- A leader of the Republican Women group, Our Village Voice “Journalists” and Sara Schmitz accused Kendra Wong of an illegal act by writing a letter to support federal funding that benefits our community
- Analysis of the facts prove this accusation is a lie
- Is cabal conspirator Sara Schmitz qualified to be an IVGID trustee?
On September 16, 2018, Yolanda Knaak, the Legislative lead for the Incline Village Crystal Bay Republican Women organization placed the following post on Facebook Incline Village Politics:
“I wrote an email about how Kendra Wong illegally committed $7.5 million dollars to Tahoe Transportation with the idea of getting a 25 million grant. It was illegal because it was not approved by the IVGID board. Keep in mind that she could have handled it legally by calling an emergency board meeting, but she seems to be above the law. Some say the money was already approved by the board, but no, the board had previously approved only $300,000. Kendra’s act was illegal and she should step down. If there are no consequences then illegal acts will continue in the IVGID board. What probably will happen is that Horan and Morris will probably cover this up and vote to commit $7.5 million to Tahoe Transportation. Hopefully it won’t raise our taxes.”
The alleged “commitment” is related to a letter that Chairwoman Wong wrote to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao on July 6, 2018 (see https://www.yourtahoeplace.com/uploads/pdf-ivgid/7-24-18_-_Item_J_-_Board_Updates.pdf). The letter states in part that, “IVGID has $7.5 million dollars available [emphasis added] as a match for this … grant to allow co-location and construction of the replacement 3.75-miles [effluent] pipeline segment.” Ms. Knaak’s allegation is untrue on several counts:
- Availability is not the same thing as a commitment. Chairwoman Wong is simply stating a fact that IVGID has funds available to encourage the Federal Government to move forward with a grant that could save IVGID upwards of $7 million.
- The Board of Trustees is well aware of the availability of such funds.
- As reported on page 52, Note 18 of the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for IVGID Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2017 (see https://www.yourtahoeplace.com/uploads/pdf-ivgid/2017CAFReport.pdf), the Unrestricted Net Position line item contained $9.4 million reserved for the Effluent Export Project.
- As documented most recently on pages 34-39 of the 2018 Utility Rate Study dated January 24, 2018 (see https://www.yourtahoeplace.com/uploads/pdf-ivgid/1-24-18_-_Regular_-_Item_F.2._-_Utility_Rate_Study_2018.pdf), that $9.4 million reserve (reduced to $8.3 million due to urgent pipeline repairs) is the result of numerous annual Board actions approving utility rates that include incremental funding for the Effluent Export Project.
- The Board of Trustees is also well aware that the District is working with our Federal Legislative Advocate and other government entities to secure new funding to reduce the amount of IVGID investment required. This is documented on pages 11-12 of the 2018 Rate Utility Study. Chairwoman Wong’s letter certainly falls within the scope of such activities, and is in the best interest of the District.
- Finally, consistent with IVGID Policies, the Board of Trustees approved the Utility rate increase proposed in the 2018 Utility Rate Study by a 3-2 vote (Trustees Callicrate and Dent dissenting) at its April 11, 2018 meeting (see https://www.yourtahoeplace.com/uploads/pdf-ivgid/BOT_Results_Agenda_4-11-18.pdf).
In summary, the points raised in Ms. Knaak’s post are all false. These same points were originally raised by Cliff Dobler and Linda Newman on their Our Village Voice Facebook page, and supported by Sara Schmitz, with the intent of slandering Chairwoman Kendra Wong. This cabal is now exposed. Ms. Knaak should retract her statements along with Mr. Dobler and Ms. Newman. Finally, we should ask ourselves if cabal conspirator Sara Schmitz is qualified to be an IVGID trustee.