LAFCO Update: Ilfeld Gets Another $125,000 Bill

 LAFCO  Comments Off on LAFCO Update: Ilfeld Gets Another $125,000 Bill
Aug 312015

Fred Ilfeld is out of options.

He strung the LAFCO Board out for months in every attempt to forestall the inevitable failure of Incorporate Olympic Valley.

He spent $80k of his own money on financial analyses.

His latest and last gambit was to go to the California Controller’s Office and attempt to get them to re-write the Comprehensive Financial Analysis he disliked. In Fact, Ilfeld sent a list of 30+ “issues” with the analysis to the Controller’s Office.

The Controller Betty Yee understands local government and isn’t likely to pay-to-play and give Illfeld an outcome he likes.  She is more ethical player than most politicians. The Controller’s office came back to Ilfeld  with a very reasonable response: Pay us $125k to re-do the Financial Analysis, we are not here to cater to you. You get to play by the same rules as the rest of us.

So – what has been Fred Ilfeld’s nexus for this whole thing? Does he want to rule a fiefdom?

Does he want to control development in the area? Is he simply a NIMBY that bought a place up there and now he wants to clear everything and everyone else out?

Will Ilfeld pony up another $125k, bringing the price-tag of his rampage to $400K+? (Remember, you have to include the EIR, Lawyer’s Fees, Consultants, etc in Ilfeld’s total)

Two different experts say incorporation is unfeasible. Fred Already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on fiscal analyses, financial experts, and high priced lafco attorneys like Coulantano. Much of what IOV (The Incorporation Group) spent goes unreported because LAFCO expenses aren’t campaign expenditures. They don’t count. Will he spend another $125k plus $147k on an EIR when Fred has criticized Squaw for spending money to protect their business?

Fred forced county employees and LAFCO staff to spend hours to give them a fair shake.  Will he force the rest of Placer county to continue allowing this selfish effort that distracts limited county resources?

Recently the real NIMBY/BANANA crew sent a shot across everyone’s bow in the Sierra Sun. The enviros basically said they were going to sue to stop Squaw Valley from constructing their expansion.

Sierra Watch has lost most of their frivolous lawsuits. But Ilfeld’s fellow radicals in Sacramento have passed a series of imbalanced laws and regulations that allow such lawsuits without consequence.

Ilfeld will show us all what his true motivations are if he declines to pay for the Controller Review. How? If his goal all along was to thwart the development (which is what I believe), then he will simply pass the baton to the enviros because he knows IOV is dead. His only remaining hope will be whether the enviros can successfully judge-shop for a left-wing loser they can manipulate.

Admitting IOV is dead would be a total humiliation and I know few pseudo-intellectual university professors that could bear to be forced to admit fault so publicly. So, behind door number 2 is:

If he wants a fiefdom to rule over – he has to pay the money, because he boxed himself in to a corner. He has to be able to make a case that LAFCO is corrupt and the CFA is bogus. If the controller returns a CFA that says IOV does not work – then Ilfeld has to sue himself.

Sometimes university professors show the world what the term “book smart” means. Nimbys want control of a ski town for their own selfish pleasure. These aren’t common folk, they are wealthy people pursuing this ridiculous effort to incorporate. Time to end the madness, Fred.

LAFCO UPDATE: Olympic Valley Effort Dealt Near Fatal Blow

 LAFCO, NIMBY'S  Comments Off on LAFCO UPDATE: Olympic Valley Effort Dealt Near Fatal Blow
Jul 122015

This week LAFCO imposed deadlines on IOV backers!

(blogger’s Note – CFA = Financial Analysis, EIR = State Mandated Waste of Money on Environmental Impacts, IOV = NIMBY’s)

Placer County LAFCO delivered the message to Olympic Valley incorporation supporters  loud and clear Wednesday afternoon, indicating no more delays, it’s time to pay up.

The Commission adopted a staff recommendation that denied an IOV request to delay the EIR, while setting a firm deadline for IOV to make EIR payment (Aug 13), and if payment is not made, staff will suspend all work. (It looks like the NIMBY’s just got their free ride at our expense cut off)

Despite heavy advocacy for incorporation by commission chair Miguel Ucovich, LAFCO members voted against the chairman on a 5-2 vote. Ucovich, who led the effort to incorporate Loomis 30 years ago, has become an outspokenly biased advocate for incorporation of Olympic Valley. Ucovich called the draft CFA “skewed” even after fiscal experts addressed concerns about the document. I still do not understand why the otherwise staunch conservative would be supporting an effort that is fiscally doomed from jump street…

Brian Sheehan, the other member who voted no on the motion, serves on the Squaw Valley Public Service District board. Sheehan, who also has made no effort to recuse himself, is an ally of incorporation and vocal in his support. In the opinion of this author, Sheehan’s conflicts of interest should be investigated.

