IVGID restricts beach access for out of district employees
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees on Wednesday voted to take away employee access to beaches in a 3-2 vote.
The move has been described by IVGID Public Works workers as “chipping away” at employees, according to Chairman Matthew Dent.
The decision comes during a housing crisis on the North Shore, and all around the lake, with many employees unable to afford to live in the district, including IVGID Communication Coordinator Kari Ferguson. The decision does not impact employees who live in the district and are already entitled to beach access, but instead will impact non-resident employees and gold and silver card holders.
“I understand the difficulty of this decision,” said Trustee Sarah Schmitz. “It’s not anything to be taken lightly. We have a beach deed, and for our property owners, it is our duty to do what we need to do to protect that beach deed. We can’t treat people differently. We have to remain within the law.”
Trustees David Noble and Michaela Tonking, who both voted against the agenda item, requested to defer the item in order to gain more information on the subject, but was shut down by other board members who felt that it was important to avoid potential lawsuits by members of the public.
“In my mind, this is about the non-resident employees,” said Noble. “Resident employees still have access, but non-resident employees, to the best of my knowledge, have had access for decades … Now it appears explicitly IVGID has determined that non-resident employees are guests of the parcel owners of which IVGID is also a parcel owner …. so that is consistent in my reading of the deed with regards to employees being guests of the property owners who are represented by the Board of Trustees.”
Further, Noble pointed out that there was huge risk in eliminating beach access for non-resident employees at venues that are already struggling to find employees.
“Maybe my risk tolerance is a little bit higher than others, but I think moving forward with this is an extremely risk adverse approach that’s not necessary, and I think the fallout will be tremendous,” said Noble. “We already have a very difficult time hiring folks. To pile this on top of everything else, all of our department’s challenges in hiring people, I think, it’s the nail in the coffin. There will always be people, but the quality of people that we get will probably go down.”
Tonking pointed out that while the Board would be taking away access for non-resident employees, they also chose to write in stated Trustee benefits at the last board meeting.
“So as we gave ourselves benefits, we took benefits away from our employees, and that makes me upset,” Tonking said. “So I just think we as a board need to think about our perception as well.”
The board also discussed the option of bilingual flash vote options, which was moved from the consent calendar to discussion. After some conversation between trustees about policy regarding bilingual communications, the topic was added to the long range calendar in order to get a better understanding for what language translations are needed and required by the district.
The board also voted unanimously to adopt new policy regarding staff and the general manager and their communication with general counsel. The adoption of the amended policy gives more transparency between communication of the board, general counsel and the general manager.
To watch the entire meeting, visit http://www.yourtahoeplace.com/ivgid/board-of-trustees/meetings-and-agendas.
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