Monthly Archives March 2012

LDPCSD MEETING March 19 2012 part II

Reading Time: 16 minutes

March 19 2012 Part II

Transcribing by the digital recorder/computer really slows things down but here’s the II installment of the last meeting.  Yak with you later, Lew

[Continued discussion regarding insurance increases due to five year loss history]

Director Skoien confirmed that the insurance deductible was based on our loss ratio of 288% over a base line of 70% and commented that the report referred to the recent office fire as “fire-arson”. Skoien questioned whether that determination had been made. Financial Administrator/Board Secretary Charise Reeves and IGM Dan Tynan both stated they had not received any official statement regarding the status of the fire investigation.

Director Victor Afanasiev questioned a $20,926 claim in 2011-2012 to which IGM Tynan explained it was due to a major water main break which caused damage to the basement of a residence.

Wes Barton commented that most of the 10% insurance rate increase along with the increased deductible ($25,000) was due to matters that have yet to be resolved (employee lawsuits and recent fire) and there was a possibility that they could be reversed with a favorable outcome. Barton said some of the issues regarded members of the current board that were elected in November 2008, ie, $35,000 harassment and hostile work environment, a $17,000 claim and the recent fire. He said current difficulties as he understood them that were to be heard in Closed Session involved 5, 6, or 7 different employee complaints and there were a multitude of Grand Jury issues pending that still had to be resolved and theorized the rates for next year could be even be higher.

Board accepted and approved the SDRMA correspondence as read and filed.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

The previously scheduled Personnel Meeting was postponed until later in the current meeting. Charise Reeves advised she had not yet received confirmation that the Finance Committee reviewing her Treasurer’s Report would satisfy the auditor’s questioning of the checks and balances of the Treasurer/Financial Administrator. VP Richardson stated he had understood that the auditor was the one who suggested such a remedy but Charise Reeves said she and Wes Barton had a difference of opinion as to what was supposed to be done. Reeves stated she has not been able to speak with the auditor about the situation due to the busy time of the year with taxes.

President Kinsella stated the Finance Committee had reviewed the Treasurer’s Report.

Public Relations: VP Richardson stated there was a draft letter in the board packet and it was a separate item to be discussed later with a request the letter be approved by the board. [Request that the LDPOA permit the LDPCSD to use the Discoverer to contact their customers.]

OFFICE FIRE UPDATE

Already discussed – there was no interruption of water service and the office is in the process of securing new equipment (currently leasing temporary equipment). Existing water line under the old building location is still an issue to be resolved before the new building can be installed. (Reposition new building or relocate 22 year old PVC pipe.)

A 3/17/12 staff report by Charise Reeves to the Board of Directors requested:

  1. 1. Approve staff to work with the insurance company to replace office equipment (example: computers, servers, printers) in an amount not to exceed $60,000 upon verbal authorization of the insurance company.
  2. 2. Approve staff to work with the insurance company to proceed with the demolition of the existing building and replace the physical building, not to include moving the building’s location, in an amount not to exceed $100,000 upon verbal authorization of the insurance company.

Estimated $40,000-$50,000 for new computers and server. $7,900 for a big printer (replaces four machines previously used) and a color printer ($2,000). Director Afanasiev questioned why the district needed a color printer to which Reeves responded for brochures and board packets that periodically require color printing. VP Richardson questioned why the insurance company would only provide verbal approval for replacement equipment instead of putting it in writing. Reeves stated Director Afanasiev also requested the approvals be in writing but that is not how the insurance replacement procedure works. VP Richardson suggested recording any such verbal approvals for equipment replacement.

An audience member asked why the insurance company didn’t just give a check for everything that was lost in the fire and covered or at least an estimate for everything. Charise Reeves advised they had basically come back and said our upper limits are of no concern and that another company was doing an itemized inventory of everything that would be forwarded to the insurance company with all receipts for things already paid for by the district. Insurance will replace “like and kind”.

Reeves stated the company contacted to replace the office building is working in conjunction with our engineer and insurance company. She stated the district would have to go to the county to obtain the appropriate permits but questioned why the original building was originally permitted in light of the water line location – did the county know the pipe was there?

Director Ross stated he didn’t think the district would need a permit because we were a public utility and the building is related to the treatment of water. Reeves advised that the district still needed a septic permit in the past. Director Ross wasn’t sure but thought the office might be exempt because it had more to do with the distribution of water. Director Skoien thought we would either have to move the pipes or get a narrower building. President Kinsella suggested waiting for the authorities to advise how to proceed. IGM Tynan also thought a narrower building might be the easiest and least expensive way to go.

Harry Alfier questioned the high expense of the equipment. Reeves advised 5 or 6 computers and 5 printers and scanners had been destroyed and the server alone was originally around $40,000.

Merlin Jones commented on contacting the County about the demolition first and thought the building department could probably clear up the matter about the pipe under the new structure with a telephone call.

Wes Barton stated the district’s systems are indeed very expensive and were initially purchased during the real estate building explosion (that stopped) with the understanding they could support 10,000 homes. Barton stated the engineer should be on site and determine how best to solve the pipe issue.

There was a question and discussion about the pier block foundation of the existing building and Ruth Smith asked if a used modular building had been considered and referenced how much Golden Lakes Charter School saved. Reeves advised the insurance was paying for the full replacement of what the district had.

On recommendation of the IGM the board ultimately decided to approve the $60,000 for office equipment purchase and $10,000 to remove the fire damaged building.

OUTSIDE PLACE OF USE RESOLUTION

VP Richardson advised the attorney had revised the resolution to address some of the questions by Directors Ross, Skoien and Afanasiev and questioned if all directors had received a confidential communication from the attorney sent to their address. (The letter was stamped confidential but was essentially a copy of an email sent previously marked confidential – attorney client privilege.) Director Ross questioned the confidential nature of the correspondence.

Director Afanasiev stated after reading Raymond’s accompanying letter he (Afanasiev) did some research and believed the attorney failed to address the issue of prescriptive water rights. Afanasiev stated if a person had property and requested water and was paying for that, they had a prescriptive right to water even though they might be outside the MID place of use. Afanasiev suggested the attorney look into prescriptive water rights. Afanasiev felt the District could be looking at a law suit if those properties Outside the legal use area were never-the-less paying an availability fee for future water, yet could not receive it now.

VP Richardson made the motion to accept OMIDPOU Resolution 2012-3 that the CSD attorney had prepared, President Kinsella made the second, board and public discussion ensued.

Director Ross questioned how many Outside MIDPOU properties were actually paying availability fees for future water service and mentioned the McDonough case (an owner who had recently withdrawn from district service after paying for many years) and others who have been paying availability fees. Ross also mentioned a 1968 agreement where 10 meters would be supplied in exchange for land to place the Sturtevant water tank. (Based on past records, this was evidently how Director Ross originally obtained his second OMIDPOU meter in 1993 but was subsequently challenged on that meter installation by the Sturtevant Ranch citing that Ross’s property was specifically excluded from a free meter under that agreement.) Director Ross also questioned why names were returned on the OMIDPOU report (as it had been for approximately 10 years) since MID does not specifically require such.

[NOTE: You will recall Director Ross himself stated he had complained about names being on the report for two years and advocated that it be changed. The reporting did in fact change however there was no record of a board vote to do so and Ross stated he had no idea how it had been done. The board recently decided to return to name reporting because it cleared up for the public the locations of large water use outside permitted areas under the water license. Entities such as the fire department, elementary school, waste water plant and goat and cattle ranches can now be identified for clarification and understanding.]

Director Ross advised he knew of at least one person whose property was Outside the MIDPOU who has been paying availability fees for future water. President Kinsella voiced the opinion that if OMIDPOU properties had been paying availability fees for years they should get water but Director Afanasiev stated the resolution does not provide for that.

VP Richardson argued the resolution did not preclude these properties from receiving water but an alternative source would have to be located and used because no Merced River water can legally be used for outside MIDPOU properties. Richardson stated the CSD has violated the license and agreement and felt approval of the Resolution would be a show of good faith to MID that the district was attempting to clean up their act and abide by the license regulations. He also voiced the fear that once MID was done with their hydroelectric project business with FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) in 2014 MID could set their sights on the CSD regarding compliance with regulations. VP Richardson also mentioned the possibility that the resolution could actually stimulate other alternatives in obtaining water. He believed there were very few of these properties, (OMIDPOU paying availability fees) many of which were planned projects that had since been abandoned. Richardson has been asking for the information for months without success. He stated neither McDonough or Clark, who Director Ross had mentioned earlier, wanted our water, in fact they were trying to get out of the district not in. Richardson said it was disingenuous to use those two examples as someone wanting water who was denied when they clearly wanted out of district service.

Director Afanasiev stated the water rights stay with the property not the owner. Afanasiev suggested a lawsuit could result. VP Richardson didn’t feel that was necessarily true. $180 a year for a number of years would be the worst case scenario if CSD had to payback availability fees to a property owner. Richardson stated if the property owner wanted to hang with us we might be able to supply the water in the future. Both Directors Afanasiev and Richardson agreed further ground water wells were not the way to go.

Director Ross asked if Richardson believed all the current connections outside the MIDPOU were legal. Richardson asked, you mean like yours? Ross replied yes. Richardson said they were so long as the Ranchito Well produced the water to those properties. Ross asked if the well water could be comingled with Lake McClure water to which Richardson responded, of course that’s the way it’s been done. Ross began talking about information posted on Richardson’s blog and an article in the Foothill Express but he was told it was not the issue at hand, Ross contended the blog was the issue. President Kinsella suggested staying on the issue. Richardson stated the issue is this resolution and Ross only muddied the waters by saying things like oh this resolution is going to make me a criminal. Richardson countered It’s not making anybody a criminal, it’s setting forth the rules which they have always been for over 12 years.

Ross stated by receiving money for future water and putting it on the tax rolls and then not providing water was fraud, and asked what do you think it is? President Kinsella humorously suggested it was more like theft. (laughter)

Richardson also pointed out that many of the properties never annexed properly and referenced the Poe matter where it was agreed the CSD would provide water if the OMIDPOU properties annexed. Water was supplied but the properties never annexed. President Kinsella stated you can sue anybody for anything, at any time, but are you going to win? I doubt it. Director Afanasiev disagreed.

VP Richardson reiterated the resolution was our attorney’s opinion and he is trained in water law – Director Afanasiev interrupted stating he disagreed with Raymond as he (Raymond) never cited cases. Richardson said he didn’t think you needed to cite cases when CSD had signed an agreement with MID to abide by the regulations. Director Afanasiev said the prior board violated those agreements to the detriment of their customers. Richardson questioned if the current board was going to override what our attorney suggests in these matters. Director Afanasiev stated Raymond should cite case law in his legal material. Afanasiev stated if these properties did not receive water their property values would go down drastically. Director Ross wanted to see a list of how many people have been paying availability for water to OMIDPOU properties. President Kinsella said he believed if someone had been paying availability for water and were Outside the MIDPOU they should still receive the water.

VP Richardson stated he didn’t know because the engineer’s report indicated the Ranchito Well was over taxed as it is right now – it said no more potential new sources. Director Ross questioned what the 1978 boundaries were to which Richardson responded it’s not the district boundary but the license boundary which is essentially the subdivision and the golf course. Richardson said the resolution put CSD in line with the contract so we do not breech it. It would be the first step in a water management program to keep CSD in line with past agreements but remedies would not occur overnight. Richardson advised things might be changed by the State Water Board but Director Afanasiev stated the courts controlled such issues.

Director Skoien said if someone whose been paying for water that is OMIDPOU and yet now can’t get it will not be happy having to wait a couple of years. VP Richardson asked if he knew of anybody in that situation because we’ve got people leaving the district right now and there weren’t people pounding on the door to come in. Director Skoien believed MID didn’t really care about how much really came out of the Ranchito Well. Richardson advised it would be a big deal to people like Director Ross if the well goes dry and the resolution was meant to prevent that.

Director Skoien asked how the resolution was meant to prevent the well from going dry. VP Richardson advised because the engineer reported the well was only at 50% of its sustainable yield but if you keep adding more connections to it that percentage is going to go lower, and lower until the well goes out. People that are dependent on the well are going to loose their water source such as Director Ross.

Richardson also questioned how many of the properties actually annexed as required by the water agreements such as in the Poe meter removal situation where their property and the other two were never annexed yet they were supplied water.

Director Afanasiev commented CSD had over 5,000 acre feet of water per year but VP Richardson reiterated that the CSD could not use Merced River water for outside MIDPOU properties. Director Afanasiev wanted MID to show us some case law regarding the matter. VP Richardson said “OK we keep piddling around like this and MID gets done with FERC (Federal Energy Relicensing Commission) they’re going to come down here and clean our clocks, they could put us down to 800 or 1,000 acre feet”

There was an audience question as to those OMIDPOU properties already receiving water, would they be cut off? No. The question was asked to whom did the resolution apply, answer, to OMIDPOU properties not currently receiving water, but the issue revolves around how many have paid availability with the understanding they would receive water in the future. VP Richardson stated he had been asking for that information for months and still has not received such. Apparently there are approximately 5-6 of those properties some involving huge projects that never got off the ground like a six story motel proposed at T Corners. Richardson stated he didn’t think that would be happening very soon. Director Ross says he knows someone who has been paying availability fees on an OMIDPOU property for years that wants to build a house.

There was some discussion about the South Shore project (2,010 acres) that was allotted (by the State Water Board) 772 acre feet of water a year, but nothing has been done on that for many years. Richardson also advised that that particular project pays the CSD nothing.

Harry Alfier questioned why, with so much water allotted from Lake McClure (5,160 acre feet), would MID be against CSD using it in the area? VP Richardson advised that has been the issue all along and at one time the State Water Board considered making changes while Bob Kent was still general manager, but after some sort of water audit or something it stopped. Richardson emphasized that it wasn’t necessarily MID, it was the license restrictions and any violations would come down on MID from the State Water Board. Richardson compared the water license to a driver’s license, you can drive a motor vehicle so long as you abide by the rules and regulations otherwise the license could be suspended or revoked. Harry Alfier asked about any possibility of talking with MID. Richardson said the MID didn’t make the decision the State Water Board would and it was an extremely expensive proposition. He said originally a change was attempted through an administrative remedy to make small adjustments to the place of use but it was abandoned with notice a full blown petition process would be required. Richardson stated if a full petition could be filed there would be protests from the Delta-Bay people screaming because they need the water there. Richardson suggested the CSD could keep a low profile for a while and then maybe try to approach them again otherwise the water could be taken away and used for other beneficial uses elsewhere.

Director Afanasiev also wants to know exactly how many OMIDPOU properties have been paying availability fees. VP Richardson again stated he had been asking that question for months but still thought that was a minor issue in comparison to passing the resolution and showing MID we were trying to do the right thing. Director Afanasiev believed they really didn’t care now because they had enough problems with their FERC relicensing. President Kinsella stopped the discussion stating it was the public’s opportunity to speak.

