NOW THAT PUBLIC COMMENTS HAVE ONCE AGAIN EVAPORATED INTO OBSCURITY-

 

Let’s take a look at some of the other information relayed to the public during the last LDPCSD Monthly Board of Directors Meeting held July 18, 2016 at the Lake Don Pedro High School Multi-purpose room.

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Board President Danny Johnson thanked “Public Members” for making their comments stating the board learns from them.   Johnson’s presiding officer’s report indicated the board has been asked again and again about its work and Danny once again stated that for himself, he got on the Board of Directors to try and improve the district, and had no other agenda than to try and make it better for this community.

{LEW VIEW: The point of contention (as mentioned previously during a Public Comment) is the concept of what constitutes “the community” regarding water service and Johnson’s appears to include other properties outside the Place of Use under WL11395 which has always quite clearly identified where Merced River water can be legally diverted and used without relying on a ground water substitution program to replace the transferred Merced River water.  This special benefit (of using ground water substitution) has been, is currently, and is planned to continually be paid for by the 99% of legal Merced River water using customers of the subdivision who do not require ground water substitution for their water service.  (The new ground water wells are supposed to be used for water production during drought emergencies – not sold as a special benefit to properties not otherwise entitled to Merced River water.)

One of the most common excuses for this continuing push for expanded water service Outside the POU (Place of Use) for decades is that the Merced Irrigation District (MID) filed an incorrect District service map with the State of California which did not include all the properties entitled to water.  But this reasoning fails to consider the clear language of WL 11395 as well as the terms of SIERRA HIGHLANDS WATER COMPANY transfer of facilities and assets to the new LDPCSD formed in August of 1980, because those documents also clearly indicate only those properties currently served water were included as part of the LDPCSD’s inherited customer base. 

You must also realize that this very issue (wrong map being filed) was brought up at the time, considered, and denied.    One of the reasons previously shouted by those demanding water was that the subdivision/golf course had over 5,000 acre feet a year under the water license, used less than a quarter of that approved amount, and it was simple selfishness that prevented further water service outside the subdivision/golf course area. 

Fortunately, most of those people have finally come to understand the facts of the situation:  Merced River water pumped from Lake McClure must be used withing the MIDPOU which is based on the restrictive language of water license 11395 which the MID is responsible for obeying as holder of that license.  Please also consider that the 99% legally entitled users of Merced River water own property in a subdivision that is not even half developed yet.   So right off the bat a prudent person evaluating that 5,160 afa figure would more than double the current high water demand to reflect the demand for a full build out of the subdivision in the future.   The golf course is closed but never-the-less entitled to some of that water as well – who knows what might happen in the future?

The South Shore project off Bonds Flat Road has been the ONLY SWRCB (STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD) AND MID (MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT)  approved annexation to the LAKE DON PEDRO COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT.  (There were many other required approvals such as County LAFCos, Planning Departments, EPA, etc.)  Approved were 2,010 acres for a residential subdivision and golf course complex and 772 acre feet a year of MERCED RIVER WATER consumption.  Unfortunately, though approved that project failed to develop even though it is legally annexed to the LDPCSD and 772 af of MERCED RIVER WATER is set aside for the property.  NOTE:  Insult to injury?  The District, although spending much money on that lengthy approval process, does not receive a thin dime from that failed development which is the huge area west of the original subdivision.  

Heck, the MID even picked up a State water audit from its enforcement division during the process due to an unrelated mistake in MID’s mandated environmental water releases.  Following that, Place of Use issues of Merced River water in Lake Don Pedro became more important because any violations by the LDPCSD could result in significant State enforcement fines against the MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT. 

Thus our original Ranchito Drive well (which a previous GM recently advised was constructed for emergency drought use for the subdivision)  became the REMEDY FOR VIOLATIONS OF WL11395.   A ground water substitution program basically means that for every unit of MERCED RIVER WATER that leaves Lake Don Pedro subdivision/golf course property (entitled under license) that river water must be replaced with an equal/greater amount of ground water, which as we all know, is produced from very expensive ground water wells.  The wells recently constructed and developed by the LDPCSD were funded with public grant money obtained by using over a million dollars of LDPCSD funds to qualify and were supposed to be used for the benefit of existing customers as a result of the emergency drought and NOT FOR CREATING NEW SPECIAL BENEFIT WATER SERVICE!}

Johnson stated all business and technical questions should be directed to Pete Kampa as he is the voice of the district.

KAMPA is also the President of a professional management company which simultaneously services multiple clients.  KAMPA has been directing District activities towards further development of special water service benefits outside the POU of WL11395 while guaranteeing the employment of his KAMPA COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS, llc, for many years to come.  (IN FOR A DIME….IN FOR A DOLLAR!)  Read the resolutions, do you honestly think our local board of directors created those?  Read the original KAMPA contract for services and what is now paid by the District.   What has happened to, and is currently happening, with our original employees?  For whose benefit is our SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT BEING RE-CONFIGURED?

MONTHLY REPORT BY GM PETE KAMPA

Kampa advised his report had a number of attachments including color graphs (unfortunately the black and white copies again made distinguishing between the various shades of grey difficult) of the often requested water loss report which identifies how much water is actually lost between the treatment plant in route to customers (known as unaccounted for water, which differs from that which is used for back flushing filters, water hydrant testing, etc,).   Kampa stated the losses increased when lake pumps are used due to the higher pressures and volume of water within the pipes.  (Translation: Regular leaks become worse.)

Johnson noted that in May the district lost approximately 10af of raw water (untreated) and then 6af due to leaks during delivery of water to customers.

LEW’S VIEW:  An acre foot of water doesn’t mean much to the average customer so I have converted those units into something more familiar like cubic feet and gallons.

1af= 43,560 cf or 325,853 gallons

therefore;

10af = 435,600 cubic feet or 3,258,530 gallons, and

6af =261,360 cubic feet or 1,955,118 gallons

16af total loss of water pumped:  5,213,648 gallons

Kampa also advised some of the loss was from the large water tanks overfilling and spilling water but some contractors would be coming out to fix that electrical problem with the equipment.  Service line leaks, raw water pipeline leaks, tank over fills, all are being addressed.   Johnson advised the distribution meters in the community (AKA SUBDIVISION) have not been calibrated yet (to check water loss amounts) but will be done in the near future.

SUBSTANTIAL WATER LOSS FOR DECADES – and the District finally has access to millions of dollars for PRIMARY INFRASTRUCTURE repair/replacement, yet the money is spent by KAMPA AND KOMPANY to expand District special benefit water service even further beyond the LEGAL PLACE OF USE UNDER L11395.

