Did you know that it took nine serious attempts for the Town of Truckee to become the Town of Truckee? Finally, in November 1986 the Truckee community voted to seek incorporation. Truckee’s first mayor, Kathleen Eagan, wrote all about the journey in To Be or Not to Be … the Town of Truckee, in the October 2021 YATA, available online.
Truckee may be the only incorporated municipality in Moonshine Ink’s coverage area, but it’s not the only one that wants to be.
Incline Village and Crystal Bay are undergoing a similar effort, and not for the first time. In 1995, Assembly Bill 332 proposed creating Ponderosa County, comprising Incline Village/Crystal Bay. That effort died in committee out of concern over financial viability. The current attempt is underway, to create the City of Incline Village, with signature collection expected to begin in a few short months.
What is the status of the attempted incorporation by Incline Village/Crystal Bay?
Every two weeks, Incline Village and Crystal Bay residents come together in a moderated forum to discuss local issues of importance. Civic leaders, businesspeople, concerned citizens, and public service providers show up.
I joined last Friday’s meeting and was struck by the attendance and the topics discussed. Representatives from Incline Village General Improvement District (the quasi-municipal corporation that provides utilities and recreation), North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District (our fire department), and sheriff (our police force funded almost entirely by the charity of a local resident) were all present. Each offered news and insights into their missions to serve the community and were responsive to questions and concerns expressed by citizens.
Notably absent was anyone from Washoe County, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Tahoe Transportation District, or any of the other agencies that affect our daily lives.
A full third of the meeting revolved around the March 16 opinion piece Pamela Tsigdinos wrote in the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Future Hangs in the Balance – Again. The frustration and angst expressed during the meeting was poignant. Attendees expressed feeling disconnected, uninformed, ignored, and insulted despite making herculean efforts to convey their priorities and preferences.
Having attended these forums and other meetings for years, I can report that little has changed. Whatever community character residents might want will never be achieved unless and until Incline Village and Crystal Bay residents actually have a say in their governance.
Whatever community character residents might want will never be achieved unless and until Incline Village residents actually have a say in their governance.”
~ Todd Lowe, Village League to Save Incline Assets
The Village League to Save Incline Assets, which has served the community for decades, decided to take action to present resident voters a petition to incorporate as a city. Incorporation delivers local control and home rule based upon resident priorities while improving liaisons with all our area’s stakeholders.
Incorporation via petition is a relatively simple process defined in Nevada Revised Statutes NRS 266. To petition for incorporation, the community must pass a few thresholds and prepare a plan defining the city, how specific community services will be delivered, how much they will cost, and how they will be funded. Once presented, it’s up to residents to review the petition and decide if incorporation is something that should be put to a ballot.
Village league officials and volunteers have been working since July 4, 2022, to inform the community about incorporation and help people understand the details and implications of the petition. Meanwhile, a volunteer staff has worked tirelessly to define the details of the petition. We have financed months of legal research to support the incorporation process and to address critical issues like the preservation of Incline Village’s exclusive beach access rights.
Most of the petition’s details have been worked out. Next, the roster of electors sponsoring the petition will be formed. The electors will review and, if needed, revise the petition. In late spring or early summer, the petition will be delivered, and signature collection will begin. Substantial community outreach, including townhalls and many more presentations, will resume.
Finally, Incline Village and Crystal Bay residents will have the opportunity to decide whether to take their future into their own hands or remain a statistic subject to the whims of strangers.
~ Todd Lowe, president of the Village League to Save Incline Assets