Monthly Archives February 2016

KAMPA’s POU Déjà vu — (“what?”) — KAMPA’s POU Déjà vu

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“I am so sorry, not quite catching what you’re saying, could you just one more time slowly…..?”

K A M P A ’s     P O U      D é j à vu

It does have a rather classy, exotic, kind of mysterious ring to it, don’t you think?
Quite accurate too!
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aka:   KAMPA’s “PLACE OF USE” for “GROUND WELL USE”, and the Déjà vu part fits because he’s certainly done this before, in fact, he’s done this before right here in LAKE DON PEDRO 20 years ago! Or should it now be called: Lake Don Well-dro? But if “Sneaky Pete and his Merry Meeting Men of Yes” are successful, in a few years it may very well be called: “LAKE DON HELL-DRO”.  (You know, Pete could write another Board resolution and include the “UGHT” to the “HELL-DRO”, then we’d have “LAKE DON HELL-DROUGHT”!  Tah -Dah, now watch me pull a ground squirrel out of a …..

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FINALLY UNDERSTAND
I just realized two major reasons why Pete Kampa and E&B Ross became such good friends. The first is, they have independent dreams that share a “coincidental”, albeit mutually benefiting relationship, in that, cowboys & girls need lots ‘ol water for their little doggies, while the other cannot rise to the status of King of a water empire without conquering new lands with ‘ye ‘ol alternate source well water substitution! lol

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But how on Earth could Pete Kampa proclaim to a dry, withering, disadvantaged village that the wells were going to provide an emergency fallback source for all the good drinking and bathing villagers when in actuality, they (ye ‘ol wells), were only expensive tools in his continuing twenty year Kampa Crusade for Water Empire Expansion?

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That brings us to the second trait E&B ROSS and KAMPA appear to have in common. All hold tenaciously to their dreams and regardless of the rules they are forced to bend, break or circumvent; or the continuing falsehoods and stories they must manufacture and disseminate throughout the village to conceal their deeds to succeed, they are now, and will for always be, oblivious to the harm and distress they cause others.

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My best to you and yours, Lew

THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR DECADES BECAUSE THERE ARE SOME PESKY REGULATIONS.  In this example it is quite obvious both parties acknowledge not only the prohibition, but a ground well solution.  That was 20 years ago.  What has changed?

 

 

 

 

“TEMPORARY SOLUTIONS

FOR

DECADES OLD PROBLEMS”

 

Drill a water well at Gregories Park? [BELOW]

BEEN THERE.

DONE THAT.

We sure proved that “good potential” ground well a thing or two, huh?  What was that, about $20,000  of LDPCSD public funds?  And we’ve had 11 bad wells?  Wow, almost a quarter of a million dollars.

WOW CHECK IT OUT…..THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO TODAY!

Happy Birthday Dry Hole!

 

Categories: Uncategorized.

“JUST A COINCIDENCE” IS WEARING THIN

Reading Time: 3 minutes
2nd MID FOIA Request walkin 022320161018

2nd MID FOIA Request walkin 022320161018

 

GIVE ME A BREAK!  I WAS WRITING IN MY PICKUP OUTSIDE IN THE PARKING LOT!  YOU CAN READ IT THOUGH RIGHT?   lol

FOUND THIS ON THE INTERNET :


Product & Tracking Information

Postal Product:

Features:

  • Certified Mail
 
Date & Time
Status of Item
Location
February 12, 2016 , 4:05 pm

Departed USPS Origin Facility

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA 95799
 

Your item departed our USPS origin facility in WEST SACRAMENTO, CA 95799 on February 12, 2016 at 4:05 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

February 11, 2016 , 10:08 pm

Arrived at USPS Origin Facility

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA 95799
February 11, 2016 , 4:06 pm

Departed Post Office

LA GRANGE, CA 95329
February 11, 2016 , 1:39 pm

Acceptance

LA GRANGE, CA 95329

Traced my Certified Mail Receipt number and thought it had been “lost” somewhere in West Sacramento the day after mailing in La Grange.  Humm, strange.  Get home and run another tracking check and see that it supposedly left West Sacramento.  Gee, wonder where it got lost?  Perhaps I should not have posted the receipt with the numbers legible?   Who knows what computers can do?  Anyway, had a copy of my original (like was previously posted) so I added a few things and hand delivered it to the Merced Irrigation District office in Merced this morning.  (That’s my note of “1018 hrs” to the right of the red MID stamp.)

EMAIL?    

SNAIL MAIL?    

CERTIFIED MAIL?   

SMOKE SIGNALS?

I now wonder whether an email FOIA (Freedom Of Information Request) might have been better?  Naw, I like being able to see the mail tracking results in black ink.  Emails get lost, wrong office mailbox, address, etc.  Snail mail takes too long and can also get lost.  Much better to send a “time sensitive FOIA request” by USPS Certified Mail for almost $7.00 and then have it mysteriously disappear after being scanned in a West Sacramento post office! LOL  Wonder where the next stop was?

“COINCIDENCE, The occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection”.  Online Webster Dictionary

OK, sure, let’s not delve into any “conspiracy theory” quite yet.  Conspiracy Theory?,….wasn’t that an excellent movie with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts?

Speaking of conspiracy, I have many thoughts regarding what appears to be moving behind the scenes with some public agencies and their departments.  Using public funds to expand LDPCSD water service further beyond the Place of Use restrictions in L11395 and the monthly MID POU compliance report, may only be the tip of the iceberg.

One thought that is particularly troubling is the fact every single LDPCSD director who has ever served with integrity regarding this extremely tumultuous community issue and voted to deny water service to outside Place of Use properties because of legal restrictions, has been done a disservice.    Who wants to be the “parent” or the “bad guy/gal” who must say “sorry the District cannot provide water there based on restrictions in the water license; agreement with the Merced Irrigation District; and my sworn Oath of Office which dictates a fiduciary duty to this District.”

(Can you still hear the jeering laughter ridicule?)

Or does one make a spontaneous pressured decision based on a very small number of people who scream, holler and make nasty remarks in a choreographed presentation of child-like protest demanding what they want?

Too often, some (directors) have fallen to this later environment.

SURE, I’M A DINOSAUR

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.    Yes indeed, I am a dinosaur with an (apparently) outdated sense of “right and wrong” and confused about what is meant by the “transparency of government process”.  Maybe a background as a military dependent and moving from place to place for most of my formative years assisted in creating a perspective a bit more conservative than others, like with respect to national defense and public service integrity?

WATER RELATED “MILITARY BRAT” MEMORY

I will never forget coming back to the United States in the early seventies following two years in Asia and once again appreciating something I had almost forgotten,  drinking water from a common garden hose.  I was standing on my Aunt and Uncle’s beautiful green front lawn in Sacramento in the shade of old growth trees, drinking cool clean water from a typical green garden hose.  Far cry from hauling potable water home in plastic jugs from the “Compound’s Water Tank” to avoid getting sick from the tap water.  Yup.  Something we often take for granted. We’d probably be a stronger country as a people if every citizen had to haul their own water for a while.

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

March 10th 2016:  Further information regarding this information request will be located under main menu heading:  FOILED F.O.I.A.

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized.

SMELL THAT WIND? be nice now…..

Reading Time: 3 minutes

– I am NOT referring to the burritos and Jalapenos.    lol

This website will be undergoing some upgrading for a bit so please bare with me as I am not very computer literate.  Seems every time I take a break from this blogging stuff I forget what little I have learned in addition to how upgrades often don’t go as smoothly as anticipated.  Learning new stuff is great but perilous if not absolutely confident about what you’re doing.

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NEWS NOTE:  Yesterday’s LDPCSD Board of Directors vote to rescind Resolution 2013-4 (prohibiting additional CSD water service to properties outside the Place of Use under Water License 11395 and Merced Irrigation District’s Place of Use restrictions per L11395), has evidently been deferred to committee to ascertain specific information regarding these properties. The matter is anticipated to be reconsidered by the board in approximately two months.

RAIN?

I started moving around at 0430hrs this morning due to howling wind through a partially opened bedroom window. Shaking off the evaporating memories of sleep, my nostrils filled with breezy swirls of that aromatic hint of precipitation. Do you know what I mean? (remember Lee Michaels? Lol) That unmistakable smell of rain on the earth, trees, paved highways, and such?

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Only a few sporadic drops have fallen so far, but with a continued forecast of “chance of rain” for the next couple of days, let’s hope more is on the way.   Especially in the higher elevations where every crystal of ice and snow will be needed for the approaching warmer weather.

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SAVED IT AGAIN
Well, at least I saved the deck umbrella this time as I have lost a few of them through the years due to the common and very strong wind gusts up here. This year I drilled a hole through the metal umbrella stand pipe just below the hole in the table so I could place a large bolt through the pipe so upward air movement wouldn’t allow it to “take off” again like last year’s umbrella excitement.

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During a developing storm last year I was rushing to get outside because I could see the umbrella and stand pole violently moving up and down repeatedly. The umbrella/stand would rattle and shake wildly back and forth then quickly jump up due to the lifting wind under that crude 12 foot diameter sail. When the wind lessened and the upward movement ceased, gravity pulled it back to earth approximately two-three feet with a shuddering thump of the stand on the wood deck.

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I had just passed through the open sliding glass door to the deck when an exceptionally strong gust blasted the whole umbrella straight up into the air – with the stand completely clearing the table! It was in flight! Straight up like a 12 foot diameter bloated canvas rocket launched by nature’s laws of physics at Cape Don Pedro.

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I instinctively grabbed the stand pole (about eye level and still going up) with both hands in a panicked baseball bat type grip and physically struggled to gain “flight control” of this extremely powerful “aircraft” which had a final destination of its own planned. Following the brief, but significant struggle, I successfully executed a “semi-controlled crash” back to the deck with only minimal umbrella damage.

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After my heart rate had slowed and the tingling shiver sensation of fear running up and down my back and neck had subsided, I realized just how fortunate I had been. Those annoying “extra pounds” were finally appreciated for the assistance in keeping my dumb ass on the deck!

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Had any one of a number of variables been different, I could easily envision an age appropriate humorous news report of the resulting accident:

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“Local Don Pedro Resident “Mary Poppins” To Area Hospital”

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My best to you and yours, Lew

PS:  Speaking of old songs (Lee Michaels), remember  Monty Python’s movie: “THE MEANING OF LIFE” and : THE UNIVERSE SONG ?

Categories: Uncategorized.

LEGAL USERS GET RESTRICTIONS WHILE ILLEGAL CONNECTIONS GET SUBSIDIZED WATER?

Reading Time: 14 minutes

I wonder if regulating authorities like the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) approve of our surface water treatment plant intentionally circumventing very clear prohibitions of water service under L11395?

Running “State and Federal Grant money funded ground water” through our treatment plant to magically “WASH AWAY LEGITIMATE RESTRICTIONS” of Water License 11395 is reprehensible conduct.  This is especially true during this severe drought where many communities have been seriously harmed.   Such Director betrayal of fiduciary duty to the District and existing customers is quite appalling in light of the fact these emergency ground wells were applied for, constructed, and quite clearly represented as the remedy for water sustainability for existing customers.  The wells were NEVER MENTIONED AS A MECHANISM to circumvent the law to continue prohibited water service outside license requirements.

Does any of this make sense to you?  Strict water restrictions under penalty of fine for legally entitled water customers while the GM/Board plan to provide ground water from our new expensive wells to properties not entitled to water under the District’s operating water license?  The District has been subject to those regulations since its formation as a Public Agency almost forty (40) year ago but this recent “emergency drought” provided the opportunity for POLICY DECEIT.

