September 18, 2012 | Back to: News

Guest Column: Reply to Mr. Gurowitz and#8212; we've only just begun

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — In your Sept. 13, 2012, column you admit you're “not a lawyer,” yet assert that you understand Judge Flanagan's order concerning my lawsuit against IVGID. Since you “can't find anywhere (where) it says … no citizen has any right to challenge what IVGID does,” let me help: “This Court has reviewed … Chapter 318 and finds … no express private … right of action for citizens like Katz seeking to enforce its provisions.”

Moreover, Chapter 318 “militates against any implication of a private remedy.” Although “IVGID (can) establish rates, (fees) and charges for water, sewer, trash” and recreational facilities, “nowhere … does an express remedy exist to challenge those rates, (fee)s or charges.” Consequently, “the declaratory relief Katz requests is simply unavailable … Instead … the proper way to challenge … is through the political or legislative process, not the courts.” Clear enough Ed?

You state I “got (my) day(s) in court.” Yet Judge Flanagan has not given me my day in court. He has dismissed my action not for lack of merit, but because no citizen has the right to his/her day in court to challenge anything IVGID does. Nowhere does his order validate anything IVGID has done. The remedy, according to Judge Flanagan, is to change law; i.e., to petition the Legislature so our Rec Fees can be spent on lobbyists to ensure the law doesn't get changed. Wake up Ed! Although yesterday it was Kidwell, Strongin, Toto and Oliver; and today it's Wright, Kroll and I; how will you feel tomorrow when it's you?

You also assert my “campaign” hasn't done any good. Yet positive changes have occurred since I began exposing the inner workings of IVGID. No more free recreation privileges to certain people; no more contracts heretofore awarded to “favored” vendors with no regard for cost (marketing media, carbonated beverages, rental skis, insurance, audits, etc.) without going out to bid; staff's penchant for burying important matters on the Board's Consent Calendar (with no opportunity for public hearing) is now challenged; anyone can voice his/her opinions at board meetings without fear of being cut off in mid-sentence because the chairperson disagrees with their content; and insofar as lost employees are concerned, according to Bill Horn, we're far better off with today's staff (and I agree).

You state you “don't think (my) cause is right.” Since you're not a property owner (I am) and thus you don't pay the Rec Fee (I do), you have no standing to criticize my causes: i.e., taking back our beaches [(because 58 percent of their use is by outsiders masquerading as “guests” (and our Board refuses to adopt a guest policy)]; making our recreational facilities primarily available for local property owners' (who have paid for them with past Rec Fees) use, and closing them down to nonresident IVGID employees and other “favored” nonresidents (like IVGID's attorney and the world's tourists); and, eliminating an invalid tax disingenuously labeled a “fee.” Really Ed, it's about making IVGID work for us rather than we working for IVGID.

Do you realize that without selling a single lift ticket, golf round or Recreation Center membership, IVGID realizes $10 million annually? If we eliminate the garbage IVGID spends our Rec Fee on, isn't this adequate to make our facilities available for our use with no or minimal additional user fees? Our Board has no problem spending $35,000 on a consultant to tell us how to tear down the Mountain Course club house/pro shop and replace it with another $1.5 Million Taj Mahal. Yet it refuses to order a study of the pared down costs to make our facilities “public with restrictions” (IVGID's “pet term” for private).

You tout yourself as a “world renowned business consultant” who is an expert in “large-scale organizational … transformations.” Why don't you spearhead a study, Ed? Here's an opportunity to do something positive for our community rather than asking your neighbor to “go away” (what happened to “One Division, One Team”?), or using your “on politics” column to pontificate about what's wrong with me. You state: “there comes a point when one says enough — I've fought the good fight, I lost, it's over.” Had Judge Flanagan ruled against IVGID, would you be touting “enough already”?

The fight is not over Ed. It's only just begun. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

— Aaron Katz is an Incline Village resident.

Aaron Katz
Special to the Bonanza


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Sep 18, 2012 11:55AM Published Sep 18, 2012 11:50AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.