Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees

Sara Schmitz, Chair
Matthew Dent, Vice Chair
Raymond Tulloch, Treasurer
Michaela Tonking, Secretary
Dave Noble, Trustee

Town Hall Synopsis

Held in Incline Village on March 27, 2024

*Viewing available by clicking the link and choosing BOT Meeting 03.27.2024 at

At the IVGID Board of Trustees Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, Kevin Lyons, of Governance Science Group Inc., provided an informational and educational presentation for the Board and the Community. The presentation was called “Citizen Academy: Good Government 101 for Residents”. The training encouraged audience participation and highlighted the common misconceptions, and myths regarding how good government works (Good Government 101), and the differences between governments and private businesses.

Following the presentation there was an opportunity for the audience to ask Mr. Lyons a few questions regarding the training.

Kristen Ferrall, introduced herself, thanked everyone for their attendance, and provided a brief overview of the discussion platform and how each topic or Community question would be presented and asked. All questions were submitted prior to the meeting

Below are the questions asked and the Trustees' answers:

1. Why does it take so long for Lakeshore Blvd. sidewalks to be cleared of snow? What can we do to ensure that snow is removed from pedestrian paths regularly?

Trustee Sara Schmitz stated that she had reached out to Washoe County Assistant Manager Mr. Dave Solaro, and County Manager Mr. Eric Brown. She also reached out to Washoe County Commissioner Alexis Hill requesting an update on snow removal as it relates to this question, and has not received an answer yet. Once she has received an answer from Washoe County she will make sure that the information is shared with the community.

Trustee David Noble stated that over the years the removal of snow on the pathways has been a continued problem. Trustee Noble stated that he had noticed a notable difference this year around the High School, and the Elementary School pedestrian paths have been plowed almost immediately.

2. Why does Trustee Tulloch, who has almost zero experience with capital projects continuously ignore the advice and counsel of very experienced advisory board members?

Trustee Raymond Tulloch provided a brief history and work background highlighting his 48 year career in the utility industry as a consultant, an executive, and as a worker. He has spent 10 years delivering capital projects and provided a list of professional qualifications. He further provided an outline of the purpose of the Capital Investment Committee, stating the committee’s purpose is to review proposals from departments and staff that are ready to move forward for Board approval to ensure that they are accurate and ready for Board approval. This ensures that the Board is not wasting multiple meetings reviewing the same project. This streamlines the process.

3. Our Beaches are some of the most majestic real estate in all of Lake Tahoe. For the Beach House replacement, why is this Board going so cheap, aiming for such short term outcomes guaranteed to cause long-term maintenance costs and zero future flexibility, and pursuing a construction approach that guarantees a longer disruption in accessing the beach? If your answer is “that’s what citizens have told us” that a lie; your surveys have been biased and dishonest.

Trustee Matthew Dent “The Beach House Replacement Project that was approved by the Board and is a budgeted project for 2023-24. The district is currently moving forward with and has approved the contract for a 30% design schematic.

Trustee Michaela Tonking – Stated that the Trustees have had a very in-depth (“Robust Debate”) conversation that included what the space would look like, seating, a larger bar area. All ideas were discussed providing a wide range of ideas for staff to move through and think about.

Trustee Dave Noble – Stated that he is an advocate for spending more than the allotted four million dollars. Part of the issue is that the Community and Board do not know what the project will actually cost. His concern is that the District could end up with four million dollar bathrooms and not a whole lot more and that he would like to be pleasantly surprised. Trustee Noble believes that the district should have a really good idea of what can be accomplished once the 30% design Schematic is complete. He hopes that the design will provide the opportunity to expand down the road if there is a desire from future Boards to do so.

Trustee Sara Schmitz – Provided more detail for the community on the Beach House Projects – that the Beach House would also include access for pedestrians and cars. The District is looking at the ingress and egress, and incorporating that into a project. The intention is to have this
constructed in one season, so as to minimize the disruption. There will be a scheduled meeting in April to solicit community input.

Trustee Raymond Tulloch stated that he believes that the Beach House Replacement project is very important to the community and thinks that it is important that Access Improvements take place at the same time as the construction of the Beach House. It is also notable that this Board has moved this project forward.

4. IVGID has lost many, many long term experienced employees recently. What do you believe is the root cause for all of those losses?