THE DOLLAR STORE WATER SERVICE ISSUE

KAMPA advised it was not the District’s decision whether or not to serve water for the project, but the county – if there is no controversy as to supplying the water.

LEW’s VIEW:  BS!  How can this be true if the District provided incorrect information in the first place?  The County evidently failed to confirm that the District EVEN HAD THE WATER TO MEET WATER DEMANDS FOR PROPOSED PROJECTS WHICH THE COUNTY APPROVED.   “Not our job”, “if a water district employee says they can supply the water, we approve the project”.  ????   Is that how it works when money talks and legal requirements walk?

The District evidently intentionally concealed the fact such properties could only be served ground water from very expensive ground water wells it could not afford.  Some annexations to this district may have even been “defaulted approved” as the District never even replied to multiple requests for proposed annexation comments  from the county!  Cute huh?  District wants the properties annexed by the county but doesn’t want to explain how the district cannot serve Merced River water pumped from Lake McClure but only ground water of which the district does not have enough.  So….when the county asks for comments on the proposed development (or the county will just go ahead and “default approve the annexation”), the district sighs in relief and throws the county request for annexation comments in the trash.  PRESTO!  Another property annexed into the district without controversy or even the public’s knowledge of the process?

Kampa stated it was a matter of whether the properties meet the district’s rules and regulations regarding connection such as annexation and whether outside the Place of Use.  Kampa advised the district just responds to the county as to whether the project development meets district regulations.  Kampa said the project development officials would have to submit plans to the county and if approved those would be sent to the LDPCSD for approval.

WHOA THERE KAMPA — Weren’t you the one advocating annexation of these properties when you started your water industry career here in Lake Don Pedro in 1994-1997?  You knew what the legal PLACE OF USE was under water license 11395 then, and now. How can you now imply the District must just go along with your “sleeper plan” of special benefit water service paid for by the majority of innocent entitled users of Merced River water?

ALSO:  Does it make sense for the District to accept a ground well from an outside place of use property so that all customers will be responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement in the future?  Heck, if a contract for water service clearly laid out the condition that all expenses for that ground well would be born by the land developer and future owners and beneficiaries for perpetuity, things might be more understandable.  But even then, if the property owner claims financial hardship and they can’t afford a new well, you know as well as I— once the district starts furnishing water it will continue and never stop.   No matter how expensive to the rest of us.  Whether a simple single family dwelling, cattle ranch or other commercial business or enterprise.  How many other expensive ground wells will district customers eventually financially cover for private third party special benefit and increased profit margins? While our original subdivision property is passed over by purchasers in favor of “newer gated communities” created with our designated water?

 

Would someone please explain to me at the next monthly meeting:

WHY SHOULD 99% OF LEGAL MERCED RIVER WATER CONSUMING CUSTOMERS IN THE LAKE DON PEDRO SUBDIVISION SUBSIDIZE GROUND WATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAMS FOR MERCED RIVER WATER TRANSFERS OUTSIDE THE PLACE OF USE UNDER WATER LICENSE 11395 FOR PRIVATE SPECULATIVE LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS?

HOW CAN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA CONTINUE TO PERMIT INNOCENT SUBDIVISION WATER CUSTOMERS TO PAY FOR A SPECIAL INTEREST WATER SERVICE OF WHICH THEY RECEIVE NO BENEFIT?

Kampa stated the CUSTOMER SERVICE SURVEY would be discussed at the evening meeting, but he was going to keep it active for now (AKA NOT REPORT CURRENT RESULTS) in an attempt to gather some more responses.

(LEW’S VIEW:  You can now access the survey without providing addition personal information on the LDPCSD website, yet the results are still not available.) 

Johnson questioned publishing the results on the website as previously stated.

TROUBLE WITH LAKE PUMP START-UP

Kampa stated one of the pumps is not working correctly and believes the pump casings and columns are nearing complete failure and the engineer’s recommendation is complete replacement but there will be more information available after inspection.

Director Russell Warren asked about the status of the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) equipment [AKA, electronic control equipment for remote monitoring and control].  Kampa advised some missing parts caused the project to halt but will be resuming shortly by getting the Medina well and well #5 connected.  Director James Sult asked about pushing progress with the meters and monitoring.  Kampa advised some of the programming dates back to the 1990s and needs to be upgraded also.  Kampa said once installed, and functioning, the district would be able to control equipment including cameras for monitoring the functioning of the wells.  Kampa stated our equipment would not store data but only reflect real time activity of the equipment.

LEW VIEW:  All this emphasis on ground wells and SCADA while our SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT PRIMARY TRANSMISSION LINE HAS BEEN LEAKING HORRIBLY FOR DECADES – NOT TO MENTION THE INFRASTRUCTURE TO THE LEGAL SUBDIVISION.

Has a PROPER COMPOUND WATER METER been installed as a “CHECK METER” on the PRIVATE WATER LINE running between GRANITE SPRINGS and HWY 132 yet?  Theoretically, there could be a number of other OUTSIDE MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT PLACE OF USE diversions from that line (which doesn’t even have a district maintenance easement) operating for the last four decades.   There is a lot of “unobserved” property where our 30% – 50%+ water loss could be going, but gosh – there are so many other important things to do to set up the infrastructure in order to sell our newly developed emergency drought water outside the place of use.

Director James Sult questioned Kampa about several leaks on the intake pipeline from the lake to the treatment plant to which Kampa advised the major one had been repaired but the line will be subject to further failures.  Kampa said the leaks are showing up about every month. The matter was the expense in replacing the line and the crew to do the work, not just walking the line and discovering leaks.

Kampa stated there was no longer a long list of leaks to be repaired and he would be making a report in August about the matter.

Board President Johnson asked about the new LDPCSD website and whether or not it could be used for customers to report leaks that they observe.  Johnson said he has not seen any water running down the streets as in the past and does not know where our water has been going.

HERE’S A POSSIBILITY:  Hint, sounds like “utility left”.

KAMPA says customers should call directly to the office to report leaks now because he did not want to take the chance of missing an electronic report somehow.

I mentioned a report I had made regarding water flowing down the ditch along Ranchito Drive to which Syndie advised the district had addressed that the same day.  Johnson mentioned the line replacement program to which I commented replacing the entire line made sense when there were already 7-9 repair bands (on one section of pipe).

President Johnson started to introduce the CHIEF PLANT OPERATOR’S REPORT but Wes Barton asked if public comment was allowed after the last GM report.  Johnson acknowledged Barton could speak.  At this time a request was made to turn on the air conditioning in the large multi-purpose room (gym to us old folks)  lol.

