Monthly Archives July 2012



AS ALWAYS, this is my personal opinion and does not reflect or represent the position of the LDPCSD or any other individual regarding the recent release of the 2011-2012 Mariposa County Grand Jury Report. (Top menu bar- The LDPCSD report starts on page 34.)


WOW. What the heck were all the fireworks about recently? What were people celebrating? Something to do with this country’s independence….. right?


If there is a law prohibiting an elected official from exercising their Right to Free Speech on their privately owned and operated website and on their own time, why wasn’t that little piece of information mentioned in last year’s Grand Jury Report?


Heck, I’m not going to intentionally violate the law or do anything to harm this district or its ratepayers. My sole motivation has been to enlighten ratepayers as to why things are so… what was that word? ….. OH yeah, dysfunctional.


How does providing board meeting “verbatim transcripts” of a decades old “Problem Child” district equate to: “viewed as a negative activity”, “source of discontent that discredits the reputation of the Board”, “detriment to harmony within this district”, “board member displays little desire to act appropriately”, and, “negative blogs ultimately undermine the credibility of this district’s board”?


Is reporting the outrageous conduct of directors a bad thing? Is describing how a small group of agitators disrupt board meetings unfair to those who disrupt? What do you think would have happened if some of the same stunts by the SO GOSIP were performed before the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors?


Who determined that reporting documented fact is a “negative activity”? How can you discredit an existing bad reputation? How are well informed rate paying voters a detriment to harmony? How is telling the truth acting inappropriately? What board credibility?


Well my Mountain Dew diet seems to have abruptly ended. All that lost weight will probably be back next week. OK, I’m all hopped up on caffeine so let’s get on with it.








During the 2010-2011 Mariposa County Grand Jury term two LDPCSD sitting directors operated websites and posted blogs (weB LOGS) often regarding activities of the Community Services District and the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association (LDPOA). The other website primarily posted “anonymous” personal attacks, spurious accusations and very hateful language, whereas, in addition to expressing my personal opinion about local matters was always clearly identified with my name. (Gee, what would have happened if I wrote anonymously? Or took other measures to hide my identity? Would the Grand Jury have spent taxpayer’s money to research and investigate who owned and administered the website? Can you say…police state?)




I have always stood by what I write and where possible documentary evidence was provided in support of my opinions. (Is evidence a bad thing to share?) has always contained other helpful informational links to State and County government departments/agencies along with local online news sites, photographs and more recently, video clips. Quite frankly it is a lot of work and time consuming.




 was created in 2003-2004 in response to the failure of the Orb Hatton et al Board of Directors at the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association to provide a legally authorized membership list in order to contact owners for election purposes. Although forced into and ultimately successful in Tuolumne Superior Court in obtaining the $20 list, my legal fees of approximately $1,300 were not granted. I wrote some articles about the experience on a national homeowners’ website and after some encouragement and assistance from their staff set up my own site and have been writing and posting photographs ever since – which in all likelihood contributed to my election to both the LDPOA and LDPCSD Boards.




Do not forget that it was Thomas Porter, president of the Deerwood Corporation, who personally appeared before an LDPOA Board and used his traditional polite threats of law suits to make sure Mr. Hatton, a member NOT IN GOOD STANDING, was placed on the ballot in violation of Association rules. Naturally, the tremendous voting block of the Deerwood Corporation at the time – based on the purchase of hundreds of properties at distressed prices – guaranteed Hatton and his group would be the next governing board.




Had Mr. Hatton simply initially complied with the law and furnished a membership list I would have probably been busy for years writing letters and paying costly postage charges.




Extremely disappointing that this select panel of citizens could not see past the fabricated and exaggerated complaints from a very small group with a clear history of dedication to real estate and land development interests and activities. The resulting scars of that support are easily observable on the Mariposa County side of the Lake Don Pedro subdivision, both physically and financially.


Why did this uncontrolled development not occur on the Tuolumne side of the subdivision?


Who was the watchdog protecting citizens then?




“We also had direct contact with Board members, district staff and concerned citizens.”


“To balance our inquiries, the Board members as well as the Interim General Manager were provided a questionnaire….”


That is very interesting because other than a telephone call or two along with the questionnaire, I was never formally contacted by the Grand Jury and repeated requests to personally speak with them were never granted. You would think the subject of such a serious investigation would be one of the first interviews conducted. Such a public enemy, knocking on their door several times, but they wouldn’t answer or give the time of day – perhaps too busy listening to our local experts at deception.


You know how this works, you’ve seen variations of this many times before….like the little old white haired man who hobbles up to the podium, adjusts his bifocals and softly speaks in an almost trembling voice the worn out choreographed performance of legitimate concern with a touch of confusion and bewilderment. The routine perfected with numerous presentations before their organized group of disrupters. Then at break they stroll outside in the parking lot like prison savvy tough guys, smirking and laughing with their cohorts about the performance and compare notes as to their duplicitous charade of concern.


I have copies of that Grand Jury questionnaire along with several pages of additional information that was furnished. Judging by a number of specific questions it sure appeared as though someone was gunning for our attorney. An obvious fishing expedition complete with baited questioned-hooks in hopes of stimulating negative comments. The one lengthy telephone call I did receive advised that the individual previously in charge of the investigation had suddenly left the Grand Jury and this new individual had taken over the investigation. He asked if I was satisfied with the noticed resolution of my complaint. I was shocked and angered at his confusion as to the status of the complaint and not being contacted.




I too have talked with attorneys, other public officials and concerned citizens, but I received a completely different response: one does not give up their rights in order to be elected and serve the public’s best interests.