Trustee Michaela Tonking provided her view, that there is always a transition among employees. She continued by adding that she believes that turn-over has recently been higher than previous years and this is partially due to transition of seasonal positions. She also stated, “The bigger issue is that as management and leaders, we need to show employee’s support and provide direction. It is important to reflect on the type of environment we are providing.”

Trustee Dave Noble provided his input and that IVGID has historically been run pretty lean (with various divisions). With the resent loss of long term employees there has been higher demand, bigger workloads, and pressure placed on the existing employees, creating burn-out. Trying to replace those employees has been difficult. This creates a domino effect, or downward spiral when there aren’t enough people to cover the workload.

Chair Sara Schmitz: “This question came up at the last Town Hall, and people leave for a variety of reasons.” There is the change of the General Manager and some staff members had close ties to the previous General Manager. Trustee Schmitz agrees with her fellow Trustees comments. Additionally she would like to focus on the present, where we are now, and how we move forward. She discussed the new General Manager of Golf Operations and what was learned in the process of hiring for this position. This learning experience provided insight, and opportunities to have a positive impact on the District moving forward. She would like to focus on the positive things that have come from these changes.

Trustee Mathew Dent agreed with his colleagues, and added that the district advertised a position that did not attract many applicants. This opened conversations regarding remote work possibilities to allow for a better work life balance. This change would attract the candidates that that ultimately the Board approved.

Trustee Raymond Tulloch Agreed with the previous statements made by board members and added that the District needs change, and we need to adapt.

5. Why are you spending money on this forum? Are you trying to shift blame from your own poor management of your board and poor decision making to the community? Sounds like you are again spending our money in an unproductive way.


Trustee Sara Schmitz explained that the Board of Trustees made a list of Goals at the beginning of the year, and Town Hall Forums were a way to facilitate one of the Goals. That Board goals is
to bring back community involvement, and community engagement and how the Board of Trustees conducts District business. Town Halls will take place quarterly, on a regularly scheduled Board meeting night to facilitate this Board Goal.

Trustee Michaela Tonking explained that this Idea was brought forward to allow for feedback from the community in a form other than a survey. For more collaboration on big topics, and community interest items like the Beach House Project, ideas for Diamond Peak around Snowflake Lodge, and the Dog Park.

Trustee Matthew Dent added that last summer there were a lot of questions coming in from the community, and as the idea of a Town Hall evolved, the format seemed to be a good format for those questions to be addressed.

Trustee Raymond Tulloch said that it is important for the public to ask questions more directly and that during Board meetings the Board is not able to address those questions, or get any type of feedback from the community.

6. Our community has several needs that would serve the community best, such as greater focus on the need for low-income housing, facilitating living wages for our working population to avert a crisis that will hurt our small business community and the support services and finding a more restrictive policy on VRBO’s which are detrimental to the limited housing and rental market in Incline Village.

Trustee Dave Noble: The issue facing IVGID is the housing for district employees, especially the seasonal employees. With the added short-term rentals the housing stock has been depleted. He went on to say he would like to have the District look into some of the past practices, and opportunities. One being that the district used to work with the College and when housing at the college was not in use by students the district was able to utilize the dormitories for employee housing. Additionally, he commented on the possibility of looking at the Vail and Alterra employee housing models and exploring similar solutions

Trustee Michaela Tonking: Building off Trustee Noble’s ideas, having employee housing would create incentives and would provide the ability for seasonal employees to stay in the area to possibly work for the district, both in the winter, spring, and summer seasons due to the stability that housing would create. She went on to discuss the possibility of shuttle services, to create transportation solutions for those living outside of the Village (Carson, and Reno).

Trustee Sara Schmitz - followed up on Trustee Tonking’s discussion of shuttle services and added that the HR manager has been actively working with employees to provide some transportation solutions. She further stated that outside of her role as a Board Member, she has been looking into the avenues that would allow Washoe County to create a cap or limit on the amount of short-term rentals in the Community.

Trustee Raymond Tulloch: Housing is definitely a part of the employee retention problem, but on a district level there was little that the district has the authority to do. Adding that best thing that the community can do is question the candidates running for Washoe County Commissioners.

7. Please Comment on the role public unions SEIU play in good or not so good governance in state and local government. Real World observations (New York City, Chicago, the State of California, etc.) would indicate elected officials become beholden to union demands.

Answer: Union negotiations and contract renewals have begun, this topic will not be responded to at this time.