Recently Pete Kampa made an issue of the fact the District was going to be legally prevented from pumping below the minimum pool at McClure and stated the ground wells saved us from this horrible situation.  What Kampa did not “come clean” about was the fact the Merced Irrigation District requested the SWRCB to temporarily allow the LDPCSD to pump below the minimum pool which the state allowed.  We could have still pumped water from the lake, but Kampa and his Board wanted to make it sound like IF NOT FOR THE GROUND WELLS customers would have completely run out of water because the district could not have pumped from the lake.  (True while waiting for the state decision the “What ifs” were scary.)

Typical half-truths and self-serving District propaganda to justify a secret plan to continue an expanded water empire with YOUR MONEY!   Considering how Kampa obtained the GM position to begin with, I do not believe for a nanosecond he has the integrity to tell the truth if it does not benefit him, his Kampa Community Solutions, llc water management company or his continued plan of wrongfully expanding district water service.  If this were the honorable and proper thing to do (expanding service with ground wells in this geology) it should have been brought up publicly and certainly explained to State and Federal grant issuing departments/agencies.

ONLY KAMPA “FOR PROFIT PERSPECTIVE” HEARD – OTHERS DENIED VOICE

You know, when the district went along with Kampa’s request to suspend public bidding on expensive planning and construction projects, something else was lost in addition to perhaps a cheaper and more logical way to proceed.  Barring other applicants for projects equated to customers (and perhaps other government agencies as well) only being presented with Kampa’s skewed and self-serving position on the drought’s actual affect on District water service to customers and how to proceed. It was completely his show because other professionals in the water industry, which may have had an entirely different perspective and approach to the problem solving, were precluded from involvement.

Apparently Pete Kampa’s method of operation (after the “fixed” one meeting interview/hiring) was something like, “Severe drought and environmental wildlife releases may leave LDPCSD without water to pump from Lake McClure.  I have the knowledge and experience to keep water flowing but it’s “my way or the highway”.   The board decided to “go with the Kampa flow”.

Remember how shortly after being appointed to the GM position Pete Kampa (with the Board’s blessing and approval) greatly increased the cost of his services due to the amount of time he was spending on emergency drought matters?  But isn’t that why he was appointed GM in the first place?  Pete Kampa said he was a professional and could do the job for “X” amount of dollars?  Like any good “con job”, once the deal was made and the “mark” (LDPCSD) already on the hook/committed to loss (in for a dime – in for a dollar)  –  he tweaked the profit margin even further to his advantage, but that’s just normal business with a public agency right?

Surreptitious interview/hiring, low-ball the estimated costs to get the job; make yourself indispensable and gather more management authority; restrict public information previously contained in agenda board packets; demand more payment; utilize only Kampa “trusted contacts” without public bidding, then restructure a public agency to provide a special benefit to third parties not entitled to water under the operating license with expensive ground wells traditionally iffy in this fractured rock geology.

Where I did hear this before?   LOL.

“They” want us to believe ONLY Pete Kampa (Kampa Community Solutions, llc); his essentially handpicked and majority appointed Board of Directors; numerous contracted FOR PROFIT companies; and millions of dollars in District, State and Federal grants COULD HAVE HELPED this poor disadvantaged NONPROFIT Public Agency water district get through this drought?

ABSOLUTE NONSENSE

Restless night…..WHAT IF DREAMS….what if all these Resolutions Pete Kampa and his Board of Directors have orchestrated for this water service expansion plan actually detailed the facts ????  sooooo  sleeeeeepy………..

(Soft relaxing music fades-in with dream sequence imagery)

$$$ $$$ $$$

WHEREAS, The Lake Don Pedro Community Services District (LDPCSD) is a NONPROFIT Public Agency owning a surface water treatment plant operated under Water License 11395 and has been subject to the License restrictions on areas of permitted service since District formation,

WHEREAS, the primary permitted area of water service is the Lake Don Pedro residential subdivision and golf course,

WHEREAS, the Merced Irrigation District (MID) is the holder of Water License 11395 and responsible for adherence to license requirements, including actions of its sub licensed users such as the LDPCSD;

WHEREAS, the District has in the past, with complete disregard for clear license restrictions, did in fact divert and deliver Merced River Water to properties outside the permitted Place of Use under the license,

WHEREAS, the MID, holder of Water License 11395, in order to protect itself from liability from continued LDPCSD service expansion outside areas permitted in L11395 and possible license enforcement actions by the STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD, required the LDPCSD to construct the RANCHITO DRIVE ground water well,

WHEREAS, the RANCHITO DRIVE WELL was intended to provide an alternate source of water and remedy for the numerous illegal connections that were serving Merced River Water outside the Place of Use,

WHEREAS, this ground well was required to produce water equaling or exceeding the amount of Merced River Water diverted and delivered to prohibited properties under the license,

WHEREAS, in addition to the Ranchito Well alternate water supply, the LDPCSD was also required to abide by the MID Water Agreement which contained the MID Place of Use (MID POU) property requirements,

WHEREAS, the LDPCSD was also required to complete and submit a monthly compliance report to the MID which contained the total amounts of water pumped from both Lake McClure and the ground well, amounts delivered outside the MID POU including individual property consumption amounts,

WHEREAS, this MID POU is essentially the Lake Don Pedro subdivision serving approximately one half of the 3,128  properties, the remaining being availability water customers also specifically entitled to Merced River Water under License 11395 and a golf course,

WHEREAS, Pete Kampa and his FOR PROFIT water management business, Kampa Community Solutions, llc, is the appointed General Manager of the NONPROFIT LDPCSD,

WHEREAS, this appointment was accomplished by the LDPCSD Board of Directors which used a closed recruitment process for a public agency GM management position vacancy,

WHEREAS, that closed process was specifically designed to enable PETE KAMPA and KAMPA COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS LLC, a water management corporation, to be the only applicant possibly considered for the LDPCSD GM position,

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors prior to GM appointment (the same day as applicant’s contract was presented to board) deliberately failed to perform even a rudimentary employment background check which would have likely included information as to why PETE KAMPA had been recently fired from his position as GM with the Tuolumne Utilities District,

WHEREAS, had that background check, and validation of submitted materials submitted by Kampa, taken place prior to appointment, said research would have likely revealed prior LDPCSD employment history including performance evaluation difficulties and Kampa’s past involvement with District expansion beyond license requirements,

WHEREAS, the Board’s appointment plan was successful and PETE KAMPA was subsequently appointed to the unannounced opening for General Manager of the NON PROFIT Public Community Services District,

WHEREAS, GM Pete Kampa and company having been appointed by the LDPCSD Board of Directors, began a systematic program of Board approved resolutions granting KAMPA extraordinary powers in LDPCSD management (in addition to being Treasurer), including but not limited to, representative in legal matters, land acquisition negotiations, preparation of State and Federal Grant money applications, orchestrating and completing contracts with consultants, engineers, miscellaneous construction companies and corporations ALL WITHOUT A PUBLIC BIDDING PROCESS, which was also facilitated by a resolution,

WHEREAS, the monthly MID POU report routinely included in the board agenda packet was removed from public view by the GM to prevent further public knowledge of potential violations of the water license by diverting and delivering water to additional outside MID POU properties,

WHEREAS, the NONPROFIT LDPCSD’s surface water treatment plant function and operation is currently being reconfigured by FOR PROFIT companies and corporations, led by the appointed GM with continued support of the LDPCSD Board of Directors whose current board majority is composed of APPOINTED DIRECTORS rather than PUBLICLY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES,

WHEREAS, this surreptitious reconfiguration is being accomplished during an unprecedented California State drought with state-wide mandatory water restrictions on consumption, with many struggling communities competing for necessary State and Federal emergency grant money,

WHEREAS, this  water plant reconfiguration is planned to supply treated potable water pumped from the NONPROFIT LDPCSD’s water plant after the Merced River Water from Lake McClure has been mixed with an equal amount of water pumped from newly developed and extremely expensive alternate source ground wells,

WHEREAS, these alternate source ground wells are being paid for with NONPROFIT  LDPCSD public agency funds in combination with substantial grant contributions by California State and United States Federal Department water authorities;

WHEREAS, one stated purpose of this grant money was to construct ground water wells for emergency water production and sustainability for the existing LDPCSD customers primarily within the Merced Irrigation District Place of Use (MID POU),

WHEREAS, GM and Board of Directors have scheduled a Special Meeting on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 1300hrs at the LDPCSD Board Room for director vote approval of this RECONFIGURATION OF THE LDPCSD Public Agency policy in serving water to  those not entitled under Water License 11395,

WHEREAS, this entire matter has been pursued by the GM and his Board of Directors without ANY, much less adequate, time for public comment, question, or suggestions concerning this monumental change in district policy;

NOW, THEREFORE, IN CONSIDERATION OF THE FOREGOING, BE IT

RESOLVED: The Board of Directors will do what they want on Tuesday.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: The GM and Board of Directors will continue to expect legal users to pay for this special interest benefit accomplished through nondisclosure of pertinent information and continued deceit.

$$$ $$$ $$$

(Dream sequence and music fades-out)

GOSH, guess I read too many resolutions last night before bed!  Phewww  Those spicy burritos, cream cheese stuffed Jalapenos and hot sauce sure didn’t help much either – what a nightmare!  lol

WHY RUSH THIS MONUMENTAL PUBLIC AGENCY POLICY CHANGE?

Why is it so important for the GM/Board to rush the vote on this resolution?  If approved, this policy will have major long term financial implications for the 99% of legal Merced River Water consumers who MUST financially support this NONPROFIT PUBLIC AGENCY. This is wrong on so many levels and much of the damage will not even become apparent for some time.  (Heck, it took nine years to discover how a current sitting director snagged a water meter from another ranch to build a cattle ranch with chlorinated water clearly intended for residential domestic use in the subdivision.)

Approval of the GMs resolution is a “BAD POLICY TIME BOMB”.  It clearly is a SPECIAL INTEREST benefit to those without water and the DISTRICT has absolutely NO LEGAL DUTY to supply this water yet the whole plan requires PUBLIC FUNDS AND RESOURCES NOW AND IN THE FUTURE.

Why quickly make such major changes to District Policy without adequate time for the existing customers to investigate, comment or ask questions about this proposed massive change in the function and operation of their public water agency?  What happened to transparency of government process?

The GM and his Board are attempting to unilaterally push this dramatic change through without any public notice or chance to be heard, yet all the while pushing for an extremely large rate/fee  increase to fund that which they have already secretly planned.

What is the rush since many of these properties have had “existing connections” for decades and have never been supplied water.  Some were major developments that failed.  Come on now, the District already has 772 acre feet of water a year approved for 2,010 acres by Mariposa LAFCo, Merced Irrigation District, and the State Water Resources Control Board, and that project hasn’t developed in two decades AND it was done legally within license requirements! And this board now wants to expand district water service further outside the license regulations using ground wells in fractured rock geology?  Good Heavens what vision for the future.

Many of these existing connections Mr. Kampa seems so worried about were quickly installed at various times in hopes their existence might one day be used as evidence of intended water service.   Perhaps Kampa when he worked here in the 1990s installed some of them himself since documents unequivocally show he was in favor of such expansion in the past.   I’m not sure how long Pete Kampa worked for the district back then, maybe he was the District employee who helped Director Emery Ross get his “magic meter” for cattle ranching, which even though clearly wrong has also never been addressed and/or corrected?  Rewarding bad behavior.

NO ASSUMPTION OF SERVICE AT ALL

No, not at all.  The existence of connections does not prove an “ASSUMPTION OF FUTURE WATER DELIVERIES” as PETE KAMPA claims.   Many of these properties have intentionally recorded incorrect information in district records for years, but that doesn’t entitle them to water.

REMEMBER the infamous POE CASE?   Three separate meters on ONE PROPERTY yet three SEPARATE APNs (Assessor Parcel Number) of different neighboring properties in LDPCSD official records to make the deal seem legitimate – but no one confirmed the information?

Talk about pure and simple fraud.   Remember also that Emery Ross gave Boardroom testimony about the facts of that case that were unequivocally challenged and proven incorrect by one of the original parties involved.  (Humm, also remember the total destruction of our Administration Office and loss of “some records”?  There’s that nagging coincidence thing again huh?  ONly “some” records?)