If a Grand Jury is so darned concerned about this community and its future welfare, where were they when a multi-million dollar land development corporation rolled in here like an armored tank exploiting its resources and lack of organization? Where was our watchdog?




Yes indeed, last year’s Grand Jury recommendations certainly “targeted the Board of Directors”. They also admonished the IGM and all directors not to discuss what transpired during the under oath interview with anyone not physically present that day. Too bad, some of the statements and conduct by particular directors could clear up in a nanosecond some of the major reasons this Board has been in such a state of dysfunction.








Certainly the secrecy of GJ operations is an invaluable tool for investigation, but once completed, why not tell the public exactly what was discovered and who did what? Actually I thought the detailed answers by the CSD attorney were exactly what one would expect from an attorney representing a public entity.








This relates directly to a later statement in Complaint 6 where the GJ characterizes the LDPCSD as “the problem child” district in Mariposa County. I believe this recent GJ report illustrates one of the reasons it will continue to be such.








OK, let’s run with that. Work with me here folks. IF the LDPCSD is a “PROBLEM CHILD” who do you think might be the PARENTS? That’s right, the County of Mariposa. Now if a court can punish parents of a child for criminal or civil wrongdoing that harms others, why isn’t the County of Mariposa held responsible and accountable for their “PROBLEM CHILD”?




Let’s take it a step forward….. who are the actual VICTIMS of this PROBLEM CHILD? That’s right, the majority of innocent ratepayers who pay their bills but have no idea as to why their water company is in such serious trouble.








My understanding is because LAFCo (Local Agency Formation Commission) was unaware of the prohibition of serving Merced River water to Outside MIDPOU properties and they approved such expansions based on erroneous information furnished by the district at the time. Someone was attempting to build a water empire and the county wasn’t doing their homework on the information furnished.




Seems to me the PARENTS of this PROBLEM CHILD are actually more responsible and should be held accountable for this district’s continuing problem with our service area and the major difficulties it has caused for decades.








If the long term agreement with MID regarding water distribution guidelines for the district is due to be renewed June 30, 2014, would it not behoove the district to demonstrate to MID that it is following the current agreement and not subjecting them to punitive action by the State Water Board for LDPCSD violations?




Contrary to what customers were evidently told by a director with personal commercial business interests in Outside MIDPOU water service (how he received that meter is another story of deception) shutting off water service to existing customers was never proposed or considered. But rumors like that can sure fire up an uninformed customer. (Had it been me, I too would have been extremely upset and worried. Precisely why disinformation is spread through the community.)




The proposed OMIDPOU Resolution was intended to be a good faith assertion to MID that we follow the rules with the hope they might in the future assist with another attempt at “Administrative Remedy”, or full blown petition to the State Water Board to adjust our service area and confirm our boundaries once and for all.




How can ANY BUSINESS be successful without knowing where they can legally “sell” their product?










Absolutely no question about the validity of that statement and it has been absolute and needless “hair pulling frustration” for over a year. Directors refusing to serve on committees is certainly an important variable, but what about boycotting training classes, multiple absences from Regular Meetings, refusing to attend Closed Session Meetings, reporting false information to the public and other board members, personally insulting other directors on record, clearly being caught in contradictory statements, etc.? Oh I see, that’s not a big deal, but if I report that behavior to the customers I am causing the dysfunction? Who caused it the year before? The year before that? How about 5 or 10 years ago? Twenty years?




This makes as much sense as a multi-million dollar 40 year old land development corporation accidently violating State minimum roadway standards and county regulations regarding grading permits to install several convenience roads to cut costs in accessing multiple properties. Oh gosh! I had no idea. Where was the watchdog?








FOR THE RECORD: Participating in training and educational classes does not mean any student possesses the definitive answer to any particular problem, it only demonstrates a desire and commitment to learn from other professionals in an attempt to do a better job for the public they serve.




That promise, to do the best I could, was made to the voters that elected me and I have diligently worked to fulfill that promise. Prior to coming “on board” I pretty much took water for granted and knew little about the subject. Since then I have learned so much about water and how it is physically pumped, treated for quality, stored and distributed within our community. How it is similar to money in that yearly watershed estimates of its availability and proposed beneficial uses must be carefully calculated, how it can be legally transferred, banked, and distributed. Water, just like money or anything of value, requires protection from those unscrupulous individuals and businesses who are determined to “liberate it” for their own profit margin benefit.




The information I have acquired is but a fraction of what is available but still absolutely useless without a Board dedicated to the best interests of this district and its ratepayers. So with that in mind, here are some of the classes I have attended (most were free online classes).




Public Service Ethics Education Online Proof of Participation Certificate, Sep 8, 2010


(State of California, County of Mariposa, Certification and Oath of Office, Dec 3, 2010)




SAFETY CLASSES (1-1/2 – 2 hours)




Advanced Hazwoper Awareness, Dec 10, 2010


Alcohol Free Workplace, Dec 10, 2010


Asbestos Awareness, Dec 12, 2010


Back Injury Prevention, Dec 12, 2010


Building Evacuation and Emergencies, Dec, 12, 2010


Blood Borne Pathogens Safety, Dec, 12, 2010


CPR Academic, Dec 12, 2010


Compressed Gas Safety, Dec 12, 2010


Combustible and Flammable Liquids, Dec 12, 2010


Diet and Nutrition, Dec 13, 2010


Lock-Out/Tag-Out, Dec 13, 2010


Confined Space Entry, Dec 13, 2010


Disaster Preparedness, Dec 13, 2010


AB1825, Sexual Harassment, Dec 17, 2010


Driving Safety, Dec 17, 2010


Electrical Safety, Dec 17, 2010




Board Basics – Financial Management, May 18, 2011


AB1234 Ethics Education, County of Tuolumne, Nov 10, 2011




RCAC (Rural Communities Assistance Corporation) 2 contact hours each


Ground Water Rule, Dec 22, 2011


Pumps and Motors, Jan 5, 2012


Regulation Basics, Jan 10, 2012  (6 hours)


