Posts by Lew

February 21, 2012 Meeting – Final

Reading Time: 18 minutes

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

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

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

(Multiple voices)

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

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

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

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

Multiple voices

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

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

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

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

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

Director Skoien: “I think it’s operations”

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

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

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

IGM Tynan: “inside place of use”

President Kinsella: “He needs laterals”

Unknown: “one”

Director Skoien: “They found one”

Charise Reeves: “They found one”

Director Richardson: “Oh really?”

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

President Kinsella: “Put it in”

IGM Tynan: “OK”

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

Director Ross: (cheering)

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

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

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

Charise Reeves: “OK”

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

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

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

Charise Reeves: “OK”

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

Charise Reeves: “hum?”

VP Richardson: “It’s not a consensus,

Charise Reeves: “OK”

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

Charise Reeves: “So except for you”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charise Reeves: “OK”

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

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

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

Mr. Porter: “yes”

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

President Kinsella: “what?”

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

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

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

Multiple voices

Mr. Porter: “I would miss you too”

President Kinsella: “Say again?”

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

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

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

President Kinsella: “Do what?”

Multiple voices

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

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

Multiple voices, cross talk

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

President Kinsella: “You got the lateral”

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

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

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

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

VOTE: aye, unanimous.

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

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

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


1614hrs, reconvene.

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

VOTE: unanimous.

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

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


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

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

Charise Reeves: “OK”

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

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

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

Multiple voices

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charise Reeves: “Really?”

VP Richardson: “Yes really”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VP Richardson: “will you let me finish?”

IGM Tynan: “ I sent you an email”

President Kinsella: “Hang on a sec”

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

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

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

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

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

Charise Reeves: “no that “

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

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

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

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

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

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

Director Skoien: “OK what page numbers …

Multiple voices, cross talk

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

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

Charise Reeves: “It’s not in there”

Director Skoien: “Oh”

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

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

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

Director Skoien: “Ok, ok”

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

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

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

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

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

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

VP Richardson: “right”

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

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

Charise Reeves: “I

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

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

VP Richardson: “Well “

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

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


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

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

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

VP Richardson: “I understand, I understand”

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

VP Richardson: “right”

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

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

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

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

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

Charise Reeves: “Those are what”

Director Skoien: “These are both revised?”

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

Director Skoien: “2008?”

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

Director Skoien: “2010?”

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

VP Richardson: “And it is not revised”

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

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

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

(Keys jingling)

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

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

Charise Reeves: “The second”

VP Richardson: “The second one”

Director Skoien: “or the second one?”

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

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

VP Richardson: “No they are not”

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

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

Multiple voices/cross talk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charise Reeves: “yes – yes”

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

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

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

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

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

VP Richardson: “Correct”

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

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

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

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

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

Director Skoien: “Right”

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

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

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

Director Skoien: “No, I’m thinking “

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

President Kinsella: “But you have the original”

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

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

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

Director Skoien: “Calm down, calm down”

VP Richardson: “I’m fine.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Director Skoien: “I understand better now.”

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

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

Director Afanasiev: “On what grounds?”

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

Multiple voices

Unknown: A little bribery there

Director Ross: (inaudible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VP Richardson: “you were told prior to that”

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

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

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

VP Richardson: “That’s right”

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

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

Directors Comments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meeting adjourned @ 1713hrs.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

Part II Feb 21, 2012 Meeting

Reading Time: 10 minutes

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Porter: OK, am I up now?

President Kinsella: Yeah, you’re it.

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

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

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

VP Richardson: I have a question

President Kinsella: Go ahead

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

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

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

Thomas Porter: (inaudible)… the packet

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

Multiple voices in background

Unknown: 49 (inaudible)

VP Richardson: Yes Mam.

President Kinsella: page 48

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

Thomas Porter: Um-hum

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

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

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

President Kinsella: 242

VP Richardson: 57, 12, 37 …

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

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

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

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

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

VP Richardson: Oh when did the well go in?

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

VP Richardson: But sometime in 2007, or ?

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

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

Thomas Porter: No, we drilled it

VP Richardson: OK, but anyway so my point is

Thomas Porter: I can get a precise date

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

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

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

Multiple voices

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

Unknown: Ah-hum

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

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

Thomas Porter: Well I

VP Richardson: Again, there are a number of places

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

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

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

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

Thomas Porter: Not to my knowledge

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

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

VP Richardson: Beg your pardon?

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

President Kinsella: How do you know that?

Thomas Porter: I kno

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

President Kinsella: You know it for a fact?

Unknown speaker with Thomas Porter: Yes sir

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

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

Director Ross: (inaudible) this is a personnel matter

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

Director Ross: is this a personnel meeting?

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

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

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

Board Secretary Charise Reeves: Ah, no

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

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

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

Charise Reeves: …and October of 10.

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

Charise Reeves: No, Dave has been here

IGM Tynan: I was with Dave on that leak

Ron: Huh?

