As another Incorporate Olympic Valley meeting drew to a close last night, we were reminded of one simple fact. When it comes to the question of incorporation, one group holds publics meetings that are forthright, honest and well attended. The other group has yet to hold a public meeting, relying instead on a smear campaign orchestrated by lawyers and PR people.
The meeting began with a welcome and updates from IOV board members Lisa Cardin and Fred Illfeld. Cardin serves as caretaker of the Poulsen estate and explained her dedication to the Valley, having been invited to live in the valley by the Poulsen family. She went on to state that IOV has raised about $98,000 to date, of which only $18,000 has been used to promote the incorporation effort.
Illfeld, pointed out that the opposition to the incorporation effort, led by Save Olympic Valley, had already outspent them by more than 10 to 1, having already committed $240,000 to the opposition effort. Illfeld also noted that IOV was in the final stages of being in complete compliance with California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. Future donations to IOV must be designated to be specific for either the LAFCO expense account, or the political action fund to support incorporation. Complete details on the reorganization of funds is available on the IOV website.
Illfeld also pointed out that IOV has faced some “strong headwinds lately.” The SOV campaign has continued to issue challenges and demands that seem determined to slow the progress of the incorporation effort, and drain IOV of financial resources. As we’ve noted before, it seems to be a David vs Goliath battle. IOV has worked diligently over the last year to raise $98,000, while KSL has no problem donating nearly that same amount monthly to the Save Olympic Valley campaign.
The featured speaker for the evening was Kris Berry, whom serves as the Executive Director of the Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). The agency is responsible for approving the application for township. Berry’s presentation, accompanied by a well organized PowerPoint presentation, covered every detail of what that process entails. Listening to the presentation brought me right back to the front row of Mr. Frick’s 12th grade Government class at SLOSH. The complete PowerPoint is available here.
Berry’s presentation was factual and to the point, with absolutely no hint of taking one side or the other. When asked how she managed to be so impartial in the middle of this controversial incorporation effort, she simply stated that it was her job to make sure everyone involved has a fair process. Berry also noted that this was the first incorporation effort in Placer county in 30 years, since the town of Loomis was formed.
We again noted the absence of any KSL or SVSH representatives at the meeting, even though they have been repeatedly invited to work with the community, rather than battle the will of the people. The entire meeting was filmed by an unknown person, who was reportedly sent by KSL, owner of SVSH, although we were unable to confirm that detail. One would assume that some lawyer in one of the several firms retained by KSL and SOV is already reviewing the tape in order to determine their next legal challenge to the process.
The next meeting for Incorporate Olympic Valley is scheduled for Tuesday, September 2nd at 7pm at the SVPSD office in Squaw Valley.