Nope, not at all cowpoke, just because a property owner and/or the LDPCSD installed connections and meter boxes on properties and expanded the district boundary outside the permitted water license under which we have operated for decades, it doesn’t give those properties a legal right to subsidized water service on the financial backs of 3,128 +/- legal customers in the subdivision.

Have pipe lines, connections, meter boxes, meters and such been installed on outside MID POU property since Pete Kampa was appointed GM while Resolution 2013-4 has been in effect?

When on the board I suggested some ideas on how to possibly serve further properties outside the legal Place of Use but they all involved those additional properties paying for that special benefit of water service (ie construction and maintenance of additional ground wells) themselves as a group with the District assisting in ways that it legally could.  The idea naturally met with little support.

Why?  Because these property owners who KAMPA AND HIS BOARD plan to furnish water just don’t want our water, they want it as cheap as those who have been paying decades for that benefit.

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

AFTER THOUGHT:

KAMPA is touting how the ground wells are COMPLETELY supporting the communities’ water demand, but as usual fails, to mention three relevant facts:

  1. Traditionally very low water demand months, especially with recent rain,
  2. We still could have pumped from McClure because the State approved such, and
  3. Legally entitled water customers are on water restrictions (subdivision)

My preemptive answer to the presumed statement regarding #3:  “Outside MID POU properties are also on water restrictions” would be no, not all of them.  Some outside MID POU properties are not on water restrictions such as the fire department, sewage plant, and of course cattle ranches – how do you make a cow drink less and remain healthy?  (Fire suppression efforts and normal sewage disposal would also obviously suffer without adequate water.)

ANOTHER thought. (Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know….You think it’s irritating?  Every time I want to put this sucker to bed I proof read and POW!  Another thought…….)

“WHEREAS, the District continues to charge the properties within its boundaries and outside the Place of Use the normal and customary Standby Fee on a per parcel, per year basis which creates the assumption that the District will provide water service to those parcels when it becomes available;”

THERE IT IS!  It’s not just about “existing connections”, but also those properties that signed up for the “just in case availability fee”.   The statement is not factual either because some properties have paid ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the district in the past and were included in the district’s expanded boundaries drawn outside MID POU never-the-less. They even got to vote in elections!  These are the very boundaries PETE KAMPA in 1997 (when resigning from his first employment with LDPCSD) encouraged the board to expand!  Is this why the board wanted only KAMPA as GM?

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

YES indeed I write much about this expansion issue (among other stuff) because I think it is important so I make the time.  I have also used much of my time working very hard in order to conserve and use water wisely, as most of us have.   I (we as entitled water users) have paid for, and earned, the right to comment on our public agency performance and what certainly appears to violate the concept of “transparency of government”.

This is especially true when such activity will likely double what we are currently paying for water – if approved by voting customers. [THE ONLY TIME WHAT YOU SAY ACTUALLY COUNTS.]  I have learned much and will continue to improve my water management skills and of course pay my LDPCSD water bill like I always have.  I will also speak up about what I believe to be improper activities by public officials and their “appointees” whether it makes a difference or not.  BAD BEHAVIOR SHOULD NOT BE REWARDED.

Here are some photos of what the drought has meant to me personally.  I have hundreds and hundreds of photos and video clips documenting another aspect of my life during that time period (last photo) but it was pretty painful to share up until now.  Searching for some of these “drought photos”  and rummaging through those images “picked that emotional scab”, but if for no other reason than perhaps helping someone else in a similar situation, I believe it worth sharing soon.    Life is good. <gulp>

 

WHERE DOES IT GO?

Drought and Bark Beetle DOUBLE PUNCH

Watch years of care slowly die away

 

FINALLY!

Save "warm up water" in tub, pail to can, then fill empty juice jugs.

Home made environmentally safe laundry detergent

Pipes to transport recycled water to landscaping

Constant meter reading and double checks

Wash/rinse in plastic tubs and haul to "irrigation sink"

 

Another potable source

Decorated garbage can irrigation barrels

Drainage control and collection

Down spout rain barrels

Additional timers (extensive wiring with new valves)

Plain old hot black plastic....needs decorating huh?

 

Much better personalized! LOL

Gravity feeding irrigation barrels downhill with drip hose. SLOW!

<gulp> life is good but it sure hurts at times

Categories: Uncategorized.

TANSTAAFL

Reading Time: 9 minutes

While serving on the LDPCSD a few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a number of training classes sponsored by various water organizations.  I was sitting in a classroom once with maybe fifty or so other people waiting for the training session to begin when we noticed at the front of the room a projection of the word “TANSTAAFL” on the wall.

A training  instructor introduced the class and at one point looked over his shoulder at the illuminated word and said:   “TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”.  There was a pretty good laugh and the class started with subsequent discussion involving available funding sources for expensive water related projects and equipment.

I think most of us realize what TANSTAAFL really means.  Free often really isn’t free.  There is always some kind of a price to be paid.  Perhaps the easiest analogy is the “FREE CONDO VACATION WEEKEND”.  You may not pay cash for the accommodations but you do pay dearly in precious time wasted attending required high pressure sales lectures and promotions.   Anyway, thought of TANSTAAFL while considering the GM/Board’s plan of designating our new ground well water production to further expansion of district services – beyond the water license limitations under which LDPCSD operates.

Let’s take a look at the GM/Board’s supporting data for rescinding Resolution 2013-4 next Tuesday.  Incidentally, the approval vote back in 2013 was unattended by current LDPCSD President Danny Johnson and voted against by outside MID POU ICON cattle rancher Director Emery Ross.

SIDE NOTE:  Sure doesn’t seem right in regards to “conflict of interest” theories how Director Emery Ross can even vote on anything outside MID POU related since he holds two of the 35-36 outside MID POU water meters; his ranch was specifically denied service prior to purchase; a water meter was “liberated” from another rancher’s inventory and although discovered nine years later and returned to rightful owner (credit to his account), Ross still retained water service to the ranch; and the ranch possesses a previously undocumented water line which traverses his pasture land and ultimately serves two other outside MID POU ranches.

BACK TO THE FEB 16th BOARD VOTE TO RESCIND RESOLUTION 2013-4

Tuesday’s vote will only have two originally “elected by the voters” directors. (Ross and Johnson)  The majority of the board right now is made up of three appointees (at different times) whose selection was heavily influenced by Directors Ross and Johnson , and their appointed GM Pete Kampa of course.

DIFFERENCE WITHOUT DISTINCTION?

True an appointed director also takes a sworn Oath of Office, but that has more to do with their personal integrity and willingness to use their best efforts/abilities to correctly perform their public service duties, I’m specifically referring to the process of their selection.

The “closed recruitment process” used to appoint Pete Kampa GM (Kampa Community Solutions) is pretty clear but so is the process in selecting and appointing a replacement Director.   The current MAJORITY of the board did not have to respond to community questions or “make their case” with the voters.  They did not publicly take a stand on any major issues facing this district.  Evidently these applicants indicated to the selecting directors they had experience, education and skills that could be of assistance in helping the District serve its customers now and in the future.

But why would a majority of the Board intentionally choose an applicant who had a different perspective regarding the proper functioning of this District?  Naturally they would select and appoint an applicant with complimentary views.  Did these views happen to include discussion as to their thoughts on district expansion beyond water license restrictions  using ground wells?  Were these directors appointed as “ringers” for the next vote to rescind Resolution 2013-4 after it failed in June of 2015?

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE GM/BOARD SUPPORTING DATA TO RESCIND RESOLUTION 2013-4

WHEREAS, the District provides water service to parcels within its boundaries, most of which are located within the geographic boundary described as the Place of Use (referred to herein as Place of Use) designated for consumptive use of water from Lake McClure under Merced Irrigation District’s (MID) various permits and entitlements; and

TRUE. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,128 properties in the subdivision, just under half water consumers of the district, the rest are absentee property owners who pay an availability fee for future water use as they are entitled to Merced River Water under License 11395.    According to the district there are “approximately 36” current Outside MID POU properties consuming water.  Unknown how many there are that are not consuming water, but many for sure.

WHEREAS, a number of the existing active and inactive connections to the District water system are located outside the Lake McClure Place of Use, and are therefore provided water from sources other than Lake McClure as required; and

MISLEADING: Active water connections are one thing (like the cattle ranching director, the elementary school, the fire station, the sewer plant, etc.) but “inactive connections” is a RED HERRING TERM meant to deceive the public because many connections were made in anticipation of someday receiving water but have not paid a red cent to the district and have never used water.  Inactive properties are not being served water and the only alternate source is ground well water.

WHEREAS, the District in 1992 constructed a groundwater well for the purpose of providing an alternate water supply to the properties located outside the Place of Use, and this well has been providing water continuously since that time; and

TRUE and FALSE:  True the Ranchito Drive ground well has been used since 1992 to provide water to outside MID POU properties but that wasn’t planned, the well was constructed as a quick remedy for all the “illegal connections”.  The well on many occasions has failed to produce water continuously to meet the compliance requirement of replacing the exact amount of water diverted and delivered to properties not entitled to Merced River water.  The monthly outside MID POU report, required by and submitted to MID for over twenty years, that was contained in public board packets often evidenced the well was not compliant with MID rules.  That report ceased being part of the board packet shortly after Pete Kampa was appointed GM.

WHEREAS, the District conducted production testing on the 1992 well and it was determined in 2013 that the well was serving the maximum number of outside Place of Use customers possible; and WHEREAS, the District previously adopted Resolution 2013-4 which prohibited the District from providing water service to additional new connections on properties located outside the Place of Use, when it was determined that the one existing groundwater well operated by the District lacked water production capacity to serve additional connections; and

TRUE:  The district had been subjected to a coordinated barrage of requests for further outside MID POU water deliveries and often cited the Ranchito Drive well as a  sufficient alternate water source for more connections.  I was on the board at the time and disagreed explaining the Ranchito Drive well was required as a quick remedy for illegal connections not as a standard method of operation and there was no reason to assume the well could handle additional connections anyway and suggested a well test.  The complicated test revealed that Ranchito was producing less than it should for the already existing outside MID POU properties.  Those wanting what the subdivision had – water – have always demanded more ground wells be constructed despite the cost and “remedy to existing violations” status.

WHEREAS, the District continues to charge the properties within its boundaries and outside the Place of Use the normal and customary Standby Fee on a per parcel, per year basis which creates the assumption that the District will provide water service to those parcels when it becomes available; and

TRUE BUT INTENTIONALLY MISLEADING: First notice the use of “standby” rather than “availability”.  Yes of course the district charges properties in the subdivision the customary standby fee for future water service because they are entitled to Merced River water SUBDIVISION OWNERS CAN ASSUME WATER WILL BE PROVIDED (if this GM/Board does not continue to mismanage and sell it to those not entitled).

The district also charges the standby to a small number of properties outside the MID POU because they wanted water and agreed to pay for that CHANCE in the future. There’s the BIG DIFFERENCE –  subdivision properties MUST PAY availability/standby fees but outside the subdivision property owners were frantically trying to get that which they WERE NOT ENTITLED UNDER THE WATER LICENSE but agreed to pay availability just in case someday they could.  Rather like paying the water lottery.  A few dollars a year was nothing compared to the value of POSSIBLY receiving water in the future.

FALSE: There was NO ASSUMPTION THAT THE DISTRICT WOULD PROVIDE but there was desperate hope.  There was hope because they had already been denied. People purchasing land outside the subdivision knew water was going to be a BIG ISSUE.  Ground water wells in this fractured rock geology are expensive and private property owners (outside the subdivision) did not want to pay the costs involved for construction, development, maintenance, repair and replacement.  If the project were larger, say a subdivision other state requirements kick in to distribute water: proper testing and reporting to the State Health Department, regulations, restrictions, permits, chemicals…..blah,blah,blah  $$$$!!

