On January 13th I wrote a preamble to the Nicole Barde’s VCTC Meeting Report which you can read here.
In that preamble I wrote the following paragraph:
My sources tell me that Jolcover’s replacement was necessary because the Storey County District Attorney’s office has (finally) acted on the blatant conflict of interest that Mr. Jolcover’s seat on the board of the VCTC represented. For the past three years, Jolcover has enjoyed healthy payday because the VCTC leases the land where the Camel Races and the Rodeo happen from Jolcover. In addition to the fat stacks that Scott got from the County in lease payments, he shrewdly renegotiated his deal to include a .60 (+/-) per ticket surcharge for everyone paying to set foot on his leased land. I guess they figured once they leased the land for a couple of years and paid to improve the land and then buy the land from him at the new and improved price somebody (like me) would holler.
In this paragraph, I made reference to things that are factually incorrect.
I state that Mr. Jolcover is enjoying “a healthy payday” and pocketing “fat stacks” from the land he is leasing to VCTC and the county.
This is not accurate.
Yesterday I spoke with Mr. Jolcover and he explained these properties are owned by two companies in which he a minority owner and a 50% owner in, respectively.
These properties were purchased in 1993. Mr. Jolcover’s companies have made material improvements to them over the years. Mr. Jolcover and his partners made additional improvements to the properties when the county began leasing them to make them more useful to the needs of the events.
Mr. Jolcover explained the companies negotiated a .60 per ticket surcharge to cover the cost of the shortfall that exists because the lease payments received to not cover the property taxes that are incurred due to the updated assessed value of the property.
In this case, the fact that the county is negotiation to purchase the properties and the fact that the purchase may result in a profit for the companies that own the property is completly appropriate.
Mr. Jolcover is a long time resident of Storey County and has been in the real estate business in Nevada since 1975. He has been a resident of Storey County for many years and his reputation is one of being a professional businessman with a love of the history of the Comstock and a man who gives back to the community. He routinely conducts tours of his operating stamp mill to school children at no charge to kindle the same love of history in them that resides in him.
Those of you who read The Teller know my passion for writing about things that are controversial in a style and manner that is at times both colorful and thought/ire-provoking. I have done my best to carefully research and document the facts that form the basis of what I write.
In this case, my remarks and characterizations of Mr. Jolcover were not factually accurate. In this case, I did not fully research my statements before I pushed this piece. I did not contact Mr. Jolcover to confirm my source’s information.
This was both irresponsible and unprofessional.
As a practicing writer, community activist and aspiring journalist, it is necessary to be indifferent to the impact of what you write. The fact that someone may not like what you write as it puts them in the crosshairs of daylight and public opinion cannot be a factor in striving for making the County a better place for everyone.
It is, however, unacceptable to be indifferent to the facts and the truth.
In this case, I caused Mr. Jolcover and his family attention that was unfair and undeserved.
For that, I am sorry.
Sam Toll – Editor
The Storey Teller