Another audience member questioned whether the state or MID recently approached the CSD and voiced concerns about our OMIDPOU operations and felt VP Richardson sees a problem. Richardson advised that our attorney felt the resolution was 12 years past due. [Reeves changes tape] The speaker felt Richardson was attempting to protect us from a worst case scenario but now learning his water (as an OMIDPOU customer) would not be affected he was much less concerned. The speaker thought having a map of the actual service area would be helpful and questioned why it would be so hard to find out where these properties were. Richardson advised his (the speaker’s) guess was as good as his (Richardson’s). The speaker thought knowing exactly how much money might have to be returned was important. Richardson believed that was less important than passing the resolution. IGM Tynan stated he would follow up on the matter immediately. The speaker also questioned Director Afanasiev about his prescriptive water rights statement but Director Ross interjected “prescriptive easements”. Afanasiev corrected Ross by saying “prescriptive water rights” which he stated run with the property.

VP Richardson mentioned that the speaker (an Outside MIDPOU customer) should also be concerned about how many connections are added to the Ranchito Well because it places his water use at risk. The audience member acknowledged that fact.

Another audience member asked if the resolution had anything to do with a request for water by a gentleman……President Kinsella interrupted asking the speaker to make her comments from the podium which she refused to do saying it wasn’t necessary, everyone could hear and if Bill didn’t want to hear what she had to say – that was fine. Kinsella explained it made it easier to hear what a speaker had to say. (A microphone is located at the podium.) The speaker reluctantly agreed to comment from the podium and asked if the resolution had anything to do with the gentleman who wanted to build a store at T corners because it seemed the issue came up right after that request. President Kinsella said it had nothing to do with that issue and added his understanding of that situation was that there was a “property war” going on between that person and CAL FIRE.

Board Secretary Charise Reeves then stepped from behind the board table to the podium to speak. Reeves stated it was her understanding that the way the resolution was written someone who had been paying availability for OMIDPOU water would be denied that service. Reeves acknowledged that there may be only a couple, but if only one came in for water and was subsequently denied there could be a problem. VP Richardson suggested the first question would be, did they annex to the district as required. Director Ross stated the rest of us didn’t have to (annex) because they (their OMIDPOU properties) were grandfathered in. Richardson stated that the resolution did not preclude allowing someone who has paid availability to connect with the Ranchito Well but it came down to people like Director Ross and his neighbor who were already connected along with everyone else which is why he (Richardson) originally had proposed a Special Benefit Zone which was dropped from the agenda.

Richardson felt it should be up to the people already dependent on the Ranchito Well to determine if more connections should be made because it will affect their water supply from the well. Richardson believed if the Ranchito Well went dry now the district would be obligated to pay the costs to continue the service but if the district continues to over tax the well with more connections there could be a big problem. He felt there was a big difference between a person wanting to build a home which the board could approve subsequent to the resolution and the many failed big development projects like South Shore that never went anywhere. Reeves stated she was referring to the individual. Richardson felt the resolution could actually stimulate the search for other alternatives but the current process of just hooking people up without annexation had to stop. He felt if this is something the attorney thinks is right and should have been done 12 years ago he didn’t know why – “oh well, it’s up to the board”.

Director Ross: “Email from me to Raymond what about people who are already paying availability who are outside place of use how does the resolution affect them? He says the moratorium will not allow them to get district water unless it was from some source other than the Merced River, well they’re going to be cut off, that’s the answer, they’re cut off, according to Raymond.”

VP Richardson: No, they could go on the Ranchito Well

Director Ross: No because this here says you can’t

VP Richardson: No, it says we cannot provide them Merced River water Emery

Director Ross: But Lew you’d be the first person to be screaming that it was a violation of the law

Multiple voices

VP Richardson: I wouldn’t care

Director Ross: Yes you would

VP Richardson: … if you want more people on the Ranchito Well and risk your water delivery – hey that’s up to you.

Director Skoien asked if the Ranchito Well was maxed out to which Richardson (referring to the engineer’s report) – no it’s 50%. Richardson stated not only the attorney but the CSD’s engineer recommended no more Outside MIDPOU connections.

Director Ross agreed that the CSD shouldn’t be going out to look for people to hook up to the system but if people had faithfully been paying availability they should get the water. VP Richardson stated the board could always agree to add more connections (if availability had been paid) even after the resolution passed but it would not be fair to the customers already dependent upon that well’s production without their permission. Director Skoien asked what would happen if the Ranchito well went dry. Richardson responded that we would be in the ground well water business. Director Skoien disagreed thinking under such an emergency situation the state water board would give permission “in a heartbeat” to pump McClure water. Richardson characterized that as if someone were committing theft over a long period of time then committed a big theft the authorities would excuse the situation. Skoien said he did not mention theft only that if the well broke and CSD went to the state water board and said we have no other way to serve certain people in this community they would say just keep pumping the water. Richardson doubted they would violate their own rules but asked how the petition would come before the state water board in the first place because it would be a lot of money and CSD had many other things with which to deal. Director Ross stated we should be drilling another well just in case Ranchito goes dry. Charise Reeves suggested submitting that project to the IRWMP (Integrated Regional Water Management Program).

VOTE: Failed: Kinsella/Richardson aye, Ross, Skoien and Afanasiev, nay.

Director Afanasiev said he could not vote for it until knowing how many properties were involved.

Charise Reeves advised Syndie (Billing/Property/Customer Service Representative) may not be able to respond to the requests for information (about how many properties were involved) because the map she needed was being restored due to the office fire and didn’t know when it would be back.

– – – – -E N D M E E T I N G – – – – –

I’ll post my blog blah, blah, blahs later since there’s enough material to digest for now.

Beautiful day before the storm huh?

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

THE SDRMA WHAT?

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Let’s see,… telephoned County Fire at 0800hrs Monday morning and was assured the flag would be taken down as soon as possible and it was. Good job! Sure would be great to see a new one back up there because it looked pretty good with fire equipment underneath.  Actually I happen to know a local woman who offered to donate an American Flag that once flew over some sort of prominent government building, don’t recall whether State or Federal. Anyway, placed a call to see if it is available, if so, will check with County Fire. I am still disgusted with the office fire and am surprised how many people make jokes about a situation that isn’t humorous at all when you think about the consequences and ramifications. Take a look at our insurance rate and upcoming deductible requirement due to the numerous claims in the last 5 years – that surely won’t encourage laughter. Well guess I might as well start with the next meeting – as depressing and frustrating as it might be.

—– S T A R T M E E T I N G R E P O R T —–

Quorum established: President Bill Kinsella, VP Lew Richardson, Directors Emery Ross, Mark Skoien and Victor Afanasiev, also present Interim General Manager Dan Tynan and Financial Administrator/Board Secretary/Treasurer Charise Reeves. Approximately 15 people in the audience.

Pledge of allegiance.

MANAGER’S REPORT: Dan Tynan

Fire has not affected water production however the LDPCSD is dangerously understaffed and interviews for prospective employees to take place the next day. Security control panels to be installed with individual codes to track usage. Director Skoien commented on IGM Tynan’s suggestion that a policy be established regarding keeping personal pass codes secret. There was difficulty during the entire meeting in locating specific pages in the Board packet without page numbers due to the lack of proper equipment in the office. (Penning in the numbers would have been helpful before making the copies.)

TREASURER’S REPORT- Charise Reeves

$451,716 in combined accounts (Restricted & Unrestricted). More voided checks this month due to smoke damage; there was a negative cash flow this month of $72,534 because of large payments such as MID (water) and the loan for plant improvements; there were a lot of retroactive adjustments made due to the fire; many fixed assets also need to be eliminated during this fire recovery period; a new employee classification; and three payroll periods for the month due to leap year (1st, 15th, and 29th).

Director Emery Ross questioned payments for board education/training and mileage reimbursement (Afanasiev and Richardson) and a district/board liability class sponsored by the SDRMA (Special District Risk Management Authority) in Clovis that VP Richardson attended. [NOTE: Educational classes and training for directors will always be over budget since not one dollar was budgeted for such.]

Wes Barton questioned the bank record and why the cash receipts appeared so low and why there was an entry with reversed cash receipts for $15,486. Charise Reeves responded there were payment checks that had been destroyed in the fire and customers have been requested to resend the checks. Barton also questioned the Customer penalties accounting and meter set fees. Reeves advised that had to do with the waste water facility and the difference in final billing that was agreed upon. [District recovered over $40,000 that had not been paid in years.]

Ruth Smith asked if the district was still paying for two separate internet service accounts (office operation has been done through Throckwisp but Hughes Net has been kept as a backup). Reeves advised she must locate the files but they have been taken for document recovery (smoke damage). Reeves advised if the Hughes.net account is no longer required it will be cancelled. Smith also questioned how long the district has been paying Hughes, Reeves answered one year for $1,200. Hughes was the original provider but Reeves reported it was down for approximately 3 weeks last year at which time Throckwisp was installed and has been working fine since then.

Director Skoien questioned the petty cash lost in the fire, Reeves advised it was $125 and $563 in customer cash was also lost.

Carolyn Bartholomew asked again if the district has been paying for two internet service contracts to which Reeves advised it was not. When the Throckwisp contract was changed (contract not yet formally revised and signed by the parties) part of the new modified contract was for Throckwisp to provide free internet service to the office and employees at home (so they could access the district SCADA system). Throckwisp is currently paying the district less than the original signed contract because of these services. The district only pays for the Hughes.net service which is not being used and will be cancelled when Charise Reeves obtains the information.

Board approval for the read and file of the Treasurer’s report- unanimous. Director Richardson’s reimbursement for mileage after attending a training class regarding district/board liability, VOTE: 3-1-1. Kinsella, Afanasiev and Richardson aye, Ross no, and Skoien abstained.

CONSENT CALENDAR

VP Richardson commented on the Board Secretary’s January 23rd, 2012 Meeting Minutes where Director Afanasiev, having completed a class Richardson was also going to take later, stated: “I also warned the instructor about Mr. Richardson”. Richardson subsequently responded: “Well, Victor, I look at it this way. You warned him about me. I’ll apologize for you.”

Richardson’s point was that the comments were humorously made (with laughter) yet the Minutes, without such qualification, could lead a reader to believe they were ugly comments. Richardson felt the Minutes misrepresented what had actually occurred. Reeves stated she could indicate there was laughter and that it was not a negative exchange. Director Skoien stated that’s how some people felt about Richardson’s blog, to which Richardson stated he included the word “laughter” when a comment was intended as humor and laughter could be heard. Reeves admitted when she created the Minutes she thought the comments could be taken differently. The board approved the correction. Director Emery Ross declined from comment on the matter since he was absent from that meeting.

Director Emery Ross commented on the SDRMA [Special District Risk Management Authority] correspondence in the Board Packet:

You know last year at this point I wanted to get on that board up there and you guys didn’t want me on that board and would wouldn’t, you know, nominate me or something, but you know that was another bad decision that this board has made – there’s been a lot of them, (inaudible) it says, “SDRMA will implement a $25,000 deductible for any employment practices and/or error and omissions, that’s us, claims which have an occurrence date after January 1, 2012

[NOTE: Director Ross misread the correspondence because the effective date in the letter read: after July 1, 2012”, not January 1, 2012.]

This board is going to go bankrupt pretty quick if we don’t get rid of Director’s comments, blogs, verbatims these things are all going to be costing us $25,000, something that Dan does or Charise does or anybody else -$25,000. ah that, if you look on on the ah their, we have a 2 million dollar, ah policy, ten million per occurrence but and these ah used to be zero deductibles are now, we’re going to pay $25,000 I think we better start shaping up stop fooling around here especially this verbatim stuff that’s going to come back. When the guy was here we got into an argument with the man from SDRMA, that’s my understanding who it was, and that’s how you get this kind of stuff, you know, we better start shaping up quick. Its $25,000 it used to be zero, now it’s $25,000 you get three or four of those a year we’re going to be bankrupt that’s all I have to say – and it’s not going to change for a long time until we change our losses – also the former board in that lawsuit contributed to this too.

VP Richardson: I have a comment on that

President Kinsella: Sure

VP Richardson: Ah Mr. Ross I don’t believe you stated what happened with that nomination ah correctly.

Director Ross: Nomination?

VP Richardson: Yeah, your nomination for SDRMA. You came in here and just before the vote Vicki Keefe got up and said she had to leave for another engagement and you decided to withdraw it, I believe every director on the board encouraged you to wait until we had a full board and bring it up again and you said no, you wanted to withdraw it.

Director Ross: We’ll have to look at the, I’ll go back tonight and see if that’s right and I’ll

VP Richardson: It’s right.

Director Ross: (inaudible) next time. I think we did it twice.

——-S T O P M E E T I N G R E P O R T ——-

LEW’S VIEW: (THAT MEANS MY PERSONAL OPINION)

The above statements by Director Ross regarding the SDRMA are incorrect, extremely misleading, and once again obstructs any possibility of meaningful progress by confusing issues with inaccurate information that he will never “own” or explain.

Need to get rid of director comments, blogs and “verbatims” or $25,000 cost?

Director comments, blogs and verbatim transcripts had nothing to do with our insurance deductible being raised to $25,000. That embarrassing figure was based on a five year loss ratio of 288% which is greater than the 70% baseline established for the insurance program.

Notice any similarity or common denominator between the three items Ross mentions – comments, blogs and transcripts? They all involve communication of information and represent an opportunity for other people who might hear/read to decide for themselves as to the veracity, integrity or trustworthiness of the speaker/author.

Expression of opinion is good – especially when the person doing the expressing voluntarily agreed and is supposed to represent the interests of other people. Honest expression should be encouraged not regulated or prohibited. Now I agree that Minutes should be brief and verbatim transcription should be avoided when possible, however, when someone is not telling the truth that misinformation should be challenged immediately and the best way to challenge such “flip flopping nonsense” is with the speaker’s own prior words. [Also works with unfounded outrageous statements.]

Why would anyone be so frightened about being held accountable for what they have said? Heck I welcome different opinions and appreciate a good logical argument, but to make such absurd and unfounded statements again, and again, and again, and again…..without one shred of accountability is, not only frustrating, but demonstrates a method of operation and a major source of dysfunction.

There is no 2 million dollar (insurance) policy or a ten million per occurrence statement.

How could it be a bad decision not to support Emery Ross for a position on the SDRMA governing board when he withdrew the matter himself fearing the lack of support? [Mr. Ross ultimately obtained support from the Mariposa Resource Conservation District but was still not elected to the SDRMA board.]

How could arguing with a guy who interrupted our meeting, that Emery now – five months after the incident somehow “understands” was from the SDRMA, be remotely responsible for our higher insurance deductible?

How in the world did Emery Ross come to “understand” that the mystery man (who disrupted a Special Board meeting, orchestrated personal attacks of a director and district employee, and lectured directors how to conduct meetings), was from the SPECIAL DISTRICT RISK MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY? Such a statement, especially after the highly suspicious administrative office fire, is completely irresponsible. No doubt such asinine rumors are not good advertisement for the SDRMA.

(READ ALL ABOUT IT! Insurgent undercover insurance investigator disrupts business meeting of a public agency his organization insures? …….GOOD GRIEF!)

Perhaps there could also be an “understanding” that Mr. Ross might actually be the unfortunate victim of EBMGI (Excessive Bovine Methane Gas Inhalation) due to confined cattle ranching activities. The primary effect of sustained EBMGI exposure is a temporary loss of reason accompanied by repetitive illogical and absurd assertions. LOL [laugh out loud]

After transcribing this portion of the meeting I contacted Mr. Dennis Timoney, Chief Risk Officer for the SDRMA, and advised him of the statements Mr. Ross had made during the meeting. Although I did not believe the information I never-the-less wanted to either positively confirm or dismiss such a ludicrous “spin”. Mr. Timoney assured me our policy does not contain any 10 million dollar coverage per occurrence nor is it a 2 million dollar policy (the SDRMA letter in the packet also documents this).

