ICYMI: Incorporate Olympic Valley Dealt Severe Blow by the Facts. Finances Don’t Work

 LAFCO  Comments Off on ICYMI: Incorporate Olympic Valley Dealt Severe Blow by the Facts. Finances Don’t Work
May 282015
 

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.

 

LAFCO Update: Financial Report Shows The Obvious, It Doesn’t Work!

 LAFCO  Comments Off on LAFCO Update: Financial Report Shows The Obvious, It Doesn’t Work!
May 272015
 

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.

LAFCO Update: Nope, no Public Draft of the CFA Yet…

 LAFCO  Comments Off on LAFCO Update: Nope, no Public Draft of the CFA Yet…
May 192015
 

Looks like the fabled draft comprehensive fiscal analysis (or CFA) has been delayed again… initially due out in March and then promised last week… the CFA when it comes out is going to demonstrate that incorporation of Olympic Valley is a complete waste of time. How do I know this?  Because those supporting Incorporating Olympic Valley (IOV) are already highly critical of LAFCO staff and the process.

Under public comments on the informational item at last week’s LAFCO meeting, Fred Ilfeld and IOV supporters (six in all) began commenting on specifics of the draft CFA before it was even in public— or given to the commissioners! Not only is that odd, but only days before, the incorporation people requested that the Draft CFA be delayed until after revenue neutrality negotiations were completed with the county.

As usual, on IOV, Ron Treabess, employed by NLTRA, recused himself but his alternate Brian Sheehan was seated as the alternate. Brian Sheehan is not unbiased in this effort and really should recuse himself.  He is a member of the Squaw Valley PUD and a big fan of incorporation.

The next LAFCO meeting is June 10, up at the Lake. This is a 4pm meeting followed by a workshop to gather public comments on the draft CFA at 6pm.

 

LAFCO Update: Incorporate Olympic Valley Attorney Urges County Board to Keep Document Secret

 LAFCO, NIMBY'S  Comments Off on LAFCO Update: Incorporate Olympic Valley Attorney Urges County Board to Keep Document Secret
May 122015
 

Remember Nancy Pelosi – we’ll find out what’s in it later?  (When referring to the need to vote yes on ACA before anyone had a chance to read the bill)

Well – apparently that is not a unique perspective.

You never know what you might catch when you going fishing.  After I posted interesting items related to Placer County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), I dug deeper into the agenda packet for Wednesday’s meeting. Then, I ran across a neat little legal jewel.

An attorney representing incorporation efforts up at Squaw Valley urges Placer County to keep a document secret! Anytime I see lawyers asking for secrecy, it sets off alarm bells. 

Michael Colantuono represents people who want to incorporate Olympic Valley (that’s the Squaw Valley area I referred to yesterday where about 500 people are registered to vote). Colantuono sent a letter to William Wright, the attorney for Placer County’s LAFCO, asking for increased transparency from LAFCO staff and then urging them to keep an economic study under wraps. Does he recognize his own hypocrisy?

LAFCO is expected to publish this week a Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (CFA) of whether incorporation makes sense financially. The incorporation folks were given an advance copy of the “draft” document before it was made public.

Now – let that sink in a bit. Is anyone else wondering why the Incorporate Olympic Valley folks are able to get a copy of the economic study before anyone else?  While that may be interesting by itself, it’s the correspondence between two attorneys that has me calling BS.

The study is not public yet, and Colantuono’s letter to the county complains about LAFCO’s lack of transparency. He requests—or demands—that the document remain secret until AFTER the county negotiates the cost of services with the new town representatives. This is not only arrogant, it is corrupt.

Perhaps the NorCal Tea Party and other groups should take a closer look at this corruption. I am serious, this crap should not be happening anywhere and certainly not in my backyard.

Based on the tone and comments of Colantuono’s comments, incorporation of Olympic Valley is not fiscally viable. So, why keep the document out of the public domain for as long as possible?  Because LAFCO’s consultant agrees? Because the Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV) folks need to recalculate the numbers, yep—out of public sight!!!! I thought LAFCO’s staff was supposed to be unbiased? What am I missing here?

Someone needs to have their head examined!!!!! Let me suggest one other besides the attorney:

The guy behind incorporation is Fred Ilfeld, who ironically is a psychiatrist, group therapist, philanthropist, adventurer, and grand-father of nine, who teaches at University of Nevada in Reno.  Fred is well-to-do and bank-rolling the incorporation effort. He paid for and submitted the IOV application along with about a dozen supporters.