LAFCO meets August 12 when its expected to consider a revised comprehensive fiscal analysis (CFA).

IOV seems to ignore the fiscal realities, seeking to send the revised CFA to the state controller for review.  The anti-growth IOV people don’t care about reality despite a process and document that has been fair to both sides.

Based on the preliminary CFA, the claims by IOV that the document is riddled with errors will be readdressed and is expected to be finalized. IOV attorney Michael Colontuano, an expert litigator of incorporation efforts,  mentioned litigation during his remarks.

Got all that – even if all the alleged errors in the Financials are addressed, Larry the Lawyer is going to file suit. He just said so and LAFCO knows it. This is what NIMBY’s do when they don’t get their own way. Meantime – 1,000 jobs are being held at legal gunpoint by IOV. Don’t you just love California Law and how it is written to encourage this?

For all the whining of the Left over rich people, they should be outraged over what Ilfeld (the Rich university professor) and Larry the Lawyer are doing to Placer County.

The Second Opinion Is In – Incorporating Olympic Valley is a Loser

 LAFCO, NIMBY'S  Comments Off on The Second Opinion Is In – Incorporating Olympic Valley is a Loser
Jul 072015

Second opinions can be a good thing. Whether it’s for a medical condition or incorporating a small town like Olympic Valley, a second pair of eyes helps! Trouble is, people often get a second opinion to validate the first. They really only hear what they want to hear.

In this case, the second pair of eyes was by Blue Sky reviewing a preliminary fiscal analysis conducted for Placer County LAFCO. The county’s vendor, RSG Consulting Group, performed a comprehensive financial review of whether a new town could be survive. The conclusion was crystal clear. Incorporation is not fiscally viable. Unfortunately, those pushing incorporation don’t want to accept the hard data. They would rather argue about decimal errors or whether the town would need a 17% reserve or a 30% reserve. These rationalizations fly in the face of reality.

If created, and that’s a big IF, Olympic Valley would be not only California’s newest town, but also the smallest. There’s only 500 registered voters in the area and the community is already heavily divided over whether incorporation is a positive development. I say development, because incorporation is really about controlling and limiting Squaw Valley’s development project.

That’s the irony. Incorporation requires a successful development project to generate revenue for the town. Both fiscal studies indicate that, even if development unfolds at a rapid pace, the new town is not viable. In fact, the second study says “there are good reasons to believe that development would be slower than expected. Continued drought, economic recession, environmental litigation, or the actions of a new town council could all act to slow or stall development.” The report says, if this were to occur, “the fiscal implications for the town could be dire.”

What? Dire?!!! A proposed town is already in financial trouble? Maybe this town is different, and won’t rely heavily, if not almost exclusively on the weather, tourism and revenue generated by the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Uh, okay. May be not!

This is what happens when a few wealthy NIMBY’s, who have joined forces with Sierra Watch and Friends of Squaw Valley, start cutting their own towline. By curtailing development at Squaw, there isn’t enough revenue generated for standard services let alone their entitlements. There isn’t enough revenue to have an adequate reserve to protect the town and its citizens from unforeseen events. But these are the same people who demanded their own locker room at the resort, special reserved parking and annual memberships courtesy of Squaw.

At the June 10 LAFCO meeting, these advocates for incorporation raised concerns about errors and flaws of the preliminary CFA. Now, many of those allegations have been proven wrong, and so the fiscal analysis (CFA) isn’t inaccurate like they said. The only flawed thinking is by those who still want to incorporate when common sense and financial DATA says it will have a negative impact on the area.

The county’s independent analysis shows incorporation doesn’t work. The Blue Sky review also shows incorporation is fiscally infeasible. Blue Sky Consulting Group is a Sacramento-Oakland-based public policy and economics consulting firm with some serious credentials and fiscal experts. The incorporation folks and LAFCO have been given a second opinion. The only question left is, is anyone listening?

LAFCO Update: Did Incorporate Olympic Valley People Reveal Their True Motives?

 LAFCO, NIMBY'S  Comments Off on LAFCO Update: Did Incorporate Olympic Valley People Reveal Their True Motives?
Jun 302015

The Sierra Sun had a story today about an evil development proposed in the Lake Tahoe Area. A ski developer wants to build a bunch of stuff so their business is not one-dimensional and dependent upon Sierra Snow and winter business.

Let’s dive in to the story with the first quote:

The Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan outlines construction of up to 850 lodging units, with a maximum of 1,493 bedrooms; nearly 300,000 square feet of tourist-serving commercial space, while decommissioning about 92,000 square feet of existing commercial space; and a 90,000-square-foot Mountain Adventure Camp for indoor and outdoor recreation.