Mr. Timoney also unequivocally stated no representative from his organization was involved with the “impersonation” that occurred at our October 21st, 2011 Special Board Meeting and anytime the SDRMA is involved with a district’s business their identity and purpose is clearly made known. He further stated that SDRMA would be happy to come to Lake Don Pedro and explain the program’s functioning and loss calculation if the Board so desired.

NOTE:  Although I stand by what I have written in the past, I never-the-less acknowledge that some of my terminology or attempts at humor are not appreciated by some and that’s fine, and I don’t mean to pick at a scab but you must admit that TUMMOTA performance was pretty bad.  (link below).   I had not planned on revisiting that particular point in time but this Recent Ross Revelation of “understanding” that the SDRMA was involved with such a ludicrous farce seems to warrant the link.

Regarding the past “imposter” who interrupted the October meeting (allegedly from the State Attorney General’s Office), here’s a link to that November 4th, 2011 posting entitled “DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY DUMB DIDDY DO” https://lakedonpedro.org/?p=581]

Well so much for the first installment of our last LDPCSD meeting. I need to get away from this insanity and computer for a while and enjoy this beautiful weather before the anticipated weekend storm that will hopefully augment our sub average snowpack.

My best to you and yours, Lew

PS: Here’s another “LEW’s VIEW” (personal opinion) for you to chew on …

The District II Mariposa County Supervisor election is right around the corner. As you will recall the current Supervisor for this area, Mr. Lyle Turpin, sustained a serious injury in a ranch accident and subsequently decided not to seek re-election. There are apparently six candidates vying for the position including two from the Don Pedro area, Mr. Emery Ross and Mr. Dwight Mueller.

I would suggest voters in this District take a serious look and do a little investigation as to what some of these candidates do, or do not, “understand” and how that “understanding” has been formulated. Sure, it would be nice to have a county supervisor from this area but that should not be the deciding variable in determining who can actually best perform the job. Personally, I cannot in good faith support our local offerings and will cast my vote for Merlin Jones as the next District II County Supervisor.

Categories: Uncategorized.

March 13 2012 CSD Meeting

Reading Time: 23 minutes

MARCH 13th MEETING BLOG

This is one of the more difficult postings I’ve had in a while. There’s a lot going on in both my heart and mind. This is not pleasant.

FLAG BUSINESS

The flag thing still bothers me and stings of the expression “they get what they deserve”. I’ve always interpreted that as basically meaning those who allow bad things to continue but are later harmed by what they permitted through inaction shouldn’t really complain. I still have mixed feelings about yesterday’s “flag post”.

Yes, I do feel a twinge of “posting remorse” for showing Our Flag in such a condition.

Yes, I realize I could have just picked up the telephone and called –or- written an email with an attached photo to the appropriate agency (of course many government agencies do not accept emails with attachments).

Yes, I am just as guilty for thinking “someone else will surely call” (although I was told by one person they did indeed report it to a volunteer deputy over a month ago).

Yes, I realize it was wrong of me to perform such an experiment and wait to see how long it would take to correct such a disgraceful display.

Yes, my military family upbringing and Boy Scout background screamed in my head I should attempt correction immediately – don’t wait, and although a weak defense, I thought it worth the extra time if only to prove a point about this community’s apparent apathy for situations most communities would consider totally unacceptable. Guess I am naïve and have an antiquated concept of community pride. Agghhh, a dinosaur! Anyway, I waited for as long as I could before posting what should be a community embarrassment.

This photo was taken late this afternoon and quite frankly, I was again disappointed.

I will be making some telephone calls early Monday morning to both County Fire and the Sheriff’s Office.

PERSPECTIVES

The circumstances leading up to this meeting (report below) have placed me in the difficult and unpleasant position of having to adamantly disagree with someone with whom I normally share very common views. Ironically, I also find myself sharing some of the same complaints and concerns from another group with whom I have traditionally disagreed. Seems the more I learn, the more confusing it all becomes. Anyway, everyone has their own opinion and perspective and that is fine, however, when it comes to established procedures, especially potential disciplinary actions, I believe an organization should stick as close to policy as possible.

The ethics training course public officials are required to take stresses the point that if a public official finds themselves in a questionable situation they should seek advice from their legal counsel which I did. During the last regular monthly meeting I brought up this personnel matter because since January I have advocated it be addressed.

Well, sorry about the length of this report. There might be some mistakes but I just don’t have the time to go over this transcript again – – -the next board meeting is this Monday. Another great weekend once I receive the Board Packet. Later.

SPECIAL MEETING March 13th, 2012 @ 1300hrs

Directors Bill Kinsella, Victor Afanasiev, Mark Skoien and Lew Richardson present. Director Emery Ross absent due to a family medical situation. IGM Dan Tynan and Financial Administrator/Treasurer/Board Secretary Charise Reeves also present.

Pledge of Allegiance.

AGENDA

  1. a. Office Fire (15 minutes) Request – Update the Board on the status of the office fire, declare the office fire an emergency, and grant authorization to recover.

NOTE: A STAFF REPORT by Charise Reeves stated: “In order to alleviate any problems and to speed the process while replacing items damaged or destroyed by the fire, staff is requesting the following motion be approved:

“The Board of Directors move to declare the fire in the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District office building an emergency and authorize staff to perform the necessary tasks and purchase all items, structures, and equipment damaged or destroyed in the fire that is covered by the District’s insurance company.”

  1. b. Audit (10 minutes) Request – Approve final 2010-2011 Fiscal Year Audit
  2. c. The Pipeline (10 minutes) Request – Public relations committee discussion/ recommendation for possible publication of the Pipeline

*-*-*-*

Charise Reeves advised the office was only closed for one day; temporary telephone service installed and office equipment brought in on Wednesday; all Springbrook billing data was recovered successfully due to the billing officer’s back-up procedure (saved much time and money); contact has been made with the modular building manufacturer for a replacement office; there may be an issue with a chlorine line located where the new building will be installed; computer server and equipment replacement bid to be provided; and that the four separate printers may be replaced with one multi-function unit.

President Kinsella interjected and addressed the public’s concern as to the cost of office equipment replacement and asked if his understanding that insurance would cover all losses was correct. Reeves advised that both she and Syndie Marchesiello (Billing Officer/Customer Relations Representative) were working with the insurance personnel and were being conservative in replacing lost equipment and supplies. (If there were three boxes of paper prior to the fire, only three boxes of paper were purchased.) All replacement bids on major equipment (and building) will be forwarded to the insurance representatives for approval first. Document recovery has been onsite and taken custody of critical files in an attempt to restore them. Insurance is also involved in this process because every damaged file needs to be treated with ozone to remove the chemical smoke smell. There has been no recent contact by fire investigators as to the cause of the fire.

Director Skoien questioned the reason for the board to declare the fire an emergency and approve Reeve’s resolution since water production was not affected. Reeves advised they normally had to get bids for anything over $25,000 and the building would be over that and if the computers and server were put together they’d be over that limit as well. Director Skoien stated he didn’t believe the situation met the requirements as an emergency and the normal bidding procedures should be followed. Reeves stated the insurance would cover replacement of “like and kind”. Reeves said the other option would be to see if the insurance company would require other bids from different companies but she was only trying to cover all aspects that might come up. Director Afanasiev questioned Reeves what our insurance coverage was and she replied it was much greater but wasn’t sure since her papers were “toasted” but believed it was two million as relayed by the document recovery person. The original building that was installed in ’01-’02 was $59,000 without engineering and some other incidentals and a current ballpark replacement estimate is about $79,000 with $6,000-$7,000 for demolition of the old structure. Afanasiev also asked if a building permit would be required to which Reeves replied it would but that process hasn’t been started yet and was only in the preliminary stage. Other permitting fees might also be involved, including engineering due to the buried line near the existing footprint of the old building. New building codes are also going into effect the end of this month.

The emergency request was tabled without any objections by board members with the understanding all bids would be submitted for insurance approval and then brought back to the board.

AUDIT

One error was reported to the auditors for correction which was the fact our Billing/Customer Service Representative, Syndie Marchesiello, did in fact make multiple reports of the $40,000+ under-billing for the waste water plant prior to May 20th, 2011. Director Afanasiev suggested changing the referenced phrase “District Attorney” to “legal counsel”. Wes Barton questioned a $50,000 discrepancy in the accounts receivable report stating he was advised it was due to the waste water plant late billing, however, did not believe this was the case since the waste water billing was in July. Barton had sent a written request to Charise Reeves back in December to check the matter out but had not received an answer. Reeves stated she would double check that.

Barton asked if the entire board was aware the auditor reported material weaknesses and significant deficiencies in our CSD financial operations.

The auditor’s report was approved with those two corrections with a 3-1 vote: Kinsella, Afanasiev and Richardson aye, Director Skoien abstained.

Reeves asked if the district should continue with the same auditors (contract for 3 years expiring) or seek a new firm? Reeves advised that the auditors have not officially approved the oversight of the finance committee as a sufficient remedy to the problem with Reeves being both Financial Administrator and Treasurer. Consensus of the board to inquire whether the same auditors would be used for the next audit.

THE PIPELINE (Proposal to bring back the Community Pipeline newsletter)

Tabled with VP Richardson advising he would have something prepared for the next meeting.

Charise Reeves requested that the agenda for the next meeting on Tuesday be kept as minimal as possible. Reeves advised the Throckwisp contract had been requested by Richardson and Afanasiev and two requests but she hadn’t even found her notes in the stacks of smoke damaged papers. Director Skoien corrected, and confirmed, the meeting was for Monday March 19th. Reeves continued by saying the agenda needed to be kept minimal because the office did not have scanning capability yet. Director Afanasiev stated his requests could wait. President Kinsella said he had no problem and liked a short agenda. Reeves advised VP Richardson that the Throckwisp contract was in one of the boxes somewhere but Richardson advised the Outside MIDPOU Resolution was already held over but Reeves said it too would be held over. Richardson asked if Reeves had contacted Raymond (the CSD attorney) because that resolution was supposed to have gone back to the attorney to address the concerns of three directors and Reeve’s replied “You know, like I said I haven’t even found the notes because they’re in a pile in a box”. President Kinsella stated if he remembered correctly Reeves had told him that she had referred it to Raymond but Reeve’s stated: “Yeah, but I don’t know if it got… I don’t know if ”

VP Richardson: “Well I contacted him the other day …”

Charise Reeves: “No I had not…”

President Kinsella: “OK, well….”

VP Richardson: “This is how things drop through”

Charise Reeves: “The fire happened (bangs board table) the Monday after the meeting”

President Kinsella: “OK”

Charise Reeves: “So, we’re in recovery mode in the office”

President Kinsella: “Will you contact Raymond and find out…..”

Charise Reeves: “I will, I will find, I will search for those files – papers and see what (inaudible)….”

President Kinsella: “I think, I think it’s imperative that that be on the, the agenda, we’ve got to, we’ve got to maintain control on that…”

Charise Reeves: “OK let me see what I can do”

[No director comments, meeting was adjourned at 1340hrs.]

PERSONNEL COMMITTEE MEETING

President Kinsella: We now have a Closed Session for a ….

Charise Reeves: You have to open it…”

President Kinsella: yeah, yeah but I’m just saying we’re going to have to clear the room because we have a closed session on the first matter so,

Wes Barton: I, I, I’d like to

President Kinsella: ah, how do you want to handle this you want to have both of them sit in or handle them one at a time.

VP Richardson: Bill you’ve been running the whole thing since day one so

Wes Barton: Bill I heard you say you wanted to clear but I’d like to ask a question.

President Kinsella: Say again

Wes Barton: I know, I heard you say you’d like to clear the room but I’d like to ask a question before you get started.

President Kinsella: OK ….go ahead

Multiple voices/cross talk

Charise Reeves: Wait, wait, wait…..let me, let me, let me get it, the tape on here

Wes Barton: I just wanted you to know I wasn’t ignoring you when you said you wanted a, wanted it cleared.

Director Skoien: So this is the open part before you close?

President Kinsella: Yeah this is the open….

Director Skoien: I can listen to this

Multiple voices

President Kinsella: OK, we’ll open this session at ah 1341….this is a Personnel Committee and it’s going to be Director Richardson and me listening to a complaint by ah Justin and Jose against Charise. Wes, you’ve got something to say?

Wes Barton: Ah yeah, I ah just, more of my ignorance probably I know in a regular ah board meeting if you’ve got a complaint you have to offer the person the opportunity to ah have it in an open meeting, you have to, it has to be in writing, have an open meeting or a closed meeting. In a committee like this I don’t know if you have to or not but if you’ve referring to the same codes, and so my question is did you, in this case I guess it was Charise, give her the a right 24 hours ahead of time in writing –

President Kinsella: She did, she’s been duly notified

Wes Barton: OK that was my only question. Is it actually, did you guys go to the attorney on that? I’m, I’m just, that’s curious, curiosity

President Kinsella: I’m sorry?

Wes Barton: It, do you have to do that?

President Kinsella: Yes

Wes Barton: In a committee meeting?

President Kinsella: Yeah, on a personnel issue, yeah.

Wes Barton: OK

VP Richardson: But that wasn’t done in a committee meeting was it?

President Kinsella: Huh?

VP Richardson: That portion wasn’t done in a meeting

President Kinsella: What the notification?

VP Richardson: No, no…

Wes Barton: I don’t know that it has to be…

President Kinsella: You don’t have to notify her in a meeting …

Wes Barton: You just have to do it in writing….

President Kinsella: You just have to do it in writing

Charise Reeves: And I’ve chosen closed

VP Richardson: Yeah, but I noticed on the one on a Dan Tynan it had the section in there where they had the right to choose closed or open and this one didn’t have that

Charise Reeves: That one was because he had chosen open, (clears throat), and it was, I (clear throat) and I had contacted Raymond and said how do I do this because we weren’t sure whether it was open or closed

VP Richardson: I didn’t know it was closed until I received this, I’m just curious when it was decided to be closed

Director Skoien: (inaudible) closed

Charise Reeves: Because as soon as I was notified I told him I would want to have it in closed session

Jose: Can I ask a question. What if we wanted ah our session to be open?

Charise Reeves: You can’t

President Kinsella: Say again?

Jose: What if we wanted our session to be open, me and Justin?

President Kinsella: You don’t have any choice

Jose: We don’t have a choice, OK.

President Kinsella: No, you’re the complainant she’s the victim

Director Afanasiev: Defendant you mean

President Kinsella: Or the defendant, it’s her choice

Jose: OK

President Kinsella: I’d like, I’d like ah one of you to stay the other ah will be called when we need your testimony. Sir?

Unknown: I’m a witness to this

Kinsella: OK, then why don’t you step outside, what’s your name?

Unknown: Tony

President Kinsella: Hum?

Unknown: Tony

President Kinsella: Tony what?

Tony: Jacobs

VP Richardson: I have a question

President Kinsella: Sure

VP Richardson: Now it’s alright for ah the other two directors to sit in?

