Twilight Zone music fades in
IMAGINE IF YOU WILL …..a troubled California Community Services District on the brink of disaster yet steadfastly clinging to past policy mistakes directly responsible for its impending doom.
Special Interest policies difficult to comprehend spanning decades in time and space.
Decades most often defined by the turmoil caused by greed and countless battles over California’s liquid gold. Perhaps Twain said it best: “Whisky is for drinking, water is for fighting over”.
And like the juicy fly that refuses to free itself from the spider’s sticky goo of pre-feast wrap, so too will this Special District eventually be enveloped, served and consumed in the intellectual emptiness of ——–
THE LAKE DON PEDRO ZONE !
(Twilight Zone music is replaced with a whimsical & lackadaisical sort of tune accented with peculiar sounds as the starring cartoon character fades in and is introduced:
The COMICAL CSD SPOKESPERSON, is sloppily dressed in a stained and mismatched wrinkled suit, incorrectly knotted tie, shoe laces untied, and generally just a “mismanaged sort of character”. He speaks in a soft, slow, submissive nervous tone with frequent annoying throat clearings while slowly drawing imaginary circles on the floor with the toe of one unlaced shoe. (Doesn’t match the other shoe either.) With head lowered and NEVER LOOKING ANYONE IN THE EYE his eyes dart from miscellaneous point to miscellaneous point on the floor evidencing total discomfort with his surroundings. With both hands shoved deep into front pockets and jingling coins and keys he speaks to a record setting boardroom attendance of five customers –
GOLLY GEE, folks, what a great surprise to see ya all here at the same time. WOW. Guess advertising around here really pays off huh? (drum roll)
You know, come to think of it, NONE OF THIS WOULD BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT YOU. Why not stand on up here and take a bow, come on. Now give yourselves a hand for being such good sports with this water conservation and maximum beneficial use of water stuff. Come on! Give yourselves a hand! You deserve it. And be sure to pick up your
FREE LAKE DON PEDRO COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT CUSTOMER APPRECIATION KEY CHAIN HERE DESCRIBING YOUR ONE INDISPENSABLE QUALITY WE APPRECIATE MOST
(Three, maybe four individual hand claps.)
WOW! WHAT A CROWD!
(The five audience members curiously look around the huge empty room unable to see what the spokesperson is so enthused and talking about.)
OK, now, settle down. Settle down folks.
(Again the five audience members turn their heads from side to side, then look behind themselves with no clue that the spokesperson is referring to them.)
Now people, you’ve asked the District an import question, what it is doing for you right? Well!, ….ahh, I didn’t mean, well, like a well, I just meant well, like you know well…..that’s not what I….ah crap! Nothing to do with wells or anything, ahh, anyway, you’ve asked what the District has done for you right, and I’m here to tell ya. That’s right, I’m here to tell you the truth. You see, we really appreciate your support and we think you actually deserve to know the truth and may God strike me down as I stand here if I’m lying to you good folks.
(A large truck diving by outside the board room rumbles as it passes sounding like thunder at which time the Spokesman runs and jumps under a table in sheer panic. Realizing it was just a passing vehicle he laughs and comments.)
Had ya going there didn’t I?
(nervously laughs while inquisitively looking out the window at the clouds.)
OK, here’ the truth now folks, and I don’t need to swear to anything to tell you.
(Looks out the window nervously again)
Simply, everything is Boise’s fault. That’s right people. Boise’s fault. Entirely on them because they did a lousy job. They really did a bad job installing the infrastructure with poor quality piping and other stuff and then back filling the trenches with big ‘ol rocks and boulders. Once we even found a soda can buried in there believe it or not. A recylable aluminum can. What kind of people were they?
(Shaking head in disbelief)
Now good ‘ol Boise was supposed to use clean rock free sand and dirt for back fill, but did they? No they did not ladies and gentlemens. NO THEY DID NOT!
(Spokesperson removes one hand from pocket to pound on podium in unrealistic way devoid of real emotion then places his hand back into the pocket and continues fiddling with coins and keys. We hope.)
ANY HOO, I’m sure you understand and can see now that clearly the system has leaked like a sieve from the beginning. Shoot, it was like that when we were hired. Isn’t that right guys?