FOLKS THIS FORMERLY ROUTINE REPORT, THAT WES BARTON IS TALKING ABOUT BELOW IN HIS PUBLIC COMMENT, IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.  KAMPA STOPPED ACCOUNTING FOR OUR “SHRINK” (WATER LOSS) SOON AFTER HE ARRIVED BECAUSE IT IS THE UGLY TRUTH.  HIDING IT FROM CUSTOMERS IS SHAMEFUL AND A CLUE TO THE TYPE OF MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES WE HAVE BEEN RECEIVING.   

WES BARTON commented

“Of course the staff is not recommending a controller – then we would know what the numbers were, that they were right and we would have them in-house and we wouldn’t have some of these questions that we’re are talking about with these wells.

In the old days, when we weren’t hiding Randy and Randy came to meetings he had a report that included all the changes on the wells, it said how much water came out of the intake, it said how much water was sold, it should how much water when the tanks went up and down, and we assumed that the pipe’s were relatively fixed, and water loss.  And then dumb people like me could look at that and say, this is what we produced, this is the up and down in the pipes, I mean the tanks, this is what we sold, then we know pretty quick how much water we have lost.  Now I know that’s dumb – it’s not pretty, but it’s factual and a hell of a lot better than playing shell games.” 

For your information, according to the money, OK, the money, accounts payable, excluding the water from the wells, because I don’t have that (Board President’s timer beeps) I have no idea how much water was wasted from the wells (beeper continuing) in my numbers, in the month of May your percentage was 65% waste plus the total that came from the wells this is just a forced number, just a number to play with to get a perspective, not how to solve it, to get a perspective, in June it was 33% plus all the water that came from the wells, OK, it’s not a fun number, it’s ugly as hell, it’s not pretty, but it’s a fact, or, your, what you’re going to pay MID (Merced Irrigation District for the water pumped out of Lake McClure) for what you sold is wrong.” (beeping in background)

Director Emery Ross asked Wes what his question was.  Wes asked Emery “what question?”  Emery said Wes was asking for an answer to his question and Emery wanted to know what the question was.  Wes Barton explained he was merely clarifying the issue because the District does not know the answer to its amount of water waste and he was just trying to clarify the issue to help out.  Emery, under his breath, asked if Barton knew the answer to the waste problem.  (Wes had returned to the audience chair.)

With no further comments Board President Johnson introduced the Chief Plant Operator’s Report portion of the meeting.

GM Kampa stated he apologized (beeping in background) because he received a message from Randy this morning and that Randy had personal issues and was not going to be at work for the day.  (Isn’t Randy the only certified employee remaining that can legally supervise the running of the treatment plant?)  Kampa said – we will continue to strive to have Randy come and be able to explain about operations and he (Kampa) was really sorry he (Randy) was not here today to talk about it because (cross talk) we don’t have the reports (audience cross talk) spelling out the good work that they have been doing.

Kampa said he has had extensive conversations with the operations folks (perhaps involving the re-establishment of Post Retirement Medical Benefits as well?) and was confident they had a story to tell above and beyond what the district is hearing all the time – that the District just wasn’t good at telling their own story for whatever reason.

WHAT?  Are you kidding me?  That’s all customers ever hear from the District – what a great job the District is doing for customers!

Good title for a book about the LDPCSD:  “Some Public Members Spoke Anyway”

He said they were “getting to” much more maintenance than they ever have in the past and are making routine inspections and are making upgrades, and completing the reads on time (Reading meter consumption of customers with the drive by AMR (automatic meter reading system) that get us the documentation for our water loss.  That employees are responding to a number of after hour problems right now and Kampa had questions from board members about such over time pay and what makes up that expense and what was going on.

Kampa said he would try to pull the information together and make some kind of report that makes sense, but at the same time wanted to assure the board they would be receiving some kind of operations report but he could not fix it right then while sitting in the board room.

Board President Johnson commented that “when we started our journey” they (the board) wanted to put procedures and protocols in place and understood they were works in progress with the Strategic Plan but his perceived accountability is if “they are not telling their story – they are hurting themselves”.  Johnson said he wasn’t trying to throw anyone under the bus but they needed to understand so they could be supportive of operations.  Johnson felt everything would be much better once those matters were addressed for operations as they had been for administrative issues in the office.

Kampa then apologized again for not addressing the separate report within the Strategic plan update.  He had intended on doing it next month and was glad he had been reminded about it last night as he was able to get it done this morning.  Kampa backtracked to the second page of his written report and mentioned some of those items, ie, water loss, maintaining infrastructure, upgrades, capital improvements, state and federal requirements, etc.  Johnson stated there was little accountability for the operations portion of the district.  Johnson said next month should be interesting since Kampa was aware of what the board was looking to see accomplished.

I commented that Randy missing so many meetings was very curious as he was one of the few original employees left.   It was confirmed that attending meetings was part of his job duties.  I asked what the disconnect was and one of the directors replied Randy was absent to which I replied I knew that – but why absent for so many other meetings?  Johnson referred the matter to Kampa so I asked if GM Kampa wanted Randy to attend meetings to which he replied absolutely, no doubt.

NEXT THE CONSENT CALENDAR FOR THE JULY 18th, 2016 Meeting

20160718_14

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized.

PUBLIC COMMENTS CONTINUED (7-18-2016 LDPCSD Meeting at High School)

PHYSICAL DISTANCE FROM CONSTITUENTS? what's next, barricades and razor wire? lokl

I was musing this morning that it is too bad simple attendance numbers for CSD meetings is not the deciding factor over some of these serious management created issues.  Issues that the district appears to be moving away from as quickly as possible while steadfastly refusing to provide satisfactory answers to the rate paying public as to how they (serious issues) materialized.

8 to 7!  WE WIN!

Yes indeed.  Had numerical superiority been the decider at the last CSD meeting the audience would have been the victor by squeaking out a win with an eight member audience compared to the 7 member CSD team.  Well, to be fair, at least one attendee was not a customer but a former general manager of our District.  He had come to address issues concerning his (and another three previous employees of our district) with questions as to their available benefits after retirement.   But I digress – we will delve into that interesting comment when it pops up later in the meeting.

SAME OLD PROCESS

Yes I am getting old and definitely know so because I can recognize with first hand experience patterns of local government activity and the predictable negative results for current and future residents.   Still, I foolishly envision property owners of the LAKE DON PEDRO OWNERS ASSOCIATION (aka mandatory customers of the LDPCSD) one day taking an interest and attending meetings to not simply ask pertinent questions that never receive answers, but to overwhelm the board room fire code capacity while DEMANDING ANSWERS TO SIMPLE QUESTIONS REGARDING THE RE-CONFIGURATION OF OUR SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT AND THE SUBSTANTIAL ADDITIONAL COSTS THAT WILL BE PLACED ON CUSTOMERS FOR PERPETUITY.