Open, Ethical Leadership, Jan 25, 2012


How To Be An Effective Board Member, Jan 25, 2012


Source Water Protection, Jan 26, 2012


Understanding Board Member and District liability Issues, Feb 9, 2012


Board Basics – Safe Drinking Water Act, Mar 13, 2012


Cross Connection Controls, Mar 14, 2012


Board Basics – Budget, April 3, 2012


Disinfection By-Products Rule, April 4, 2012


Energy Management, April 17, 2012


Water Conservation, April 18, 2012


Board Basics: Financial Management, May 1, 2012


Consumer Confidence Reports, May 15, 2012


TMF (Technical, Managerial and Financial) Capacity Building, May 16, 2012




Again, very interesting and helped to formulate a number of suggestions but absolutely useless without support from directors and the public they serve.










Here’s another “beef” I have with this report and being a member of a “dysfunctional” board. Official records of meetings clearly document that I repeatedly voiced my desire for the board to meet with the mediator and fulfill this GJ’s recommendation, but again, without the co-operation of other directors, it did not happen. Just like everything else. The Grand Jury paints with a broad brush when it criticizes in such a manner without identifying those specific individual directors who consistently refused to co-operate. (But express your opinion regarding this failure to the public? Watch out – watchdog is coming for you!)






I have spent many hours studying and preparing for addressing this issue at scheduled meetings only to have it postponed because of something else. Suggested new policies have been ignored many not even listed on the agenda. Heck, existing policies are not followed or enforced anyway.






was helpful but did not go far enough, in fact, it could be argued it only made matters worse as far as intentional obstruction to meaningful progress. (Examples: failing to support the one submitted qualified candidate for a board vacancy until the last day of a 60 day limit prior to the issue going to the County Board of Supervisors. That cute little maneuver guaranteed a 2-2 Board vote “holding pattern” while that same director actively pursued election to another position outside district service. What about, abstaining from voting, refusing to acknowledge and activate committees required by policy, lack of preparation and participation, many missed meetings, refusal to attend Closed Sessions, behind the scene misinformation to the public to encourage further disruptions and distractions, etc.?)








“At will employee” vs “a permanent GM”, sounds confusing huh? I have chaired only one meeting as Vice President (due to a medical absence of the president) but I think the results of that meeting are going to go a very long way to getting this district back on the right track. John Turner was hired as the IGM and almost immediately positive changes started taking place. Sure, the situation might be a shock to some who are accustomed to having everything their way, but change has been long overdue. There is no doubt in my mind continued progress will be made if Mr. Turner is allowed to do his job without interference from “micro-managing” directors with special personal and business interests.








“…did not deem it necessary to question the ability of the Board members regarding daily operations.” But it was the continuing daily operations (and lack of payment for water served and maintenance costs) that almost forced the LDPCSD into bankruptcy a while back. Enough said about finances, let’s get that dangerous blogger!








Once again, since the Grand Jury has singled me out from the traditional “broad brush approach” to board criticism, I am compelled to defend my actions as an individual completely separate from the Board. The LDPCSD attorney will address the official district’s response. This whole commentary (complete with the traditional satire) is my PERSONAL OPINION as to the quality of this year’s investigation, the findings, conclusions, and recommendations and how they relate to






The 2010-2011 Grand Jury Recommendation 5 [last year] stated:




“Board members should stop publishing documents that do not promote or represent the Districts interest as a whole”




I stand-by my position that truthful reporting of public activities affecting this District indeed represents the Districts’ interest as a whole. Is a written personal opinion a document? Or were they referring to actual government documents that I have posted in support of my position?




The 2011-2012 Grand Jury Report derogatorily refers to postings by a current director, which to my chagrin could only be me since the other “blogging director” was convicted of a providing false information to a peace officer and resigned her position last September. This year’s 2011-2012 Grand Jury wrote on page 37, paragraph three:




“The fifth recommendation stated that blogs by Board Members that do not support district interests need to stop.”




Obviously on its face this is technically incorrect. The word “BLOG” (stands for weB LOG) is not mentioned in last year’s recommendation. I believe this is an intentional misstatement and evidence of the inherent bias of the current Grand Jury which appears to be representing the concerns of an extreme minority of people who have consistently caused unnecessary problems and legal expense to this district.




I also believe this technical distinction between “documents” and “blogs” is something the California legislature is currently addressing in regards to internet communication issues. If a public official’s Free Speech isn’t illegal now, perhaps it will be soon?




Not that I ever would, but I wonder what would have happened if my website had hundreds of pornographic links like another commercial website had years ago? Would I have had a constitutional right to do that and received a “pass” from the Grand Jury if someone complained? What about information regarding a religion of which the SO GOSIP might disapprove? Would a few complaint letters to the Grand Jury result in threats to remove the religious material? If Free Speech is the loser now, what other rights are next?






Have you ever really paid attention to the lyrics of WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN, by Peter Townsend, performed by THE WHO? This would be an excellent time to do so.










We’ll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of our wrongs
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the four-minute song
And the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
‘Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
No, no!

I’ll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?


There’s nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss








Citizens, get involved with local government to help solve your community problems!


Express to voters your opinions and ideas for change.


Educate yourself on the issues.


Run a clean campaign.


Get elected.


(Then shut-the-hell up under threat of a Grand Jury (motivated by complaints from the traditional problem makers) and become part of the original problem you volunteered to help solve, or resign just as the problem makers have planned.)