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

Ron: You were there?

IGM Tynan: Yeah

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

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

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

VP Richardson: The consumption shows alot

Multiple voices

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

Ron: Up until

Charise Reeves: Un until now.

Ron: Up until now.

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

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

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

Ron: And when was that?

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



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

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

LDPCSD February 21, 2012 Part I

Reading Time: 14 minutes


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

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

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

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

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


Establish quorum and Pledge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VP Richardson: “I am not Outside MIDPOU”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Porter: No

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

Mr. Porter: No.

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

Mr. Porter: No.

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

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

VP Richardson: On Torre?

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

VP Richardson: And what was this subdivision called?

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

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

Mr. Porter: Maybe

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

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

VP Richardson: Well certainly, most certainly.

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

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

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

Director Afanasiev: Stop there

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

Mr. Porter: Huh?

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

Director Skoien: Now I have a question

President Kinsella: Yes

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

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

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

Director Afanasiev advised Mr. Porter not to threaten directors.

(Multiple voices)

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

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yesterday morning at approximately 0527hrs I received a telephone call from IGM Dan Tynan who advised there had been a fire at the Lake Don Pedro Community Services Office on Merced Falls Road. Tynan had been advised by Director Emery Ross who had previously been contacted by a Deputy Sheriff. I do not know the circumstances of that communication. Tynan advised he would have called sooner after arriving on site but communication lines were down at the facility.

Now as I understand the situation, Emery Ross was first notified by a Deputy sometime around 0300hrs where upon he telephoned his neighbor, friend, and fellow director Mark Skoien along with IGM Tynan and possibly other individuals. Ross drove to the facility and took photographs of the emergency response.


The agenda simply read: Office Building Fire (15 minutes). Information – To inform Directors of office building fire. As would be expected, contact had been made with a variety of departments and agencies including the Department of Health, SDRMA (Special District Risk Management Authority), state and federal fire and law enforcement officials. The audience was advised that water availability and quality had not been affected and would continue without difficulties with some slight adjustments to times of operation.

Syndie, our Billing/Customer Service Representative, suggested the Board add an agenda item to the emergency meeting to address billing issues that were just getting ready to start. The board ultimately approved rolling over the current billing period to next month due to the total loss of billing computer equipment and software. Syndie stated that although credit card payments could not be taken until replacement of that equipment, customers could still mail or walk in their “estimated” payments for the month. Any resulting over payment would be carried over as a credit for the next month. There will obviously be no late penalties for this month.

The Board conference room will be utilized as the temporary office and essential services such as telephone and internet were being routed there. The cause of the fire is still under investigation and president Kinsella cautioned the audience about rumors and “finger pointing”.

After the emergency meeting I was standing in the parking lot speaking with a former LDPCSD President who asked me why Bill and I received the notification so late after the initial report. Director Emery Ross was returning to the board room so I asked him. Emery still walking by without stopping acknowledged he received a call about the fire from a Sheriff’s Deputy around 0300hrs but when I asked

“Why didn’t you pass it on to the president and vice president?”, he replied

“Call a Closed Session – I’ll let you know.”

Guess I should have known better to ask such a simple question because this all too typical “Ross Response” made no sense other than to refuse to explain the situation. It smacked of the same arrogant refusal to other legitimate questions regarding unethical activities and personal involvement in an unusual meter removal case of a friend. That October 28th, 2011 meeting response consisted of:

“I’ll get back to you some day”.

Naturally, he never responded. Here’s the link to that past blog:

The comment was apparently just another avoidance technique because the subject matter does not fall under the Closed Session parameters of discussion outside the public view. Since Emery Ross was the communication “hub of the wheel” during this obvious emergency, why didn’t he just make a simple call to the board president and advise him that our administrative office was being consumed by fire? He apparently had time to call other people, why not the president of the Board?

I realize Mr. Ross is in full campaign mode as a candidate for Mariposa County District II Supervisor but certainly hope his actions were not motivated with thoughts of securing some sort of publicity as the “on scene CSD official” at the conflagration, becaue after all, it was the 2010-2011 Mariposa Grand Jury that recommended he resign as president of the board based on his prior conduct and behavior.

LOOK! THIS IS MORE IMPORATANT NOW – (we don’t need no stinking investigation)

This horrible situation (administration office fire) has once again derailed investigation into other matters regarding this district’s past operation that still need to be addressed. I drove over to the facility late this morning to snag some photographs of what remains of our administrative office. Naturally the investigation continues. The pungent smell of chemical smoke lingers in my clothing as I type these words and contemplate how and why this major setback to our CSD occurred. I ran for election to be one of your representatives with the honest belief local control of our water system was an indispensable element for this community’s future but must now seriously question whether that is still even possible.