Paying availability fees creates no ASSUMPTION if the property were outside the POU.  It’s sort of like a Water Lottery plain and simple. Here’s an experiment – take all your losing outdated lottery tickets, drive to Sacramento and demand to be paid a lottery jackpot and produce your shoe box full of old lottery tickets as evidence there was an assumption you were going to win.  (Not a perfect example, but a gamble never the less, because properties outside the POU had no expectation of service other than SEVERE WANT.)

The GMs/BOARD’s logic is fallacious.  The District CREATED NO ASSUMPTION, it was those wanting another’s water who took the GAMBLE to obtain future water. I suggested years ago the proper course of action would be to repay those property owners the money with reasonable interest and close the festering matter on every outside POU property possible.   These outside MID POU property owners want water that has been legally reserved for properties in the subdivision but “outsiders” didn’t want the Property Owners’ Association telling them what to do.  They didn’t want CC&Rs and Boards, and committees, yearly assessments, violation committees, blah, blah, blah.  They purchased other land near the subdivision and planned ways of taking water that clearly was not theirs.

WHEREAS, the District has undertaken an emergency groundwater well project to provide an alternate water supply in the event of continued drought and the loss of surface water in Lake McClure; and

TRUE: But you left something out that’s pretty important didn’t you Mr. KAMPA?  This emergency ground well water project has ALWAYS been represented as a safeguard for existing water consuming customers of the district, including current EXISTING outside MID POU properties, but NEVER to further expand outside MID POU property service.

WHEREAS, the groundwater wells have been tested to produce adequate water supply to serve the water needs of the current number of future system connections located within the District boundaries, and outside the Place of Use.

WHOA THERE!  What are you trying to spin here? “Wells have been tested to produce adequate water supply?” That does not even make sense grammatically.

You can’t test to produce adequate water!  You test to see “results”.  Results will either confirm or deny that a well will produce adequate water.  Our District Engineers reported the ground wells DID NOT produce enough water for our peak demand times yet you now dispute this in a recital for a  resolution approving even more outside POU connections?  Someone is misrepresenting the truth here.

In addition to this glaring contradiction, you know it is entirely too early to predict the sustainable production of these  new ground wells in this fractured rock geology much less being able to predict what future demands will be for all the properties not entitled to water under the water license.

MARCH 2nd 2016 UPDATE:  Evidently PETE KAMPA doesn’t recall his past experience here at the LDPCSD regarding the production of the Ranchito Drive well, or he is again being deliberately untruthful.  Even the Ranchito Well was calculated to produce more but READ what KAMPA WROTE IN October of 1997: PRODUCTION DROPPED DRAMATICALLY

WHO KNOWS IF THERE WILL BE ADEQUATE WATER but at least there is a finite number of connections in the subdivision were water service is without question legal.  There are a KNOWN exact number of subdivision lots without water service but they have, and are, paying availability fees since owning the property.  Heck, the District doesn’t even know how many outside MID POU accounts they actually have now, much less what they MIGHT HAVE in the future!  Not so lol.

All property outside the entitled subdivision is technically not entitled to that water – and how many of those exist?  How many want water in this drought prone area?

NOW, THEREFORE, IN CONSIDERATION OF THE FOREGOING, BE IT

RESOLVED by the Board of Directors of the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District, that the District hereby rescinds Resolution 2013-4 attached hereto and contained herein.

WHEREFORE, this Resolution is passed and adopted by the Board of Directors of the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District on February 16, 2016, by the following vote:

$$$ $$$ $$$

Yes, you had better carefully consider the foregoing because it is a major step in what appears to be one of the most LUDICROUS POLICIES a public water district could come up with during an unprecedented emergency drought – supplying ground well water to those not entitled, in a traditionally drought prone area to  boot.

Wow.  Such vision.

NOT A SIMPLE RESIDENCE OR TWO EITHER

Some of these “new connections” are not going to be a simple pipe connection and water meter to a family residence but complex multi-family subdivisions and businesses. Perhaps even more water guzzling agricultural endeavors like cattle or horse ranching?  Some of these properties Mr. Kampa is so concerned about are nothing more than pure land speculation ventures by companies and corporations.

The old “foot in the door” is now attempting to “kick the door wide open”.    Claiming there is an adequate water supply for future demand is a bold and self serving prediction by individuals who refuse to simply obey and enforce their own business regulations.

Especially now, during this emergency drought, the District should focus on what it is legally REQUIRED TO DO – provide water to those entitled to it under Water License 11395.

THE GM and BOARD OF DIRECTORS are attempting to pass a BLANK CHECK Resolution for all outside MID POU properties wanting water and the existing customers (suffering with water restrictions already) are expected to cover this massive check amount.  Think about that, the GM/Board doesn’t even disclose how many of these properties will be provided water produced from the new wells.  A pretty important number considering all this “adequate water” for future nonsense.

TANSTAAFL my friends.

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

Can you imagine the enormous amount of money this subsidized water program will create (if approved Tuesday) for other owners of outside POU properties due to the increased property values?   Heck it created a whole cattle ranching business for one sitting director. Yippie yi aye!

Categories: Uncategorized.

STATE/FED GRANT FUNDS USED TO “LAUNDER” DIRTY WATER THROUGH WATER LICENSE 11395 SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

STATE/FED GRANT FUNDS USED TO “LAUNDER” DIRTY WATER THROUGH WATER LICENSE 11395 SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT?

These new ground wells remind me of an old mob movie where vast sums of illegal and unreported cash from vice crimes such as gambling, prostitution, and drugs, had to be “cleaned or laundered” through other legitimate businesses so as to be used without suspicion of government regulating authorities.  Now take a look at this post title and compare.

MISREPRESENTATION OF A MATERIAL FACT? (True intended use for these ground water wells)

STATE/FEDERAL FUNDS were granted based on the representation that these ground wells would be used to sustain an emergency water supply for existing customers in a disadvantaged community entitled to Merced River water under L11395 yet had no alternative source of water. (Previous post established this was incorrect information in the California Environmental Agency, State Water Resources Control Board/Water Rights ORDER because the LDPCSD has used “ground water substitution for surface water transfers” to remedy violations of that license for almost 24 years!.)

PUBLIC MISREPRESENTATIONS TO CUSTOMERS and STATE/FED GRANTING AUTHORITIES?

This assurance (well water for existing customers) has been repeated many times….in Board packet materials and news reports regarding this disastrous drought:   GROUND WELL WATER PRODUCTION WAS SPECIFICALLY INTENDED FOR EXISTING CUSTOMERS TO PREVENT LOSS OF WATER SERVICE AS LAKE McCLURE SLOWLY DRAINED DUE TO DROUGHT AND ENVIRONMENTAL WILDLIFE RELEASES.

HAS BOARD APPOINTED AND SUPPORTED LDPCSD GM PETER KAMPA ORCHESTRATED A SURREPTITIOUS MISAPPROPRIATION WITH HIS VAST WATER KNOWLEDGE AND WATER INDUSTRY CONTACTS?

GM Pete Kampa was provided extraordinary powers* by the LDPCSD Board of Directors to quickly secure these EMERGENCY GROUND WELLS FOR EXISTING CUSTOMERS yet now, after the wells have been tested and are on line, a SPECIAL MEETING has been called for Tuesday, February 16, 2016 for a Board vote.

* Including but not limited to, suspending any public bidding process on extremely expensive construction projects, planning, consultants etc.,  apparent retro-active approval for activities performed without board approval, the GM is also Treasurer and appointed representative for real estate transactions, and grant funding,  and blah, blah, blah.  Interesting because it wasn’t that long ago “the community” was outraged with a prior board that was accused of “lack of supervision over the GM”  which resulted in a civil lawsuit for wrongful termination that is still dragging on from many, many years ago.

ONE MORE TIME LEW….

Property cannot use Merced River Water under License 11395, ground wells were advised as necessary for existing customer use in emergency drought, grant money secured for ground wells for existing customer use in emergency drought, ground wells constructed and developed with public funds, and now GM and Board want to re-designate their use to  properties unable to secure water under License to mix “well water” with “Merced River Water” which MAGICALLY CREATES AN “ALTERNATE/ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF WATER for those without legal entitlement to MERCED RIVER WATER.

“Laundering dirty water” to circumvent License 11395 prohibitions!  (Actually the term “dirty water” if factually correct in the analogy because ground water does contain elements damaging to sensitive equipment in our surface water treatment plant- and even Peter Kampa as acknowledged this fact in the past.)

MAJOR SPECIAL MEETING ISSUE?

Whether to RE-DESIGNATE THIS NEW GROUND WATER PRODUCTION TO PROPERTIES OUTSIDE LICENSE PERMITTED AREAS.

CUSTOMERS NEVER ADVISED PUBLIC FUNDS WOULD BE USED TO EXPAND PROHIBITED SERVICE UNDER WATER LICENSE

NEVER, from what I have read in the reams and reams of district information, has this obviously special interest (use of new ground wells to expand outside POU service) program of the GM/Board been noticed to the bill paying customers since Kampa became GM.   Typical bait and switch method of operation.  Say one thing, do another.  Despicable conduct.

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN PUBIC FUNDS to be granted for one purpose (protecting customer water  service with new ground wells) which may on Tuesday, suddenly be transformed into the typical LDPCSD betrayal of existing customers by serving properties OUTSIDE THE LEGAL SERVICE AREA AND THEREFORE, THE REASON BEHIND WHY THEY ARE CURRENTLY WITHOUT WATER!

WHY ACT SO HASTILY WITHOUT ADEQUATE PUBLIC OPPORTUNITY FOR RESEARCH AND COMMENT?

“Golly gosh!” there’s that coincidence factor again.  Special Meeting notice posted after 1400hrs yesterday which was, Thursday; today Friday is a court holiday, then Saturday- Sunday, Monday is also a court holiday, and then Tuesday’s BIG VOTE MEETING.   Hummmm, Can anyone say “Quick!  Before a legitimate regulating authority figures out what we’ve done and are doing with  PUBLIC FUNDS!

WHY NOT TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND STUDY THE MATTER PUBLICLY –
PETE KAMPA KNOWS WHAT “TRANSPARENCY OF GOVERNMENT PROCESS”  MEANS

HECK HE HAS TAUGHT WATER CLASSES

Logically, it appears that any potential injury to the District in delaying this vote until the community understands this sudden and misdirected change of policy, and/or authorities have an opportunity in investigate, is quite minimal if not entirely absent, whereas, if the board rescinds Resolution 2013-4 and begins installing new water service connections (with groundwater) serious future difficulties will occur if such Board action is ultimately found to be, not only a radical departure from what was clearly and repeatedly represented to the public, but also illegal. This would complicate things even more.

GM Pete Kampa,  his Kampa Community Solutions, llc, and long time associates and consultants are making very good money either way, but the Board of Directors representing this district should be ashamed of their customer betrayal.  If they continue this facade of public service by rescinding Resolution 2013-4 they should be held accountable.

Here’s an interesting quote from one of Kampa’s consultants:

“While these groundwater wells will provide water supply temporarily, wells in this area are unreliable as a permanent solution due to the fractured rock formations present.  These groundwater wells will be kept and used on an emergency basis once a permanent water supply solution is developed and constructed.”

KENNEDY/JENKS CONSULTANTS

Tim Williams, PE Mike Vasquez, PE, PLS

Principal Project Manager

Heck even PETE KAMPA’s long acquainted consultant (hired to assist Kampa in applying for Federal and State grants to construct the ground wells) acknowledges in its proposed contract of service that the wells are temporary solutions only.  So why would the Board of Directors abolish the restriction on serving further outside MID POU properties and jump into this illogical policy?