Unfortunately, the really BIG CUSTOMER CROWDS don’t usually show up until it is too late when the only “shrink” they notice or care about is the reduced household budget due to significant water rate increases.  Then a three minute PUBLIC COMMENT TIME LIMIT makes sense and will be absolutely necessary – if everyone wants to get out of the board room on the same day that is.  And only then does that angry crowd of customers begin to understand the significance of those routine monthly and special public meetings that are often quite boring and drag on forever.  Meetings, however, that are designed and dedicated towards incremental movement towards some plan, and like chess moves, every Board Decision approving a Kampa recommendation moves our NON PROFIT CSD a little closer towards some goal.  The question is, does the achievement of that goal reasonably and/or honestly benefit and serve the majority of customers?

WHY 3 ,1, 2 RATHER THAN 1, 2, 3?

I got ahead of myself yesterday by posting my 3 minute PUBLIC COMMENT out of chronological order from other comments because I wanted to quickly grind out a meeting post and my presentation was already digitized and ready to go in the computer.  So today I will report on the other opening PUBLIC COMMENTS – I mean, heck, the District sure doesn’t seem to care.

WHY MEET AT THE HIGH SCHOOL MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM?

Board President Danny Johnson explained that our Regular monthly board meeting was being held in the multi-purpose room of the LDP High School because of construction around the CSD facility, no air conditioning in the board room, and a later scheduled community information meeting to be held at 1800 hours.  You can imagine the added difficulties in hearing those who spoke, much less understanding the audio recording of their statements made in a large echo producing gym with air conditioning sporadically going on and off.  Thank goodness we had very similar uncomfortable folding metal “back torture” chairs to sit in for hours and the ever present “beeping” of President Danny Johnson’s PUBLIC COMMENT TIMER to make things feel ….well,  “more like we were home”.  LOL  Perhaps KAMPA can schedule the next board meeting at a heavy equipment construction site for convenience?  Maybe under Lake McClure by the dam? (Must bring your own scuba gear)

FIRST PUBLIC COMMENT

WES BARTON has been asking for specific information for three months yet District officials refuse to respond. Why?

WES BARTON, at podium, has been asking for specific information for three months yet District officials refuse to respond. Why? If everything is legit, why the refusal to provide the information?

WES BARTON (former CSD Director, the customer’s Financial Watch Dog, and steadfast meeting attendee – only a few of his many volunteer efforts) stated he was still waiting for answers to his questions about discrepancies in government grant funding and approved projects.  As you will recall, the projects changed and money had apparently been reallocated.

Please also recall that there was an “impromptu unofficial meeting” following a regular board meeting a while back where Wes received a lot of flak (including focused yelling and screaming) from GM Kampa and others for his financial questions during meetings.  The upshot of that discussion was that the GM was to furnish Wes the information to answer his financial questions regarding actual costs of these ground well projects whose plans and funding have shifted dramatically from their original applications and subsequent approvals.

Barton stated USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) project plan costs seemed to have gone up exactly the same amount as the funding for well number 6 which was completely abandoned (apparently due to diminishing funds).  He stated it almost looked as though someone was trying to obtain grant money from state and federal government sources “at no cost”.

Barton referenced the very first line of the USDA’s commitment letter which stated all the revenue follows the expense.  He said from an audit, control and honesty standpoint what has been happening sure makes this place look bad.  Barton said it has now been three months and no one from the district wants to discuss the matter.

 

LDPCSD’s THREE MINUTE PUBLIC COMMENT LIMIT INCORRECT?

VICTOR AFANASIEV advises the Board of Directors their 3 minute limit on PUBLIC COMMENT is in conflict with the BROWN ACT governing OPEN MEETING procedures.

VICTOR AFANASIEV advises the Board of Directors that their 3 minute limit on PUBLIC COMMENT is in conflict with the BROWN ACT governing OPEN MEETING procedures.

VICTOR AFANASIEV (Former CSD Director and also a long time community volunteer) questioned why the public is only permitted three minutes to speak (very reasonable question considering the very low meeting attendance so it is not like customers are lining up outside for a chance to say something before the board.)  Victor said the Brown Act permits public members to speak for as long as necessary so long as it does not prevent others from public comment.

Board President Danny Johnson stated that the district has always used the three minute limit for public comment to which Mr. Afanasiev again stated the Brown Act permits as much time as necessary (which sounds far more reasonable than constantly interrupting or “timer beeping”  speakers during their extremely limited opportunity to comment on serious issues.)

Victor stated he had discussed the matter with officials from both counties who agreed the LDPCSD 3 minute limit was improper.

OK, that brings us up to the last public comment presentation (mine) which was posted yesterday.

Please look for these PUBLIC COMMENTS by WES BARTON, VICTOR AFANASIEV, MYSELF and a FORMER GM IN THE CONSENT CALENDAR IN AN UPCOMING AGENDA PACKET COMING TO YOU VERY SOON!  

I’ve included two examples (below) of what to look for so you don’t accidentally over look all this important information that fellow customers would like to share with you! 

lol     (not)

Customers bombarded with hundreds of pages of District ONE SIDED 411, yet Customer comments are routinely dismissed as unimportant.

PUBLIC OUTREACH? OH PLEASE! WHY NOT IDENTIFY THE SUBJECT AND COMMENT FOR OTHER CUSTOMERS?

KAMPA states he wants to continue his public outreach program to customers.  Really?  Why not just identify the subject matter comments already made by those few who attend meetings so that other customers can read and understand?  Heck, there may be many customers who agree with the comments, complaints, suggestions, etc…..  Ohhhhh, I see, that’s what you’re trying to avoid.

NOT OUTRAGED

I have a lot to attend to right now, but will get back to the meeting report as soon as possible.  Until then, and as always,

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

WILL PUBLIC COMMENT CONTINUE TO BE A TREMENDOUS WASTE OF TIME?

Monthly meeting was held at the LDP High School multi-purpose building. 7 CSD members - 8 audience members. WHAT A CROWD!

The LDPCSD monthly Board of Directors meeting was held at the LDP High School multi-purpose building on July 18th, 2016 @ 1300hrs. (A separate second “community meeting” was also held at the high school at 1800hrs).   Seven individuals represented the CSD (above from left to right):  Directors Emery Ross, Russell Warren, James Sult, VP Dan Hankemeir, Board president Danny Johnson, LDPCSD GM/Treasurer & president of KAMPA COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS, llc a professional management company, and Syndie Marchesellio Board Secretary, Property Specialist and Office Manager.  There were 8 audience members.