If I legally cannot express my personal opinion as an elected official on my own time then I simply choose between remaining on a “do nothing board” that is stalling until the November election for hopeful Special Interest re-enforcements; walk away from the position and continue writing as a private citizen disgusted with the failure of government to protect tax paying citizens from game playing wanna-be local politicians; walk away and make it easier for the SO GOSIP to dominate the water company board as well; or maybe just focus on writing a Lake Don Pedro property ownership primer for prospective owners? Heck, there are many options.




The sharing of opinions and observations with viewers of has been deemed an inappropriate activity because it is upsetting to a few people who, incidentally choose to log on and read what I write.


My opinions are not delivered to their mailbox in a newspaper or other junk mail not requested by the resident. There are no fliers, posters, billboards, or other such advertising. Not on the radio or television. These chronic complainers make a conscious free-will decision to log on and read how I personally perceive and express the public service and activities of others.


My comments, opinions, attempts at humor and expression of position on subjects are not forced on anyone. They are offered to anyone interested. There are many websites available in a free society representing a variety of positions and beliefs, but it ultimately comes down to what the individual chooses to access and support. These complainers did not just turn on their computer and up popped LAKEDONPEDRO.ORG with my personal blah, blah, blah comments.




I am not powerless


I swear I won’t log on


I am not curious


The reading is not fun.




I will not look


Or even take a peek


Not a fracking minute


Not a single day this week.




I don’t care


What Screwy Lewy writes


I’ll never look again


Not morning, noon or night




That website is a total waste


Don’t even want a hint


Another visit I won’t make —


But could you mail a color print? (lol)






Don’t do embarrassing or inappropriate stuff during public meetings if you don’t want that behavior discussed or questioned.


What part of P – U – B – L – I – C is confusing?


Again, openly and honestly expressing an opinion seems the most transparent avenue a public official could conceivably travel.


Perhaps video recordings of our meetings would be the most effective way to go? Maybe we could make some extra non business revenue by selling “LDPCSD Blooper DVDs” or a continuing series entitled, “Best Director Derogatory Remarks”? Good Heavens, grow up. Let’s talk water related business issues instead of why it is unfair others know what you really represent and how you act during public meetings?




I have a hunch if there had been a video camera in the Board Room Thomas Porter would not have advocated that owners refuse to pay their property taxes in an attempt to leverage the county to his position and way of thinking. That sounds like a good television news clip to me. Good grief, most of that money goes towards education and I think most people are cognizant of the financial difficulties of the school district.


Rather than bitch and complain about what I write on this website, why doesn’t that SO GOSIP look deep inside and honestly explain why they support such counterproductive nonsense?


During his death trial Socrates expressed his belief that the true root cause of the Athenians’ hatred for him was not so much what he believed, taught or freely expressed, but rather, a person’s natural resistance to self-examination. He thought people simply did not want to answer those deep seated questions about themselves and unfortunately for Socrates, his continued flair for Free Speech forced them to do just that. (Upon conviction, and at the tender age of 70, Socrates agreed to drink Hemlock and avoid the further perils of growing older.)




I was a bit surprised at the report’s bias in referencing some photo material presented on, a privately owned and operated website.


Mariposa Grand Jury Complaint #8 Finding statement:


The complaint includes excerpts from a Board member’s blog postings. The excerpts contain a sketch depicting a saw that cut a corner off a block shown in place of a person’s head.


OOOOH, sounds gruesome, scary, and violent! Actually, it wasn’t just any person, it was a cartoon character wearing a SO GOSIP sport’s jersey – but I’m not a very good artist. Anyway, the embedded photograph title was: “IF ANYTHING REQUIRES “CUTTING CORNERS”. Hint: a possible suggestion being the SO GOSIP are “Wooden Block Heads in need of serious shaping”. And that is the point. No one else is going to change their myopic perspective and that’s why it was self-inflicted corner cutting. You’re a Blockhead Charlie Brown! LOL


Additionally, a blog contains a photo of a chainsaw in position to cut across document labeled, “The Brown Act.”


Yes but the Grand Jury description is again very misleading as written. What else has been omitted from this investigation report besides embedded titles printed on referenced photographs? I’m sorry, but the biased description of those photographs was pretty sneaky.


*** [attempted humor break]***




“Sure sounds like that photo indicated a lot of disrespect and contempt for the Brown Act.”


“Yes the written description is quite misleading.”


“Golly gee professor, wasn’t there an embedded printed title heading on that particular photograph with the chain saw?”


“Yes Lumpy there was and it clearly read: The SO GOSIP LIKE “CUTTING CORNERS


“But, but, but … why would the author of that Grand Jury report leave the title heading out making it appear as though you personally were expressing disrespect for the Brown Act?”


“That is a good question Lumpy. A very good question. I’m ready now – how ‘bout you?”








*** [back to personal critique of report]***


You will recall SO GOSIP stands for Same Old Group Of Special Interest People, an acronym I wasn’t going to use anymore until reading this Grand Jury report. Here’s the link to that old blog and referenced photos about TUMMOTA (The Unknown Male Member Of The Audience) who impersonated an investigator from the state and redirected a CSD business meeting into an organized free-for-all personal attack mob: .


Funny, the SO GOSIP go to all that trouble to put on such a great show but when I posted a detailed review, they got all, I don’t know…. even more duplicitous.




This is not new and came up years ago when Dwight Mueller proposed the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association (LDPOA) legal counsel co-operate with the Deerwood Corporation attorneys to shut down. Wow, what sort of countries would these people run? Come-on say it with me……. I WILL NOT LOG ON TO LAKEDONPEDRO.ORG (hummmmmm)






The Grand Jury’s multiple condemnations of my website seem a bit over dramatic juxtaposed to their characterization of the LDPCSD as simply being “additionally challenged” due to our administrative office being gutted by a suspicious fire still under investigation. 288% insurance loss rate compared to a 70% baseline? That “suspicious fire” is only one obvious symptom of a much more serious problem. (Of course if it is determined to be arson wouldn’t that be domestic terrorism?)