President Kinsella: No, they’re going to be leaving

VP Richardson: OK then I’d like to make a Statement for the Record

President Kinsella: OK

VP Richardson: The previous Personnel Committee decisions have proven to be ineffective and ignored. The Grievance process has been abused for ulterior employee motives of advancement. There has been selective enforcement of policies and intentional failure to timely investigate written complaints. The intentional disregard of our attorney’s explicit instructions, I believe, is far more egregious than a common supervisor-employee dispute yet this matter has been completely ignored. The new office building will only be re-occupied with the same management dysfunction without intervention that must come from the General Manager – not individual directors. The big loser is the district and the ratepayers. For these reasons I believe the Personnel Committee Meeting should be adjourned and rescheduled – subject matter to be heard by the entire Board.

President Kinsella: ….I disagree with you. You talking about this specific incident?

VP Richardson: This and it ties to the previous one as well.

President Kinsella: Well this has to be treated as a different, a, a, individual case on its own merit.

VP Richardson: But due to the failures of the other one that involved some of the same people, ah, I don’t see this going anywhere. And it should be before all the directors.

President Kinsella: Well, the purpose of the Personnel Committee is to gather information and if it rises to the level of concern it’s then referred to the full board. Am I wrong in that conclusion?

VP Richardson: I don’t know, did you check with counsel about this?

President Kinsella: Did I specifically check with counsel?

VP Richardson: Yeah

President Kinsella: No I did not.

VP Richardson: Dan, did you check with counsel regarding this?

IGM Dan Tynan: Ahaao, I spoke with Raymond I believe a couple of times on this, yes I did, I actually sent him a copy of the complaints and ah, his response I can’t remember off hand, but I did give him a copy of the response uhm I believe he thought they should be in a timely manner – don’t quote me on that – but I’m pretty positive that’s what he said. It’s been a while ago, a month ago since I sent him the information on that.

VP Richardson: Right, right, but any view, did he express any view as far as personnel committee versus the entire board?

IGM Tynan: I believe he said open

VP Richardson: He said open?

IGM Tynan: Yes, I believe

VP Richardson: Open to the full board?

IGM Tynan: I believe but it’s been such a long time I don’t want to put myself – you know, it’s like I said I haven’t talked to him about this in about a month so I’m trying to go back through my memory about a month, but I do believe he did say it should go before the whole board, don’t quote me on that but yeah it’s been about a month since I spoke with him about this, because I waited about four weeks to six weeks and then talked to Raymond.

VP Richardson: I just think because of the nature of some of the charges and the way it’s been handled up to this point all directors should be involved in it.

Director Skoien: Could I say something since it’s still open?

President Kinsella: Sure

Director Skoien: I just don’t want to get us in conflicting things here but I agree with Lew’s statement but you said you talked to Raymond want to make sure we’re doing this right here, I don’t see the difference from Raymond saying Charise had a choice to go closed even though you wanted it open why would he say they should be open and not include that choice for her, that’s all I’m asking, I, I

VP Richardson: I don’t think they are the issue at all it’s the person that is the subject of the complaint

Director Skoien: OK

VP Richardson: has the choice

IGM Tynan: (inaudible)

Director Skoien: OK so, well wait a minute let me finish, that’s the same thing as Dan against Charise, she was the subject and had the choice to be closed

VP Richardson: Ah-hum

President Kinsella: If you remember ah when the accusation was made against Dan he wanted it the session open

Director Skoien: right

President Kinsella: Dan countered and wanted, against Charise, and Charise wanted it closed

Director Skoien: OK that’s what I’m getting

President Kinsella: there’s, there is no difference

Director Skoien: Theirs is against Charise and she wants it closed so how do we legally get it open? That’s all, I don’t want us to do something wrong here.

Director Afanasiev: You don’t, that’s the problem, you don’t. It’s the choice of the defendant to make it open or closed

Director Skoien: Then why did Raymond say to him

Charise Reeves: No he said for the whole board – put it in front of the whole board that’s what he’s getting to, not in open session.

Director Afanasiev: The way I see it

Director Skoien: Oh I see not necessarily open but in front of the whole board,

VP Richardson: Right

Director Skoien: OK, that’s where,

VP Richardson: Right

Director Skoien: OK that’s

Charise Reeves: You know what

VP Richardson: All directors would be included

Charise Reeves: I don’t have a problem

Director Skoien: that’s where I crossed wires – I love that too

Charise Reeves: I don’t have a problem (bangs board table twice) throw this in front of the whole board let’s resolve all of this for once and for all because I have been asking for five months to have it all resolved.

[NOTE: Technically that is not correct. Mrs. Reeves agreed several months ago during a meeting to consult with the mediator to resolve the problem but to my knowledge such mediation process has never occurred.]

Director Skoien: OK I was mixed up I was thinking closed meant, I was thinking the whole board meant open and that’s, I confused it

VP Richardson: Well since nobody’s really sure what Raymond’s thoughts are on this I would think it would behoove us to contact him

IGM Tynan: I’ll contact him today

Charise Reeves: Why don’t you schedule a special ah meeting ah after the regular meeting or at the end of the regular meeting, throw this baby on it let’s get it done

Director Skoien: Well we have one

President Kinsella: I want to get it out here

Director Skoien: We have one before the regular meeting to don’t we?

Charise Reeves: Well that’s a question are we doing a Finance Committee meeting ahum before the regular meeting? Or are we skipping that?

Director Skoien: Ah, Finance Committee Meeting and the rest of the salary plan?

Charise Reeves: No, Finance Committee Meeting meaning going over Treasurer’s Report, that would be Bill and Lew and Wes are we doing that

Director Skoien: OK wait a minute

Charise Reeves: before the Regular Meeting or are we going to postpone that one with everything that’s going on?

Director Skoien: OK wait a minute, wait a minute I’m confused. I got an email asking if I was open for the hour before our regular meeting on the 19th

Charise Reeves: OK, I’m unaware of that

Director Skoien: And, and I said I was, ok

Charise Reeves: OK I’m unaware I’m in the dark on this one

Director Skoien: Ok, so ah, what you want to do then it should be after

IGM Tynan: It should be after

Director Skoien: Yeah

Charise Reeves: So

Director Skoien: if we’re going to

Charise Reeves: So you make it part of your

Director Skoien: we’ll be packing a lunch (laughs)

Charise Reeves: you can just do it as part of your regular meeting

Director Skoien: (Inaudible, laughing)

Charise Reeves: you can just do it at the end, you can do it at the end of the regular meeting just hold closed session at the end of the regular meeting

Director Skoien: If you gu, if the Personnel Committee wants to change it to everybody, I’m, I’m for it

IGM Tynan: Is there still a need to call Raymond, if it’s going to be open – just to make sure that he thinks it should be open?

President Kinsella: Say that again?

Director Skoien: It’s not going to be open, see that’s where you confused me with that word – full board

IGM Tynan: Full board

VP Richardson: Full board

Director Skoien: Full board not necessarily open, that’s where you cross wired my (inaudible – laughing)

IGM Tynan: Sorry, I’ll call today and

Director Afanasiev: Are you going to call, ah, when you will be calling him

Charise Reeves: That would be (inaudible)

Director Afanasiev: when he gives you the information

IGM Tynan: I’ll get, email it to you

Director Afanasiev: ah no no no, let me finish please,

IGM Tynan: sorry

Director Afanasiev: ask him to give the case law, citations and (inaudible) just because he says so, I was trained in legal, you back up something with case law and citations and

IGM Tynan: Case law?

Director Afanasiev: case law and citations

Director Skoien: Let’s just get in there and knock it around

Director Skoien: Because Raymond has been wrong more than once

Director Skoien: Well everybody’s wrong at least once

Director Afanasiev: Yeah, but this way he can back up, this is what the court says, this is what it says

Director Skoien: You know what? In my opinion the way this district is going there probably isn’t case law anywhere in the country to cover it – (laughs)

Director Afanasiev: Wouldn’t be surprised

Director Skoien: Would you be surprised?

(Laughter)

Charise Reeves: Are we doing, OK, so that will be part of the regular meeting are we doing Finance Committee Meeting before or no?

Director Skoien: Before the regular?

Charise Reeves: Yeah, I’m talking to, to these two

VP Richardson: Sure why not? That will work.

Director Skoien: What about that other thing that’s supposed to be before?

Charise Reeves: No it’s not going to be before it will be part of the regular meeting at the end.

Director Skoien: Oh the Finance Meeting?

Multiple voices

Charise Reeves: No the Finance Committee will be an hour before hand, what was originally apparently a Special Meeting will be at the very end of the regular meeting we will have a regular meeting we’ll have closed session at the end.

Director Skoien: So the meeting that I ah, that I was asked if I was available for by our General Manager you’re not going to do?

Charise Reeves: I wasn’t aware of that meeting so

IGM Tynan: It’ll be at the end of the meeting at the end of the regular meeting

Director Skoien: Your’s will? That thing will?

IGM Tynan: Yes, yes

Director Skoien: Oh cause this said, it said 12 o’clock

IGM Tynan: Well (inaudible) discuss this so

Director Skoien: Oh, OK

IGM Tynan: it sounds better to have that at the end because we’ll probably take longer than that

President Kinsella: Alright just to clarify the damn thing. Nobody has contacted me for a special meeting. It’s a closed issue, the regular board meeting will be at 1 o’clock.

Charise Reeves: OK, Finance Committee at 12?

President Kinsella: Yes

Charise Reeves: Closed Session with Personnel Issue I’m assuming, is it all inclusive?

VP Richardson: Yeah, I’d like to go back to the original

Director Skoien: Did you get a majority answer on that?

IGM Tynan: I believe it’s going to be after the regular meeting because when the personnel grievance will be discussed

Charise Reeves: OK so we’ll just put it generically and I’ll ask Raymond whether I need to clarify anything, multiple items how to deal with this

VP Richardson: But did you put in something for a special meeting as well?

President Kinsella: You got the email

IGM Tynan: Yes I sent it to you I believe (inaudible)

VP Richardson: Did the president get a copy of it or?

IGM Tynan: Yeah I sent the email out to everybody

VP Richardson: Ah OK

President Kinsella: And since it

Director Skoien: I answered it

President Kinsella: since it was specific that the, a majority of the board or at least three board members called the meeting I’ve never been told about it that there were members that called the ah special meeting and unless I’m told, I’m not going to go for it, I don’t care.

Director Skoien: No listen, wait a minute, if you got the email

VP Richardson: Yeah

Director Skoien: If everybody gets an email, and Dan asked asks if you’re available at a certain time blah, blah, blah, blah I said yes I am, I’m only one, but if he got three people

Director Afanasiev: Who’s the three people?

Director Skoien: Well I don’t know, I’m just

President Kinsella: You need a majority of the board,

Director Skoien: That’s three people

Director Afanasiev: right

Director Skoien: right.

President Kinsella: Yeah

Director Skoien: OK

Director Afanasiev: I never responded

Director Skoien: I’m not saying you did, I’m saying if he got three people that said they were available for that meeting

President Kinsella: Then a meeting will be called

Director Skoien: it doesn’t matter how you feel about it, that’s all I’m saying

President Kinsella: You’re right, it does, it doesn’t really make any difference how I feel about it.

Director Skoien: Right if he got

President Kinsella: But since the accusation was made against me, you must tell me.

Director Skoien: I have not heard what the meetings about I was just asked if I could be there and I said yes

Charise Reeves: OK, you just brought something up that I’m unaware of, because I’m understanding the closed session is about personnel. Is there something else that needs to be in this closed session or…. I didn’t get the email.

President Kinsella: Well Dan, Dan accused me of 17 items and he wants a special meeting before the regular board meeting. Nobody told me that they ah were in favor of that and unless I’m told, I’m not going to call it.

Director Skoien: We don’t have to tell you

President Kinsella: But I have to be, I have to be notified just like everybody else

Director Skoien: Well that may be but a general manager

Charise Reeves: Cannot – no he cannot

President Kinsella: No he cannot

Director Skoien: can call a special meeting with a majority of the board

Charise Reeves: three members of the board

Director Skoien: Yes

Charise Reeves: have to request it

Director Skoien: majority of the board

Director Afanasiev: I for one did not respond to that, I read the email and I did not respond to it because I figured we would be discussing it later

President Kinsella: OK, I read it I did not respond

Director Afanasiev: So that’s still out of, there’s three others

President Kinsella: The other three responded

Director Afanasiev: I don’t know

President Kinsella: Well I know one that didn’t and said he was not going to respond. So there’s your three. It’s three to two. He didn’t respond the answer is no.

Charise Reeves: OK, so in our closed session it is just

Director Skoien: So you don’t want to have a meeting if your general manager would want that?

President Kinsella: He can’t call them

Director Afanasiev: He cannot call them

Director Skoien: With a majority of the board

Director Afanasiev: Right, but the thing is, I never responded therefore

VP Richardson: Why did you not respond?

Director Afanasiev: Why?

Director Skoien: Yes or no, I mean you got to answer the question

Director Afanasiev: Because I wanted to clarify more information before I would respond.

VP Richardson: OK

Director Skoien: And how were you going to do that? Talk about a closed session subject in an open board meeting?

VP Richardson: can’t do that because it’s not agendized

Director Afanasiev: (inaudible) the reason I say, I was doing other things, OK? I just read the email and I was, figured, OK I would find out more information today maybe

President Kinsella: Well why don’t we move on to the current issue, if he wants, if he wants a meeting ah before, have him ask everybody again and respond, otherwise I’m, it’s not going to happen.

Director Afanasiev: Are we talking about the 19th?

Director Skoien: Monday the 19th is our regular meeting.

President Kinsella: I don’t know what (inaudible)

VP Richardson: Is that going to be packing too much into one day?

President Kinsella: Boy you got that right.

Charise Reeves: I have, I have no idea

Director Skoien: don’t even know if we’re going to be able to have it

Charise Reeves: I don’t know what’s on that meeting, I, we already discussed the agenda yet

IGM Tynan: I’d just like to see a grievance that was done 1-10-2012 just be addressed by the whole board to where, you know, three months,(inaudible) two months that’s too long yeah,

Charise Reeves: Yeah and so is October

IGM Tynan: well this hasn’t (inaudible)

President Kinsella: Personnel Committee met, referred it to the whole board, the whole board decided that a mediator was appropriate.

VP Richardson: And that didn’t work.

President Kinsella: And that didn’t work and I’ll tell you something else the mediator is not going to give us a report.

Director Skoien: A report of what?

President Kinsella: On what, how they

(Multiple voices)

Director Skoien: They didn’t have a mediation

VP Richardson: So then I think, the whole thing, all these disciplinary actions need to be rolled into one and come before the full board.

Director Skoien: That might be nice to just have them all on a, you know,

Director Afanasiev: But not the (inaudible)

Director Skoien: the whole can of beans, lets open them and eat it all.

VP Richardson: I thought that’s what we were talking about, after the next regular meeting

Director Skoien: OK, OK, ah then (inaudible multiple voices) too because I, alright, after the regular meeting

Director Afanasiev: On the 19th?

Director Skoien: Yeah, slash 20th maybe (laughs) as much as is on the ticket, yeah.

VP Richardson: OK

Director Skoien: I got no problem with that, do you Bill?

President Kinsella: I don’t have a problem with any of this. I think it’s stupid but that’s my opinion whether you like it or not.

Director Skoien: No I agree with you, a lot of it is stupid

VP Richardson: A lot of it was needless

Director Skoien: And un-factual

President Kinsella: To get back to this issue, I was given the complaints, or the com, what ah apparently turned out to be a complaint, and read it and then I asked Dan if it was a formal complaint and a week later I got an answer. He was gone for a while. She was gone for a while, we had the fire and here we are.

