. It is not a perceived problem — venues losing money is a real problem.In previous questions I have highlighted my approach to help solve the issues facing IVGID from each venue submitting a detailed business plan, improving services throughout each venue, holding all employees in positions of responsibility accountable for fiscal and service performance and all reviews being complete with a critical eye to eliminate waste. A methodical analytical approach to solve the problems with each venue (not throwing money at correcting symptoms) with corrective courses of actions being developed and then a decision on implementing the best course of action is a start. After implementation then reviews and follow-up to include initiating corrective adjustments required to ensure the problem is fully corrected.The culmination of all this would be the implementation of proven business techniques for each venue that would focus all on providing expert services, maintaining accountability and eliminating waste while conserving our precious resources - personnel and money.Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay For Life and Golf Fore Education?I believe that IVGID needs to be directly involved in our community. I know there are some limitations established by NRS 318 but the ability of the Trustees to improve the community is not limited by the statue. The goals of almost all non-profits are to help individuals in need. The nonprofits in our community are no exception and by helping individuals we are in reality helping the community as a whole. The use of certain IVGID venues by these organizations for a nominal charge or for free is a small investment of our Recreation and Beach Fees that that will help the community many times over. I will continue to support these activities when elected to represent the community as a Trustee.How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way — if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that idea?If I did not feel I would be objective when elected to be a Trustee I would not have filed for this office. In my many years in the military I was always in positions of leadership that called for honesty, integrity and fairness. Many of the decision I made or provided input to involved putting individuals in harm's way. The decision process in these situations could not be swayed by friendship because saving a few would have resulted in the loss of many.I will listen to everyone who would like to discuss any issue requiring a decision when elected as a Trustee and I will make my decision based on what is best for the majority of Incline Village/Crystal Bay shareholders (community members).Let's put this in perspective. Friends will always help other friends to be elected as an official but that will never mean the elected individual is forever tied to their friends. I have always been an individual thinker and will vote on each issue based on its own merit. I may have a lot of common beliefs similar to other candidates or currently elected Trustees but it does not mean I support their position unless I am thoroughly convinced it is the best course of action for Incline Village/Crystal Bay. If I do not feel it is in the best interest of IVGID I will not only openly oppose it but will vote against it.Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.To represent the Incline Village/Crystal Bay community you need a person who is honest, has integrity and is fair. It is time to elect an individual who will bring a new way of looking at old problems. You also need a person who will listen to both sides of an issue and then make the decision which is best for all of Incline Village/Crystal Bay. I have the experience and expertise to be your next IVGID Trustee.My background as a military officer for over 22 years honed my ability to analyze an issue, identify the problem and then develop corrective actions to solve the problem. This combined with my wartime experience as both a tactical and strategic planner will help establish current and long range goals and objectives for IVGID management.For the past 15 years I have worked in the construction industry both as a successful business owner and now as a project manager. This business experience will be invaluable as we streamline and refocus the current direction of each IVGID venue and point them toward a future that will make each self-sustaining. We cannot continue to raise fees to cover a lack of effective management.I have the knowledge and experience to help change the direction of IVGID and the ability to make the tough decisions required to correct problems. Included in my background is the ability to work and coordinate with all concerned to make Incline Village/Crystal Bay better for all.

