Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bonanza Column 154 - Volunteers

I've said it before and I will say it again – Incline Village/Crystal Bay is the home, or at least the West Coast Distribution Center, for "no good deed goes unpunished." The latest is the spate of letters to the Bonanza taking the volunteers on the Nuisance Ordinance Committee to task for being "self-serving" and "power hungry." Give me a break!

In this town of some 9000 "residents" (only about half of whom live here full time) there is a handful of people who actually work for the betterment of the community. There are the 5 IVGID Trustees, the people who serve on advisory committees for golf, tennis, skiing, etc., the people who volunteer for Parasol, Project Mana, Tahoe Women's Services, and other worthwhile organizations (sorry if I left anyone out – I can't list them all, probably don't know of them all). Then there are Red, White, and Tahoe Blue, the Nuisance Committee, and the people who volunteer at churches etc. I would guess, given the overlap in all these groups, that it might amount to 500 people or so. These are the people who care enough about the quality of life in our community that they actually give of their time and themselves. Others may give money, go to fundraisers, and the like, but these are the people who use those funds to execute on the vision and mission of those organizations.

On the other hand there is a group that I suspect is much smaller – certainly it's the same 5 or 10 people who write the letters to the Bonanza, but let's say they represent another 20 or so – who just can't stand to see anyone try to do anything positive. They have a Constitutional right to express their opinion, and far be it from this opinion columnist to say they shouldn't, but really – do they have to insult the commitment of the people who actually do something?

Self-serving? Please tell me whose selfish interest is served by a committee that is trying to work out how to have junk cars removed from people's lawns, or excess noise curbed, or eyesores like the Orbit station removed? Does anyone on the committee own a car removal firm or make money off things being quiet (?!), or maybe someone owns an ugly former gas station removal company? I don't think so.

Power hungry? What power? The power to serve on the IVGID Board and get abusive phone calls at 3 am? The power to … I just don't know. I mean I can't even make this one make sense.

Oh, I know – the power to exclude people from the beaches! No, that's in the CC&R's that founded the village. Maybe the power to keep people from sitting on the sand to watch fireworks. No, those same people buy punchcards at their own expense to make sure no one is excluded. Maybe the power to cloud men's minds. No, that's Lamont Cranston, the Shadow.

What rot! What utter balderdash (sorry, but it's a family newspaper). These people are volunteers – they are people who contribute and give back. I guess they shouldn't do that – they should stay home and write letters maligning the commitment of those who care enough to actually do something positive rather than whine and complain.

As I said, give me a break. You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem. Which side are you on?:

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