8. Please provide an update on the City of Incline Village proposal.

IVGID Trustees are not involved in the activities related to this Proposal and have asked Mr. Lyons to provide this information to the community.
Mr. Kevin Lyons as a volunteer to the City of Incline Village Project provided an update to the Community and that more information would be available in the upcoming months.

9. These Questions are for Michaela (Board Golf Liaison)
a) How many Golf Clubs are sanctioned by IVGID to book tee times and hold group tournaments on the golf courses?


Last season the district had six sanctioned Golf Clubs and this season there will possibly be a seventh.

b) Have the bylaws been reviewed for each of these clubs to ensure they do not have discriminatory policies / practices and that the privileges they are granted are available to Incline Village Residents (PPHs) only?

I have worked with District staff and District Counsel and “we” are currently working on a District-wide Policy that will provide guidelines, and outline the district requirements for all clubs.

c) Where can an Incline Resident or (PPH) obtain information for ALL the clubs that IVGID has sanctioned?

We are hoping that the policy will address how to become a club, across the whole District (not just our Golf Clubs). The Policy will ensure transparency so that the district can then provide a list of all Clubs that operate within the district to the community, and the benefits that they receive.

10. What are the top 3 priorities for the GM for the next 3 Months?


Trustee Sara Schmitz addressed this question by revisiting the previous meeting and the priorities the Board had provided at that time. – The full Board agreed that their number one priority was to maintain the District Venues and that the Venues reflect a pride in ownership. The General Manager has also been assigned the priority of completing the District Financial Audit, and getting the internal systems and financial controls up and running. In addition to helping staff, growing staff, and bringing new staff in to fill the voids.

The Priorities for Capital Projects are, the Incline Beach House, Snowflake Lodge, and completing the Skate Park Project before the calendar year end.

Trustee Michaela Tonking added that safety would be an ongoing priority and addressing any safety concerns. Trustee Tonking stated that she is looking forward to watching GM Magee mentor, and help the existing staff. Watching him as he grows familiar with, and gets to know the community partners. She is excited to see him progress, and develop as he becomes engaged with the community.

Trustee Raymond Tulloch believes that the District has spent a lot of time and money on the financials, and completing that work should remain a top priority.

11. What are the top 3 priorities for the Board in the next 9 months? For the 3 Trustees whose terms are ending, how do you think the community will remember your work from your tenure on the Board?

Trustee Sara Schmitz material from a January meeting was provided, where the Board identified 12 priorities for the year, and that the Trustees have accomplished 3 or 4 of the listed items already. The Board will be reviewing those priorities again in July to see how well they are preforming.

As far as a legacy, she had discussion with the County Commissioner when she was appointed, and at that time her goal was to create a robust Audit Committee. The Board is currently in the process of interviewing Candidates for the Audit Committee. She also wanted to complete the Burnt Cedar Beach Pool Project, get the Incline Village Beach House Project started, and get the Pipeline Project started.

Trustee Michaela Tonking stated that the Board accomplished a lot over the last few years. The Board of Trustees weathered the aftermath of Covid, maintained District finances, kept a number of people employed by the district, all while providing community programs for people through all of the changes and challenges. Trustee Tonking feels she was able to provide a different perspective and a younger point of view.

Trustee Mathew Dent reflected that during his tenure on the board he has seen a lot of change. It has been quite a ride! Currently he has served the community for 9 years, and when his term is complete it will be just over 10 years. He has seen a lot of projects move forward and has found an appreciation and genuine liking for Capital Projects.

12. Trustees Noble and Tonking, during the past 14 months the focus of the Board has been negative and has not listened to the Community or your input. Is there anything you can do to change this before January 2025 or must we wait until a new Board is seated?

Trustee Dave Noble will continue to do as he has been doing since he came to the Board on January 1, 2023, he will continue to speak up and speak his mind. He will continue to work with his fellow Trustees where he feels there are opportunities to work with them.

Trustee Michaela Tonking, I think that the most important thing for the Board to do is to strive for compromise. We have a lot of varying opinions, from different areas, and different values. I think our key is to make sure we find those compromises and strive for what is best for our community to reach those compromises.

13. IVGID Dog Park Committee Members have developed two plans for an Incline Dog Park, One from the U.S. Forest Service side on Village Dr. and one at the Request of the Board for the Northern Half of the Village Green.

The Community hasn’t had an opportunity to review either of these plans, planned community survey reduced by the dog park committee hasn’t been distributed. What does the Board intend to do about the Dog Park?

