Placer County LAFCO released the long-awaited preliminary Comprehensive Financial Analysis (CFA) on the idea of incorporating Olympic Valley. Suffice to say, the idea of incorporating a town of less than 500 people was dumb before the fiscal report was released on Friday (the start of the three-holiday weekend) and even dumber now.
Dumb and Dumber!
After having a chance to read the report, the idea to incorporate is not only dumb, it’s a complete waste of taxpayer time and money to have county government staff in any capacity spending time on this issue. Technically, costs associated with working on the incorporation issue are to be reimbursed by the folks pushing incorporation. That man is Dr. Fred Illfeld, a psychology professor who teaches at the University of Nevada, Reno. Typical of hangers on to the system, he is skilled at spending everyone else’s money. Given the way he is wasting his own money, let’s hope we don’t ever experience his fiscal management in government!
Placer County officials on LAFCO, led by chairman Miguel Ucovich, have sufficient data in this report to sack the idea of incorporation. Miguel moved to Loomis in 1982 and was a member of the Loomis Incorporation Committee which formed the Town. He then served 4 years on the Loomis Planning Commission and was elected to the Loomis Town Council in 1998 where has served ever since. I mention this to suggest a possible motive for my friend Miguel to be supporting this effort. (Note that IOV has 1/10 the Population of Loomis!!!)
I have theories on Dr. Illfeld’s real motives to incorporate (which I have expressed), but it’s also likely he wants to be the new town’s mayor or Emperor and less likely a regular city councilman.
None of the Fiscal Scenarios Make Incorporation Work
According to the published fiscal report published by the financial consulting firm, RSG, the proposed town of Olympic Valley would run a deficit over an eight-year period starting July 2016, an estimated date of incorporation.
Ilfeld has promised that incorporation would not trigger tax increases or loss of services. He said as long as the fiscal report showed the town is feasible, he would continue to push for incorporation. Allow your intrepid blogger to help out, DROP IT NOW.
What caught my attention two weeks ago was the fact that Illfeld trying to keep the fiscal analysis secret. He had received an advance copy of the report and knew the numbers didn’t add up. He attended the LAFCO meeting and criticized the report and the staff before it became public! So much for transparency… but let it sink in, first he tried to flush the report and then criticized it before anyone (other than he and his crew) has seen it.
Don’t expect him to give up the cause just yet. With this report in hand, he can now start revenue neutrality negotiations with the county to and try to sweet talk Miguel and county staff into making the finances work. That would be a big mistake for the rest of us in Placer County. Why waste more money and time when the independent study confirms that creating a town based on one revenue source and dependent on tourism and weather conditions, doesn’t make sense?
Under all scenarios reviewed by the financial expert, incorporation just does not work and worse is a high-risk venture in a bad economy.