(Spokesperson chuckles and points to the six other employees sitting side by side on a wooden bench nodding their heads up and down in simultaneous agreement)
You bet. Charlie there knows what I’m talking about. So does Wendy next to him – she knows Boise was totally at fault in this mess. And Butchie, Butchie was here in the very beginning. Heck he helped to bury the old skeletons. (Chuckles) And those other two – not sure of their names, but they know. Heck they’ve been here for a while and do something around here important. Hey they know.
So that’s the first thing. It’s not our fault and just remember that above all else. Come on folks, say it with me: IT WAS ALL BOISE’S FAULT. Very good! Yup, all Boise’s fault but they are gone now we’re left holding the bag. It’s not fair but that’s the way it is.
Now the second big thing you people need to know shouldn’t be a real surprise to you, because that’s just the way it is with government. Everyone knows it, can’t hide the fact, couldn’t even if we tried, and that is – there is NEVER ENOUGH MONEY TO DO WHAT WE WANT. Shucks, we can’t possibly keep up with the water loss due to continual leaks, I mean they’re like everywhere. Darn it all, the whole blasted system needs replacing.
Don’t you know we’d be tickled pink if we could just fix it but heck, we don’ t have that kind of money. I mean shoot, sure wish we could help customers an all, and put in new piping and equipment and stop the financial hemorrhaging and stuff, but we just don’t have the money. Plain and simple. Can’t get blood out of a Turnip. Now hold on folks, don’t get too depressed and sad, there’s more. There’s more, don’t leave yet. Got some good news coming here too. Hang on.
Now the fact that everything is Boise’s fault was the bad news, but like everything else in life, there’s always some good news too, you know that silver lining to that big ‘ol dark cloud and all. OK, are you ready for some good news?
(The five audience members slowly and together nod in agreement in zombie-like fashion)
Great! OK, here it is! We, your district, because I can’t, and won’t take all the credit for myself, we did it as a team right gang?
(The employees on the wooden bench also again nod in simultaneous agreement without emotion.)
WE, your board and I – because I can’t take all the credit even though it was all my experience and know how that accomplished this, but, we your board and I were able to snag a substantial amount of FREE GIVE AWAY PUBLIC GOVERNMENT GRANT MONEY! WHOO HOO! Great news huh?
(The spokesperson now alive with excitement is jumping up and down like a cheerleader clapping his hands trying to enlist some sort of positive response from the audience. One of which has now passed away in the chair.)
So guess what we’re going to do for our cherished long time customers? Can you guess? Come on now, guess!
(Another customer slumps in the chair)
Ready? We decided the best thing to do instead of all that responsibility stuff and addressing our LEGAL AND FIDUCIARY DUTIES and obligations to the 99% of MERCED RIVER WATER ENTITLED users and realistically tackling that problem we decided to continue EXPANDING WATER SERVICE TO PROPERTIES OTHERWISE NOT ENTITLED TO DISTRICT WATER with EXPENSIVE GROUND WELLS constructed with PUBLIC FUNDS to produce water that will be BLENDED with MERCED RIVER WATER so we can then legally CIRCUMVENT PLACE OF USE RESTRICTIONS IN WATER LICENSE 11395 under which we have operated for over THREE DECADES and continue to have the ENTITLED SUBDIVISION PROPERTY OWNERS pay for that SPECIAL BENEFIT while CONTINUING TO IGNORE OUR SUBSTANTIAL WATER LOSS AND LIKELY THEFT OF DISTRICT WATER AND THE ONLY LOGICAL PROJECT ANYONE WITH ANY SENSE RECOGNIZES IS THE SENSIBLE SOLUTION TO PERMANENT WATER SUSTAINABILITY FOR THIS COMMUNITY.
But that’s neither here nor there. I just want to say again thank you all for coming and it’s really a pleasure to serve your water needs.
(the second slumping customer slips out of the chair falling to the floor with a loud “thud” as his head hits the concrete floor.)
Spokesman: OK now, let’s settle down, I’m excited too, but let’s behave folks this is a public business meeting after all.
Anyway, thanks again for showing up, we’ll see you again when we need some more money, and I guess from looking at the books and all those big numbers that will be pretty soon. OK, that’s about it, Boise’s fault and we’re expanding service with your money. OK then, have a safe ride home. Night folks.
(The spokesperson as he leaves the board room turns off the lights leaving the five customers, both living and deceased, in the dark behind the now locked door. A vehicle is heard starting then leaving the parking lot. As the sounds of the departing vehicle fade away they are replaced with the constant chirping of crickets in the darkness.)