Trustee Michaela Tonking, I think there’s a few things in this question. First, the board had given direction at a meeting to look at the Village Green Location because at the time the U.S. Forest Service site was not going to be feasible or timely. However, the land use agreement is in its final Hearing in Congress, and IVGID may have access to the U.S. Forest land site.
My understanding is that staff is working on this, and would like to make sure that the community has all of the information in front of them and can understand all of the choices available. This will help to really garner feedback and show us where the community support is.

14. It’s been a tumultuous past 14 months, what are the top priorities you would address starting a new Board while going forward in 2025, moving forward?

Trustee Michaela Tonking,” I think this might be for Tulloch as I am not slated to be on the Board in January 2025.”

Trustee Raymond Tulloch, stated that it’s going to depend very much on the makeup of the new board. I hope fiscal responsibility remains a key driver.

Trustee Dave Noble, making sure that high priority projects and facility renovations move forward, so making sure that the Beach House project moves forward and is completed. Making sure that the renovations for the tennis and pickleball facilities do not fall by the wayside again. The Snowflake Lodge project is another high priority project.

I also believe that bonding is the right thing to do when you are spending money on. Using Bonds on substantial sums of money being spent on facilities that have a 20-, 30-, 40-year service life, is a way to ensure that not only the people that are using it today are paying for it but also the people in 10, 20, 30 – years are also paying for it.

Trustee Noble also talked about employee retention, and the retention of institutional knowledge (it is important to retain and keep them here)

Trustee Matthew Dent, commented in regard to the last couple of questions talked about how much turmoil there is in the District and how divided the Board is. He wanted to point out that when you look at other boards IVGID Trustees are in agreement on 90% of the matters they are voting on. It is actually health for a Board to have differing opinions and 3/2 votes.

15. Why are we spending so much employee time and money on a dog park we don’t need and most people don’t want?

Chair Sara Schmitz, the dog park committee was put together to bring forward recommendations to the Board. The Board has only seen one idea presented, due to the possible survey and possible conversations with dog owners.
With a desire to have further community input on what is needed, hopefully we will have more clarity in the next few months.
The issue we were trying to solve was the Conflicting use of the Village Green, to solve a problem of fairness between children and children’s sports and dog play.

Trustee Michaela Tonking, Stated that staff had put a pause on the survey due to the land use bill, and were going to readapt the survey to fit this other option.

16. How much does IVGID pay for FlashVote Services?

Trustee Matthew Dent, I believe that we paid $7,900 for our account.

17. Did Kevin Lyons contribute to your Campaign?

Trustee Dave Noble, I did not get any donation to mine.
Trustee Raymond Tulloch, I can confirm that Kevin mad no contributions to my campaign.

18. Trustee Noble and Trustee Tonking, did either of you participate or were you invited to participate in the design of the Town Hall Format?

Trustee Dave Noble, with regards to the Town Hall Format, I was not, did not participate in the design of that. With regards to the FlashVote surveys, I think the very first survey, I was asked to provide input, and I did. I think that they took that under consideration and went a different direction, for the most part.

Trustee Michaela Tonking, I was in this particular one, was not asked how to design it. I think we spoke about some other ways that I envisioned Town Halls to look. I think that there is better software that we could use, and that the survey tool should be dual language. I also think that it need to be more informative to the community and easy to sign up for.

Trustee Raymond Tulloch, I think that the less Board participation in the design of the questions or survey the better. If Trustees design the questions or the format the survey could be slanted in some way.

19. Question for Trustee Matthew Dent, Can you explain how the process – because they are Trustee Surveys and because it is coming from our funds, can you explain how that works?

Trustee Matthew Dent, as an idea comes forward, and you start throwing questions out there for consideration. We are not professionals at knowing how to ask the questions the right way. I send the questions to Kevin, and then the questions end up getting shaped.

You approach it with - what’s the problem we are trying to solve? Where are you going with this? What do you want to learn, what do you want to find out, what data are we trying to capture?

20. This Relationship with Flashvote, out of curiosity, had a starting point. How long do we have Flashvote enlisted for?

Trustee Matthew Dent, this is the second year that this Board has contracted with Flashvote. It was back in more of a beta stage back in 2015 when I came on to the Board.


Following a brief public comment period the Board adjourned the Town Hall Meeting at 8:55 P.M.

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