The Tahoe Daily/Sierra Sun reported two years ago that if Olympic Valley is successful in incorporating, the new town — which would have identical boundaries to the Squaw Valley Public Service District — would have jurisdiction over plans to expand Squaw Valley Ski Resort. That is according to Peter Schweitzer, chair of Incorporate Olympic Valley.

So – think it through, a rich educated liberal college professor is bankrolling an effort to create a little hippie commune that just so happens to be right where one of Placer County’s Largest Tourist Attractions is. I’ve seen this all before – we are having a NIMBY eruption right here in Placer County (again). I still have nightmares about the “Save Granite Bay” signs from many moons ago.

We have the severe drought because of NIMBY’s

Our Freeways are clogged with traffic and inadequate because of NIMBY’s

We have forced power outages because of NIMBY’s

And here they are trying to screw over Squaw Valley? Am I missing something?

Have You Ever Heard of LAFCO? Look What I Found…

 LAFCO, Placer County Local Elections  Comments Off on Have You Ever Heard of LAFCO? Look What I Found…
May 112015
 

I like to blog about politics.

I really like to blog about Placer County, everything from trustee races at Sierra College to congressional and state legislative races. Congressional races are my favorite. However, there is a lot going on beyond billions of gallons of water being wasted to save some fish. Even here in Placer County there are some very interesting and nuanced organizations that affect your life in profound ways.

Those of you that read regularly remember the dust up over a transportation issue that introduced many of you to the Placer County Transportation Agency. (PCTPA)

There is also little-known county organization that typically manages annexations and once in a while an incorporation. A recent example of an annexation would be Roseville extending its’ western border past Watt Avenue. Another proposed annexation would be Rocklin’s repeated attempts to incorporate some blips on the map east of I-80 in to the City Limits. In California, because of the obsessions of the socialists that dominate the state government, when they are not dreaming of bullet trains and wasting billions of gallons of water on their grab-bag of mother Gaia worship… they stopped and made incorporating a city almost impossible. However, should a group of people figure out how to navigate the mess of incorporating a city in today’s California, the LAFCO would be where they would end up. Most people think it is the Placer Board of Supes (as they did with the Transportation tax).

Placer County’s Local Agency Formation Commission, LAFCO for short, is also responsible for conducting Municipal Service Reviews (MSRs). Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg (CKH), the Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 (Government Code § 56000), required counties to conduct these comprehensive studies that are designed to better inform LAFCO, local agencies, and the community about the provision of municipal services. Service reviews capture and analyze information about the governance structures and efficiencies of service providers and identify opportunities for greater coordination and cooperation between providers. The MSR is a prerequisite to a Sphere of Influence determination and may also lead a LAFCO to take other actions under its authority.

To make a long story short, Placer County’s LAFCO is way behind schedule on issuing service reviews. For Tahoe City and North Lake Tahoe, separated by about seven miles, these two small service districts have been the talk of possible consolidation. Placer has a ton of these tiny service districts and many have been hammered by the decisions of Sacramento. Maybe LAFCO will be proactive and recommend that the two combine when they meet on Wednesday.

By the way, a small group of residents are trying to incorporate the Squaw Valley area under the name of Olympic Valley. If successful, I think this would be the smallest town in California. There can’t be more than 500 people registered to vote in the proposed incorporation area if that many. LAFCO is expected to release an economic study this week on whether incorporating Squaw Valley makes sense financially. I am not sure how a ski-dependent town would survive year round even if there was snow!

(Blogger’s Note: The people seeking incorporation are doing so under Incorporation of Olympic Valley or IOV. I’m still asking myself why we need a town that small?)

LAFCO is made up of a seven-member commission– two county supervisors, two representatives from cities in the county and two representatives from special districts. The last commission member is from the public. The so-called public member seat is elected by the other LAFCO commissioners. There are five people in the running for the public member position; Frank Calton of Granite Bay, Steve Carpenter of Roseville, Gerald Herrick of Truckee, former Roseville Mayor/City Councilman Jim Gray, and E. Howard Rudd, also of Roseville. Rudd, a finance and investment expert, is the current public member seeking reappointment. Rudd and Carpenter have LAFCO experience.