IGM Tynan: Well that wasn’t

President Kinsella: I want to, I want to get this, I want to get this thing out of the way I don’t care who likes it or who doesn’t like it I want it out of the way get it off the table it’s got to be closed.

IGM Tynan: I agree with you 100%

VP Richardson: Let’s just wrap them all together put it in a special meeting

Director Skoien: This one too?

VP Richardson: Yeah

Director Skoien: That was going to be today?

VP Richardson: Yeah

Director Afanasiev: Fine

Director Skoien: Next Monday

Charise Reeves: So is it a special meeting or is it at the end of the regular meeting, you going to close the regular meeting, open a special meeting, what are we doing?

Director Skoien: Go to closed session after (inaudible)

President Kinsella: I don’t know, they, they’re telling us what to

Multiple voices

VP Richardson: And address all this stuff and try to get rid of it all at once

Charise Reeves: just do it at the end of the regular meeting do it as part of one meeting unless we just

Director Afanasiev: But would, would we have the time for both for that, or would we

Multiple voices/cross talk

Charise Reeves: Well if we minimize what’s on our regular meeting because, I mean,

Director Skoien: Why don’t you drop the Financial for the regular this stuff is important, and do, so we can get to it after, will that save some time?

Charise Reeves: Well that saves the two of them from an hour

Director Skoien: You were asking about, ah, it’s up to the committee, what do you think? Can you live with that or? Dropping the financial

VP Richardson: Yeah, sure because it’s not set in stone

Charise Reeves: No

Director Skoien: And then that gives us a little more time because basically we’re going to have three issues here

VP Richardson: Sure

Charise Reeves: OK, so 1 o’clock regular meeting, Dan can minimize what’s on the regular meeting agenda and it could literally be as short as manager’s report, treasurer’s report, I don’t know if we’re going to have consent calendar

Director Skoien: And I have no problem, I don’t know how anybody else feels, if you want to make the regular start time for the regular meeting earlier

Charise Reeves: No, we have to do it at one, we have to do it at one it’s in our policies

Director Skoien: Oh, OK, alright

Charise Reeves: And I don’t know what other items you have for the regular meeting we got, we’ve got to sit down and come up with the agenda

President Kinsella: This is why nothing gets done eh? – I’ll entertain a motion to adjourn.

Director Afanasiev: So, before we adjourn, so, we’re going to have a regular meeting

Cross talk

Charise Reeves: Regular meeting

Director Afanasiev: then we’re going to have

Director Skoien: a closed

Director Afanasiev: a closed session

Director Skoien: Is that correct?

Charise Reeves: Yes

Director Skoien: Yes

Director Afanasiev: Fine

Charise Reeves: And I’ll find out from (inaudible)

Director Skoien: I second the motion by the way

President Kinsella: Well there, it didn’t get a first

Charise Reeves: So, Mark, you making the first to adjourn?

Director Skoien: Yes

Director Afanasiev: I’ll second

President Kinsella: The meeting’s over.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

ACCEPTABLE TO YOU?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

JANUARY 28, 2012

JANUARY 28, 2012

FEBRUARY 27, 2012

MARCH 15, 2012

**********

You know I get hammered all the time by some who accuse me of complaining about things that should just be left alone. Perhaps I am a member of a diminishing group who believes some things are simply right or wrong. I have waited for months to see if anyone else felt as I but to my disappointment either of two things have occurred:

1) Such display of our Nation’s Flag is acceptable to others who must surely see this when going to the transfer station (dump) [not to mention the fire and law enforcement personnel who routinely use the facility to store equipment and conduct business]; or

2) Although reported it has gone uncorrected by the appropriate county/state officials.

An old blog posting might also fit here: “IMAGE IS EVERYTHING”.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

February 21, 2012 Meeting – Final

Reading Time: 18 minutes

Discussion continued as to how water could pass through the meter with the valve supposedly shut off and how the water well automatically kicks in if and when there was water demand. Retired CSD employee Dan Siria stated it was shortly after Mr. Porter’s well was installed that Wes Snyder (a former district and later Deerwood employee) wanted to borrow a valve wrench because the Porter property was going to use only the water well. Ron Young (a Deerwood Corporation employee) countered with, “Why would, why would Wes borrow a valve wrench when we have probably 15 or 20 of them”. President Kinsella advised that was an argumentative point and both sides had already stated their positions. Director Mark Skoien questioned how the water supply was switched from the ground well to the CSD. Ron Young advised all he had to do was shut off their RP valve. IGM Tynan advised the fix was simply turning on the valve yet Mr. Porter stated there was no way of knowing how long it had been shut off. Ron Young stated there was no reason for Deerwood employees to shut off any valves belonging to the district and any issues involving such matters were taken to district employees who would shut off the valves. VP Lew Richardson commented, “I’m looking at consumption, I don’t see how a valve could be shut and water could flow through a meter”.

Director Victor Afanasiev asked Mr. Porter if he was not receiving water why did he pay the bills? Mr. Porter stated they had probably a thousand bills a month at one time or another and to be honest with you I just sign the checks. Director Afanasiev asked if he had an accounting department? Mr. Porter responded that they would not know if a valve was on or off. Financial Administrator Charise Reeves stated when a customer has a meter it doesn’t matter whether they use water or not they still pay the monthly service fee. Director Skoien asked if Mr. Porter was arguing the meter was shut off and the consumption numbers were read wrong and were not correct. Mr. Porter stated that is what he believed. Director Skoien commented he did not know how we could prove that one way or the other. When President Kinsella asked if Mr. Porter had anything else to say, Porter responded “give me as much as you can” (money).

Director Emery Ross asked how IGM Tynan was going to handle the $11,000 request to which President Kinsella responded it was not up to him, but the board. Director Ross wanted a staff recommendation.

(Multiple voices)

Director Skoien asked if Tynan believed the readings were correct to which he (Tynan) responded he thought they were. President Kinsella stated the CSD was in the business of selling water and would not turn off a meter unless there was a problem. President Kinsella asked what the board wanted to do to which Director Skoien responded “I don’t, no way for the board, for me any way, to figure it out, I mean we need a staff recommendation”. Director Emery Ross said “I’d like Dan to research this and see if we owe (inaudible) come back with a recommendation to the board which we can approve”. President Kinsella stated we had already done such with the billing officer’s report and didn’t think it would be productive to kick it back to Dan Tynan and have the billing officer do the same thing. Kinsella suggested taking action now.

Charise Reeves commented that Dan Tynan was hired June 30th, 2010, and since the Porter group was claiming the valve was shut off when Dan was there, the valve could only have been off from that time forward (and therefore not back in 2007 as originally claimed) and there was no fraudulent readings since there was no consumption reported.

VP Richardson made the motion to deny the request based on the consumption usage of our records on 13 different occasions where water passed through the meter and was billed. President Kinsella seconded the motion. Director Ross argued that someone should not pay for a meter that wasn’t producing water.

Mr. Porter stated: “I don’t know if a district like this could horse trade, but I’d be willing to horse trade, ah, I’ve been paying availability charge on that 6 acres right along, ah, I would trade the ah, lateral for ah not having any payment of this money.”

Multiple voices

VP Richardson: “I think the critical issue here, for the board to consider, is that it does show water consumption through the meter, now regardless if there were times there was no consumption, like I said, 12 months prior to the candidate’s night on October 18th, 2008 there was absolutely no consumption, on that night who knows what happened but there was 57 units used for that month, so, I don’t know.”

BOARD VOTE: Aye, Kinsella, Afanasiev, Richardson and Skoien; nay Director Ross.

Charise Reeves: “Can I ask, and I know this is not agendized but it has been brought up multiple times, where exactly are we standing on his two laterals, are, is that going to be an agenda item, is it going to be verification (inaudible)?”

President Kinsella: “As far as I’m concerned Dan resolved that”

Charise Reeves: “Because I’ve I’ve got one thing in a set of minutes but I’m hearing something different here”

Director Skoien: “I think it’s operations”

Charise Reeves: “I think we need to clarify it so that we can put this one to bed”

IGM Tynan: “Ok, well Emery wanted me to make a recommendation, I’m just thinking, if the guys, if Mr. Porter has been paying availability…”

President Kinsella: “The property, Mr. Porter has been paying availability on those properties

IGM Tynan: “inside place of use”

President Kinsella: “He needs laterals”

Unknown: “one”

Director Skoien: “They found one”

Charise Reeves: “They found one”

Director Richardson: “Oh really?”

Charise Reeves: “They don’t have the other”

President Kinsella: “Put it in”

IGM Tynan: “OK”

Charise Reeves: “Can we have consensus by the board, everybody agree?”

Director Ross: (cheering)

Director Skoien: “I said that a month or two ago”

Charise Reeves: “OK, Mr. Porter you get your laterals sir”

Mr. Porter: “I get my lateral we can forget about this part ok.”

Charise Reeves: “OK”

Director Skoien: “Yeah, you get the lateral….”

Charise Reeves: “Thank you for clarifying cuz we’re going all around here, we can put that one to bed”

Mr. Porter: “I’d like to ah withdraw my comment about the attorney ah, I will not go to my attorney with anything, I think we worked out a good deal here, I’m getting the lateral, ah you’re, being paid up through today and you’ll continue to be paid.”

Charise Reeves: “OK”

VP Richardson: “Well, you know, it’s not a consensus”

Charise Reeves: “hum?”

VP Richardson: “It’s not a consensus,

Charise Reeves: “OK”

VP Richardson: “because, as I told you Mr. Porter, other people have been paying availability fees since the early 80s

Charise Reeves: “So except for you”

VP Richardson: “…all I wanted to know was if that property, prior to your purchase, was also paying availability but the board wants to go ahead and give you a lateral that’s fine, but I’m against it until we find that out”

Charise Reeves: “One other thing question since it also relates to Mr. Porter, on the last meeting we were supposed to have an Ops meeting for his other three properties, do you want to schedule the Ops meeting or what’s….?”

President Kinsella: “No? Dan said, doesn’t….”

Charise Reeves: “OK, I’ll let, so that one is in your hands, “

President Kinsella: “That’s agreeable with you, is that right?”

Mr. Porter: “I’m agreeable to skip the other meeting, leave those three pieces out, we don’t have that discussion any further,

Charise Reeves: “OK”

Mr. Porter: “but again, I’m asking for the lateral in lieu of trying to get money this way,

Charise Reeves: “OK, so the other three properties are just postponed until you (inaudible) get back”

President Kinsella: “Then it’s my understanding that you want to withdraw your comment about an attorney?”

Mr. Porter: “yes”

Director Skoien: “Don’t say the “A” word”

President Kinsella: “what?”

Director Skoien: “Don’t say the “A” word” (laughing)

President Kinsella: “Hey, the man made a statement I just want to confirm it that’s all”

Charise Reeves: “I’m just trying to tie up the loose ends”

Multiple voices

Mr. Porter: “I would miss you too”

President Kinsella: “Say again?”

Mr. Porter: “I would miss you too, I’ll take that back too”

President Kinsella: “I’m not your enemy, I never was. We disagree, but that’s ok”

Mr. Porter: “I would like to see a vote so that Dan knows what to do.:

President Kinsella: “Do what?”

Multiple voices

Mr. Porter: “Is there a vote of four people who says they’ll put in the lateral and we’ll forget about this money here”

Charise Reeves: “Yes, they already voted to deny the request for the money, OK, so, you don’t get the money

Multiple voices, cross talk

Mr. Porter: “I don’t get the money but how about the lateral?”

President Kinsella: “You got the lateral”

Charise Reeves: “Consensus four to one for the lateral, you get your lateral, he has full go ahead to put in the lateral.

Mr. Porter: “You know, you guys are easy” (laughter)

Presentation by Mountain Alarm regarding a proposed security system for the CSD office, board room and treatment plant. Director Ross questioned what it would do to the budget to which Charise Reeves advised it had not been included but IGM Tynan countered that there had been two burglaries. Director Ross questioned how such a system would affect the budget – not included. Director Skoien confirmed the cost as $1,800 to install then $102/month for monitoring. Ross questioned what the loss was….to which Reeves advised only records that they knew of. Tynan stated it was not so much about theft of materials as protection of the water system. The alarm company representative advised it could take as little as 60 minutes to do an unbelievable amount of damage to our company. Director Afanasiev questioned the process of contacting appropriate authorities in the case an alarm was triggered. Tynan advised security was a must and should have been done years ago. During discussion of the cost, VP Richardson mentioned that the recent recovery of $40,000 for the waste water plant would provide about 32 years of alarm service. Director Afanasiev stated it was necessary especially in light of the numerous break-ins lately. President Kinsella mentioned the daily Sheriff’s log of activity but Afanasiev advised not every incident is reported to the public and relayed a recent situation where an owner thwarted an in progress burglary of their home.

President Kinsella made the motion to accept the two year lease proposal by Mountain Alarm for the three buildings based upon recent difficulties our CSD had experienced along with the probability we’d get hit again. Director Ross amended the motion to have Tynan investigate how to cover the cost of the system in other areas, Tynan referenced the waste water money recovery.

VOTE: aye, unanimous.

[NOTE: I raised this security issue on October 2, 2011 in an agenda request which read:

“Discussion/action. Request information regarding the possibility of missing records; initial and subsequent law enforcement reports about past break in, and funding a security program regarding plant facilities and official records. Propose a budget item such as “Facility Security” to include and fund alarm equipment, installation, and 24/7 monitoring. System might also include a “panic button” for main office. Discuss off site storage of historical records vs fire/theft protected storage on site. Protection of our facility and historical records are a priority.”

Although the board finally approved a system on February 21, 2012, the administrative office was burned out five-six days later. Thus far I still have not received any official reports regarding the burglaries or missing records subsequently discovered after a Grand Jury request for the same.]

BOARD MEETING RECESS

1614hrs, reconvene.

IGM Dan Tynan gave an update as to the new AMR system software and training. Approximately 800 new meters have already been installed and seven or eight illegal connections have been discovered. Board approval for the Springbook software module and training to continue the drive-by meter reading system project.

VOTE: unanimous.

FLEETMATICS (vehicle monitoring system), received $1,000 reduction from insurance company and will re-submit for next year however, there is no guarantee those funds will be available.

Mariposa County Board of Supervisors approved payment of the over $40,000 bill to public works for the waste water facility.

THROCKWISP CONTRACT

Financial Administrator Charise Reeves briefed the board on the past history of the Throckwisp contrac. The company has apparently changed its name after the original contract had been signed. Directos Skoien asked why the item was on the agenda.

VP Richardson: “I want to make a point first, I’m sorry Charise, it’s going to be for the record, I’ll get you a copy of it when I do the tape “

Charise Reeves: “OK”

VP Richardson: “First of all, this is not what I asked for in my agenda request, I asked for the signed contract

Charise Reeves: “I got this request on Thursday, the change, because it was not on my agenda as of Tuesday, I was told it was added on Thursday. I was trying to get Minutes done, I looked initially for it I could not find it, we’ve got it, I just got to find it”

Director Skoien: “You mean the first signed contract?”

Multiple voices

Charise Reeves: “The first signed contract, I’ve got it”

Director Skoien: “That deals with the $300 a month and the free service?”

