WHAT IS THE POINT?
Jeez, how many pounds will that chain hold?
Ever hear the expression “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”? Makes a good point, especially if one is working with something like a chain hoist for engine removal, hauling a trailer load of lumber secured with “log chain”, or perhaps even just “show-off high swinging” on an old style pipe and chain swing set. Only one damaged or substandard link in an otherwise good chain could have serious consequences. Just because a chain may look strong and secure – occasional inspection would certainly seem prudent to avoid foreseeable harm/loss in using compromised chains. The expression is also analogous to other situations that may not involve an actual metal chain but still require 100% component integrity to avoid some type of general failure.
Yup, there is never enough time. Attended the two LDPCSD meetings yesterday, Monday, June 20th, 2016: Financial Committee @ 1000 hrs – 1200hrs, and the regular monthly meeting @ 1300- 1452hrs). 6 people in attendance and it was hot in that board room — temperature wise. Naturally the board packet was published and made available only a day or so before the meeting. So many important decisions Kampa is asking the board to approve yet there is always VERY LITTLE TIME TO STUDY THE MATERIAL MUCH LESS RECEIVE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS. All planned my friends. All planned.
Since I was unable to locate the customer survey results on the website (as had been suggested by a board member and GM Kampa) – I asked about where they (the results) were displayed. I was told I could get the information from the office, although that was not the point. They were supposed to be presented on the website, perhaps they will show up on the upcoming “new website”. I suspicion there was a low percentage of returns thus no real incentive to publish disappointing results and I can understand that, but still, public money was used for all that and we should have easy access to not only the results, but the costs involved.
Budget is being prepared and there is still opposition to GM Kampa’s apparent re-establishment of post retirement medical benefits that had been discontinued by another board of directors many years ago. There were three requests for Board approval in Item 6 of the agenda under DISCUSSION AND ACTION ITEMS:
a. Adoption of a Resolution Approving a Revised Policy on Employee Insurance Benefits
b. Adoption of a Resolution Approving a Revised policy on Eligibility for Employee Benefits
c. Discussion and Action Regarding the District Organizational chart, Personnel Responsibilities and Position Requirements[Seems like resolutions intended to ratify prior action even though the specifics of that prior action are still unknown and the board refuses to comment (like the who, when, how and whys of re-established employee benefits accomplished without any noticed public board meeting action to rescind prior approved and upheld district employment policy – how can they do that?)
Although I had requested the subject be on the agenda for open discussion, all three were postponed to the July meeting by an approved motion by Director Emery Ross. Suggestions of having third parties look at the situation were also made. No doubt something is being cooked up for July to insure a quick approval to legitimize behind the scene activity intentionally hidden from the public.
I asked if the outside Place of Use compliance reporting had stopped again (since the report was not in the agenda packet) – that obvious failure was attributed to the Operations Supervisor Randy Gilgo who was again absent from the monthly meeting. I believe three or four meetings in a row now. I jokingly asked if he still even worked here….yes he does, just hasn’t been able to attend the monthly meetings. Perhaps the GM could schedule more convenient meetings? Director Emery Ross complained that the board should not be answering questions from the public. Strange, submitted written questions do not receive answers either.
There was a little bit of dancing around the issue of providing further outside Place of Use water service which is to be discussed in the near future. Hummm, interesting. They do exactly as they want while refusing to provide relevant information to questioning customers. With the grant money emphasis on developing an “alternate source” of ground water for outside Place of Use sale, Kampa and Kompany are not likely to just give up on twenty something years of planned expansion with the 99% of legal MERCED RIVER WATER CUSTOMERS PAYING FOR THAT SPECIAL BENEFIT. (Do not forget maintenance, repair, replacement, etc.) Kampa’s recent admission to being approached early on by owners of outside place of use property (that he was attempting to provide water service a couple of decades ago) is consistent with the theory of why Kampa returned to Lake Don Pedro: to continue the outside place of use expansion using newly developed ground water sources that were supposed to be for emergency drought water sustainability for existing customers. [NOTE: Please remember the “KAMPA & KOMPANY” reference is only shorthand for those individuals who support Pete Kampa’s re-configuration of our CSD operations. Actually, the acronym SO-GOSIP (Same Old Group Of Special Interest People] also applies.]
Having witnessed their methods of operation thus far, wording like the below should alert customers.