Boy – that sure sounds big and would make anyone living permanently in North Lake Tahoe nervous… but, then later in the article:

This latest proposal is a scaled-down plan from previous versions, including fewer bedrooms and lodging units, shorter building heights, a smaller Mountain Adventure Camp, and less overall project acreage.

“The most sensitive thing that we’ve done in terms of the environment for this project is reduce it by 50 percent over the last three years,” [Chevis] Hosea said. (he is the developer’s representative)

Ok – so the NIMBY’s have succeeded in getting the project shrunk. But, it still is not good enough. Sierra Watch has their lawyer trolling planning meetings, according to the article and look who else was in the article:

“The only mistake that can be made is to allow too many bedrooms or too much development, because that can never be fixed,” said Olympic Valley resident Bob Barnett, who is a member of the Friends of Squaw Valley. “If you go smaller, that can always be remedied later on. Once it’s too big, the environmental impacts never stop.”

Okay, so Sierra Watch and the Friends of Squaw Valley are working together to scale back or even stop the development project.

Oops. Maybe Bob Barnett, one of the “Friends of” forgot to mention that he also represents the Incorporate Olympic Valley effort, which desperately needs development to generate revenue for a new town. Stopping, delaying or downsizing the development project is disastrous for incorporation.   

Someone needs to give Bob Barnett some help, so allow me:

1. Don’t step on your own messaging. You’ve just exposed yourself as anti-growth as you are quoted attacking a development inside Olympic Valley. This tells the world what your likely motives are for attempting to incorporate a “town” of 500 registered voters

2. Olympic Valley is not financially viable. Even the most glowing estimates state that it will need to siphon millions in room taxes from neighboring jurisdictions to be viable.

3. However, you oppose construction of the very things that would generate the tax revenue necessary to support Olympic Valley! What’s next, a tax increase?


Placer LAFCO Update – Public Meeting Yields Gems as Incorporate Faces the Fiscal Folly

 LAFCO  Comments Off on Placer LAFCO Update – Public Meeting Yields Gems as Incorporate Faces the Fiscal Folly
Jun 102015

Today is a LAFCO meeting and workshop running late this afternoon in to the early summer evening taking public comments on the draft CFA. IOV proponents are trying to convince commissioners to incorporating Olympic Valley makes sense financially.

The problem is several recent studies show otherwise. Under every scenario studied by the independent consulting firm, RSG, incorporation doesn’t pencil out.

Another fiscal analysis, done by Blue Sky consulting agrees. Incorporation is infeasible under every scenario reviewed. The Tahoe City PUD just blew the concept up – basically stating that Olympic Valley would suck money out of tourism and would force tax increases to be viable. They even went so far as to mention that Olympic Valley would take over the most expensive section of trail within their current boundaries!

Overcoming fiscal reality should make a decision by Placer County a no brainer. Instead, LAFCO commissioners, led by Loomis councilman, Miguel Ucovich, continue to allow the applicant, Fred Ilfeld, to continue his Don Quixote quest of foolishness. Why is my friend Miguel supporting something that even by the most conservative of estimates will be $2 million in the hole by 2017 and be so far in the hole that it will require massive tax increases to support within the first decade?!

The IOV people need to understand a couple of key examples, and I think Miguel needs to understand that this is not Loomis 2.0.

Weed California burnt down and luckily most everything was insured. Weed is a great example of why small incorporated cities need to maintain 30% reserves as the CFA suggests Olympic Valley should, as Weed will be in the hole for several years replacing and repairing the damage from the fire that gutted their little town. Little towns are extremely vulnerable to disasters.

Jurupa Valley is seeking to de-incorporate. They can’t afford the 30-35 contract employees they have and they have stated that they can not provide services with less than 25 employees that comply with state mandates. (I know this as I have friends in Riverside County local government) State Mandates have made incorporating a city terribly difficult and many believe that Rancho Cordova and Citrus Heights may be the last cities to actually make it in California. (Arden-Arcade was torpedoed by a successful fear campaign) Olympic Valley would have 7 employees for a town of 500, let that sink in for a bit.

If all that hasn’t convinced you that Incorporate Olympic Valley is absurd:

Incorporation requires taking Transient Occupant Tax (TOT) funds, or hotel tax revenue, away from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, which uses funds on projects that benefit all of North Lake Tahoe, not just a wannabe berg in Olympic Valley.

The bottom line – if you want to permanently screw tourism and North Lake Tahoe, and be forced to raise taxes in the future, Incorporate Olympic Valley.