Charise Reeves: “Yeah, but he wanted it signed – the one in here is not signed “

VP Richardson: “Yeah but you stated in here that it is the original contract and it is not”

Charise Reeves: “It is, it’s just not the signed contract”

VP Richardson: “No it is not, I have a copy of the signed contract and it is different”

Charise Reeves: “Really?”

VP Richardson: “Yes really”

Charise Reeves: “Because that’s what’s in in the electronic ”

VP Richardson: “And you also stated in here that this is the revised contract, it is not the revised contract”

Charise Reeves: “It’s what’s on our electronics section”

VP Richardson: “Well your records, or whoever did them, are wrong.

Charise Reeves: “Like I said I was doing last minute (multiple voices, cross talk)

VP Richardson: “I spent the better part of a whole day going through these three contracts and not one of them matches with the other.”

Charise Reeves: “OK, I will have to do more research, but this is why I said I needed more than a day to do that”

VP Richardson: “Well I understand that you needed more time but the attorney

Charise Reeves: “…and I explained that to you and to Bill and to Dan….”

VP Richardson: “will you let me finish?”

IGM Tynan: “ I sent you an email”

President Kinsella: “Hang on a sec”

VP Richardson: “The corrections that the attorney suggested were pretty major, they were, insert titles and headings none of that is reflected in the revised”

Charise Reeves: “No, no we haven’t done anything”

VP Richardson: “Alright, never mind – go ahead Charise you do it”

Charise Reeves: “Nothing ever happened after this email from the attorney”

VP Richardson: “Then you should not represent it as the revised contract “

Charise Reeves: “no that “

VP Richardson: “and the other one as the original”

Charise Reeves: “that was the revised prior to (bangs table) getting any attorney information”

VP Richardson: “That is not correct because some of the information the attorney put in there was updated on the contract, it’s a work in progress”

Director Skoien: “Well it says, are you talking about attorney comments on the revised contract?

Charise Reeves: “There are two different times when the attorney got involved, one where we added in his comments, this was after the very last meeting and the revised contract that was at the meeting (bangs table) was sent to him, I had a follow up with him a couple of months later and said hey have you ever looked at this and these were the last comments I got back to him I have not touched the Throckwisp contract since this came back to me”

VP Richardson: “OK let me, let me just try again, hang on here, number one the contract in the board packet represented as the original is different than the contract signed by board president Sally Punte, Secretary Connie Holley and Throckwisp Vice President Marv Dealy on May 22nd 2008”

Director Skoien: “OK what page numbers …

Multiple voices, cross talk

VP Richardson: “Would you please let me finish?”

Director Skoien: “I want to know the page numbers of the contract I’m just trying to keep up”

Charise Reeves: “It’s not in there”

Director Skoien: “Oh”

VP Richardson: “You didn’t put the contracts in there?”

Charise Reeves: “What you’re reading is not in there”

VP Richardson: “Ah, no, no, because that’s the copy I have

Director Skoien: “Ok, ok”

VP Richardson: “number two, the contract represented as the revised Throckwisp contract contains only some of the changes suggested by our attorney and is clearly a work in progress and not ready for signing, in addition to a number of minor corrections made by our attorney the following major changes were not made, and I’ve got a whole list I’m not going to read through them, three changes in the revised Throckwisp contract do not reflect the attorney’s email they include paragraph 3, paragraph 5 on rent, paragraph 10, etc., now the, the thing about this that really bothers me is, is was Raymond aware that we changed the rent agreement so that six employees would get internet service?”

Charise Reeves: “Well he received the contract, if you look at it (multiple voices, cross talk)

VP Richardson: “It says a maximum of six employees….”

Director Skoien: “ maximum, doesn’t mean that “

VP Richardson: “right doesn’t mean that we have to and I understand the SCADA system is involved so I can understand that, when employees leave is that service disconnected?”

Charise Reeves: “Yes, I, I give them, well the ones that left on their own accord they were given the option did they want to purchase it from the district or did they want me to just have Throckwisp take it back. The one that just occurred will just be uninstalled” [Recent termination of an employee.]

VP Richardson: “right”

Charise Reeves: “we currently have one credit for equipment installation, we’ll at least we did with the old company when we took off Jeff Mann’s”

VP Richardson: “right, you know, all I’m saying is when an agenda request comes in for specific information don’t try to pass this off as what was asked. Now I understand you were, you were hard pressed for time but calling this the original and the revised is incorrect“

Charise Reeves: “I

VP Richardson: “now I don’t know why you can’t find the signed contract that should be in a folder called contracts “

Charise Reeves: “It should be but if you look at that file folder one, it is crammed full of stuff so sometimes you just can’t find it because there’s stuff in between”

VP Richardson: “Well “

Charise Reeves: “It’s in my office somewhere because I remember seeing it”

VP Richardson: “I know but Charise, I requested this January 23rd

[NOTE: IT WAS AN AGENDA ITEM REQUEST: THROCKWISP CONTRACT]

Charise Reeves: “I was not told to put it on this agenda until last Thursday”

IGM Tynan: “No but I did send an email about a month ago”

Charise Reeves: “about giving him electronically and I said, is it, does he want electronic or physical, and I sent it back OK, but it wasn’t on this agenda until Thursday and I explained I needed extra time to do this research because my plate has been full”

VP Richardson: “I understand, I understand”

Charise Reeves: “because I didn’t want to put it in here because I knew, I was trying, I didn’t want to be here at eight o’clock or midnight on that Friday”

VP Richardson: “right”

Charise Reeves: “as it was I got out of here at five-thirty, I asked for more time, I asked three of you not to put it on this agenda because I wanted the time to find the right stuff”

VP Richardson: “well, just finding the written, the signed contract would have been perfect.”

Charise Reeves: “So I went with what was electronically in the system under contracts as the original.”

VP Richardson: “But that’s not the signed contract, that’s all I’m saying.”

Director Skoien: “Alright, time out. I want to be able to follow what you’re talking about here Lew, I mean regardless of what we’re doing. The first lease one through fourteen pages, that’s like 72 to 84, then you have another one that is page 86 to ninety something? OK, so, “

Charise Reeves: “Those are what”

Director Skoien: “These are both revised?”

Charise Reeves: “No, the first one is what is in our computer system listed as original contract but it is not a signed version“

Director Skoien: “2008?”

Charise Reeves: “2008. The one, the second one is what”

Director Skoien: “2010?”

Charise Reeves: “was in there as revised, OK?”

VP Richardson: “And it is not revised”

Charise Reeves: “And it was revised from the original one, with initial modifications done based upon board meetings but it was not the final revision because we never took Raymond’s final ah suggestions – never came back to the board.”

VP Richardson: “OK, when did you get ah Raymond’s final suggestions?”

Director Skoien: “Point of order let me finish my question Lew because I think I’m starting to follow you here”

(Keys jingling)

Charise Reeves: “I’ll find out – I’ll be right back, I’m going to get the email……”

Director Skoien: “Could you wait a minute please, please, calm down, you guys are getting, now, all I want to know is attorney comments on revised contract, these suggestions, where it says paragraph 5, paragraph 6 all that stuff, is that for the first contract”

Charise Reeves: “The second”

VP Richardson: “The second one”

Director Skoien: “or the second one?”

Charise Reeves: “where this left with the board was”

Director Skoien: “OK let me, let me finish my other, OK, and without those in there Lew are you saying both of these are word for word?”

VP Richardson: “No they are not”

Director Skoien: “Oh I though you said they were basically not changed?”

VP Richardson: “no, no, no, I’m saying…..”

Multiple voices/cross talk

Director Skoien: “but some of the major 2010 contract “

VP Richardson: “Yes, I’m saying some of the major additions that Raymond requested are not reflected in what has been presented as the revised contract”

Director Skoien: “So it’s different than the first one and somewhat revised but not final?”

VP Richardson: “Yes, and the first one that was called the original is also different from the signed one”

Director Skoien: “OK, but I, I understand what you are saying but I read this, “I suggest adding a recital or two that there was a previous agreement between the parties”

VP Richardson: “Right, that’s not in there”

Director Skoien: “OK, no, I think what he’s saying is that these should be added I wouldn’t take it as being in there by reading this, that’s just me personally”

VP Richardson: “Then you wouldn’t call it revised.”

Director Skoien: “But is was revised at one time over 2008 right?

Charise Reeves: “yes – yes”

Director Skoien: “I’m just trying to get it clear”

VP Richardson: “Not by this” (Attorney’s detailed suggestions in 2010).

Director Skoien: “If it’s, if it’s different than in 2008 it’s it’s revis revised maybe it’s red one, OK?”

VP Richardson: “You’ll have to read through it, but what you’ll have to have is what I was able to get, I couldn’t get it from the office I got it from a former director, is the signed contract then it will all be clear to you and that’s what I requested to begin with.”

Director Skoien: “well that maybe true but what I’m saying is this is for 2010 and you even say that it is not word for word it is different than the 2008”

VP Richardson: “Correct”

Director Skoien: “Well I call that revised, now he’s saying add this to it and it would be more revised, that’s all I’m saying.”

VP Richardson: “Charise, when did you receive Raymond’s email?”

Charise Reeves: “I’ll go get the email and I’ll tell you exactly because”

Director Skoien: “I’m just trying to say it was changed somewhat and now he wants these in there right?”

VP Richardson: “I don’t know if that’s the way you look at it because some of the changes in here I do believe were made but they were very minor …”

Director Skoien: “Right”

VP Richardson: “..the big ones, the titles, the headings, the..”

Director Skoien: “But if there was some changes made wouldn’t you call it a revision, that’s all I’m saying”

VP Richardson: “Not revised – revised. If you read this report it makes it sound like we were all ready to do stuff but ah, let’s see “both parties were supposed to take the contract to their attorneys and discuss any revisions”, OK, “staff received Raymond’s response which is included below”, OK, “we never heard back from anyone from Throckwisp”, but it doesn’t say we completed the revisions.”

Director Skoien: “No, I’m thinking “

VP Richardson: “Right here it says “attached is the original and the revised Throckwisp contracts”, both those statements are incorrect. “

President Kinsella: “But you have the original”

VP Richardson: “I have the original and I couldn’t get it from the office”

Director Skoien: “I’m not arguing that point”

VP Richardson: “And I’ve been asking for it since January 23rd.”

Director Skoien: “Calm down, calm down”

VP Richardson: “I’m fine.”

Director Skoien: “I’m not arguing that point, all I’m, maybe mine is a semantics thing but the fact that it’s different than 2008 I call it a revised contract, maybe it’s not the latest or up-to-date or the right one, but I call that revised. When he makes this list and he wants these changes made to this 2010 contract that’ll be another revision, that’ll be another revised contract.”

VP Richardson: “That’s why I called it a work in progress.”

Director Skoien: “Well it’s, exactly, with these not added yet it’s a work in progress.”

VP Richardson: “Right because it’s not ready for signing. That’s the whole point”

Director Skoien: “OK, I’m just trying to give you, lined up here. Because I thought you said at one point that there wasn’t a word different between the two contracts.”

VP Richardson: “I said the three contracts – none of them are the same”

Director Skoien: “Oh, none of them are the same.”

VP Richardson: “The one that is represented as the original is not the one that was signed by Sally Punte, and ah, Connie Holley and Marv Dealy from Throckwisp.”

Director Afanasiev: “So that would be the only one”

Director Skoien: “I understand better now.”

VP Richardson: “And one of the biggest changes was the package for the office being turned into six employees getting free internet service.”

President Kinsella: “Yeah, I didn’t know that”

Director Afanasiev: “On what grounds?”

VP Richardson: “Ah, because they use the SCADA system and needed to get on the internet

Multiple voices

Unknown: A little bribery there

Director Ross: (inaudible)

Director Skoien: “But it was a good deal for us (inaudible) pay for that”

[NOTE: Charise Reeves returns to board room after approximately 2-1/2 minutes]

Charise Reeves: “Raymond sent this to me October 22, of ’10, here is a copy of the original but it’s marked up and I didn’t include this one for you guys. But this one had everybody’s signatures, but as I was running last minute trying to get this for the packet I did not verify that this was exactly what was electronically done that said original Throckwisp contract”

VP Richardson: “That’s the same as this one right?”

Charise Reeves: “OK? Copy of it yeah. So, this is the exact original but because we were in meetings we marked it up – this is a copy, I’ve got it in there somewhere, OK? But like I said I was in the middle of doing Minutes on Thursday, I spent a little bit of time and this is why I didn’t want it on here because I needed time to do the research properly.”

VP Richardson: “But I made the request January 23rd.”

Charise Reeves: “But that’s not my fault, I am not in charge of what’s on the agendas. I responded on Thursday when I was told it’s going to be on there.”

IGM Tynan: “Well I sent you an email (inaudible, cross talk)

VP Richardson: “but you were told prior to that”

Charise Reeves: “but you didn’t put it on the agenda”

VP Richardson: “you were told prior to that”

Director Skoien: “This sounds vaguely familiar when people complained about certain directors causing excessive staff time for undo requests. If she didn’t have enough time it means she was busy. ”

VP Richardson: “I don’t know how much further back I could go than January.”

Director Skoien: “Well it’s only February.”

VP Richardson: “That’s right”

Discussion continued with the final understanding being that the Financial Administrator would incorporate the 14 month old attorney suggestions into the apparently forgotten proposed replacement contract. Contact would be made with Throckwisp to schedule a future meeting and the item will be placed on next month’s agenda.

Proposed March 1st, 2012 SPECIAL MEETING for Job Descriptions, Salary Plan and another Personnel matter.

Directors Comments:

Director Skoien: “Well I would like to say one quick comment but I don’t want to get Lew mad at me.”

VP Richardson: “OK, I probably will then I’ll have to comment.”

Director Skoien: “No, no, I doubt if you will, ah just the fact that what went on there with all these requests and it didn’t quite go the way you wanted I think, I think you were a little overboard with Charise there, I mean stuff is happening and that’s all I wanted to say.”

VP Richardson: “OK, but what you should understand is some of these requests go way, way, months, and months and months ago, and I understand that they are difficult to fill because you’ve got a lot of other things to do and I understand that, but still, how can we make legitimate worthwhile decisions if we don’t have accurate information of how we got here?”

Director Skoien: “Well I know but it wasn’t just the contract, the Throckwisp”

VP Richardson: “But it’s just the contract that is wide open”

Director Skoien: “I know, they seem to be, they seem to, these contracts seem to be, you know, you’re almost like the contract Nazi now, and I understand that but they’re not, they haven’t stopped paying us yet and we’ll get it, we’ll get it.”

VP Richardson: “Well you know a lackadaisical attitude like that could get us in trouble.”

Meeting adjourned @ 1713hrs.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

Part II Feb 21, 2012 Meeting

Reading Time: 10 minutes

OK Part II of the report on the Lake Don Pedro Community Services Distrcit Board Meeting held on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 (Held on Tuesday because Monday was President’s Day.)   For those of you counting this meeting was 6 days prior the CSD administration office fire which was discovered at 0200hrs on the morning of Monday February 27th.

****************

Discussion regarding replacement of board room recording unit. Delay purchase until being placed on the next budget unless the cassette unit stops working.