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?• As a customer of IVGID and someone who uses all IVGID recreation facilities; as a consultant who worked directly with the General Manager and management in 2009; and in recently interviewing all of IVGID Directors — I see complacency as well as opportunities in leadership, entrepreneurship, and best business practices. • In managing a $300+ million dollar District for Albertsons Supermarkets, I held my employees accountable to produce increased sales and profits each and every quarter. My niche was turning around stores, departments, mentoring people, and exceeding expectations in an entrepreneurial management style. I am ambitious, passionate and founded my own business operations/customer service consulting company. Over 16 years, my company has incrementally grown and made a profit every year in consulting for over 50 golf courses, 20 health club/tennis facilities, restaurants, food and beverage concessions, hospitality, and a myriad of other business types. IVGID is a $33 million operation and I am confident in utilizing my skills to lead IVGID and collaborate with our community as I have demonstrated as Chairman of Red, White and Tahoe Blue since 2009.• Working to manage fees is my forte, and this is what I have done in my 30 years of business experience. We need to price all our goods and services in the “sweet spot” to increase customer count and maximize revenue. We need to consolidate unnecessary positions, reduce expenses and eliminate waste. We need to capitalize on our strengths. I want IVGID to be great! How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer? • I feel that it's imperative that IVGID Trustees, Directors, and the General Manager all utilize all the recreational facilities and venues regularly and see things through customer's eyes to ensure we are meeting expectations. We should interview IVGID employees, ask patrons about their customer experience, and convey what we learn to the General Manager. • As your Trustee, I will expect IVGID's General Manager and Directors to routinely examine similar facilities/venues that are “Best of the Best” and local competitors such as ski resorts, golf courses, health/tennis clubs, food and beverage concessions, wedding/banquet facilities, and public works. This is a common business practice in private enterprise; I was surprised to discover in interviewing our IVGID Directors that this is not expected, even when a new competitive facility opens only a few miles away.• I would like to introduce a monthly Agenda Item at IVGID Board Meetings, which would allow the community to present creative ideas and solutions to improve IVGID operations. If an idea is implemented and produces positive results, we should recognize the community member with an award. What are the top three things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee? 1. I feel that the lack of trust within IVGID senior management creates barriers and stifles the ability for IVGID to be great! My vision is to unite our community and rebuild the trust by creating “win, win” relationships with employees, parcel owners and IVGID's suppliers. We arguably have more talent and wealth per square foot in our community than anywhere in the world, and in my view these resources are underutilized.2. In 2009, my company, Service Scouts, measured IVGID's customer service performance, utilizing surveys that IVGID approved. 88 IVGID staff were assessed; collectively, they earned 73.1% on basic customer service attributes. Some examples: 56.0% of staff wore required nametags; 65.2% “greeted” customers; and 60.8% “thanked” customers when completing purchases. Based on these and other results, I found IVGID employee training to be ineffective. As your Trustee, I will work to overhaul IVGID's training program so that both employees and contractors are empowered to utilize the famous Nordstrom Rules: “Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.”3. Our recreational facilities are a financial drain and are not being operated with best business practices or entrepreneurship. In interviewing our Director of Golf, I learned that IVGID proposed a $5 increase in all green fees. IVGID has not performed a complete market study for prices in years. I discovered in interviewing other Directors that market surveys for pricing is not completed regularly and when it's done it's not comprehensive. The 50 golf courses I consult for do this twice a year and monitor them weekly.We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher-than-average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses? • We need to survey wages and benefits for job classes within our marketplace annually. In interviewing IVGID Directors I learned that they all essentially get paid the same salary of over $100,000 annually whether they operate seasonal facilities such as ski/golf or are operating year a facility year-round. There is an opportunity to consolidate, and I believe we are overpaying for some positions. • I support a complete analysis of comparable wages and benefits and an overhaul of all bonus programs, including Directors and General Manager. Based on my interviews with Directors, if IVGID makes Budget, all employees receive a 2% bonus and Directors receive 5%. Yet, IVGID budgets to lose money. The General Manager may earn up to a $30,000 bonus annually based on subjective evaluations made by Trustees. All bonuses should be achieved through exceptional performance. Directors should be making Budget as a condition of their continued employment. The General Manager's bonus should only be earned for exceptional fiscal and measureable performance, and it should not be left up to the Trustees' subjectivity.