Only a SPECIAL INTEREST GM & Board of Directors would use admitted

“TEMPORARY SOLUTIONS”

for

“DECADES OLD PROBLEMS”

 

Hey, if they do rescind Resolution 2013-4 on Tuesday the above is an accurate and catchy motto for PETE  KAMPA, his Kampa Community Solutions business,  and his current “BOARD OF DEFECTORS”, heck, maybe a screen play-

KAMPA COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS LLC

and

THE LAKE DON PEDRO COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

proudly present

TEMPORARY SOLUTIONS

FOR DECADES OLD PROBLEMS

with

MILLIONS OF YOUR

PUBLIC DOLLARS!

LOL

(not so actually, because 99% of legal customers are paying for this absolute nonsense.)

DO NOT FORGET!

Remember the poem from the June 13, 2015 post?

Liar liars your pants are on fire
How will you extinguish the flames?
Emergency ground water was just the bait
A distracted community will bare the blame.

VOTE NO ON ANY RATE INCREASE

DO NOT REWARD SUCH DUPLICITOUS BEHAVIOR!)

 

Disingenuous and quite disappointing coming from

“Oath of Office” sworn DIRECTORS ON THE BOARD

See what I mean?  Not hate …………simply pure distrust based on their own activities.

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

PETE KAMPA & BOARD TO EXPAND “OUTSIDE LEGAL PLACE OF USE UNDER WATER LICENSE” WITH NEW GROUND WELL WATER PRODUCTION?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Life is wonderful isn’t it?  I mean we are blessed and afflicted with its consequences, but all and all, a blessing.  So many aspects to our linear existence.  Coincidence is amazing for example.

Yesterday I telephoned the Merced Irrigation District to find out how to request the outside MID POU reports.  I was directed to a representative who was in a meeting and unavailable but I was able to leave a message with call back number.  I did not receive a return telephone call yesterday so I tried again this morning at 0932hrs.  Was able to get through and explained what I was trying to obtain.  She said I could just email the request but explained a certified letter might be better as I may be contacting other agencies as well.

Finished the request and drove to the La Grange Post Office about nine miles away but timed it wrong and caught the lunch break.  Always a silver lining if you recognize them because I had the opportunity to converse with a long time La Grange local for about half an hour or so.  Very pleasant conversation.

Once the postmaster returned and opened the office the request was off.  Pretty reasonable cost – less than seven dollars with confirmed return receipt.

Here’s the request and mail receipt:

WHERE DID THE L11395 COMPLIANCE REPORTS GO?

Returned home started preparation for the next slaughter of weeds but later discovered I had missed a call at 1157 from a deputy director at MID.   The message advised he would be able to speak with me between meetings but the time had already passed.   Resumed the attack on unwanted vegetation with the sprayer.  I am still amazed at how much they grew in just a couple of days.   Must finish soon!

Tonight while checking emails I found an electronic agenda notice for a Special  LDPCSD Meeting of the Board of Directors, Tuesday February 16, 2016 1:00p.m.  (Incidentally, a big thank you to the folks that passed along the information just in case I had not received the news. I knew others cared about their district!)

Can the rest of you[1] guess what is on this SPECIAL MEETING AGENDA?     That’s right!

AGENDA ITEM 6 c.  “Approval of a Resolution rescinding previous Resolution 2013-4, a Resolution that prohibited the commitment of water supplies to properties with LDPCSD water service available, but located outside of the boundaries of Merced Irrigation District’s Lake McClure water supply Place of Use.”

This may well turn out to be a very interesting ride for the next few years.  Extremely expensive backup ground wells created with grant funds for a disadvantaged community water system?  Those wells intended for existing, (and future subdivision availability paying[2]), customers in the event of continued or new drought emergency in the future?    GM and Board to now abandoned the Resolution previously supported by our GM, District Engineers and legal counsel that restricted service only to those entitled under the water license?   Wow.

My best to you and yours, Lew


[1] Who haven’t requested FREE electronic notification and delivery of Agendas, Minutes, Board Packets, etc from the LDPCSD.

[2] Just think, over half the subdivision absentee owners who pay availability fees for future water service they are entitled cannot vote in CSD elections, yet many property owners outside the legal service area under the water license can and do.

Categories: Uncategorized.

“SO GOSIP” WANT INTENDED VICTIMS TO PAY FOR LOSS?

Reading Time: 19 minutes

SOME POINTS OF CLARIFICATION

Familiar with the SO GOSIP (Same Old Group of Special Interest People) and their penchant for spreading untruths, I would once again like to reiterate some basics about my blog postings.

Perhaps a clarification of what the SO GOSIP are would be helpful.

“SO GOSIP” is a term referencing those folks who support things that are often in conflict with, or contrary to, normal operating procedures and don’t make much sense.  I thought it humorous because a common activity of this SO GOSIP is to repeat untruths so many times those who do not know (or understand) the truth begin to believe the SO GOSIP and their disinformation.

Their activities are often directly tied to a clear and tangible benefit to real estate and land development interests.  Some of them are in the real estate industry.  (PLEASE!  I am not saying real estate people are bad, however, like in all professions or trades, there are always those who fail to perform as required and they are usually found near issues that can be exploited to their benefit.)

Past examples include, but are in no way limited to, the LDPOA failing to enforce CCRs during massive uncontrolled subdivision growth, or the LDPCSD catering to developer’s projects and having a land development corporation employee actually on the board of directors often instructing on the the day-to-day business activities. (Being the former, and first GM of LDPCSD certainly assisted in this role.  Conflict of interest?)

Other times a clear community detriment could be perceived such as the proposed selling our undeveloped natural parks to this land developer, or expanding water service beyond what the water license permits and using expensive ground water substitution to do so.

JUST SHORTHAND

Anyway, the term does not refer to any particular individual(s) and the actual number of their participants fluctuates greatly depending upon the “cause at the time”; what people want or are willing to believe; or how many discover the truth, realize they are being used by experienced handlers and stop making unintentional fools of themselves.  The SO GOSIP are always recruiting and a favorite intern spokesperson often will appear from anonymity at any given time to cheer lead the cause.

 

THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT REGARDING THIS  WEBSITE

First and foremost this website is my weBLOG, or BLOG and is nothing but a public journal of my thoughts, ideas, photographs, videos, comments and of course the dreaded OPINION.   Lord have mercy on us all.  lol

I do not set out to offend or upset anyone so please excuse any failed attempts at humor to make a point.  Please also appreciate this is still a free country and each of us has the right to freely express ourselves within socially acceptable parameters.  But there’s the rub.  Some people are offended with others who just don’t agree with their position and re actively/emotionally strike out with nasty, vulgar personal insults, and untruths.  Such behavior is not only unnecessary and impolite but is often acknowledged as evidence that their position is weak or completely devoid of merit and name calling is all they have in defense.

REGARDING THE LDPCSD GM

There is no doubt in my mind our GM possesses years of professional water industry training; hands on water facility experience; a multi-perspective from both the private and public sector side[1] of water treatment; and as president of his own water management company has honed his “can do” persuasive skills to a very high degree.

Obviously there are different approaches to problem solving and accomplishing goals in the public realm and not everybody agrees with what is considered acceptable activity for their community, county, state or even country.   (Private business is held to a different standard.)

Some folks don’t believe regulations should be followed if they conflict with a beneficial goal because a certain amount of risk can often achieve much more in a shorter period of time. Others believe regulations should be followed regardless of inconvenience or obstacle to the goal because they (regulations) were designed to prevent known and foreseeable negative consequences if violated.

Recently our LDPOA Board has provided the GM with extraordinary powers of management to accomplish goals due to a serious drought and the time estimated by the GM to complete necessary projects for uninterrupted water service to existing customers.   I believe the far majority of customers would support such an endeavor as stated.

Unfortunately, I fear this extra “granted” power[2] has been deliberately and secretly used to obtain the necessary infrastructure (water wells) for the GM, with the approval and support of the Board of Directors, to fundamentally change the intended function and operation of our surface water treatment plant.  This apparently continues the GMs previous LDPCSD employment history of water service expansion beyond the permitted areas under the water license under which the LDPCSD operates.

The extremely expensive project of constructing and developing ground water wells (for third party use) was accomplished by the GM and Board of Directors under the guise of protecting current customer water availability during a prolonged emergency drought. This re-configuration of our surface water treatment plant’s intended function and operation, I believe, is a complete betrayal of public trust by those directors supporting the program.

Would study of the numerous grant applications reveal the ulterior motive or provide evidence of intentional concealment of any facts?

Let me rephrase that, were Grantors or administrators of funds advised the LDPCSD already had an approved functioning “alternate water source” for over 20 years and the reason that source had not been further developed was due to the fact that ground well was the  legal remedy for past multiple violations of water license restrictions?

As a classified disadvantaged community seeking special consideration for grant funding is it not disingenuous, or even illegal, to request funds for a public agency for one purpose while specifically planning to use them for another?

Was grant money applied for to specifically circumvent the prohibitions of district service to properties not entitled to the water our LDPCSD pumps, treats, stores, and distributes under L11395?

Would the LDPCSD still have received those funds for construction of new water wells if the grantors knew they were necessary for expanding water service connections EVER FURTHER outside the permitted use area under the license of which it operates?

If these wells were supposedly developed for sustainability during drought or other emergency, aka, to “keep the water flowing for existing customers”, that should be their ONLY FUNCTION FOR PERPETUITY.  Not as a special benefit to those outside the legal area of the water license.

NOTICE THE SIMILARITY?

Lake Don Pedro is a microcosm of the entire nation.  Take for example my recent post with that sign I first thought was a “For President” advertisement.  It probably upsets some folks who think Hillary Clinton is trustworthy, a great leader, and truly presidential material.  Fine, that’s their opinion.  You already know mine.  So what?

I don’t hate those who support and believe Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong by having a privately owned computer server where United States top secret information was stored and evidently hacked by other hostile governments.  I don’t despise those folks who want to vote for a woman who very likely (because of what she had done), has indirectly been responsible for untold deaths and major changes in the geo-political/military movement arena due to her intentional storage of classified information in an unsecured server where it could be stolen.

No I do not loathe Hillary or those that support her but rather chalk it up to what they believe to be satisfactory public service by a politician with a rather tarnished detailed history spanning  decades.  Observing what others support or applaud provides an opportunity to assess their viewpoint of the world and what they believe to be truth.

Whether something makes sense, is logical, or thought to be “just right or wrong” is based on that person’s education, experience and expectations of what constitutes good behavior.

Rarely are things simply black or white, but rather, multitudes of grey.

Lack of hate doesn’t’ equate to respect or trust when credible evidence exists that motives, words or actions are disingenuous.

The question becomes: Are you happy with the direction this CSD is headed with respect to expanding service rather than focusing on existing customers and their water needs now and for the future?

And just like in County, State and National political maters (where we traditionally feel helpless and too weak to make a difference), the only recourse, your only chance of influencing that which you may believe is wrong and unfair, is your vote.

Interestingly the only time you get to vote is when that which you believe needs changing NEEDS MORE OF YOUR MONEY TO CONTINUE EXACTLY THAT WHICH YOU BELIEVE TO BE WRONG!

How peculiar.  A political machine tells you one thing, but does another. The machine continues to grow ignoring its own rules while claiming the activity it is good for everyone.  It spends millions of dollars, continues to spend, and intends to spend a great deal more under the guise of protecting ALL when in actuality is creating a special benefit for third party interests.  The real crazy part is the majority of innocent taxpayers are expected to continue paying the mounting costs – even for outside professional assistance in achieving that goal.

Think of this.   The very emergency (drought) that created this machine and the situation to redirect money to change our water plant operation will also be used to elicit even more money under threat of dire consequences if another Proposition 218 is not approved.

The warning will go something like:

IF CUSTOMERS do not vote and approve this Prop 218 for water rate increases you will run out of water, maybe die, and the property you leave your heirs will be worth nothing without the water only we can supply.

Bullshit!

It’s our water and water license 11395 clearly says so.

You have, and intend to continue, providing water to those not entitled while expecting us (entitled water users) to pay for and suffer the consequences of your plan.