Hugh Martin letter requesting to leave district service. Director Afanasiev made the motion to have the attorney draft a similar letter as was used with the McDonough/Clark matter. Director Ross stated he (Martin) would still be considered with the district but would not receive water or pay availability fees just like McDonough/Clark. VP Richardson suggested postponing the Martin matter until the OMIDPOU Resolution was considered which might affect his decision. Richardson questioned whether the McDonough/Clark papers had been filed with the county, Charise Reeves advised they had not because she was dealing with tax implications. Director Afanasiev withdrew his motion.

Proposal by Richardson to include Mission Statement on agenda header as discussed in previous training classes. Director Ross suggested only using the words “we” and “future” with nothing in between. VP Richardson read the modified version of the Mission Statement: “The LDPCSD is dedicated to providing potable water that either meets or exceeds all state and federal standards in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of our customers utilizing the most cost effective methods possible while still maintaining a sound financial plan now and for the future.”

Wes Barton stated the board did not have a focused goal and the mission statement did not reflect everything the district did. He especially did not care for the sound financial plan part stating we currently pay much more for water than other nearby districts.

The Board approved the mission statement and to add it to the agenda.

RESOLUTION 2012-3: to deny further OMIDPOU connections due to the water license restrictions and the Ranchito well sustainability report. Questions as to why Merced LAFCo was referenced in the document and potential effects of those who pay availability fees who are outside MIDPOU. Director Ross stated that the attorney advised him that Charise Reeves had written the entire resolution which was incorrect, Reeves wrote the draft which was forwarded to the attorney for his input.

Director Ross questioned some of the recitals of the resolution and acknowledged he disagreed with the attorney on this item. Ross stated he was afraid such a resolution would make criminals out of OMIDPOU users like himself, his neighbor and Mrs. Ross.

Wes Barton stated he understood the reporting had to be on a monthly basis.

Ruth Smith questioned how the draft and final resolution was distributed to directors.

Sam Kenner, who identified himself as Director Ross’s neighbor (also OMIDPOU), asked if he would lose water service if the resolution were to pass, to which the answer was no.

Tom Porter questioned why some people could get water Outside MIDPOU but he could not. Porter advised he withdrew some of his requests because of who was on the CSD Board. Porter stated he believed the board should be trying to sell the 4,000 af (acre feet) of water that we had rather than trying to find technicalities so as to not sell the water. He said our number one job was to sell water.

Director Ross asked if there were properties within the district but outside MIDPOU that were paying availability fees. When Charise Reeves stated she was unsure, Ross stated the reason he asked was because he knows someone that is paying for availability and is further out than him (outside MIDPOU).

VP Richardson felt the resolution was a show of good faith to MID that the CSD was cleaning up their act and abiding by the water license and agreement with MID. Ross stated the property he was referring to was adjacent to his ranch but needed an easement to get a water line but it does pay availability and is outside place of use however Director Ross never identified the property.

Failed 3-2. Kinsella-Richardson aye, Ross, Skoien and Afanasiev Nay.

Resolution to be returned to counsel to address the questions brought up in discussion.

Mr. Porter resumed his request for a refund of $11,000.

Thomas Porter: OK, am I up now?

President Kinsella: Yeah, you’re it.

Thomas Porter: OK you all have in front of you probably, a, ah, a list of payments that we made when our water was actually turned off in the street by the water district without notifying me.

President Kinsella: I’m sorry I didn’t hear that

Thomas Porter: In other words, I’ve been paying for water all during this time that – you have the list in front of you – and I have ah, not been getting water ah, and, ah, you, ah, ah, you, and I’m asking you a question are you now going to give me the money?

VP Richardson: I have a question

President Kinsella: Go ahead

VP Richardson: Uhm, what leads you to believe you weren’t getting water?

Thomas Porter: The valve was turned off in the middle of the street – he knows

VP Richardson: Have you, have you looked at the packet?

Thomas Porter: (inaudible)… the packet

VP Richardson: Well I would suggest you go to page 49, and page 48.

Multiple voices in background

Unknown: 49 (inaudible)

VP Richardson: Yes Mam.

President Kinsella: page 48

VP Richardson: 48 and 49 I think covers that. If you notice all the way to the right column

Thomas Porter: Um-hum

VP Richardson: look up above it says consumption. Those figures are for ccf’s, or units of water used. How can you say you weren’t receiving water when it clearly show units were being run through the meter?

Thomas Porter: (Inaudible) You mean all these zeros?

VP Richardson: No, in, in between the zeros we’ve got numbers like 206 at the bottom, 194, ,

President Kinsella: 242

VP Richardson: 57, 12, 37 …

Thomas Porter: Oh I want to see who actually read the meter at that time

VP Richardson: Well, at the last meeting it was discussed num – numerous people read the meters, but you know I was kind of curious too because I thought, well wait a second – we’ve got twelve zeros in a row and then just below the middle of the page it goes to 57. And I thought, well, what happened in October 2008 to do 57 units? I looked in my Foothill Express for October, and it just so happened that was the CSD Candidates Night held at the sales office down there. So I think that might be a possible explanation and evidence that water was being used from that 57 units.

Thomas Porter: You know it could have been coming out of our pump too, out of our well?

VP Richardson: Well this report doesn’t state so, and then if you go further back to when you first constructed that, ahm, office, you will see a great consumption of water. And of course that makes sense because as you’re constructing you’re going to use more water, you know, that makes sense.

Thomas Porter: And then also, also we did not put the well in immediately either

VP Richardson: Oh when did the well go in?

Thomas Porter: I don’t know. We could find out, we could go to our records. Ah this

VP Richardson: But sometime in 2007, or ?

Ron Young (Deerwood Employee): Ah it had to be in 2004, 5, 6

VP Richardson: OK, sometime back aways – ok. And you drilled that? It wasn’t one of the old Boise ones? Or

Thomas Porter: No, we drilled it

VP Richardson: OK, but anyway so my point is

Thomas Porter: I can get a precise date

VP Richardson: oh it really doesn’t matter, wh – what I think is important here is the consumption rate. You can see that water is flowing through the meter. How can that be if the valve was shut off and you weren’t receiving water?

Unknown speaker with Thomas Porter: Well that that’s what the question is who read it because if the valve was shut off there’s no way it could go through the meter

VP Richardson: Well a valve. A valve could be shut and then opened again as well, I mean,

Multiple voices

Thomas Porter: when Dan went down there and Jose went down there it was shut off

Unknown: Ah-hum

Thomas Porter: (inaudible) he was barely able to open it it was so stuck, so rusty, when he opened it and he’ll admit to that

VP Richardson: Well, no, I don’t doubt, I don’t doubt that it was shut if he said it was, but, you know, we have a consumption record here of water so, even if that valve was shut off at the time you saw it, it was obviously opened at periodic times through 2007 up until you stopped using water completely.

Thomas Porter: Well I

VP Richardson: Again, there are a number of places

Thomas Porter: all I can say is that ah, ah, we never touched the valve, we didn’t go out to the meter and say ok let’s turn on a meter, let’s go out to the street and turn on the

VP Richardson: Nor should you because that would be, technically a crime

Thomas Porter: Well then which one of your employees did the crime that’s what (inaudible)

VP Richardson: Well my understanding was, one of your employees was the one that shut it off

Thomas Porter: Not to my knowledge

VP Richardson: Well that’s what was said at the meeting, when you were here

Thomas Porter: I have ah one of my staff here who was there the day that ah these things broke, and ah, when the water line broke, and then when ah they used a backhoe and they they really broke the line ah ah, one of your employees, again we got a problem here, we got one, one person in Heaven he wasn’t working with me he was retired on the 20th of February 2008 and I gave him a pickup as a (inaudible) gift. And ah, certainly he wasn’t ah, he’s not available anymore, ah, ah, the other one is now fired for some malfeasance or accident or something

VP Richardson: Beg your pardon?

Thomas Porter: You have an employee that’s just been fired. And he wa, he’s the one that was turning off the valves and

President Kinsella: How do you know that?

Thomas Porter: I kno

Unknown speaker with Thomas Porter: I know it for a fact

President Kinsella: You know it for a fact?

Unknown speaker with Thomas Porter: Yes sir

President Kinsella: Did you find out why it was turned off?

Unknown speaker with Thomas Porter: It happened right in front of my house, yes. The reason was, what happened, right after Dave started here, I don’t even think Dan was interim manager then

Director Ross: (inaudible) this is a personnel matter

Unknown speaker with Thomas Porter: I believe Jeff was still here

Director Ross: is this a personnel meeting?

Unknown speaker with Thomas Porter: what happened was, there was a leak in front of ah your well that’s on Ranchito there was a leak across the street which had been leaking for 7 – 8 months I mean it had been a long time, I had called and called, the Jenkins called, everybody called and said that water was leaking so it leaked into that creek and kept it full all this time. Well one day — I saw Dave out there and Dave went out there and he dug up the leak well in the process of digging up the leak he bumped the pipe and took a chunk out of the pipe. I believe you were working on the crew at that time

IGM Tynan: Yeah I was in the hole, and ah, actually just to clarify Dave, the map was wrong, and Dave that’s why Dave hit the pipe

Unknown speaker with Thomas Porter: Right, right, (inaudible) I was out there, this gentleman right here was out there, there was ah board members out there directing traffic and what Dave did that day, I was there I watched it all, he went down to the intersection turned off every valve he could find he went as far down as Dolorosa on Ranchito and shut off every valve he could and he told me “Ron I cannot find where this water shuts off” so finally after about 2-1/2 – 3 hours the water was just gushing out of that main they finally figured out the spot to shut it off. That was the day that that water to th the sales office was shut off and, and because we, at that time we were running on our well and we continued to run on our well up until the 1st of this January which was, January I believe it was the 25th when it was turned back on the 18th, 18th or the 25th I have it wrote down at the office ah, but between that time we’d been on our well but the sulfur content of the well was so strong that we wanted to go back to the district water because you could smell it so bad inside when you turned the water on so that’s when I turned the RP valve on – nothing happened. I got a hold of Dan, they came out, Randy, the boys came out and got to looking and I, and we couldn’t get no water, we couldn’t get no water and finally Dan and Mr. Porter themselves walked to the intersection pulled the lid off and when Dan, when it took a pretty good pretty good deal to open that, but that was the time I believe that was in 2009

Board Secretary Charise Reeves: Ah, no

UNKNOWN SPEAKER (Now identified as “Ron”- Mr. Porter/Deerwood employee): When was that?

Charise Reeves: He wasn’t hired until June of ’10, so it was after that, it had to be between July and November

Deerwood employee Ron: When, when, when did Dave (cross talk)

Charise Reeves: …and October of 10.

Deerwood employee Ron: When did Dave start here, was that in 10 or 9 or ?

Charise Reeves: No, Dave has been here

IGM Tynan: I was with Dave on that leak

Ron: Huh?

IGM Tynan: I was with Dave on that leak – I remember

Ron: You were there?

IGM Tynan: Yeah

Ron: That was right after you, that wasn’t too long after you started?

IGM Tynan: Yeah, maybe a month at the most and I was in the hole the whole time

Ron: Right, but I believe that at, from that time for sure, that valve would have been shut off because we had been on our well, so I don’t know what the consumption shows

VP Richardson: The consumption shows alot

Multiple voices

Charise Reeves: Zero from that point on, from say July to August, either one, it’s zero consumption from that point going forward.

Ron: Up until

Charise Reeves: Un until now.

Ron: Up until now.

Charise Reeves: Because you guys were obviously on the well (inaudible)

Ron: And see before that we were on the well too so ah, there was only one time that, that, that I actually turned ah turned that RP valve off was because our little pump for our irrigation system ah burned up so I had to have that replaced, two or three days, two or three days we used this water and then we were back to the well again, uhm so,

VP Richardson: Well like I said, it it shows consumption so even if it was shut off it had to have been turned back on because like you said the sulfur content of your water you wouldn’t want to serve that to the people at the ah election, or the candidates night?

Ron: And when was that?

VP Richardson: That was October 2008, when that was supposedly shut off – it was 57 units

(TO BE CONTINUED)

*****************************

OK ENOUGH FOR TODAY, fingers and eyes need a break.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

LDPCSD February 21, 2012 Part I

Reading Time: 14 minutes

YES IT STINKS !!!

Hey folks, hope things are going well with you and yours.  I’m still shaking off the shock of our CSD administration office fire – you know, depression – anger – frustration – suspicion – etc. Since I only have access to my personal digital recording of the last meeting (normal cassette copies of meeting tapes couldn’t be provided) which makes it much more difficult to transcribe,  I’m just going to hit the highlights. Guess I should be thankful for that mini digital recorder huh?

Local news reports are now characterizing the fire as “Suspicious”. Personally, and from what I’ve heard others in the community comment, I think a fitting one word characterization to this revelation might be “DUH”, however, until the official investigation is complete and a determination of the cause publically announced personal opinions and beliefs dont’ really mean much.  [Eventhough they might be right on the money – so to speak.]

NOTE: There was also a Special Meeting on January 23rd regarding policy job descriptions and salary rates, but I’m not going to bother with that considering some of the interesting meeting discussions four days before the fire,  which according to newspaper reports occurred early Monday morning.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1100hrs: Finance Committee Meeting: Members: Kinsella, Richardson, IGM Tynan, Charise Reeves and Wes Barton. First meeting, discussed how to proceed in future, review Treasurer’s Report.

1200hrs: Public Relations Committee: Kinsella, Richardson, and Wes Barton. Review of proposed letter to the LDPOA regarding re-establishing The Community Pipeline and inserting it into the Discoverer. Not to be a contentious newspaper publication, basically history, facts, Capital Improvement Projects, etc. of the District.

1300hrs: REGULAR MEETING

Establish quorum and Pledge.

Public Comment: Much litter along the roadways. Suggestion of covering loads being transported to the transfer station (dump).

Manager’s Report, Director Afanasiev questions a dramatic change in an OMIDPOU (Outside Merced Irrigation District Place of Use) account usage. IGM Tynan advised he would check with the Billing Officer. VP Richardson questioned a January 17th, 2012 statement during the Board Meeting by Director Ross regarding how the OMIDPOU reporting had changed from its traditional reporting by name to account numbers. Richardson advised the attorney was not aware how it had been changed. Richardson questioned Ross’s statement that “we” had changed it.

Director Emery Ross: “I don’t know, but the district did change it though because of the privacy issue that you know when you tried to put Vicki in jail because she wanted some information that these things changed because you won’t let them have, don’t want people to know your private information, and so there were names on there, and took the names off and put numbers, that’s my understanding of it.”

Ross also stated he had nothing to do with it and was only one director on the board. Richardson relayed that going through past records it became evident the change took place between February 16th 2010 (report with names) and March 15th 2010 (report with account numbers), but there was no indication it was the result of any board action. Ross suggested checking with the office but acknowledged he had complained about the name reporting for years. (NOTE: Mr. Ross has two of the 36 OMIDPOU meters contained in that report.)

[Mr. Ross’s statement does not make any sense. “Vicki” (the former director who resigned from the board following a nolo contendere plea in Superior Court to false information to a peace officer apparently due to information referred to the District Attorney by the Grand Jury after an interview with the entire board and IGM) was sworn into office on December 3rd, 2010 — nine months AFTER this OMIDPOU reporting change had taken place.