• Last week, an IVGID manager who was on a panel interviewing candidates informed me that they had more than enough qualified - and many overqualified - candidates vying for a $10 an hour position. They told me they have no problem finding employees because of all the “perks” and benefits employees receive. The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering wear and tear on some the district's decades-old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?• I would encourage a capital improvement program that perhaps can be privately funded, granted and/or done in collaboration with non-profits such as the Incline Tahoe Foundation. The Incline Tahoe Foundations primary purpose is to secure, manage and invest privately raised funds solely for the benefit of the IVGID's Recreation Center and other recreation facilities, parks, services, programs and other efforts. Our Recreation Center has a $9 million dollar remodel plan to better serve the demographics and needs of our community. It would be great if this Recreation Center Capital Improvement Plan could be privately funded and/or funded through a grant.• We need to utilize the contractors and building experts within our community. Just last week I spoke to a successful Incline Village real estate builder/developer who said they would be happy to consult their services for free to IVGID. They informed me that even though they have been doing business in Incline Village for decades, they have never been asked. Furthermore, if they had been asked, they could have saved us lots of money at the renovation of the Diamond Peak Lodge and Chateau.What is your stance on access to IVGID's “public with restrictions” beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?• The deed should continue to rule and was upheld recently; here's my understanding: The title to these four beaches is held by IVGID. Each property owner in Incline Village has the right to use the beaches by virtue of a recorded restrictive covenant “easement”. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the existing legal documentation is constitutional, effective and binding. An easement can be altered or amended only by agreement of those whom it benefits. Any change whatsoever, without such agreement, would immediately open the beaches to claims by the general public – not just to those to whom IVGID or its agents might have determined to include. Such a situation would negatively impact the existing beneficiaries' property values by a conservative estimate of $70,000 per parcel according to real estate experts. Given that there are 8763 parcels that would be affected; the depreciation in value to Incline Village would be an estimated $613,410,000. The Trustees and IVGID staff could be held responsible, as the original deed permits individual owners of real estate within the 1968 property to enforce the restrictive covenant. • We need to remove the red-letter inscription from IV/CB Resident Cards that state: “No Beach Access” This is a negative message and is embarrassing for those who must carry and present this card. I suggest a small code on the resident card that identifies this for the employees who should be trained to know what the code means. What are the top three things that IVGID is doing well, and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected?Here are two examples of people who exemplify what IVGID should aspire to, and a third example of how IVGID can partner successfully with the community.1. Barbara, a sales associate, provides extraordinary service at Diamond Peak. Here's how: as I approached the sales window, she smiled and said, “Hi there! You must be here for the Locals' Lunch! It's the best deal in the country!” She read my name on my card: “Nice to meet you, Jim!” She showed me how to tear off the bottom of my pass and hand it to the clerk to get my $10 lunch credit. Barbara then poked a plastic tie through the pass and demonstrated, “place this on your jacket this way.” She continued: “So many people try to clasp them from the wrong end, I thought I'd show you.” Thanking me by name again, she commented, “It's a glorious day! The weather report is clear.”Thank you, Barbara! This type of thoughtful customer service is NOT too much to expect from each IVGID experience! 2. Public Works is replacing a deteriorating 40-year-old wastewater pipe that has had small leaks and been repaired often. Joe Pomeroy, IVGID's Director of Public Works, was instrumental in securing a $15 million Federal Grant to replace this pipe. Great job, Joe.3. Our new Disc Golf Course was privately funded with “zero cost” to IVGID through the collaboration of three non-profits: the Incline Tahoe Foundation, Lions Club, and Red White and Tahoe Blue. Way to go, community.It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem?• Let's consider outsourcing operations that consistently continue to be inefficient and a financial drain. It's imperative that Trustees look to qualified local vendors and select the very best providers in the industry who can perform great service and value. IVGID employees should be given the opportunity to work with new service providers. For example: The golf courses have gone from a revenue center to a financial drain on IVGID over the past 5 years. I would propose privatizing the golf operations in a similar manner. I believe the golf courses are in need of professional management who would operate the courses under the budgetary guidance of the IVGID Board; implement sound business practices, and return them to profitable ventures. In this time of economic downturn, it is paramount to: 1) adjust operational costs to accommodate lower revenues, and 2) develop and institute an innovative marketing plan. Neither of these has been accomplished under “in house” management. • In 2009, I consulted for IVGID to provide customer experience measurements. At my suggestion, IVGID outsourced the Beach and Snowflake Lodge food and beverage services to IV/CB vendors. Each of these venues was consistently losing money (over $10k annually) and they didn't meet customer service and value expectations. Outsourcing resulted in remarkable results: IVGID received over $85,000 (2010/2011 combined) – its first profit in each of these venues in over 5 years; the outsourcing companies made a profit and added over 10 new jobs to the community; and we substantially improved customer satisfaction.Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay For Life and Golf Fore Education?• Non-Profit usage is at the sole discretion of the General Manager in terms of fees and use. I recommend that: 1) all non-profit usage not be a loss to IVGID, 2) non-profits requesting discounts submit a budget, and 3) all non-profit's proceeds must benefit the IV/CB Community.• Bill Horn helped found Red, White and Tahoe Blue and served on the Board until I became Chairman in 2009. He set up use of the facilities. RWTB is an excellent example of how non-profit events can benefit IV/CB. • IVGID benefits from RWTB in the following ways: 1) RWTB shows off IVGID's facilities to as many as 20,000 people who may later invest here. 2) Visitors stay with us or rent homes and hotel rooms 3) When visitors volunteer for RWTB, IVGID collects guest fees for them to be on the beaches even though they are volunteering! 4) Visitors often work out and play tennis or golf at our facilities, and they purchase food and beverages at IVGID concessions. All of this produces revenue. Multiply this by 8,673 homes and the number of guests at each home, as well those from nearby communities.• 400 volunteers set up/clean up IVGID facilities. There is little cost in terms of cleanup or staffing. RWTB has paid over $7,000 to IVGID for guest fees so that visitors can volunteer or participate in RWTB. It is clearly in IVGID's best interest to work with non-profits who want to use IVGID facilities for fundraising events. How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way — if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that idea?• For those of you that understand sports leadership, I was quarterback of the football team, point guard of the basketball team, pitcher/shortstop of the baseball team and captain of the teams I played for. I'm a natural leader, and this is evident in my business accomplishments and in the collaborative leadership I've helped build with non-profits, sponsors, donors, and volunteers as Chairman of Red, White and Tahoe Blue. I'm not tied to any special interest. I'm not a puppet to any particular friend(s), group, or cause. When it is time for me to make a decision, be assured that I will listen and act appropriately with integrity. I always want to make the best decision on behalf of our community and the operations within IVGID. • Anyone that has been on a successful Board knows it takes talent, teamwork, trust, and a shared vision to be great! I'm hoping that you will choose me and select two other candidates who will ignite IVGID collaboratively with passion, commitment, and entrepreneurial solutions. Take the time to review and study each of the ten candidates backgrounds. I'm voting for myself, Jim Hammerel and George Del Carlo as the three of us come from different generational backgrounds; yet share the same optimistic vision. I'm running a “grass roots” independent election campaign to look out for you and be the best Trustee in IVGID's history. • To learn more about Community, Collaboration and Commitment go to www.ElectJimSmith.org.Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.• Since the fall of 2009, I have been President of Red, White and Tahoe Blue. I'm proud of what our 4th of July Festival Team has accomplished. We increased our events from 7 to 31. We added over 450 volunteers. We expanded local non-profit participation from 3 to over 40, who collectively earned over $30,000 while supporting our events. We exceeded our revenue goals. We reduced our operating expenses for the 5th consecutive year and increased our fireworks display to be arguably one of the best in the country. • I'm the Founder and President of Service Scouts, Inc., established in 1996. I provide business operations and customer service consulting for golf courses, health/fitness/tennis clubs, food and beverage, hospitality, retail, sports/entertainment and many other industries. My clients have realized increases in revenue, profitability, exceptional customer service, customer retention, brand loyalty and value. The San Francisco Giants, my client of 13 years, were honored as the 2011 Sports Facility of the Year Award for Customer Service and Operational Excellence.• I'm the only Trustee Candidate to be appointed to the 20/20 Vision Community Committee. I will be completely engaged in this community-wide assessment workshop to collect ideas about what you would like our community to look like next year and in years to come. • As your Trustee, I am committed to significantly reduce recreation fees, bring extraordinary service, and collaborate with our talented community so we can be great!