VISION 2020 a MYOPIC PURSUIT OF A WATER EMPIRE?

MYOPIC: Defective vision of distant objects, and in this case, how changing this surface water treatment plant is going to threaten sustainability of water for those who have, do, and will continue to pay for what they are legally entitled already under the water license.  If this is truly a great idea for everyone there is no reason why those paying the bills should not decide the issue in a fair vote – and that means absentee availability payers as well.

CANCELLED WIDGET AGAIN

This is similar to my cancelled widget – I want to believe it is a good plan but because of the way this GM was hired with the Board’s assistance, who is obviously concealing information from the public (MID POU report in agenda packet  – among other things) I find it extremely difficult to trust his motives and long game plan.

Thus far, barring any earth-shattering information which indicates this truly is a great plan for entitled users who pay the bills, I think I’ll pass on this  GM/BOARD CREATED WIDGET.

DOES GOVERNMENT SUPPORT THIS TRANSFORMATION?

I would imagine the County and State might appreciate the fact more citizens could be served by an existing state approved and regulated water treatment plant so long as someone else pays for the expansion.  Guess who that is?

The modification of License 11395 restrictions has been requested and denied many times.  Has something changed here?  Is there some kind of “wink and nod” going on with regulating government entities?  Have some “you do this, and we’ll do that” handshake agreements already been made under the table?

Is this why things appear so wrong, because there’s a secret deal that the GM and Board cannot divulge to the public yet?

Oh really?  Is this an example of the transparency of public government referred to in the Brown Act and subsequent court rulings?   I think not.

SELL EVERY DROP!  WHO CARES?

One director I served with on the board said more than once he would sell every drop of water we had to whoever wanted it – he didn’t care because it would be revenue for the district.  This was an absolutely unbelievable and short-sighted statement which obviously failed to grasp the concept of protecting a resource for future use by those entitled to this “NEW CALIFORNIA LIQUID GOLD”.

(Do not forget our surface water treatment plant pumps some of the purest California Liquid Gold in the State!

Yes, the prolonged drought and legally required environmental releases for wildlife caused the Lake to drop to minimum “dead pool” and was of concern to everyone – animal lovers, varied agricultural industries, hydroelectric energy producers, and of course, those of us who reside up here and require water to survive.

Here’s an interesting distinction between those entitled to Merced River water (Lake McClure) under License 11395 and those who are not –  choice.

THOSE ENTITLED TO LAKE WATER UNDER LICENSE HAVE NO CHOICE

The majority of owners in the subdivision have no choice as to where they receive their water – we must be customers of the district as we are prohibited from drilling private ground wells on our properties.  We MUST financially support this district because there is no alternative.  You cannot demand to have the water cut off to your house because the respective county health department officials would likely condemn your home as uninhabitable without a verified, dependable, and safe water supply.  [Little things like adequate sewage disposal and protecting public health/life.]

SEWAGE SIDE NOTE:  There is another “large muddy boot ready to drop” on our LDPCSD in the form of the sewer plant on Ranchito Drive near the golf course.  Even when thousands of dollars were discovered owed to the District in the past, one still sitting director wanted to “negotiate” the cost down.  WHAT?  We were almost bankrupt yet some advocated not pursuing the matter at all – to be “nice”.

Can you imagine the added expense for maintenance, repair, replacement, trained personnel, administration, etc. with picking up that white elephant whose construction was a direct response to the uncontrolled development that required more sewage treatment? Heck, those properties that receive the benefit of that sewage treatment system cannot financially meet the costs of keeping it running – not enough paying residents.  That should have been the “speculators problem” but naturally it will likely fall on everyone else.

Of course the County wants to “dump” it on the CSD.  A CSD that quite obviously already has significant difficulties of its own.  How many water agencies in the State of California had their administrative office burned to the ground?  And don’t forget, the second fire in the plant was not inexpensive either.  We have some true “radicals” in this area and they are dangerous when they don’t get their way.

POOR LDPOA SUBDIVISION

The subdivision never developed as intended and much of that had to do with the abysmal failure of enforce existing regulations.  Go figure, huh?  Look at what recently happened when a land development corporation was given free rein in this area.  How many are happy with how that turned out?  That corporation even had an employee sitting on the water board directly influencing how day-to-day operations were carried out usually to the benefit of his primary allegiance employer – which of course was not the LDPCSD.  (Follow the money)  If you didn’t support their plan you were accused of being “anti-development”, “mean spirited”, “selfish”, ……golf hater!  lol

THOSE NOT ENTITLED WATER OUTSIDE SUBDIVISION HAVE A CHOICE

Yes, you can drill your own private ground water well.  There is nothing preventing those who need water from drilling their own ground wells.

Yes it is expensive but there are also varied technologies and ways to proceed which might reduce costs depending on your water demand.

Yes in this fractured rock geology ground wells can be unpredictable and risky – but so can lake water with sustained drought as we all know now.

Yes, in some locations the water is not fit for consumption and contains undesirable elements which may or may not be safely removed.  Caveat emptor (Let the buyer beware)

Yes, there is another option if you want to live in this beautiful foothill area, purchase some LDPOA property where you are guaranteed water service by the district. (Some did this many years ago then illegally ran extensive piping to the other property outside the subdivision thus creating another outside MID POU service which we still must serve.)

Oh, you don’t want to pay yearly property assessments and have another layer of local government (Association) with their often frustrating rules and regulations enforced by local residents telling you how to live and develop your own property?

I think I understand, you don’t want the subdivision and it’s rules – just our water.

AVAILABLE HIGH QUALITY WATER, IN MY OPINION, IS THE BIGGEST ATTRACTION AND SELLING POINT FOR SUBDIVISION PROPERTY.  OUR COMMUNITY’S FUTURE DEVELOPMENT, HEALTH AND SAFETY IS NOT ONLY DEPENDENT UPON THIS WATER, BUT WE ARE SPECIFICALLY ENTITLED TO IT UNDER THE WATER LICENSE – WHY GIVE IT AWAY AND JEOPARDIZE OUR FUTURE FOR OTHERS JUST LOOKING FOR THE CHEAPEST WAY TO DEVELOP AND INCREASE THE VALUE OF THEIR OUTSIDE MID POU PROPERTIES?

Sharing is a great concept but survival should be paramount.

STABILIZE, SECURE and GUARANTEE EXISTING CUSTOMERS FIRST

Why not stabilize, guarantee and PROTECT water availability to those who already have a legal right to that water – both existing and availability customers?  You know, those who are paying the bills now are the ones deserving of this district’s efforts and attention not “outsiders” who merely want to usurp our greatest natural resource (and biggest selling point for LDPOA land) for their own purposes of development and/or profit.  How many will simply have a new water connection hooked up then sell at an exponentially increased price?

What is so darn difficult to understand here?  This is not a matter of being “selfish and not sharing with others”, but rather, an issue of survival predicated on common sense and good judgment by those trusted to represent LDPCSD customers.

 

DROUGHT HAS BEEN A BLESSING IN DISGUISE

We now know what can happen.  We are learning to save and conserve and discriminate as to what landscaping should survive and what needs to be let go.  We don’t view water with the same “there’s plenty of it” attitude.  We appreciate this necessary resource even more.

Some folks have repeatedly advocated expanding services outside MID POU because we traditionally only use a fraction of our total allotment under the license.  (Approximately 1/5th but I have read other fractional representations as well.  Obviously it is a moving target and gets into consumption & maintenance values versus unaccounted for water loss).

SIDE NOTE:  Speaking of water loss.   Has the district ever taken corrective action regarding a known discrepancy in water accounting that evidently occurs on a sitting director’s property?  Which happens to have a previously undocumented water line running through his pasture? Near where a stock watering pond suddenly developed in August of 1998?  Check out Google Earth, it’s all there.  First a little puddle which slowly, year after year, develops into a large pond.

THE “WATER SHARING ARGUMENT” GOES LIKE THIS

P1:  “We only use a fraction of what we’re allotted and can therefore spare some and give it to others outside the subdivision”. (says the real estate cheerleader)

P2:  “If we have so much water then why are we rationing under penalty of financial fine while watching years of hard work in landscaping suffer and/or perish?”   (says the customer with dying landscape)

P1: “That’s because of the drought and environmental releases for wildlife, you see the lake was dry and the water wasn’t there,….ahhh, well,…., ahh, sharing is good….ahummm, …..you don’t share ……you are a selfish rotten, anti-development, … no good person”.  (as real estate cheerleader realizes the mistake and backs away screaming insults)

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WE HAVE A BINGO AT  TABLE  THREE!

Don’t you see they are apples and oranges?  The maximum amount that could be pumped is a set number and immaterial as to the fluctuating number of consumers and amount that can actually be pumped due to physical existence.  You can only pump what is there.

[This is why I have always advocated the McClure Point Deep Water Project was, and is, the logical direction to proceed – closer to the dam means deeper water.  This drought has facilitated the best time to access the area for construction of intakes and initial piping to above maximum lake level.

Ahhhh, there’s that problem for the people outside the legal use area…..the McClure Point Deep Water Project DOESN’T HELP THEM.  IT ONLY ENSURES THAT THOSE ENTITLED TO MERCED RIVER WATER RECEIVE IT WHEN LAKE IS LOW.]

Did our GM/Board refuse the logical answer to this and other droughts because it did not help those “outside the legal use area” which they seem intent on serving?  Isn’t that a betrayal to existing customers?

Please explain how expanding water service with ground wells to areas outside the Water License benefits the entitled Merced River water users in the subdivision who may once again have no, or little, water to pump from the lake?

SELECTIVITY OR DISCRIMINATION?

If ground water is used to expand service outside the legal use area, what will be the criteria for property inclusion into this new District service area?

How many new outside MID POU connections are anticipate?

How far will this new service district serve water?

In addition to single family residences, will multi-family structures be approved?

Perhaps temporary housing like motels, hotels, condos, etc. might be approved?

What about the many prior proposed subdivisions that requested and were denied water by the District years ago?  Will they have “first come – first served” options?  (If so we are already into HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF NEW CONNECTIONS.)

What about brand new subdivision projects – maybe with decorative man-made lakes and ponds as previously proposed?

See any more expansive golf courses, cattle ranches or other agricultural endeavors in the District’s future?

How about businesses, maybe an industrial or manufacturing corporation or two?

Can you envision a large vehicle & equipment washing service?

Is saying “Yes” to one project, and “No” to another, simply service discrimination?

If inappropriate selectivity does take place could the district be held liable for resulting damages due to construction/development delay or refusal?

Maybe that proposed water slide from Coulterville to Waterford (The world famous “Coulterford Slide Development”, or CSD as it is sometimes referred) will have a chance now?  That will be one cool ride!  ………………….

[yes, some of the above is sarcasm-meant to be lol]

ALREADY HAVE SOME HIGH DEMAND OUTSIDE MID POU ACCOUNTS

Elementary School

Fire Department

Cattle Ranching (and other agricultural endeavors)

Sewer Plant (That’s another “BOOT that will eventually drop on our CSD” since the County wants out.  Some deal made already?)

Miscellaneous businesses

Trailer park

Single and Multi family residences

If these new ground wells are used exclusively by the existing customers (including those currently outside the MID POU listed above), fine, no harm, no foul.  Whether this drought continues or another one in the future is equally as disastrous, at least the existing customers would have these new wells (as promised) for backup.

Isn’t responsibly taking care of what you already possess more important than taking on more water consuming entities?

Just think if those directors in the past who wanted expansion with the many proposed subdivisions were successful?  What would we be looking at now during this drought?  Only makes matters worse for everyone.