***

You’ve heard me blah blah blah before about how the district bombards customers with massive amounts of very important material on the Friday before the Monday meeting?  Well yesterday’s Lake Don Pedro Community Services District monthly Board of Directors meeting was no exception staying true to form and consistent month, after month, after month…..

REALLY WANT PARTICIPATION?

Gosh, it almost seems like the District (as managed by PETE KAMPA, president of KAMPA COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS, llc a professional management company) does not really want customers to be well informed, much less participate in their own LOCAL PUBLIC AGENCY NON PROFIT CSD.

But how can that be true when Kampa has repeatedly encouraged customers to become involved, ask questions, and participate?  Didn’t he also instruct educational classes regarding district management and customer relations for the CALIFORNIA SPECIAL DISTRICT ASSOCIATION (CSDA)?  Isn’t he a true believer and practitioner of his highly focused compensated preaching?  Classes I attended while a director on our board suggested the agenda/packet should be available at least five (5) days in advance of the noticed meeting to permit adequate time for meeting preparation and later meaningful discussion.

SPEAK CLEARLY INTO THE MICROPHONE SO WE CAN BE SURE TO NOT HEAR WHATEVER YOU SAY

Those who do take the time to read the agenda/packet materials, prepare statements for PUBLIC COMMENT and actually attend these 2-4 hour meetings miles away, quickly discover their concern, effort and even the basic subject matter are completely ignored in official meeting Minutes that could be of assistance for other potentially interested customers/parties.

NO WAY!   ONLY ONE WAY!  THE KAMPA COMMUNICATION WAY!

That’s probably the most frustrating aspect of LDPCSD communications under this KAMPA & KOMPANY management – IT IS ONE WAY ONLY. Customers are routinely bombarded with massive amounts of material in the form of detailed reports, diagrams, charts, graphs and self-congratulatory director testimonials of unprecedented successes (often used to camouflage extremely important facts that are then simply glossed over in favor of the typical confusion and/or exuberance), yet repeated customer complaints, comments and suggestions are actively ignored and completely dismissed as unimportant.

CAPTIVE CLIENTELE

Considering the circumstances, why would KAMPA & KOMPANY give a “furry rat’s ass” about customers anyway?  They get paid regardless of how frustrated or disappointed their customers may be thanks to the bill paying mandatory customer base in the LAKE DON PEDRO OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION subdivision.

WHO KNOWS?  WHO CARES?

There is no local newspaper, television, or radio publication that could pick up our CSD’s INTENTIONAL FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY INFORM AND RESPOND TO CUSTOMER CONCERNS, much less conduct a serious investigation into how a local NON PROFIT public agency can  essentially be privatized and exploited by a FOR PROFIT management company…..blah, blah, blah…..

ANYWAY, I read the following within my permitted 3 minute audio recorded PUBLIC COMMENT TO NOWHERE at yesterday’s meeting – please excuse the bare-boned sentence structure to fit within the time frame.

 

WATER RATES MUST SKYROCKET to cover illogical EXPANSION OF GROUND WATER SERVICE TO PROPERTIES OUTSIDE THE PLACE OF USE OF WATER LICENSE 11395!  Land development special benefits subsidized with public funds while ignoring the fact the treatment plant was specifically constructed for the subdivision.

Merced Irrigation District said NO MERCED RIVER WATER OUTSIDE THE PLACE OF USE, but we did so anyway and RANCHITO WELL #1 was developed in 1992 as a remedy for the violations*.  AND NOW THAT VIOLATION REMEDY is to become DISTRICT POLICY with added costs passed to the 99% of legal MERCED RIVER WATER USING CUSTOMERS.

Customers have been deceived about our legal service area for over 35 years and  I only recently discovered authentic documents approved by the California Public Utilities Commission on its website.   Our administration office was destroyed by arson during record research of this very issue in February 2012.

The District charges an AVAILABILITY FEE of $60/ac, maximum 3 acres or $180/year because lots in the subdivision are on average less than two acres, yet a proposed 900 acre subdivision which MUST BE FURNISHED GROUND WATER also pays only $180/year rather than the $54,000 using the $60/ac formula.  Does that sound reasonable?

GROUND WELL PRODUCTION WILL NOT MEET EXISTING HIGH WATER DEMAND and selling what EMERGENCY WATER we have is foolish.

Expanding service outside the PLACE OF USE with emergency ground water, new employee positions, GM created Policies, reinstating post retirement medical benefits and even a plan for accepting deeded “iffy wells” from developers so innocent customers will pay for maintenance, repair and replacement, all greatly increasing costs.

IN THE INTEREST OF HONEST PUBLIC SERVICE WITHOUT HINT OF MISREPRESENTATION I would suggest the BOARD postpone voting at this time; immediately post on its website and Face Book Page the MID Place of Use Map along with identification of all properties that must receive ground water substitution.

ONLY THREE SHORT MONTHS until the District election after which these issues and financial consequences could be addressed before an informed public and decided by a fully elected board of directors.

 

 

  • I was recently advised by a former GM the well was not specifically constructed for that purpose but was indeed accepted as the legal remedy for outside Place of Use customers who were wrongfully receiving Merced River water outside the permitted area under water license L11395 held by the Merced Irrigation District.  Unfortunately, select District information has either been “liberated from the office” or through the years or destroyed by the arson in February of 2012.

More later….

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

WATER LICENSE 11395 PLACE OF USE vs LAKE DON PEDRO CSD WEBSITE MAP (RIVER v GROUND WELL USE)

Why does the Lake Don Pedro CSD consistently refuse to post a legitimate map displaying where Merced River Water (pumped under Merced Irrigation District water license 11395) can legally be used in this area? Properties outside the 11395 Place of Use MUST use ground water. Why should 99% of legal Merced River water users in the subdivision (for whom the water plant was constructed) pay for this ground water special benefit for land developers outside the subdivision?

Why does the Lake Don Pedro CSD consistently refuse to post a legitimate map displaying where Merced River Water (pumped under Merced Irrigation District water license 11395 – which our district surface water treatment plant has used since it was built) can legally be used in this area? Properties outside the 11395 Place of Use MUST use ground water.

While looking at the above map can viewers now appreciate why PETE KAMPA & KOMPANY placed so much emphasis on constructing and developing an “alternate source of water” with public funds?  The ground well project was repeatedly advertised as being an emergency drought water supply for existing customers – yet was planned from the beginning (and is still being pursued) to be the solution for land developers outside the Place of Use who can not legally be furnished Merced River water from Lake McClure.

Why should the 99% of legal Merced River water users in the subdivision (for whom the water plant was clearly constructed) pay for this ground water special benefit to land developers outside the subdivision?