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?I feel that the cost of the Recreation fee has increased to its current amount due to several factors: the cost of energy, the cost of durable goods and the increased wages and compensation for the employees would rank in the top three reasons but not necessarily in the order I've given. The addition of new youth and adult programs over the past 10 years and the desire of the community to maintain high levels of service have also driven the increases.If elected, I would encourage my fellow Trustees to work with me in commencing with two projects: 1) A Wages and Compensation Audit of the entire District to ensure that individuals were making appropriate wages for public/governmental positions, and 2) An independent, in-depth Cost Analysis Audit conducted of all programs under the IVGID Recreation pervue to ascertain viability/sustainability within the context of the citizens served and determine whether the programs could be better provided through a public/private partnership or by a private party.How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer?I feel it to be critical for Trustees to access all the District's facilities and venues. It gives first-hand, real-time information to the Trustee in assessing efficacy of management, utilization of finite resources and most importantly, the level of service (or lack thereof) that is being provided to the citizens of Incline Village and Crystal Bay. It is, however, vitally important that Trustees do not abuse the privileges afforded them by the electorate.What are the top three things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee?The IVGID Board sets policy that in turn is directed to the General Manager — the Board's only employee — and he/she then directs his/her managers/supervisor's to conduct that business in ethical, professional and effective terms.1) Lack of a strong, accountable and local General Manager.This district was promised by the current General Manager back in 2001 that he would move to the Incline Village/Crystal Bay community upon the completion of his children's education. Contingent upon this promise he was hired. To date he does not reside within the Incline/Crystal Bay area. Loss of key high-level personnel and general morale issues within the ranks of the employees/staff are disconcerting and would indicate accountability and strength issues of the GM.2) Lack of a focused, long-term strategic plan.A Facilities Master Plan was conducted in the late 1990s and was subsequently shelved. Let's tap into the studies, plans and community workshops of the recent past and synthesize them into the current visioning processes so that we have a viable plan for our near, midterm and long-term goals.3) Lack of high-level service training to give the District's employees needed skills to better serve the local clientele.In order for employees of our District to give their best, the District needs to recognize certain industry benchmarks that denote high levels of customer service. Utilizing industry leaders within our community, we can give our IVGID employees the necessary tools to succeed!We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher-than-average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses?Local governments all across the country are being faced with this issue. IVGID needs to realize that we are no different and nothing in government should be automatic! Cost of living adjustments as well as wages and bonuses need to be analyzed just like all other costs associated with the operation.The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering wear and tear on some the district's decades-old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?Deferred maintenance on several structures through the years has taken a toll on IVGID properties and the ADA mandate has really thrown a curve into the mix. I'm not one for spending money on facilities or capital upgrades unless it can be proven that they are prudent and fiscally sound. I'm also not one to keep doing the ‘band-aid' approach on facilities and structures because the inevitable emergency comes up and then a tremendous amount of money is spent to remediate a situation that could have been planned and paid for within a fiscally sound budgeting process. The Board needs to constantly remind itself that all monies spent are monies collected from our local citizenry, State and Federal taxes as well, and that the Board should always act with fiscal prudence and due diligence.What is your stance on access to IVGID's "public with restrictions" beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?Yes, the 1968 deed should continue to rule. It was determined by The Courts ruling in favor of IVGID and that should put an end to this issue.What are the top three things that IVGID is doing well, and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected?1) Public/private partnering at the beaches has dramatically improved the quality of food andamp; beverage and the overall guest experience.I would look into all Recreation venues to see if this would prove to be more cost-effective and financially amenable to the District, guarantee a consistently higher quality of food andamp; beverage and provide a better visitor experience for those using the facilities.2) Defensible Space has enhanced the community's fire safety.Since there is always tremendous risk to the District's lands I would want to continue to partner with the Fire Department in developing a more aggressive grant application to procure necessary resources to ensure continued fire safety.3) Maintenance and beautification of the District's Parks/Beaches/Trails.I would whole-heartedly endorse a continuance of these practices. Again, there might be further opportunities for greater partnership with the private sector or our local service organizations.It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem? I believe that IVGID has many opportunities to partner with the private sector to address revenue and service issues within its Recreation related venues. However, it is imperative that the District proceed cautiously to protect our valuable resources; especially those that have undergone recent renovations. We, the citizenry of Incline Village/Crystal Bay, need iron-clad guarantees that the facilities will be maintained to par, the products and services will be top-notch and that the District will be able to lower overall expenses which will lead to, or should lead to lower fees and assessments to the folks who pay the bills. Utilizing available expertise in the recreation-specific areas should give the Board fundamental information to aid in its decision in whether it is prudent to proceed in this direction.Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay For Life and Golf Fore Education?Absolutely! These organizations provide invaluable assistance to our community. The members of the organizations, the participants in the functions and the beneficiaries of the funds raised all reside within our community of Incline Village/Crystal Bay. Remember, we ALL own our IVGID resources and we ALL benefit when we can come together for worthwhile causes!How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way — if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that idea?I am not easily swayed. As a Trustee, you are given the honor of representing the entire community. It's imperative for you to remember, as you sit at the Board table, that over 99% of the residents aren't present before you and can't state whether they are for or against a particular issue. It is incumbent upon you to have done due diligence before the meeting and to have gone out into the community, fielded emails, answered phone calls and dealt with correspondence in order to vote in an ethical and honest way. Should you listen to friends? Absolutely, but always keep in mind what will benefit the majority of the community. Remember, we're not Washington DC!Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.I served as an IVGID Trustee from 1997-2000, holding the positions of Secretary, Vice-Chairman (twice) and Chairman of the Board. I know what the commitment entails.I am honest, up-front and ethical. I speak my mind but I always listen to others' points of view in the hope of learning something new. I am sincere with my convictions and yes, I have some strong opinions! However, I am fair and even-keeled when it comes to making important decisions.I am a 27 year, full-time, year round resident and owner of Tim Callicrate Productions. I have been an active volunteer with many of the local, civic and service organizations throughout the community; specifically with all of our schools. I am a double graduate of Sierra Nevada College earning a second BS in Entrepreneurship and my Master of Arts in Teaching in 2006 as one of the first IVGID Scholars. I feel qualified to represent the community because I keep myself well informed on the questions and concerns facing all of us. I am an involved and active participant in the daily activities of Incline Village/Crystal Bay and have been since moving here in 1985. I feel that my educational and professional backgrounds have given me effective communication skills which are imperative in keeping folks informed of Board activities. I take the position of Trustee seriously and would feel honored to have your vote of support to serve on the IVGID Board of Trustees. Thank you!

It's been well publicized that the district's recreation fees have nearly doubled over the past 10 years or so. Why do you feel this has happened, and, if elected, how would you work to manage these fees?The district's recreation fees should be used for the parcel owner's enjoyment and their families' benefits. But somehow IVGID has gone from providing quality recreation for we residents to feeding bloated budgets filled with waste, overstaffed venues and horrendous bonuses during a time of national financial crises.Our recreation fee is used to prop up massive losses at all recreational venues; it is used to donate money and support third party operations which use our venues for free, while we get to pay all the bills. Our recreation fee is now being used to fund a catering operation with massive losses covered by our recreation money.IVGID spends thousands each year to fund a retail sports shop at the Hyatt Hotel, another major losing venture. What has all of this got to do with quality recreation? NOTHING! The loss is well over $160,000.00 dollars a year, and it all comes from our recreation money. Is this quality recreation for our hard earned money? I think not! When you voted for the current trustees were you expecting your money to be spent this way?We can reduce our recreation fee by 30% by just stopping the give-aways, closing down the sport shop and putting an end to the catering service. Along with strategic staff reductions, we could cut our recreation fee in half.How important is it for a trustee to access the district's recreation facilities and other venues and utilize what they have to offer?It is politically unethical to use public facilities for free as an elected official. All one has to do is look at the Nevada Revised Statues, and you will see that receiving free use of public property is an ethics violation. All five of our current board members are under investigation by the Nevada Ethics in Government Commission for granting and receiving free and discounted use of our recreation venues. The rules establish by our Legislature and courts have made clear that receiving free use of public property is strictly prohibited. Another great source of information on this subject is the employee handbook given to all IVGID employees and Trustees. It makes it clear that using public property is not legal. If it is in the employee handbook, why is it allowed by our General Manager?Trustees can access all