VISION 2020 DIRECTOR CAUTION

Speaking of directors, check out the GM’s VISION 2020 admonition to them on page 77 of the December 11, 2015 packet.  (a portion quoted below)

As stated in prior meeting, this is YOUR strategic plan, so you must

Feel very comfortable with approving this document, as it will drive many future actions and decisions. Please make sure that you have a full understanding of the goals, objectives and actions of this plan. The purpose of the discussion today is to make sure the full Board

is in support of the plan, and that it reflects your vision of where you want to see the District in 2020. At this meeting, the Board can make any changes, modifications, additions, clarifications and deletions it sees fit. The Board should be commended for undertaking the effort to prepare this first ever strategic plan. The results of the plan will drive daily work, budgets, benchmarks/expectations and actions for many years to come. Congratulations!”

YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN

YOU MUST FEEL comfortable with approving

WILL DRIVE FUTURE actions

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE FULL UNDERSTANDING

MAKE SURE FULL BOARD IS IN SUPPORT

REFLECTS YOUR VISION

WHERE YOU WANT to see District

Whoa there cowboy……

Talk about preemptively assigning future DIRECTOR RESPONSIBILITY for what is undoubtedly going to happen when greed, circumvention of rules and special deals are made with complete disregard for the existing District customers, both water consuming and availability.

 

WHO’S STRAGETIC PLAN IS THIS AGAIN?

This GM pushed for expanded water service outside the permitted use area twenty years ago during his first term of employment with the district.  The very day he resigned he encouraged the board to expand district boundaries even further.  There’s nothing really new or exciting about his dream of building a Water Empire on the financial backs of the 99% of entitled water users.

ANY DIRECTOR WHO SUPPORTS THIS PLAN TO RADICALLY CHANGE THE FUNCTION AND OPERATION OF OUR SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT SHOULD REALIZE THEY ARE THE ONES WHO TOOK A SOLEMN OATH OF OFFICE, NOT THE GENERAL MANAGER.

Also not taking that Oath are the GMs employees at Kampa Community Solutions, employees with other businesses, companies, corporations, and the other vocal cheerleaders advocating this major re-direction of our surface water treatment plant.  Heck, many have made, are making, and will continue to make very good money regardless of what happens to the rest of us in the future.

Directors in a Public Service agency, however, do take that Oath of Office and therefore do have legal duties and obligations to the District and therefore, its customers.    It would be quite unfortunate if any one, or all of them (as suggested in the admonition), mistakenly believed they were doing something beneficial only to later discover they had “been had” and gambled and lost both their personal and public service reputation.  It’s happened many times before, and it will most assuredly happen again.  Stop, take a deep breath and think about what you are doing.

GAMBLING WITH ANOTHER’s MONEY IS EASY

Only district customers will be injured, with the possible exception of a director or two if a subsequent investigation evidenced a serious breach of duty and/or a wrongful intentional act subject to criminal and/or civil action.   (I see there is still a pending civil suit by two former CSD employees that started many years ago and personally understand the stress, frustration and pain experienced for years are hardships that will not be erased or undone no matter how the case is finally resolved.)

ARE THERE CLUES TO SOMETHING MUCH WORSE?

Who is to say some of the same techniques used by a sitting director and only applicant for the GM position (who was subsequently appointed on the spot) are not currently being used to reconfigure our nonprofit CSD into a CASH COW FOR OTHER OUTSIDE WATER INTERESTS?

Seriously, bare with me here for a bit.

The past behavior is pretty clear – since Director information (marked confidential) was clearly provided to this Director’s longtime friend (friend was also the president of his own for-profit water management company) PRIOR to public announcement of the open GM position.

This created and guaranteed a closed recruitment process for a public agency’s general manager position because without public announcement of the open position there could not possibly be other applicants.

This “insider information” also provided adequate time for the applicant to prepare a detailed contract for exclusive board consideration and approval at the next District Board of Directors Meeting.

Four of five LDPOA Directors (including the one who had furnished the confidential information of the GM position opening – conflict of interest here?) approved the contract and appointed the applicant as new IGM at that very meeting.  This was done without any rudimentary investigation or verification as to the applicant’s employment background much less his past employment with the very CSD that just hired him!

Had the District performed a basic investigation it would have been advised of any prior employee performance difficulties and the fact the applicant had a history of advocating District expansion beyond the legal limits of Water License 11395.

Did the other three directors also already know these facts when they appointed him? Because they knew he would assist them in expanding district service outside legal limits as they desired?

It should be noted AGAIN that the sitting director who furnished the confidential information to our GM has been one of the largest consumers of water outside the MID POU for over twenty years.  Hey, being a cattle rancher takes lots of water.

There is documented information indicating this director also (with intent) wrongfully appropriated another party’s meter.  This information wasn’t even discovered until nine years after it had been appropriated when the rightful owner’s account was re-credited with the “liberated” meter.  Somehow this director maintained use of a water meter despite specifically being denied one in the past.  This director possesses 2 of the 36 outside MID POU meters and has continually used chlorinated water for cattle ranching that was unequivocally intended for domestic residential use.

We read and hear about “insider trading” and how corrupt the financial system can be due to the staggering amounts of money people make through “just passing along a little confidential information”.  Can you imagine how much it would be worth to some property owners, land developers, investors, contractors and other real estate related fields if they obtained confidential information as to when and where water would be available?  What about those seeking special consideration of their particular property and/or project through “under the table” incentives-aka bribes?

Don’t believe this is possible?  What about incorrect LDPCSD information being furnished to other government agencies? (that it could serve river water outside POU)  Consider the past unreported burglaries of LDPCSD records requested by the Grand Jury that were never located;  water connections/meters obtained using adjacent property Assessor Parcel Numbers to confuse and conceal actual entitlement; director resignation following Superior Court plea for false information to a peace officer during a Grand Jury investigation; fabrication of records by a former office employee, complete destruction of our administration office by arson, and confidential LDPCSD information provided to a GM applicant by a sitting OMIDPOU Director?  And now that selected GM intends to dramatically change our water treatment and distribution operation with the blessings of YOUR ELECTED/APPOINTED  BOARD OF DIRECTORS!

“Golly gosh!  Bribery and payola sound relatively mild compared to what has already happened”.

Wake up and smell the chlorine.  Realize this blog’s motto:

ANYTHING VALUABLE REQUIRES PROTECTION, is absolutely correct.

There is a current plan to hijack our “California Liquid Gold” and we, the entitled users, are expected to pay for the heist!

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

PS after thoughts:

Can you imagine what sort of information/evidence will eventually turn up in the next ten years regarding this reconfiguration of our surface water treatment plant into a “cash cow” for those not entitled to water under License 11395?

Should these new grounds wells be designated “exclusive use” for third parties outside legal service area under L11395?

Think about this; if drought drains the lake to where pumping to the plant is impossible, those on ground well water substitution will have water and those in the subdivision won’t. Does that make sense to you?


[1] There is also no doubt he was very familiar with the concept of “government transparency” as required under the Brown Act .

[2] Apparently there has also been later Board ratification for activities by the GM that were performed/executed without the legally required Board approval.

Categories: Uncategorized.

“Currently, LDPCSD does not have an alternate source of water.”

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Well, as you may have seen in the previous post photograph the weed eater is down for a bit due to a cracked fuel primmer bulb. (I believe there is a way around this but don’t recall right now.)  So where were we??

INCORRECT INFORMATION TO STATE?

“Currently, LDPCSD does not have an alternate source of water.”

The above sentence was contained in the California Environmental Protection Agency State Water Resources Control Board Division of Water Rights Order approving Temporary Urgency (in stream flow and the LDPCSD pumping below Minimum Pool requirements) and is obviously incorrect.

The Order was included in the December 11, 2014 Board Packet on Page 51.  The ORDER is 11 pages long and on page 7 (under 6.1 Urgency of the Proposed Changes continued from page 6) the statement is made in the second sentence, second paragraph.

WHY INCORRECT?

Because the District has been using an alternate source of water (the Ranchito Drive ground well) to serve outside MID POU [Merced Irrigation District Place of Use] properties for over 20 years.

MID, CSD and others knew, did the SWRCB?

SPLITTING HAIRS?

Perhaps, but still surprising because precise language is usually extremely important when it comes to the law and ORDERS by State Regulating Departments and Agencies demanding parties to do one thing or another.

I read that paragraph several times thinking I missed a qualifying word to make that patently incorrect statement factual.  You know, something like the LDPCSD does not have: “an adequate alternate source”, OR, “a sufficient alternate source”, OR, “a satisfactory alternate source”, etc.  Nope, read it correctly.

KNEW RANCHITO WELL HAD BEEN INCLUDED

When still on the Board in late 2014 I recall specifically addressing this issue and arguing that the Ranchito Drive well issue should be mentioned in Resolution 2014-2, which it was, and can be found on Page 28 of the December 11, 2014 packet also.

SIDE NOTE: Have any of you noticed that the District often refers to those 36 properties as:  “a small number of service connections”, “approximately 36 properties”, etc. ?

Why such an ambiguous description?

Surely the district knows exactly how many properties it has allowed to violate the water license restrictions in the past.

Has the number of properties increased since that routine monthly outside MID POU report was discontinued from the meeting packet?

Heck, that report was required by, and submitted to MID to demonstrate compliance with restrictions.

Does the LDPCSD still even report this outside use to the Merced Irrigation District as previously required?

Was the SWRCB aware of this special circumstance of the LDPCSD?

Were the grantors of emergency funds for the ground wells?

Exhibit C, Resolution 2015-15, Stage III on page 39, included the qualifying word “adequate” again, affirming that an alternate water supply did exist.

WHY ONLY ONE WELL TO BEGIN WITH?

The LDPCSD Ranchito Drive well was specifically developed to serve those receiving water OUTSIDE the legal Place of Use under water license 11395.  It was the immediate alternate source remedy to keep the District out of “hot water” for wrongfully diverting Merced River water outside the legal use areas and violating License restrictions.

Actually MID, as the license holder, would have been the party to receive substantial daily fines for permitting violations to continue.

In fact, MID required the outside MID POU monthly report to protect itself from liability or SWRCB enforcement because of the LDPCSD’s reckless history of not following regulations.

SIDE NOTE:  When on the board I was shocked to discover even our CSD attorney had been deliberately “left out of the loop” concerning some past very pertinent outside MID POU information.

SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT

Our plant pumps from Lake McClure which is fed by the Merced River (incidentally, some of the purest quality water in the State!) but if a requesting property was outside the permitted Place of Use, [and previous boards did their job] the answer HAD TO BE NO,  sorry.  Merced River water could not be diverted for their use.

Ground well water, however, is not Merced River water and our treatment plant simply pumped it from the Ranchito Drive well, mixed it with our Merced River water from Lake McClure, treated, stored and ultimately delivered it to those properties outside the MID POU.

FOOT IN  THE DOOR

Naturally, seeing this, other outside properties also demanded water service…..”The District did it for my neighbor…why not me?”  And thus began decades of turmoil and accusations of “selective enforcement” and “injustice” to those refused service.

A SPECIAL BENEFIT PAID FOR BY ALL ENTITLED USERS

This was a special benefit to Outside MID POU properties and a great inconvenience to the District in respect to maintenance, accounting, and treatment and circumvented the process of how our surface water treatment plant was designed and intended to function.    (Pump from lake, treat, store, and deliver to entitled properties.)

Q: When did this become an issue?

A: Twenty years ago when MID ran afoul of the SWRCB for incorrect environmental releases of water for wildlife.

THAT MISTAKE RESULTED IN AUDIT AND LDPCSD RESTRICTIONS

South Shore, I believe, is the only legitimate annexation to our district that that was approved by LAFCo, MID, and the State Water Resources Control Board.  772af of water set aside for this proposed development.  That was a water diversion for 2,010 acres but the 20+ year old proposed subdivision and golf course never developed.  However, it was during the South Shore annexation process where documents presented to the SWRCB by MID evidenced a mistake in the calculation of a non-related Environmental Water Release program by MID which resulted in an enforcement process with that water audit.  Things were different after that.