 

THIS IS THE ORIGINAL DISTRICT SERVICE MAP ON FILE WITH AND USED BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

THIS IS THE ORIGINAL DISTRICT SERVICE MAP ON FILE WITH, AND USED BY, THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA – this is what was transferred by Sierra Highland Water Company to the LDPCSD with a majority vote of 88 people.

 

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WHAT THE CSD WANTS PEOPLE TO BELIEVE IS THE SERVICE AREA (website)…..,MAP DISPLAYED ON THE NEW LDPCSD WEBSITE

 

MAP DISPLAYED ON THE NEW LDPCSD WEBSITE (above)

 

 

 

 

MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT PLACE OF USE MAP FOR L11395 aka MID POU MAP

MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT PLACE OF USE MAP FOR L11395 aka the MID POU MAP.  MID has always stated  NO MERCED RIVER WATER CAN BE PROVIDED OUTSIDE THIS BOUNDARY.

 Why is KAMPA & KOMPANY so determined to expand district water service outside the 11395 Place of Use requiring expensive ground water wells designed, constructed, developed, maintained (and eventually replaced) with public funds – for private land development projects?

These ground wells were ostensibly created for the benefit of the legal users of Merced River water in the subdivision during drought water shortages – how can such emergency-intended water be sold outside the POU for private profit endeavors?

Remember this when the LDPCSD comes knocking on your water meter for more MONEY!

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

MAP DISPLAYED ON THE NEW LDPCSD WEBSITE IS, ONCE AGAIN, EXTREMELY MISLEADING

MAP DISPLAYED ON THE NEW LDPCSD WEBSITE

IS, ONCE AGAIN, EXTREMELY MISLEADING

[NOTE:  The CUSTOMER SURVEY RESULTS from months ago still have not been posted for customers to easily view.  The new website has a link to the Customer Survey form, however, you must supply personal information to create a member account to use the link.  I read the privacy notice and don’t feel comfortable supplying that additional information at this time, besides, I don’t believe a customer should be required to provide such information (that can later be used for other unknown purposes) just to see the results of this old survey – IF THOSE RESULTS ARE EVEN CONTAINED UNDER THAT LINK.  It would be frustrating to furnish personal information to access the link only to discover the results were not there.  Once your 411 is out there – its out there!  No return policies.  lol] 

PETE KAMPA ONCE AGAIN INTENTIONALLY FAILS TO INCLUDE AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT LIMITATION: MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT WATER LICENSE 11395 PLACE OF USE RESTRICTION BOUNDARY !

KAMPA ONCE AGAIN INTENTIONALLY FAILS TO INCLUDE AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT LIMITATION: THE MERCED IRRIGATION DISTRICT WATER LICENSE 11395 PLACE OF USE BOUNDARY which identifies where Merced River water (pumped from Lake McClure) can legally be used.   The LDPCSD has always operated under License 11395 and properties served OUTSIDE the L11395 Place of Use MUST BE FURNISHED AN ALTERNATE SOURCE OF WATER which in the LDPCSD’s case means providing ground water pumped from extremely expensive ground wells that were recently constructed, developed and maintained with public government funds to maintain water service during emergency drought situations.  Many questions still remain, including, Why should the 99% of legal MERCED RIVER WATER USING CUSTOMERS OF THE SUBDIVISION pay for A SPECIAL BENEFIT GROUND WATER SUBSTITUTION PROGRAM OUTSIDE THE LEGAL PLACE OF USE UNDER 11395 for land developers not entitled to our lake water?   Why don’t these outside Place of Use properties drill and develop their own ground water wells with their own funds instead of forcing legal water users in the subdivision to subsidize private land development projects?  (Please do not forget providing water is only the first step as there will always be a substantial amount of money required for administrative compliance reporting, maintenance, monitoring, repair and eventual replacement.) Besides, currently there is not even enough ground well water production to meet the subdivision’s peak water demand during these continued drought conditions – why sell what we have developed with public funds to private land developers OUTSIDE THE LEGAL PLACE OF USE?  The LDPCSD is a nonprofit PUBLIC AGENCY operating with public funds so why is KAMPA & KOMPANY determined to expand water service even further outside the legal use area of 11395 for private real estate and land development interests yet having the 99% legal MERCED RIVER WATER USERS pay for this special benefit?  How can public funds be misdirected in such a way?

WHY IS THIS VERY IMPORTANT  35+ YEAR WATER LICENSE PLACE OF USE BOUNDARY NOT CLEARLY ILLUSTRATED ON KAMPA’S NEW WEBSITE SERVICE MAP SO THOSE VIEWING COULD HAVE AN ACCURATE AND  FACTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE WATER SERVICE LIMITATIONS OF THE LDPCSD?

While the primary infrastructure of our SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT FOR MERCED RIVER WATER has been allowed to deteriorate, KAMPA & KOMPANY have focused district attention and funding on issues supportive of further expanding outside Place of Use water service with ground water.  Please remember that is exactly what Kampa was doing in Lake Don Pedro in the 1990s (he clearly was aware of restrictions even then) and has only resumed that special interest benefit effort since his LDPCSD Director orchestrated selective/closed recruitment process appointed him GM in October of 2014.

Our SWTP has been intentionally neglected for decades and even the extremely serious continuing results of that neglect are currently ignored as irrelevant.  Heck, last meeting Pete Kampa acknowledged the district has the ability to calculate the loss, but is apparently unconcerned with identifying exactly how much water we pump from the lake that never makes it to the treatment plant!  Since PETE KAMPA became GM, that water loss (or “SHRINK” as customer/former director Wes Barton refers to it) is just dismissed and ignored while KAMPA & KOMPANY repeatedly pat themselves on the back and advertise their great district succes. (Which clearly advances his ultimate goal of even further outside MID Place of Use water service.)  I was not the only audience member who was shocked by this information – especially during a state wide prolonged drought with water use restrictions and monetary fines for enforcement.  Doesn’t the California Constitution say something about “maximum beneficial use” and prevention of “waste”?

WHAT?  KAMPA STOPPED TRACKING THIS WATER LOSS?

THAT’s RIGHT.

KAMPA & KOMPANY are only concerned with the water that makes it to the treatment plant – where the water goes prior to that is immaterial to his plan.

Remember all that water gushing out of the Barrett Cove Ravine leak in those videos that simply flowed back to Lake McClure from where it was originally pumped?  Kampa & Kompany are unconcerned with that wasted water but customers still pay for that wasted pumping – and have for decades!  Kampa has the ability to determine exactly how much water is being lost, but is unconcerned and refuses to do so.  How can Kampa keep a straight face when attempting to compare ground well and lake water production costs with such horrible water losses?