the venues by paying like the rest of we residents, and they can visit each venue to see how it is operating. They don't need to play golf six days a week for the entire summer to get a “feel” as to how our courses are run. It is theft! The Governor of Nevada does not and cannot use public facilities for free when the public is charged a fee. Why should a Trustee or an IVGID employee living in California?What are the top three things wrong with IVGID, and how would you address them if elected to be an IVGID trustee?1. Wasteful spending of our recreation fees by a General Manager who doesn't care how he spends our recreation dollars. He flies first class, stays at five star hotels and rents the most expensive cars to travel to places for silly reasons. He lives in RENO, drives a nice new SUV provided by our recreation dollars and to top it off, we pay to fill it full of gas for his daily commutes to Reno.2. A lack of transparency. I have tried to access district records and have asked for documents trying to get answers as to how our money is spent. And I am given a run around time after time. Comments from “those documents don't exist,” to “we need the exact name of the document requested,” to “that information is not available to the public.” IVGID does not give information as to how our money is being spent. Now what is IVGID is hiding? MASSIVE LOSSES, waste and giveaways.3. Using our utility money to pay for things other than utilities, then raising our rates needlessly. Why are we funding public defensible space? Don't our tax dollars pay for fire protection? Isn't this double dipping? Why can Diamond Peak use 1,000 times the water you use, yet be charged only 76 times your cost for infrastructure improvements? Taking money out of utilities to cover losses at other venues and then raising our utility rates to make up for the losses. It's unethical and a violation of the Nevada Revised Statues.We live in a tough economic time, and life in Tahoe can be harder than most communities due to high rents for residents and commercial businesses, higher-than-average food costs and rising gas prices. Considering this, should the district offer its employees annual cost of living raises, or do you feel this one area with which the district can save money, by freezing wages and bonuses?It is insane that IVGID increases salaries for its employees and expects the residents living here to fund the increase while at the same time expecting citizens to accept rate increases for utilities, never ending increases in recreation fees and to top it all off, passing bonds which increase resident's debt. We all have financial difficulties during tough economic times. Why is IVGID immune to cutbacks?Business owners around America have been cutting costs, reducing staff just to stay in business. It is total foolish behavior to increase your costs, and why wouldn't this be the same for IVGID?Yes, I support wage freezes and the end to bonuses. I also strongly support reductions in costs and staffing.The district has an ambitious capital projects plan that aims to spend millions over the next few years to upgrade its facilities. Considering mwear and tear on some the district's decades-old structures, along with federal ADA compliance mandates, do you feel it is appropriate for the district to spend a lot of money on capital upgrades?IVGID has blown 61 million dollars of our recreation fees over the past 11 years. Each year we lose 6.5 million on venue losses. This equals over $400,000 per month. All because of bad management and give-aways of our property. If IVGID had cut the losses over the past 10 years we would have plenty of money to make all the necessary repairs and improvements to district property. But it's too late to do that now, so we must begin a process to cut the losses and start to bank money.The current board's answer to these problems is to float bonds, run up our debt and continue blindly with the spending and waste. This spending only benefits employees and tourists. To make my point, all one has to do is attend a board meeting and watch the rubber stamping by the current board on massive expenditures. Never do you see cutbacks. Never do you see a board member openly question the spending and how it will hurt residents. The current board wants to keep the recreation fee at $830.00, I want an immediate reduction!We don't and won't have the money to make the capital improvements this board is proposing. The only source for funding will be our recreation fees or floating more bonds. We are currently looking at over 18 million in bond debt, and IVGID wants to add an additional 36 million. IVGID is Out of Money!What is your stance on access to IVGID's "public with restrictions" beaches? Should the 1968 deed continue to rule, or are there opportunities to revisit it?As every property owner knows, I sued the district in federal court. I lost, because the judges ruled that my right to freedom of expression was not protected on IVGID's beaches, but it was protected in the parking lots and sidewalks. This opinion could have and someday will be reversed. Since the decision I have found other issues with the beaches which are more important than my access. I have found that even though I cannot access the beaches, I am still funding their operation via my recreation fees. I have identified commingling of public funds by our current management. And other issues came out of my lawsuit which are under review. One nice surprise was the support I have received from many Incline residents who are appalled that citizens living in Incline and Crystal Bay are discriminated against by this board. The board uses the mantra “One District One Team.” But I would have to say it is more like “One District One really messed up treatment and segregation of our children.” I am of the opinion that that in the long run we all will be treated equally; sometimes it just takes time. I hope it happens sooner than later as a