ILLEGAL  CONNECTIONS MUST BE ADDRESSED

Outside MID Place of Use properties became a hot topic for enforcement and a nightmare for both the district and water thirsty property owners not entitled to lake water like the subdivision was.  Multiple CSD boards have addressed and attempted to change or modify this water restriction with negative results.

The only way to continue providing water to those not specifically entitled to Merced River water was to use an “alternate source of water” which meant drilling a ground well along side Ranchito Drive.  That ground well “patched” existing violations of the water license.

 

EMERGENCY BACKUP NECESSITY

OR

JUST SERVICE EXPANSION PREPARATION?

So here’s the problem:  customers were told these wells were being constructed with grant funds (certainly won’t cover all costs) to ensure water service to the existing customers during this drought emergency, yet again the board appears ready to abolish Resolution  2013-4 which prohibits further expansion of Outside MID POU properties.

WHY DO I BELIEVE THE TRUE REASON WAS EXPANSION?

Check out the Minutes regarding BOD President Danny Johnson during the December 11, 2014 meeting:

President Johnson gave a verbal report. He thanked the public for taking the LDPCSD customer survey. The survey allowed customers that cannot attend our meeting to give their input. He commented that he felt one of the best things the board did was to drill the wells. From his perspective it was a good financial move in comparison to trucking water in for the community. He also wanted to commend staff and management for positioning this District to have the infrastructure in place to keep the community water running. He also thought the board should revisit the outside place of use restrictions resolution

“He also thought the board should revisit the outside place of use restrictions resolutions”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  AGAIN?

Even with the new ground wells, during peak demand times we are still short of water according to our engineers yet President Johnson wants to revisit the restriction?  Why?

To expand service to other outside MID POU properties as you have advocated in the past? Come on Danny, seriously, who are you really representing here?  Are there still third party construction projects that desperately need our water to start development?

Why revisit this issue now?

Same issue.  Same drought.  And the money?

What has changed since June when the vote was 2-2?

TWO IMPORTANT VARIABLES

1)   Newly developed ground wells represent another “alternate source”, and

2)   New Directors on the board willing to “go with the flow”

If this expansion and reconfiguration of CSD operations is good for existing customers, why weren’t these plans included in the recent survey?

BY the way, how many responded?  How many were mailed?  The promised “review of the survey results” was a bit sketchy.   The survey could have simply asked customers:

Are you in favor of  expanding service to properties outside the limits of our water license with ground water production recently developed?

LDPOA SUBDIVISION RESIDENTS

Many people purchased property in the Lake Don Pedro Owners Association (LDPOA) not because it was a CID (Community Interest Development), or was governed by a POA (Property Owners Association) with differing CCRs regulating how property is to be developed, but rather because there was available WATER, electricity and maintained roads.  (Unfortunately, some areas of the subdivision in Tuolumne evidently have problems with roads.)

What about over half the subdivision absentee owners who pay availability fees?

Didn’t these DIRECTORS’ OATH OF OFFICE include these legitimate future users of District water?

Haven’t they been paying for that future water use benefit?

Why not protect the water service to existing customers, both consumers and availability properties?

Why furnish water to proposed  projects which we will then have to serve during the next drought or other water related emergency?

SORRY.  WATER WILL BE SHUT OFF

You can’t start providing water to someone then later say OOPS – SORRY, HAVE TO CUT IT OFF.  (Actually some of the past service connection contracts outside the POU specifically stated if the owner did not subsequently annex their property to the District the water service would be discontinued.  It was a condition of service.  But the water was not shut off.  Some property owners discovered they could not legally annex, so no water was delivered.  Others did annex but the district was still prevented from serving water under the License and water agreement.)

Mariposa LAFCo advised they were initially never told about the License restrictions by District representatives seeking annexations, however, the county eventually found out and began putting a disclaimer in their mid-1980s annexation paperwork that the county could not be held liable if an annexed property did not receive water from the District.

What a frigg’n mess huh?

WHAT IS THE LDPOA’s POSITION ON THIS?

From what I read the Owner’s Association may not even continue it’s monthly meetings any longer due to lack of business.  They are apparently flush with cash according to their financials.   Here is a serious situation concerning the subdivisions future water service –  why not help those owners who already pay good money for protection?

Since the LDPOA membership compromises the far majority of LDPCSD customers (3,128 last I saw versus the 36 outside MID POU customers) what is the Association’s position on this extension of water service to outside POU properties with our new and extremely expensive ground wells?

Will the Association step-up to help protect these innocent property owners from potentially losing their water service in the future?

Will the Association work with multiple property owners and assist them in joining properties together with only one assessment to help reduce future potential subdivision connections?

LDPCSD District engineers do not believe the new wells will even meet our peak demand times for existing customers so why even consider adding further service to properties outside the legal service area?

BETTER PROTECT YOURSELF – NO ONE ELSE WILL

You know, if the Resolution restriction preventing further service to outside MID POU properties is abolished and this District does indeed begin Empire Building with ground well water, subdivision owners might need need to protect themselves.

Absentee owners who pay availability fees to this Community Services District (and property assessments to the LDPOA), should organize and legally protect the interests for which they are paying.

 

INFORMATION OVERLOAD

Massive amounts of material, yet little time to digest and respond.  Even as a former director we often received the packet on a Friday before the Monday meeting.  This did not provide much time to read and study all the material and prepare meaningful questions for clarification much less adequately prepare for a board vote.  (Cannot contact office for additional information on a weekend.)

I was astounded by how some directors obviously, and routinely, did not read the entire packet which was clearly evidenced by their questions and ridiculous comments on the particular subject.  If directors are unprepared – how is a customer going to understand the issues?

ADMIT TO BEING SUSPICIOUS FROM THE START

Absolutely.  When a sitting director, who happens to be THE ICON for outside MID POU water use (cattle ranching for over 20 years using chlorinated water clearly intended for domestic residential consumption) surreptitiously contacts a friend in the water industry and advises him our GM position will open (prior to that explicitly confidential information being made public) – and that individual subsequently shows up at the next Board meeting with a management contract ready for approval – and the board fails to adequately consider the entire situation and on the spot selects him as the new IGM[1] – (who had a prior employment record at our CSD in the 1990s that clearly encouraged expansion outside license limits),  yes, I am suspicious.

 

CAN YOU FEEL YOUR FEET GETTING WARMER?

Decades of turmoil over non-permitted water use, most notably, real estate and land development interests.

This is really a simple equation.  Drought prone dry foothill property + water = $$$$.

Can you imagine the sums of money to be made by unscrupulous people if inside information that a particular project or area absent utilities will soon receive water?

CONNECT THE DOTS & FOLLOW THE MONEY

Someone burns down our nonprofit Administration Office (attempt to destroy regulatory history?)

A for-profit management company (Kampa Community Solutions) is ultimately hired under emergency drought conditions to keep the water flowing for existing customers.

This for-profit company president (our GM) immediately begins a process to secure an alternate source of water (ground wells) ostensibly for existing customers water sustainability, yet in actuality, to continue his plan to expand district service beyond License 11395 under which our CSD operates.

Sorry, but all I see is conspiracy and sophisticated camouflage concealing the hot plate CSD customers will be dancing on for perpetuity.

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

There is so much more – but it is another beautiful foothill day and the fast growing weeds are calling!

 

 

 


[1] Vote was 4-0 as I became sick to my stomach and walked out of that meeting in complete disgust.  This was the only time in four years of service I missed ANY PORTION OF A BOARD MEETING.

Categories: Uncategorized.

INCORRECT CSD INFO PRESENTED TO STATE EPA & SWRCB?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

POST TITLE THE “RECALL STIMULUS” FOR THE DUCK DANCE STORY?

Yes, that and a number of other issues spurred that horrible recollection of “one thing appearing as something else” however, I believe the following to be rather serious:

Incorrect information about our Lake Don Pedro Community Services District operations has apparently been provided and documented with the State of California Environmental Protection Agency and State Water Resources Control Board, and very likely, many other State, Federal and corporate water related entities.

INTENTIONAL MISDIRECTION OR SIMPLE MISTAKE?

I’m sorry but I do not believe for a nanosecond this was a mistake, and fear it was an intentional act by multiple parties in “threading some type of legal needle” through the maze of government requirements and obstacles in obtaining emergency grant funding and relief from established regulations.

Funding which is being used to offset the tremendous costs proposed in REDIRECTING the approved design, intent, and operation of our surface water treatment plant WITHOUT A VOTE of the over 3,125 existing customers who have financially supported this nonprofit Community Services District for decades.

SPECIFICITY OF LAW

Legal language is required to be precise and not willy-nilly APPROXIMATION as to what is actually being conveyed or what IS intended.  Blatantly incorrect information being cited in official State agency documents is outrageous and has a ripple effect with inter agency document reproduction.

NOTE: Lake Don Pedro Community Services District has it’s own history with fabricated records and many still wonder if the UNRESOLVED ARSON OF OUR ADMINISTRATION OFFICE was merely a “radical record destruction” policy of those INTERESTS displeased with District regulations and historical records of water use.

ONCE PROCESSED – FALSE INFORMATION ESSENTIALLY BECOMES FACT

Unfortunately, once INCORRECT INFORMATION is recorded in formal legal government documents it often appears to stay there uncorrected for many years, if not perpetuity.  (Example: Water License 11395 mentions a 55 acre golf course, yet I believe the former Lake Don Pedro Golf Club was more like 155 acres. – Perhaps there is some type of addendum or clarification note in the official file?

Still, without those subsequent corrections anyone reading the original water license would think it a very small golf course.   So once again, although incorrect, this “55 acre golf course” language remains and has been passed along through many other departments and agencies as evidence for one thing or another.  Very similar to the misinformation recorded with the State regarding the pond from where water was diverted to that golf course.  Many examples of false information that is treated as well known fact.)

MUCH WORK TO DO

It’s a cool and beautiful Foothill Friday up here in these rolling green Oak and rock studded hills.  Numerous shimmering pools of water glisten in the morning sunshine as testimony to the recent precipitation.   Primarily blue sky with scattered wisps of larger cloud fragments.

LISTEN CAREFULLY!   CAN YOU HEAR THAT?

Well maybe not hear, but hillside weeds are growing exponentially.

One of my planned chores today (and I really dislike this one) is to work on some small two cycle internal combustion engine equipment, specifically the weed eater.  If that goes well, two chainsaws should also be started. My shoulder aches with anticipation.  “Pull start” engines are often difficult to start.  Unfortunately, much like a slot machine in a casino, sometimes many attempts pay off!  LOL

For those of you familiar with this process:  YES INDEED!  I drained the fuel last year, or maybe it was the year before?  YES!  Fuel stabilizer had been added to the fuel mix and run through engine before storage.   We shall see……

Maybe some weed spraying?

I am still shaking off typical 1-2 day soreness associated with other routine yard work such as raking, shoveling, picking up stuff blown around by recent storm winds, and of course, moving rocks from point A to point B.

GRAVITY AND EROSION

Landscaping on a hillside is also challenging.  Rain runoff and wind blow material around and gravity summons it downhill for reorganization where Mother Nature dictates, unless disturbed by something else. That’s where I make a grand entrance.

“Why not rake, sort, load, and haul the sand and soil back uphill for fill around necessary low spots and start the process again – ready for the next rain?”     LOL

CRAP!  Got to get out of here — Already past noon!!!!!!!

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

 

 

PS:  Until later, think about this….

If proposed changes in the DISTRICT’S VISION 2020 STRATEGIC PLAN are legal and “above-board” (so to speak – lol/ wait till you read the GM admonishment to directors before public presentation) why is clearly false information about our District being provided/repeated to State regulators- you know, the folks you would LEAST LIKELY WANT TO PISS OFF?

 

STAGE APPROPRIATE EQUIPMENT

NATURALLY FORGOT TO PURCHASE EXTRA FUEL BULB

NEXT BATTER UP?

SPRAYER BACKUP

 

GOSH, NOW IT’S PAST 1300HRS!

Categories: Uncategorized.