OK, if a county Grand Jury composed of select citizens can legally prohibit or restrict the free speech of an elected official, such prohibition needs to be clearly incorporated into the filing materials necessary for a candidate to be placed on the ballot.


Why should anyone forfeit their First Amendment Right to Free Speech as a result of being elected to a position by the voters who appreciate and support what that candidate might write? I mean, come on, I was writing for six years before being elected to the CSD. Viewers know a great deal about me and where I stand on issues, but what they don’t know is what happens at Board Meetings.


The SO GOSIP do not want to talk about serious issues they want to strike back because they are embarrassed by their own public activities being reported. (Satire stings more when it’s closer to the truth.)


Here’s a thought, if an official LDPCSD publication to customers could be re-established and pertinent information relayed (as the water professionals in training classes highly recommend) maybe could focus on the more pleasant and enjoyable aspects of this beautiful foothill area?




When traditional sources of information are censored, restricted, or totally eradicated, blogging can be a very effective tool in educating those in isolated and/or politically sensitive areas. Yes indeed, the LDPCSD is a “problem child” for the county and it will continue as such until the voters elect people who will honestly do the work.


Without accurate information voters will remain in the dark like a mushroom, and you know what Mushrooms are fed. Blogs are much more difficult to control than television, radio, or the newspaper because if some Boss Hog somewhere doesn’t want the particulars of a subject disseminated or discussed they merely threaten to pull advertising dollars. Poof! What story?


Yet a nonprofit, personal, and sincere effort to educate ratepayers is evidently a priority target for those who already manipulate the system and do not want truth to escape. Suppression or denial of Free Speech and a system to punish those who have the audacity to practice it is essential. Perhaps the next Grand Jury might try scrutinizing the truthful information already posted?


Oh yeah, the fact a CSD Board meeting might rapidly deteriorate after unknown audience members leave is not evidence the board was necessarily responsible for the disruption. Naturally those who have consistently instigated meeting difficulties and exaggerated facts to the Grand Jury will attempt to misdirect attention and focus from the cause to the results of their efforts. Take a good look at some of the SO GOSIP “community leaders” of the past. What have they accomplished? What do they really represent? One of them will not likely be cracking jokes and disrupting a hearing room in a few days.




Having prepared numerous verbatim transcriptions of our Board meetings I am quite familiar with what occurs. Words and phrases such as: “Liar”, “crazy”, “bigot”, “A-hole”, “Lew’s”, “Contract Nazi”, etc., are quite clearly documented on recorded tape and digitized on storage devices with the orator being unequivocally identified, but alas, that speaker was not me. Oh sure, I admit to raising my voice at times in response to attacks just as everyone else, and yes, my passion can easily be misinterpreted as anger, but that “broad brush” approach of the Grand Jury is patently unfair.


I resent the suggestion of participating in such activity and challenge the 2011-2012 Grand Jury to produce evidence of such inappropriate behavior on my part other than the fabricated “SO GOSIP say so” of a few whining, disingenuous, and ethically challenged special interest groupies. (PS: Directors Bill Kinsella and Victor Afanasiev did not speak those words either.)




Sure, I’m poking fun at and criticizing this report mostly because I honestly do not understand the underlying rationale. LDPCSD is a “problem child”, Mariposa County and LAFCo are the “parents”, ratepayers are the victims, but the victims should not have the opportunity to learn why they are victims or how to change that status?


Now, to make matters worse, the victims may be misled by a powerful partner of the Parents who do not want to take responsibility for their “Problem Child ”. Whether this is due to some kind of a diabolical plan; lack of authority or willingness to correct the problem; a situation where the Grand Jury was also a victim, hoodwinked if you will, by a small but very organized group clearly linked to real estate and land development; or some other reason, who knows?




For some reason this reminds me of when Public Works a while back advised a previous Grand Jury there were no records of the extensive and expensive erosion cleanup and repair of a publically maintained roadway just below the Deerwood-Alfier hillside convenience road off Alamo Drive. No records? Oh Please! Does that sound like taxpayer money being spent for private benefit to you?


It is essential that ratepayers educate themselves because they decide who will represent them on the District Board. Now if we were in a more densely populated area there would be more resources for in-depth coverage of what happens at our meetings which would simultaneously put public pressure on those that disrupt them. Problem solved. The majority of voters would know exactly who these people are, what they do, what they represent, and why.






Last time it was the meter reading scandal, this time a Grand Jury Report. It’s always something more important than the root cause of the “dysfunction”.




Well this outlaw blogger is exhausted and caffeine’d out but there are a couple of last rapidly evaporating thoughts….


I have had my home and personal property vandalized and destroyed. Been publically challenged to fight multiple times, threatened with great bodily injury and death, physically assaulted, personally attacked with malicious false accusations of wrongdoing, and generally persecuted for my personal, moral and political beliefs (Hey that’s a thought…perhaps could be reorganized into the Online Church of Unilateral Free Speech, or do those constitutional protections still exist in Mariposa County?). This small group’s activities are repugnant to the concept of a free society.


Let’s see, what else? OH YEA! Regarding the anticipated scrutiny from next year’s Grand Jury: it will be invaluable and appreciated. Members are more than welcome to stop by my house (contrary to their policy of avoidance I would embrace the opportunity to meet face to face); sit down beside me in front of the computer (you can even have the best chair – I will naturally furnish snacks and beverages); and assist me in identifying what thoughts, opinions, or ideas are now permissible and deemed appropriate to this districts’ interest as a whole.