Is all of that unaccounted for water truly just lost to leaks?  Or do such leaks conveniently camouflage other unaccounted for lost water between the lake and treatment plant?  Gosh, where could it be going?  What transmission infrastructure diversions could have been planned and/or started in the 1960s?  Heck, customers can not get straight answers to current questions – how will almost four decades of water secrets be publicly exposed without serious “outside” investigation?  But who cares about missing water that doesn’t exist in paper reports?

[VIDEO BELOW] SUCH WATER LOSS HAS NOT BEEN MONITORED/REPORTED BY THE DISTRICT SINCE GM KAMPA/KAMPA COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS llc, ASSUMED MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES.   WHY?

UPDATE ON THE LDPCSD BARRETT COVE RAVINE LEAK

At the last meeting I confirmed that KAMPA has been looking at a proposed short cut for the over two mile 18″ diameter raw water line path from the lake to the treatment plant which loses much water – but can anyone guess what that shortcut would entail?

Crossing property owned by an individual who has been attempting to obtain LDPCSD water for decades to develop a private 900-1,000 acre subdivision – gosh, what a coincidence.  When asked, Kampa stated he had done no more research on the concept than looking at it like I had on Google Earth maps.  He denied “boots on the ground”.  His boots?  That may be true, but what about other contractors or consultants researching on his behalf?

A long time ago I proffered the possibility of “legitimate government entities” being involved with such duplicity and betrayal of the legal MERCED RIVER WATER CUSTOMERS OF THE LDPCSD – and that far-out possibility sure hasn’t been refuted with any assistance in stopping Kampa’s 20 year old pursuit of building a water empire with public funds for use by private land development interests.

Who is looking out for the legal customers who are to be saddled with the financial responsibility of such water service expansion beyond the permitted areas in the water license? How can a County LAFCo, armed with the incorrect information ANY PROPERTY COULD RECEIVE MERCED RIVER WATER from the LDPCSD, order another public agency (the LDPCSD) to provide expensive ground water substitution for properties outside the Place of Use under the water license, and legally have the innocent legal 99% MERCED RIVER WATER USERS pay for such developments for perpetuity?  Will subdivision customers get a portion of the anticipated profits for supplying such ground water for private development?  What about the next severe water shortage?   When many more properties are provided our emergency ground water?  SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE.

Do not forget all this nonsense when KAMPA & KOMPANY eventually asks, pleads, begs and/or demands more of our money in a PROP 218 rate/fee INCREASE to fund their betrayal.

The reality is: one does not have to look towards cities like Sacramento or Washington DC for evidence of serious corruption –

we have been swimming in it for decades here in Lake Don Pedro – and it is not too difficult to understand the who, what, where, when and whys, because it has been the same old story since the beginning —-

FOLLOW THE MONEY!

Hope you all have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July – I pray we are as FREE TOMORROW as we are TODAY!

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

Categories: Uncategorized.

WHAT IS THE POINT?

WHAT IS THE POINT?

May 25 2016 Ranchito 2

May 29th, 2016 still no lock. (maybe there is another locking system? Never got out of the truck to check. Heck, put a fake lock on then! lol)

May 29th, 2016.  No lock since completion. (Perhaps another security system is operating – with lasers and everything?  Never got out of the truck to check. Heck, put a fake lock on then! lol)

Jeez, how many pounds will that chain hold?

Ever hear the expression “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”?  Makes a good point, especially if one is working with something like a chain hoist for engine removal, hauling a trailer load of lumber secured with “log chain”, or perhaps even just “show-off high swinging” on an old style pipe and chain swing set.  Only one damaged or substandard link in an otherwise good chain could have serious consequences.  Just because a chain may look strong and secure – occasional inspection would certainly seem prudent to avoid foreseeable harm/loss in using compromised chains.    The expression is also analogous to other situations that may not involve an actual metal chain but still require 100% component integrity to avoid some type of general failure.

Yup, there is never enough time.  Attended the two LDPCSD meetings yesterday, Monday, June 20th, 2016: Financial Committee @ 1000 hrs – 1200hrs, and the regular monthly meeting @ 1300- 1452hrs).  6 people in attendance and it was hot in that board room — temperature wise.  Naturally the board packet was published and made available only a day or so before the meeting.  So many important decisions Kampa is asking the board to approve yet there is always VERY LITTLE TIME TO STUDY THE MATERIAL MUCH LESS RECEIVE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS.  All planned my friends.  All planned.

Since I was unable to locate the customer survey results on the website (as had been suggested by a board member and GM Kampa) – I asked about where they (the results) were displayed.  I was told I could get the information from the office, although that was not the point.  They were supposed to be presented on the website, perhaps they will show up on the upcoming “new website”.  I suspicion there was a low percentage of returns thus no real incentive to publish disappointing results and I can understand that, but still, public money was used for all that and we should have easy access to not only the results, but the costs involved.

Budget is being prepared and there is still opposition to GM Kampa’s apparent re-establishment of post retirement medical benefits that had been discontinued by another board of directors many years ago.   There were three requests for Board approval in Item 6 of the agenda under DISCUSSION AND ACTION ITEMS:

       a. Adoption of a Resolution Approving a Revised Policy on Employee Insurance Benefits

       b. Adoption of a Resolution Approving a Revised policy on Eligibility for Employee Benefits

       c. Discussion and Action Regarding the District Organizational chart, Personnel Responsibilities and Position Requirements

[Seems like resolutions intended to ratify prior action even though the specifics of that prior action are still unknown and the board refuses to comment (like the who, when, how and whys of re-established employee benefits accomplished without any noticed public board meeting action to rescind prior approved and upheld district employment policy – how can they do that?)

Although I had requested the subject be on the agenda for open discussion, all three were postponed to the July meeting by an approved motion by Director Emery Ross.  Suggestions of having third parties look at the situation were also made.  No doubt something is being cooked up for July to insure a quick approval to legitimize behind the scene activity intentionally hidden from the public.

I asked if the outside Place of Use compliance reporting had stopped again (since the report was not in the agenda packet) – that obvious failure was attributed to the Operations Supervisor Randy Gilgo who was again absent from the monthly meeting.  I believe three or four meetings in a row now.  I jokingly asked if he still even worked here….yes he does, just hasn’t been able to attend the monthly meetings.  Perhaps the GM could schedule more convenient meetings?   Director Emery Ross complained that the board should not be answering questions from the public.  Strange, submitted written questions do not receive answers either.