divided community will never prosper. But more importantly, a segregated and divisive community can only attract conflict. IVGID changes the rules each year, Whatever led to the “Public with Restrictions” mantra used at the beaches can be traced to only one thing. DISCRIMINATION!What are the top three things that IVGID is doing well, and how would you work to improve upon those things if elected?So far in my exploration of the workings of IVGID, which have been going on for over two years, I have found very few things that didn't need to be fixed. Each time I have uncovered something which is seriously flawed, I found five more things that needed to be corrected. IVGID has received recognition for the water it provides, but I think the Lake has a lot to do with water quality. So I guess mother nature should also take some credit. I wish I could say our recreation venues are super, but I can't. I wish I could say IVGID is well run, but I can't. So let's have a drink of water and call it a day.It's been well publicized that many of IVGID's venues have lost money over the years. If elected, how would you propose to fix this perceived problem?First of all it is going to take an understanding of the remaining board members and the newly elected Trustees to admit there is a problem. So far we have had nothing but excuses and denial. If elected I would recommend that we have an emergency session of the new board to identify each and every venue's financial problems. Start a cost cutting program at each venue. I would recommend that the new board review costs which can be cut without hurting existing programs. I would propose shutting down the Hyatt Sports Shop. I would recommend the immediate replacement of Scott Brooke (our attorney) and Bill Horn (our General Manager), and evaluate the effectiveness of every venue manager.We are in financial distress for many reasons and the buck usually stops at the top. The problems of IVGID can be fixed, and it is going to take a team of Trustees with the right attitude and commitment to the parcel owners. It all can be corrected but it will take time and the right board members. Voting in the wrong board will be a disaster, and will be the end of our existence as we know it. Armageddon is around the corner.Should IVGID allow use of its venues — whether for free, for a nominal charge or the full rate — for nonprofits to hold important fundraising events such as Relay For Life and Golf Fore Education?I have absolutely no problem with non-profits using our facilities. But I do have a problem with donating them away for free while we recreation fee payers have to pay to use them. To put it another way, do I like donating to certain non-profits and ignoring others? No. It is biased and unfair. But if we establish fair and equitable practices to ensure we are not treating the General Manager's pets as special non-profits as we do now, then I would say no to all.Every charity, non-profit, and fundraiser should be treated the same, but not at the expense of a single parcel owner. This giveaway program is exactly what put us in the mess we are in today.How easily are you swayed by certain sections of the community that may be against an issue that the majority of IVGID residents and parcel holders are in favor of? To put it another way ? if your friends don't like an idea, but the majority of your constituents are in favor of it, how would you vote on that idea?As a trustee you draw a very straight and clear line. My job as a Trustee is to represent all parcel owners and residents living in Incline and Crystal Bay equally. There is no place for favors, special treatment and decisions which are not in the best interests of our community. Special treatment is what has gotten IVGID into serious financial trouble. To elect the “good old boys club” again is going to lead to financial suicide for our community. Voters will only have themselves to blame. Take a look at your utility bill in July, and then you will understand where this community is headed. And what is on the immediate horizon for our Recreation Fees, Beach Fees and of course our Utility bills? It is called “STICKER SHOCK!” Everything the parcel owners own is going to cost more to use, but that is not the case for visitors. Their costs actually go down at many of our venues. And they are not stuck with an ever increasing Recreation Fee.Lastly, please explain why you feel you are the best candidate to become an IVGID trustee.There are only two or three qualified candidates running in this election, Looking for the right candidates, voters only need to look at these questions and how they have been answered by the various candidates. Candidates with flowering, rambling and mindless statements do not have a clue and are not fit to be Trustees. This election we have three candidates joined at the hip. They say they have a contract with Crystal Bay and Incline. REALLY? Who represented our community in this farce?I have exposed IVGID! It is time to stop the bleeding! I have stopped the illegal sale of skis to employees. I am directly or indirectly responsible for employees leaving under a cloud of suspicion. We have new and better managers at ski, accounting, and marketing. I have exposed the retail nightmare at the Hyatt Sport Shop!Being on the board I could continue to clean up IVGID. I understand the problems, and know how to fix them.Imagine having a ski area for residents first. A recreation center which we didn't have to pay a fee to access. Free tennis courts, and much lower golf rates.This election is not about popularity. It is about the survival of Incline and Crystal Bay as we know it. It's about putting an end to the waste!We need three independent minded trustees, not a pack of “RATS.” Or a “Wolfe Pack.” Let's take our community back!


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated May 24, 2012 12:13PM Published May 24, 2012 11:40AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.