Under SERVICES ASSUMPTIONS, Kampa states:
“No new regulations will be enacted to cause a dramatic change in operation costs”
Please note the qualifier “dramatic”, so by this statement, if not a “dramatic change”, it’s perfectly OK……sneaky Pete.
Or under REVENUE FORECASTS: “We are not planning financially on selling more water, or gaining more customers this fiscal year”, that may be true, but KAMPA & KOMPANY have already used public funds to plan/construct/develop the ground water wells necessary for an “alternate source” to provide outside the Place of Use. Twice this group has attempted to abandon the existing prohibition of such expansion and have already installed the necessary infrastructure and are proceeding with the remote control equipment required for such expanded service to be accomplished after “this fiscal year”. I wholeheartedly admit, and standby, my distrust for Kampa & Kompany and their constant half-truths in pursuit of special interest benefits paid for with public funds.
My fingers are still numb and typing is more difficult without the sensation of actually pressing the keys. Tingling like poor circulation – hands/fingers still swollen. Not sure if typing is a good exercise or not but at least fingers are moving! Working with concrete and mortar without gloves is stupid and very time I do it I promise myself I will not do it again, then a project jumps up where just “a little hands-on” work accomplishes the desired finish. Seems I do not have the dexterity I need while wearing various types of gloves so I finish the work then immediately wash with soap and water, but alas, the damage is already done. (I do have a great pair of gloves for just this sort of work but gave up looking for them and wasn’t going to make a special trip to town.) Amazing how, when focused on the work, you don’t notice that the first couple of layers of skin have been literally sanded off, —- but later……oooohhhhhh! Besides being a bit sore and numb, I now also have “Velcro digits” that snag and hold on to everything! LOL Kind of funny at times, like after blowing my nose with a tissue and being unable to throw the tissue away – suck on my fingertips like,….well, I already said it ….Velcro!
I must be real careful when wiping away material from around my eyes as fingertips also have sharp jagged pieces of dry dead skin which could cause damage if dragged across an eyeball. Not being my first experience with this concrete/mortar malady I know a sure fire remedy that has always worked for me —-liberally coat fingers and hands with “Bag Balm”, put on an old pair of gloves and continue work. Amazing how that antiseptic “grease” balm can work-in and soften dry concrete/mortar damaged hands/fingers. Naturally, anything you touch without gloves will leave greasy smudges – like eyeglasses, windows, door handles, etc. Plan on dropping a few things through slippery fingers also.
Let’s see…. started my grey water laundry irrigation again & tweaked the homemade detergent recipe with a bit of Eucalyptus oil. Orange oil works well too.
I didn’t mention this security fencing issue at the last meeting but after seeing it still apparently unlocked this Thursday morning and later in the afternoon, thought “what the heck?” Maybe it will get some needed attention if someone else comments?
I am rather busy trying to accomplish a host of different projects so producing a bunch of meeting videos is not possible right now (did I just hear a number of viewers sigh in unanimous & appreciative relief? Lol). Besides, what is the point? Seriously. What difference does it make whether customers have truthful/factual information or not? Seems district management is still considering ways of using emergency drought ground water for “outside place of use” expansion/sale (our district has always pumped water from Lake McClure under L11395 held by the Merced Irrigation District for use in the subdivision [and a few other listed areas] but special benefit water service outside the legal Place of Use under L11395 must be accomplished with expensive ground water wells developed with public funds.) The district also seems intent upon continuing with the re-establishment of post retirement medical benefits for two employees despite clear violation of the intent of a previous board which created the policy. The policy was evidently challenged and upheld years ago and followed until (apparently), Pete Kampa somehow assumed “district policy making/changing authority” and interpreted policy according to his business perspective. I voiced opposition stating any such major financial policy change should have been addressed by the board of directors in a public meeting setting. Heck, I still have not heard Pete Kampa actually admit to being the one who “interpreted policy” 180 degrees opposite from the cost saving intent of the original policy.
Why are such interpreted conflicts seemingly always settled to the customers’ financial detriment? Especially in a nonprofit public agency?
Eventually the district is going to ask customers to approve a major rate/fee increase and that is when all this surreptitious special benefit activity, refusal to answer legitimate questions, negligence and defiant arrogance will be of great assistance in evaluating how and why an increase even became necessary.
My best to you and yours, Lew