May 31st, 2016

May 31st, 2016

There was a little bit of dancing around the issue of providing further outside Place of Use water service which is to be discussed in the near future.  Hummm, interesting. They do exactly as they want while refusing to provide relevant information to questioning customers.   With the grant money emphasis on developing an “alternate source” of ground water for outside Place of Use sale, Kampa and Kompany are not likely to just give up on twenty something years of planned expansion with the 99% of legal MERCED RIVER WATER CUSTOMERS PAYING FOR THAT SPECIAL BENEFIT. (Do not forget maintenance, repair, replacement, etc.)  Kampa’s recent admission to being approached early on by owners of outside place of use property (that he was attempting to provide water service a couple of decades ago) is consistent with the theory of why Kampa returned to Lake Don Pedro:  to continue the outside place of use expansion using newly developed ground water sources that were supposed to be for emergency drought water sustainability for existing customers.  [NOTE:  Please remember the “KAMPA & KOMPANY” reference is only shorthand for those individuals who support Pete Kampa’s re-configuration of our CSD operations.  Actually, the acronym SO-GOSIP (Same Old Group Of Special Interest People] also applies.]

Having witnessed their methods of operation thus far, wording like the below should alert customers.

Under SERVICES ASSUMPTIONS, Kampa states:

“No new regulations will be enacted to cause a dramatic change in operation costs”

Please note the qualifier “dramatic”, so by this statement, if not a “dramatic change”, it’s perfectly OK……sneaky Pete.

Or under REVENUE FORECASTS:  “We are not planning financially on selling more water, or gaining more customers this fiscal year”, that may be true, but KAMPA & KOMPANY have already used public funds to plan/construct/develop the ground water wells necessary for an “alternate source” to provide outside the Place of Use.  Twice this group has attempted to abandon the existing prohibition of such expansion and have already installed the necessary infrastructure and are proceeding with the remote control equipment required for such expanded service to be accomplished after “this fiscal year”.     I wholeheartedly admit, and standby, my distrust for Kampa & Kompany and their constant half-truths in pursuit of special interest benefits paid for with public funds.

TYPING TROUBLE

My fingers are still numb and typing is more difficult without the sensation of actually pressing the keys.  Tingling like poor circulation – hands/fingers still swollen.  Not sure if typing is a good exercise or not but at least fingers are moving!  Working with concrete and mortar without gloves is stupid and very time I do it I promise myself I will not do it again, then a project jumps up where just “a little hands-on” work accomplishes the desired finish.  Seems I do not have the dexterity I need while wearing various types of gloves so I finish the work then immediately wash with soap and water, but alas, the damage is already done. (I do have a great pair of gloves for just this sort of work but gave up looking for them and wasn’t going to make a special trip to town.)   Amazing how, when focused on the work, you don’t notice that the first couple of layers of skin have been literally sanded off, —- but later……oooohhhhhh!  Besides being a bit sore and numb, I now also have “Velcro digits” that snag and hold on to everything! LOL  Kind of funny at times, like after blowing my nose with a tissue and being unable to throw the tissue away – suck on my fingertips like,….well, I already said it ….Velcro!

I must be real careful when wiping away material from around my eyes as fingertips also have sharp jagged pieces of dry dead skin which could cause damage if dragged across an eyeball.   Not being my first experience with this concrete/mortar malady I know a sure fire remedy that has always worked for me —-liberally coat fingers and hands with “Bag Balm”, put on an old pair of gloves and continue work.  Amazing how that antiseptic “grease” balm can work-in and soften dry concrete/mortar damaged hands/fingers.  Naturally, anything you touch without gloves will leave greasy smudges – like eyeglasses, windows, door handles, etc.   Plan on dropping a few things through slippery fingers also.

BAG BALM - good stuff but messy.

BAG BALM – good stuff but messy.

Old can on left compared with the new stuff. Pack Rat Syndrome - still works so I use the old can for "outdoor hand therapy".

Old can on left compared with the new stuff. Pack Rat Syndrome – still works so I use the old can for “outdoor hand therapy”.

Let’s see…. started my grey water laundry irrigation again & tweaked the homemade detergent recipe with a bit of Eucalyptus oil.  Orange oil works well too.

Homemade laundry detergent. After cooling overnight the mixture becomes a gel. 1/2 a cup for each load - no suds and environmentally friendly.

Homemade laundry detergent. After cooling overnight the mixture becomes a gel. 1/2 a cup for each load – no suds and environmentally friendly.

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I didn’t mention this security fencing issue at the last meeting but after seeing it still apparently unlocked this Thursday morning  and later in the afternoon, thought “what the heck?”  Maybe it will get some needed attention if someone else comments?

Big weekend coming up -should the security fencing be secured?

Big weekend coming up -should the security fencing be secured?

June 23rd 2016 - Still no lock observed since SECURITY FENCE INSTALLATION. ....strong as weakest link.

Thursday, June 23rd 2016 – Still no lock observed since SECURITY FENCE INSTALLATION.   ….as strong as the weakest link.  I wonder if insurance would cover a loss without the district securing the gate with a lock?  Why have an enclosed fence?  What about an attractive nuisance and personal injury?  Guess it could be a free temporary confinement facility!  Just BYOL!  (BRING YOUR OWN LOCK)!  lol

I am rather busy trying to accomplish a host of different projects so producing a bunch of meeting videos is not possible right now (did I just hear a number of viewers sigh in unanimous & appreciative relief?  Lol).   Besides, what is the point?  Seriously.  What difference does it make whether customers have truthful/factual information or not?  Seems district management is still considering ways of using emergency drought ground water for “outside place of use” expansion/sale (our district has always pumped water from Lake McClure under L11395 held by the Merced Irrigation District for use in the subdivision [and a few other listed areas] but special benefit water service outside the legal Place of Use under L11395 must be accomplished with expensive ground water wells developed with public funds.)  The district also seems intent upon continuing with the re-establishment of post retirement medical benefits for two employees despite clear violation of the intent of a previous board which created the policy.  The policy was evidently challenged and upheld years ago and followed until (apparently), Pete Kampa somehow assumed “district policy making/changing authority” and interpreted policy according to his business perspective.  I voiced opposition stating any such major financial policy change should have been addressed by the board of directors in a public meeting setting.  Heck, I still have not heard Pete Kampa actually admit to being the one who “interpreted policy” 180 degrees opposite from the cost saving intent of the original policy.

Why are such interpreted conflicts seemingly always settled to the customers’ financial detriment?  Especially in a nonprofit public agency?

Eventually the district is going to ask customers to approve a major rate/fee increase and that is when all this surreptitious special benefit activity, refusal to answer legitimate questions, negligence and defiant arrogance will be of great assistance in evaluating how and why an increase even became necessary.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.