DEAR VIEWERS: This will likely dictate a modification of my traditional sign off from a blah, blah, blah session. Something more “appropriate”. Maybe –


My best to you and yours, Lew – in co-operation with a member of the Permissible Free Speech For Local Elected Public Officials Subcommittee of the current Mariposa County Grand Jury or its designated affiliate organization, department, agency, office and/or individual deemed appropriate for compliance monitoring and enforcement purposes for the County Peoples’ Republic of Mariposa.




Sleeping Watchdogs …. Cute aren’t they?




My best to you and yours, Lew


PS: To members of the 2011-2012 Mariposa County Grand Jury: Seriously and sincerely, I do appreciate your time and service and apologize if my style of writing or perspective has offended you personally in anyway. That was never the intention. I look forward to meeting the next Grand Jury but until then, I’ll just get on my knees and pray YOU DON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN.




Categories: Uncategorized.

June 18, 2012 LDPCSD MEETING

CALL TO ORDER: Directors Present: Bill Kinsella (President), Lew Richardson (VP) and Director Mark Skoien.

Also present IGM John Turner and Financial Administrator/Board Secretary/Treasurer Charise Reeves.

Absent: Directors Victor Afanasiev and Emery Ross

Pledge of allegiance.


President Kinsella offered congratulations to Merlin Jones, who was in the audience, on his recent election to the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors.

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Office fire update continued due to absence of Leo Grover from Pinnacle Emergency Services. President’s report: none


John Turner advised he had just completed his 10th week and was getting into the “middle of things” and his attached report was more detailed than the prior month. A part time employee was promoted to a full time position and he is advertising to fill the vacant part time position. Mr. Turner stated the most alarming thing to him was the 26 percent water loss. Leaks are continuing to be addressed as they pop up and he has instructed employees to replace the line when multiple repair bands have already been used (there are some instances of 6-8 repair bands having already been used on the same line). The cost savings will be realized over time by preventing multiple trips to the same location. Turner also advised many of the repair bands can be cleaned up and returned to inventory for future use.


$608,342 in the bank accounts. The previously used auditor has agreed to perform the next audit. The backup Hughes satellite service will be disconnected. Hughes refused to disconnect due to it being set up by a previous GM with his personal information so GM John Turner cancelled the credit card payments. President Kinsella questioned the charges for Redwing shoes. Charise Reeves advised the purchase of two pair of work boots for each employee had been approved by the former IGM. (Current IGM, John Turner, advised he chose to receive only one pair.) Director Skoien questioned overtime pay in regards to the fire recovery funds. Director Skoien also questioned the Hughes satellite issue and why they would not co-operate with the district as an agency versus an individual. Reeves advised the service had been setup using a former employee’s Social Security Number and could only be cancelled by him.

President Kinsella renewed his desire to clarify that legal expenses with the initials BK stood for Bob Kent, not Bill Kinsella. Audience question regarding the legal fees and how far over budget they were. Reeves advised she believed it was about 25% over budget. VP Richardson confirmed the Hughes net matter did not involve a district credit card in the former GM’s name still being active (Hughes permitted changing the payment method) but merely the personal information used to set up the account.

The Board approved: the June Treasurer’s Report, payment for legal services, and the scheduling of a budget meeting to be announced later to the public. Consensus to have a Special Meeting to address the budget and scheduling it sometime in July based on director and employee availability.


Secretary Reeves advised she had caught up on seven sets of meeting minutes. Director Skoien questioned his “for the record” statement at the April 20th meeting. Secretary Reeves acknowledged the matter; agreed to go back to include the missing information and bring it back for board approval later.

The Board approved: read and file of the listed minutes (with exception of April 20th) and two Finance Committee Meeting minutes.


President Kinsella: Committee Meeting Updates… What committee meetings? (laughs)

VP Richardson: Well we have one here that was handed out

President Kinsella: What’s this one?

VP Richardson: It’s ah, from IGM Turner

President Kinsella: Oh yeah,

VP Richardson: From the MID

President Kinsella: MID yeah

VP Richardson: Oh, do you want me to do it?

President Kinsella: Do you want to?

VP Richardson: OK, well the MID Committee met (laughs), let me read what you’ve got here, held June 8th, 2012,… Syndie Marchesiello …

[NOTE: While reading the statement I incorrectly spoke Syndie’s first name which was probably a subconscious thing since I inevitably, to my chagrin, mispronounce her last name. I read the remainder of the report as written with one exception: I also failed to say “yet” in the last sentence. Below is the Staff Report as printed, not read.]

“A MID Committee meeting was held June 8, 2012. S. Marchesiello presented the committee with a preliminary report listing properties located on the MID Outside Place of Use. The research identified which properties are not currently paying fees to the District, currently metered or paying availability. S. Marchesiello requested additional time for in-depth research due to some properties having possible previous agreements or annexation fees paid.

During the research performed the District records show one property that is currently metered and receiving water. As a result I gave direction to staff to add that property on the MID Outside Place of Use. In addition, I directed staff to change the name of the report from Outside Place of Use to MID Outside Place of Use Metered Properties.

The remaining Board members not present were emailed the information presented. The MID Committee has plans to meet again after the additional research is completed. A date has not yet been scheduled.”

VP Richardson also mentioned another matter where a property was not paying availability due to a Department of Transportation transfer that was never corrected suggesting it was likely a simple office correction. Director Skoien questioned why the Outside MIDPOU Report was changed by adding metered to the description to which Richardson stated the report had always addressed only metered properties. He (Richardson) said the issue of availability fees being paid by some Outside MIDPOU properties brought up by Director Ross revealed this fact.