Why would Mr. Ross bring her name into his response about a totally unrelated matter? I find it extremely improper, rude and certainly unsympathetic for Mr. Ross to revisit Vicki’s resignation from the board in an attempt to needlessly stir up old information instead of simply responding to a simple question. That board resignation should be allowed to naturally fade from current public discussion, however, Mr. Ross continually brings it up which is quite curious. I realize he and Vicki were quite close and communicated several times a day (according to Ross himself) and he has a different perspective about what transpired (how could he not since the same Grand Jury recommended Ross resign as president), but it has nothing to do with how the OMIDPOU reporting had been changed while he was on the Board and Vicki was not.

Also his accusation that I tried to put Vicki in jail is absolutely ludicrous and just another example of Ross’s grandstanding designed to divert attention from where it should be focused – how did Ross get that reporting changed since he admits to complaining about the name reporting for years? (Probably the same number of years he was on the board 2008-2010.) How can anyone be responsible for the words that come out of another’s mouth while they are under oath? Mr. Ross is extremely confused.

Evidently Mr. Ross does not want people to know how much CSD water he uses for his commercial cattle ranching business which is quite peculiar in itself. Everyone knows he raises cattle. “Ranching in Don Pedro” right? People passing on the highway can see the cattle and realize animals need water to survive (true chlorinated water might be a bit unusual but it’s still water), just as a fire department, elementary school, and waste water plant must consume water. What’s the big deal?

Could it have anything to do with a pipeline that had run through his property for many years that was only recently (late December of 2011) metered so as to detect any possible water loss? To my knowledge it was the only such non monitored water extension line like that in the district. I don’t know, but Mr. Ross seems highly defensive and agitated regarding simple questions about his water connections and usage.]

Director Ross: “Your name isn’t on there – how much water you use” (To Richardson)

VP Richardson: “I am not Outside MIDPOU”.

[Frankly I wouldn’t care one way or the other if people know how much water I use. Obviously I will consume more water than other customers by virtue of the fact I have performed much landscaping on my property within the last twenty years and trees and bushes require water. So what? I pay for the water used and use it efficiently as possible. The FACT of the matter is, I am within the legal place of use for water consumption pumped from Lake McClure and reporting of that usage is not required by MID.]

Ross also stated: “I physically did not go in and go into the computer and change something – I don’t even know how to turn a computer on”.

[I cannot imagine the work involved in writing the many years of “Ranching in Don Pedro” articles without knowing how to turn on a computer.]

There was continued discussion about how no one knew how it was changed, but it was.

I made the motion that the reporting be returned to the traditional reporting format which was seconded by Director Afanasiev. During director comment:

Director Ross: “I don’t think we should divulge personal information, like the other day when you asked for my check for my meter that I bought in ’93 I don’t see why you should do that, you tried to put Vicki in jail over that kind of stuff”

VP Richardson: “Emery you’re talking nonsense now”

Ross: “No I’m not I’m talking fact buddy”

VP Richardson: “No, it’s certainly not fact”

[HERE ARE SOME FACTS – that can be verified with copies of audio recordings of Board Meetings provided by the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District which are further supported with independent private audio recordings of the same meetings. (It is unknown at this time whether original recordings of our Board Meetings by the district survived the recent destruction of the CSD administration office but I believe it is required for them to be in a fire proof container and am quite sure Board Secretary Charise Reeves specifically discussed that matter on a few occasions due to questions from the audience.)

I am growing very tired of Emery Ross’s outlandish, unfounded and clearly self-serving idiotic statements. Again he brings up “Vicki” which makes me wonder if he is projecting his own guilt about that particular situation since he was far more knowledgeable about what was going on behind the scene. I am weary of being personally insulted by Ross and his supporters without a miniscule shred of evidence to support such ridiculous accusations. His belligerent and contemptuous conduct is embarrassing to anyone who knows the facts. I find Ross’s behavior even more outrageous considering his numerous documented examples of relaying blatantly false information and absurd statements to the public and other board members. Hummm, that would be an interesting chronological list to post huh? That along with his board voting record.

ANYWAY, once again Emery Ross attempts to obscure the facts. Here are a couple of actual requests I submitted to the CSD office on the required forms regarding outside water license service:

October 27, 2011: “A complete list of all properties within the CSD Service Boundary which do not financially contribute to the district.” (Reason) Evaluation and analysis of situation to assist in formulating a plan designed to have all properties within the service district actually contribute to this district’s future.”

December 16, 2011: “Records regarding the construction and placement of the Sturtevant water tank. When it was put into service, cost of the project, and how many connections it serves. Any CSD agreements permitting service to outside MIDPOU properties in that service area. (Reason) Understand prior CSD history and how the District boundary expanded outside our permitted water license service area. Director Ross during a meeting stated CSD has in the past installed multiple meters on the same property (as in the 3 meter Poe case), and offered the Sturtevant situation as an example (where 7 meters were installed/promised in exchange for the property where the Sturtevant tank was constructed.)”

January 31, 2012: “Owner name and historic consumption rate for account 6245. (Reason) 7 OMIDPOU accounts out of 36 have had zero consumption in the last four months. 6 have maintained a zero consumption for 25 months. Account 6245 had a previous 19 month average of 15.05 ccf/mo that suddently dropped to 1 ccf for both July and August, then zero for September, October, November and December 2011.”

February 13, 2012: “OMIDPOU meter service agreements (previously requested). (Reason) Information/discussion/action regarding whether meter application and appropriate fee paid to District. Clarification as to whether Mr. Ross paid for his meter installation in 1993.”

Succulently as possible, this is what I have learned regarding this issue.

There was an October 30, 1968 agreement between Sierra Highlands Water Company (T.C. Binkley President) and ranch owner Mr. Ralph Sturtevant to place a water tank on the Sturtevant Ranch to serve that area of the Boise Cascade subdivision. $500 and the promise of 10 free water meters in the future were exchanged for between ½ – 1 acre of land from the ranch for the tank site and a permanent 25 foot wide pipeline easement from the highway to the tank.

Later a portion of that ranch was sold to Emery Ross by Jean Hamar. In an October 4, 2002 letter from the Sturtevant Ranch to the CSD GM it was clearly stated that a free meter was “specifically excluded from the sale” of property to Emery Ross, however, Emery Ross never-the-less tried to get a connection but was initially denied. Later, on 8-2-93 a meter was installed on the Ross property yet charged against the 10 free meters granted to Sturtevant and Hamar.

This letter was written nine years after Mr. Ross obtained his meter so the question becomes did Mr. Ross ever pay his “buy-in fee” as an OMIDPOU property as was done by many other customers outside the water license? I never asked for a copy of his check as he stated, only information as to whether he acquired a water meter through the normal process which he apparently did not. Questions remain as to how Mr. Ross acquired his water connection. If I were an OMIDPOU customer who had to pay a substantial amount of money to “buy-in” I sure as heck would believe it appropriate for everyone esle to do the same.

Coincidentally, an old WWII pilot expression was recently used on the news to describe just such investigative situations: when receiving a lot of flak – you know you are over the target!

AGENDA/INFORMATION REQUESTS

I have been using this electronic form since it was first established but an interesting situation has developed. When I turn in my request it is immediately forwarded to all other directors providing those who object to any investigation of particular subjects to begin their “behind the scene” obstruction and opposition to the subject matter being on the agenda or information being provided. Cute little system huh? You might be interested in viewing some of the other requests that have never made it to a meeting agenda or been seriously addressed. ANYWAY, back to the meeting.]

Director Mark Skoien thought since the form had been reported by account number for a while there was no reason to change it back to the original reporting. Richardson advised the public would much better understand the reporting by name since 600 units used by a fire department would be understood as reasonable and the same reasoning would apply to high usage at the elementary school. Account numbers to not provide that information.

President Kinsella opened the discussion for public comment and Director Ross encouraged his neighbor Mr. Kenner and wife to comment whether they wanted their names on the report. His neighbor felt it was a needless discussion and that although he guarded his privacy he didn’t care about the reporting by name and was indifferent about the matter. Sally Punte stated she believed we should abide by whatever MID requires. Mrs. Ross commented that she believed the change had something to do with a privacy issue because of all the foreclosures occurring at the time of the change. Mrs. Ross wanted clarification of whether the name was required by MID. Director Mark Skoien said he had not seen anything in writing from the attorney about changing it back and wanted to see that. Skoien wanted to know if we were breaking the law.

I read Director Ross’s statement from the January 17th meeting:

“I’m just telling you we had it put back to numbers because there were names and so, numbers is what it’s supposed to be, just like, your bill, you know, supposedly, it’s confidential.”

I advised the board that our attorney stated such information was not confidential as Emery has repeatedly stated. Emery stated other people had also complained about privacy issues.

The vote was taken with Kinsella, Afanasiev and Richardson aye (return to old format of name reporting), Ross no, and Skoien abstained.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Overtime greatly reduced due to the SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system repairs. Discussion regarding a PERS (Public Employee’s Retirement System) miscalculation back in 2009 being a difficulty for the last few years.

I asked about the Hughes Net $89.99 monthly fee since the office was furnished internet service by Throckwisp. Charise Reeves advised due to the instability of Throckwisp she was reluctant to turn off Hughes Net which was used prior to Throckwisp. Reeves advised the office was without internet service for two weeks and Hughes was used, when asked when that happened Reeves advised over a year ago. I commented that for $1,079 a year for premium high speed internet service that was not being used at all perhaps it could be dropped and brought back if Throckwisp actually failed again. The Hughes net contract will be addressed on the next agenda.

During the CONSENT AGENDA I referred to the last meeting discussion and proposed creation of a Resolution to commend the Customer Billing Officer for her persistent work which culminated in obtaining over $40,000 owed the CSD from the Public Works Department for the waste water facility. Seconded by Director Afanasiev, Vote 4-1 with Director Mark Skoien voting no.

Approval of Minutes: Vote 4-1, Director Ross voting no.

COMMITTEE MEETING UPDATES:

Board Secretary Reeves advised that the MID COMMITTEE was indeed an ad hoc committee, not a standing committee as Director Ross had previously stated. Director Ross continued to state he thought it was a Brown Act Violation, claiming he believed it was actually a Special Meeting and the secretary was required to be there and take notes. I advised the previous MID Committee was involved with many other issues including the water contract, however, the current committee was only addressing the limited subject matter of the CSD boundary and OMIDPOU issues and once resolved would be discontinued.

Operations Committee met on February 9th, 2012. President Kinsella reported that Mr. Porter wanted to meet at his property rather than the board room but no action was taken other than a conversation between Mr. Porter and the GM. (The Minutes for that committee meeting and the Special Board Meeting of January 23rd, had not yet been completed.) IGM Tynan advised a lateral was ultimately discovered on one of the two properties in question.

Mr. Thomas Porter commented that he shocked at the way the matter was handled and did not know about the Committee Meeting being held at the CSD. IGM Tynan advised that he had left the message with Mr. Porter’s secretary but Mr. Porter responded that his secretary was 200 miles away and she didn’t get in touch with him. Director Skoien explained the misunderstanding and that Mr. Porter thought the meeting was going to take place at his sales office (and then later at the actual location of the properties where he wanted the laterals installed for water service) because he (Porter) never saw the agenda and was not informed by his secretary.

I (Richardson) questioned whether there had been any decision on the laterals by the board one way or another. Mr. Porter acknowledged that he purchased the properties sometime after 1990 and started paying availability fees. I explained it was my understanding that there needed to be a determination regarding how far back availability fees were paid on the properties. (Like the OMIDPOU properties – where since availability fees were not paid, they had to contribute a “buy-in fee” to make up that difference to be fair to all the other properties that had paid since the beginning of availability fees.) President Kinsella advised there was supposed to be research within the office on the availability fee matter first. Mr. Porter insisted that he had paid availability fees since he purchased the property and questioned why another action was necessary.

VP Richardson: Maybe I wasn’t clear, uhm, want to see when the availability fees started. I’ve been doing a lot of reading going back, you know, in this regards because that’s considered Kassabaum Flats, is it not?

Mr. Porter: No

VP Richardson: No? That, that part isn’t?

Mr. Porter: No.

VP Richardson: Ah, Is that in the, ah, Association?

Mr. Porter: No.

VP Richardson: Alright, well, what are we talking about?

Mr. Porter: We’re talking about six acres that’s surrounded by Kassabaum Flats and the subdivision.

VP Richardson: On Torre?

Mr. Porter: Originally it was, it was a recorded white paper subdivision. Boise had recorded it as a subdivision and it had 11 lots. OK? So, then they got into a discussion with the attorney general and they ah went back and said OK we’re going to reverse all these 960 lots, there were 960 legal lots there, and this 5.67 acres was part of that subdivision.

VP Richardson: And what was this subdivision called?

Mr. Porter: It was Unit, ah, 4 or something like that

VP Richardson: OK, because my research, going back through the records shows Units 4,5,6 as being Kassabaum Flats.

Mr. Porter: Maybe

VP Richardson: And that wasn’t developed at the same time, wh, when the facilities and assets from Sierra Highlands was transferred to us, Kassabaum Flats was not developed. That was developed ten years later by a gentleman by the name of ah, Hugh or Hugo Cruickshank and that’s the question, did availability fees attach to those properties at that time like they would normally any other property in the subdivision? That’s the question and the problem is the computer records don’t show that. This means digging through the boxes and going back through Boise and Sierra Highlands records to find out, did the predecessor to your properties pay availability? Because just like in the ah case, back in December 18th, of 2000 where you purchased ahm, I don’t know, what was it, 80 properties and there was an outstanding balance of $61,722 on the availability charges that were never paid, I assume that was all resolved, I haven’t read that far yet, but availability is, I think, the key to this because our attorney has issued a number of letters saying that those fees guarantee water service so if those fees weren’t paid for that ten years we have a problem. If they were, I don’t see a problem.

Mr. Porter: Well, are you going to (inaudible) the investigative work to go back and try and find out when they were ah, when they were paid?

VP Richardson: Well certainly, most certainly.

Mr. Porter: OK, well this is going to lead into the next one, which is, means we’re going to be in a law suit for sure (Multiple voices) I mean you guys like law suits.

President Kinsella: Wait, wait a minute. Did you say there will be a law suit?

Mr. Porter: You’re damn right there will be. (Multiple voices)

Director Afanasiev: Stop there

President Kinsella: Then Sir, this issue is closed. No more.

Mr. Porter: Huh?

President Kinsella: No more, the issue is closed. If you’ll, if you have your lawyer contact our lawyer and let it settle that way – thank you.

Director Skoien: Now I have a question

President Kinsella: Yes

Director Skoien: What about the email that was sent to you from Syndie where she checked all of that, and one was about the three lots no availability and the other one said those two lots, were, had been paying availability.

Discussion continued with Director Skoien stating he believed it was an Operations Committee matter and wanted IGM Tynan to relay his opinion but President Kinsella (due to the threat of a law suit) decided to move on with the next agenda item. Director Skoien again asked that IGM Tynan speak to the matter but President Kinsella said he was moving on. When Skoien asked why, Director Afanasiev responded because there was a threat of a lawsuit. Director Skoien characterized Kinsella’s action as over-reacting yet Afanasiev said it was not due to the clear threat of a law suit against the district. Kinsella stated the board was moving on to item E, Board Room recorder, at which time Mr. Porter made the statement:

“May I add one more thing to this? Cannot huh – it’s going to be a joy Bill to see you not on this board”.

Director Afanasiev advised Mr. Porter not to threaten directors.

(Multiple voices)

President Kinsella brought the topic back to the anticipated replacement of the board room recorder which has been “squealing” with hints of future breakdown.

My best to you and yours, Lew

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