Thursday, June 13, 2013
Public disgust with the dysfunctional IVGID Board is growing, if the responses I’ve been getting to my last two columns is any measure. Nothing will happen, though, unless that disgust translates into some sort of communication and action on the part of the residents of the District, who have historically been long on complaining and short on action.
Here are the issues: This Board and the last one have been increasingly held hostage by three individuals who are self-proclaimed champions for the “rights” of the 400 or so residents of Crystal Bay. These three – Aaron Katz, Frank Wright, and Steven Kroll (KWK) – have used a combination of lawsuits, ethics claims and charges, and dilatory tactics in Board meetings to tie the Board in knots and prevent the Trustees from doing the work they were elected to do. These tactics have and will cost the District an enormous amount of money that, in these straitened times could have been put to better use, and almost any use would have been better. They have also cost the District some very good employees who, like good people anywhere, when they were given better offers, took them.
In addition, there is growing evidence that one or more of the current Trustees are feeding information to KWK. While this may be technically legal, it is arguably unethical for someone entrusted with the assets of the District to be a back-channel for people who are engaged with these sorts of activities. Finally, in last week’s column I brought up the problem of some Trustees interfering in management of staff, and since then have received further and more egregious examples including that of one trustee talking about possible future plans that would affect staff jobs as if they are sure to happen. As a result of this inappropriate behavior, staff morale is at a low ebb.
So what is to be done? Well, one thing is to make sure that the conversation cannot be marginalized – as long as the public voices of outrage are few, they can be ignored. Bullies know that there are people who don’t approve of their actions, but as long as those people are few and ignorable, bullies will keep bullying. When the community stands up (think High Noon), bullies are defeated and/or back down. So attend IVGID Board meetings and speak up. When you hear the calumnies being propagated by KWK against the General Manager, the Counsel, or the Staff, speak up – don’t listen to unfounded gossip. When you are at the golf courses or the beaches or around town, give the staff a good word – they really are doing good job.
Beyond that, there is always torches and pitchforks in the street, but that may be a bit extreme. How about this: Under Nevada election law, a public official can be recalled if 25% of the number of voters in the last election. In IVGID, 5,566 people voted in the 2012 election, so 1,392 signatures would compel a recall. Think about it.
Finally, to be fair, I don’t mean to tar the entire Board with this brush. Several of the Trustees have done their best to be voices of reason and moderation. However, it will take more than that – those Trustees who see the damage being done by KWK and the Trustee(s) who are apparently covertly aligned with them need to stand up and fight them, and if they don’t have stomach for the fight, step down and let us elect some who will.-->