Richardson also advised during the research another Outside MIDPOU metered customer was discovered to have not been on the list and was subsequently added which could change the sustainable yield calculations of the Ranchito well. He stated later the list might contain two categories of Outside MIDPOU customers, metered and availability, but the availability list is still being researched and established.

Secretary Reeves asked if Directors wanted to report on the Finance Meeting held in the morning yet both President Kinsella and VP Richardson were under the impression such Committee Reports were made the following meeting. Reeves stated Directors needed to specify how they wanted to report because it would be easy to report right after the meeting and she was confused. President Kinsella advised Reeves was confusing the issue because that morning’s Finance Meeting would be reported on at the next Board Meeting.


[NOTE: Prior submitted Minutes incorrectly reported in two places that Directors Emery Ross, Mark Skoien and Victor Afanasiev were present and participated when they were actually absent from those meetings. VP Richardson suggested a correction to the February 21 2012 Minutes in regards to his recommendation for commendation to an employee in recovering $40,000 from Mariposa County. These Corrected Minutes were listed as “information” only in that they had already been approved (with noted corrections) on May 21, 2012.]

Director Skoien (referring back to Committee Reports) asked whether a Personnel Committee Meeting had been held regarding the background check for the IGM position. Director Victor Afanasiev was performing that process on behalf of the entire board and the Personnel Committee was not involved. Director Skoien had been concerned about a possible Brown Act violation if three directors were involved with the Personnel Committee. Director Afanasiev is not on the Personnel Committee. Secretary Reeves confirmed the May 21st Minutes indicated it was a Board action in Closed Session and the entire board would reconvene in 120 days and make a decision at that time.


President Kinsella: Now, we, we just ah dismissed or got rid of the corrected minutes, right?

Secretary Reeves: Yeah, you guys (inaudible)

VP Richardson: No, no I have a question about that

Secretary Reeves: OK

VP Richardson: Uhm, I understand that there was supposedly to be corrected and there was to be no further action

Secretary Reeves: Yes

VP Richardson: but reading through the February 21st 2012 I found a couple of things

Secretary Reeves: you found something else?

VP Richardson: that I have a problem with, yeah

Secretary Reeves: OK

VP Richardson: The original

Director Skoien: February?

VP Richardson: I’m sorry?

Director Skoien: February what?

VP Richardson: Ah

President Kinsella: February

Director Skoien: Oh yeah

VP Richardson: 21st, and that had to do with the ah minutes regarding the commendation

Secretary Reeves: yes,

VP Richardson: it was, you ended up changing it from my commendation

Secretary Reeves: ah hum

VP Richardson: to Bill’s commendation

Secretary Reeves: Yes, Bill’s request for commendation, because he originally requested it

VP Richardson: No, I did

President Kinsella: No, Lew requested it and then I embellished on it, and I got stepped on for embellishing it

Secretary Reeves: OK because I clarified and you said yes that was right. OK, so it was yours with Lew’s, or with Bill’s change?

VP Richardson: Exactly

Secretary Reeves: OK

VP Richardson: So, every, everything is correct on (cross talk-Secretary Reeves)

Secretary Reeves: Richardson’s request

VP Richardson: All you had to change was just discussion ensued regarding Director Richardson’s request for a commendation for S

Secretary Reeves: Marchesiello

VP Richardson: Thank you, which ah changed (cross talk) by

Secretary Reeves: Director

VP Richardson: Right, or President Bill Kinsella changed (cross talk by Reeves) right, right. That’s the only thing.

Secretary Reeves: OK

VP Richardson: And then the other deal was ahum, on page 58 of the June 18th Minutes

Secretary Reeves: say that again

VP Richardson: on page 58 which is the June 18th minutes

Secretary Reeves: ahum

VP Richardson: Ah, you have what you represent as a verbatim transcript

Secretary Reeves: Ahum

VP Richardson: but it is not verbatim, and it left out what I thought was some

Charise Reeves: what part?

VP Richardson: pertinent parts, well for one, ah, it doesn’t have the dialog between the different directors it only has Director Skoien and it also did not have my response to his statement, his inference that I was a contract Nazi (laughter)

Director Skoien: It has you on it, it has you on

Secretary Reeves: I could not read, I could not

Director Skoien: on here, on my copy, Director Ric…, it has you, it has comments by you on here

VP Richardson: Yeah, yeah, that one, but where you say we’ll get it, we’ll get it and then you (referring to Secretary Reeves) have inaudible

Secretary Reeves: I can’t understand it

VP Richardson: Well that’s strange

Secretary Reeves: Does your tape sound better than mine? Because

VP Richardson: Oh yeah

Secretary Reeves: because if you’ve got it

VP Richardson: I’ve got it

Secretary Reeves: give me a copy and I’ll be glad to fix it

VP Richardson: I most certainly will

Secretary Reeves: Because I listened to that about 5 or 6 times and it was really garbled so I didn’t want to put something and misstate anything so if you’ve got it I’ll be glad to add it

VP Richardson: I’ve got it.

Secretary Reeves: OK

VP Richardson: because the statement was well you know lackadaisical attitude like that

Secretary Reeves: OK

VP Richardson: could get us in trouble

Secretary Reeves: OK I’ll be glad to add that. Give me a copy of

VP Richardson: I will

Secretary Reeves: like you have before

VP Richardson: OK, thank you

Director Skoien: Aren’t you supposed to make these transcripts off our tapes?

Secretary Reeves: Yes, but if, if

VP Richardson: I would like to get a copy of that too

Secretary Reeves: Problem is I have no ability to make a copy right now. This one is not working and my other one that I had the double tape on got destroyed in the fire.

VP Richardson: Well maybe I could make arrangements to just come in and hear it then

Secretary Reeves: That would be fine

Director Skoien: What phrase are you talking about? Lackadaisical what?

VP Richardson: Lackadaisical attitude

(Multiple voices)

Director Skoien: No, I know the page number

VP Richardson: Lackadaisical attitude

Director Skoien: What was that?

VP Richardson: That was in reference to having a contract wide open with Throckwisp that had gone on for over a year and nothing had been done on it. And you said ah, it’s no big deal, we’re still getting our money, don’t worry about it.

Director Skoien: And you said that

VP Richardson: a lackadaisical attitude like that could get us in trouble.

Director Skoien: I think I remember you saying that (laughing)

Secretary Reeves: So, so the rest of, well when you don’t know what the words are, it kind of ran together and I was like, what is he saying and I couldn’t understand. So I will be glad, are the rest of them that were modified, everyone OK with the March 13th ones?

President Kinsella: As far as I’m concerned it is

VP Richardson: I, I have the whole thing I can get you.

Secretary Reeves: OK, so we’ll just bring back February 21st, I’ll throw in the next board meeting so everybody can make sure the changes are acceptable.

President Kinsella: OK

Secretary Reeves: OK

President Kinsella: We’re moving forward now?

VP Richardson: I believe so

President Kinsella: OK, I saw Hugh Martin here a little while ago, he’s still here?

HUGH MARTIN: Request to withdraw his property from the District

Mr. Martin advised his property is outside the subdivision; has had a meter since the 1970s; he recently found his own supply of water (ground well); had the meter pulled a year and a half ago and no longer wants to pay availability fees for his Outside MIDPOU property because he doesn’t need our water. Hugh said he no longer needed the district service and if a future owner desired such they could pay the arrears.

Mr. Martin read a portion of his letter to the Board of Directors requesting to withdraw from the district which included “ ….and in the future if I or any future property owners want to receive water service from Lake Don Pedro CSD all past fees will be paid in full.”

VP Richardson voiced his concern that Mr. Martin’s statement was not qualified with “IF” the District could legally serve the water to the property in the future. He said he had no problem with Martin withdrawing, other than the loss of revenue to the district. Director Skoien disagreed with qualifying any such agreement with “IF” because Martin has had a water meter in the past. Skoien also did not care for the idea that a future purchaser could be required to pay the arrears if Martin left the district and stopped paying the availability charge. Skoien did not believe it was good for the district to allow an Outside MIDPOU property to withdraw. He also felt it was not good for Martin either as a potential seller of property.

IGM Turner mentioned that water for fire suppression might also be an issue, since the lines are already in and must be maintained. VP Richardson again mentioned his concept of a detachment list where owners such as Mr. Martin could enroll to leave the district so rather than paying detachment fees on each property, a few properties could be done at once saving filing fees. Richardson also mentioned the possibility of forming an Outside MIDPOU Special Benefit Zone where future properties could be brought into district service since they would be funding their own special benefit.

A member of the audience felt that since the pipelines exist and must be maintained, a property leaving the district essentially relys on others to pay that property’s fees. The speaker was concerned with how many properties might leave and the effect on the district.

Merlin Jones commented that it appeared to be good for not only Mr. Martin, but the district as well if Mr. Martin could leave district service considering the water license and sustainable production of the Ranchito well. Jones suggested there might be a way to phrase the matter in a way acceptable to all parties.

President Kinsella asked for a motion to accept Mr. Martin’s proposal, but no motion was forthcoming. VP Richardson questioned whether the Board could use the same contract as with another property owner who had left district service where there was no language regarding reentry into the district in the future. President Kinsella suggested continuing the matter before the entire board in July (Directors Ross and Afanasiev were absent for this meeting).

Board Secretary Reeves advised she received an email that Pinnacle would not be attending today’s meeting.

SPECIAL ISSUE: Request by J. Turner to have Director Richardson report on his attendance at the LDPOA meeting

VP Richardson: Well first of all this all started prior to you (John Turner) being appointed to IGM and it was simply a proposal to include our hopefully returning Community Pipeline within the Discoverer newspaper as an insert. I thought that the concept in the letter was pretty clear however there seemed to be some confusion over how it would happen. Ahum, president Flossi advised it had nothing to do with their board, it was strictly a Foothill Express matter and therefore they had no vote on the matter, however, Ron Hunt was adamantly against it and he based this on a problem he had with CSD supposedly not living up to a contract with the LDPOA owners regarding Gregoris Pond. And ahum I just referred him to you I didn’t want to get into that conversation. I said you were the Interim General Manager and to see you about it but, the, pretty much the majority of the board was not in favor of co-operating with us by slipping it into the Discoverer so that the Discoverer could arrive representing land issues and inside that would be the Community Pipeline which would represent water. But they didn’t vote on it but they certainly weren’t thrilled with the idea.

IGM Turner commented that he requested the Gregoris Pond contract information however much of that is still in document recovery after the fire. Turner stated he would follow up on the matter as soon as he received the information.

Wes Barton mentioned prior discussions of that contract when he was on the board and problems on the LDPOA side regarding the length of the contract. Barton also stated that the pond is used by CalFire (helicopters dipping for water while involved with fire suppression).

[NOTE: The contact was written for 15 years despite LDPOA Governing Documents which provide for contracts of up to one year duration only. The last contract was signed by Dwight Mueller while he was president of the LDPOA.]

VP Richardson stated there were other issues involving Gregoris Pond including the inaccurate filing with the State Water Board decades ago that there is a creek which feeds the pond.


Meeting adjourned at 1433hrs


My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.