Yes I know, I am depressed about the whole mess. Who wouldn’t be? Look at these photographs and realize what was lost isn’t just about money (which is bad enough), but how it will further damage this community’s reputation — regardless of the final determination of ignition source.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 2 minutes

Read for yourself.  Here are the links to online stories about the fire along with their copied articles……..


Fire destroys community services building at Lake Don Pedro

2012-02-23 / Front Page
Monday, Feb.27, 2012, 10 a.m. – Just after 2 a.m. this morning, a patroling Mariposa County Sheriff’s Deputy called in a structure fire at 9751 Merced Falls Road in Lake Don Pedro. That building housed the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Jim Middleton of Mariposa County Fire, the building was “gutted” by flames and smoke. “The building is still somewhat intact because units responded quickly, but the entire interior has been destroyed,” Middleton said this morning.

An emergency board meeting for the district has been called for this afternoon at 2 p.m.

Look for further details in this week’s Mariposa Gazette


February 27, 2012    01:00 pm

Sabrina Ambler, MML News Reporter

Don Pedro, CA – This morning 2 am, a patrolling Mariposa County Sheriff’s
Deputy reported a structure fire of the Lake Don Pedro Community Services
District office. The office is located on Merced Falls Road in La Grange.

Deputy Fire Chief Jim Middleton stated that there was major damage to the
administration building. Middleton stated through an aggressive fire attack they
were able to keep the fire to building of origin. The building sustained major
fire and smoke damage, there is no cost estimate yet. The water treatment and
several other structures were not effected.

According to the Mariposa Gazette An emergency board meeting for the district
has been called for this afternoon at 2 pm. The cause is under investigation.

The Lake Don Pedro Community Services District (LDPCSD) has been investigated
by the Mariposa Grand Jury, the report submitted June 2011, found falsified
meter readings resulted in sudden increases in service charges to customers and
other issues. The full report is here
(LDPCSD on page 32).

LDPCSD is a Special District incorporated in 1980 to provide water to
district residents in both Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties. Customers are billed
on a monthly basis for both the amount of water used and a fee to cover the
assets (water system infrastructure) of the District.

Written by Sabrina


I apologize for not writing sooner but have been quite busy the last few weeks reading past CSD history, learning some  pretty interesting facts, attending training classes (online and out of town – one of the classes actually contained excerpts from last year’s 2010-2011 Grand Jury report regarding our CSD), preparing for Board Meetings, etc. …. all sorts of stuff that will be discussed later in chronological order.  Just couldn’t go to bed tonight without passing on the fire information.

Here’s a photo I took this morning of the office.  Absolutely disgusting.  Strange how other serious subjects suddenly seem less important when your administrative backbone goes up in smoke.


I’m exhausted.  The last couple of meetings prior to this most recent fire nightmare contained some peculiar statements and comments that we’ll take a look at in depth very soon.   Until then,

My best to you and yours, Lew




Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 11 minutes


Mr. Tom Porter: Ahh, anyway, I’ve given you a copy of ah, water bills for 9606 Merced Falls Road and I would ask the Interim General Manager have we been getting water from the district?

IGM Dan Tynan: Off of Torre?

Tom Porter: Hum?

IGM Tynan: Off of Torre? Is that the property you’re talking..

President Bill Kinsella: No

Director Mark Skoien: His office

Multiple voices

Tom Porter: Where we were

IGM Tynan: Oh, oh, ah, it was shut off, the

Tom Porter: Pretty, pretty well shut off too wasn’t it?

IGM Tynan: Yes it was

Tom Porter: very hard to pry open, it has been shut off for years.


Director Skoien: You mean no one’s ever there that would go and use the water, or, I mean, how would…?

Tom Porter: We go in there, but we also have this good well that we talk about and that good well, ah, if there’s no water coming from the district then, that…

Director Skoien: Oh it’s hooked into that

Tom Porter: (inaudible) turn in, so we’ve always had water

Director Skoien: Oh

Tom Porter: I said I don’t want to use that I want to use district water

Multiple Voices

Tom Porter: and then we find out ah, just a few days ago, and that’s why you’re just getting this, ah, that there is no water coming from the district and there hasn’t been any water coming from the district and yet we’re paying ah, two thirty-five a month with no water? For years?


Dan Tynan: One thirty-five I believe

Tom Porter: It used to be one thirty-five

IGM Tynan: Oh, I see

VP Lew Richardson: Because you haven’t been using water?

Tom Porter: We have been, we’ve been using it but

Unknown: the well

Director Emery Ross: That’s the service charge

Tom Porter: the well has been kicking in because the water wasn’t coming from the district, it should have been. In other words, Ron I said, I told him OK, Ron Young my onsite guy, I said, I, I don’t want to use our well for that, it’s OK for the landscaping but I want to use the district water, and I’m a good customer I want to help out the district, you know that, so (laugh) so anyway, he then called me to my ah corporate headquarters in San, ah, San Ramon he said we have no water. And I said sure you do. I said I put in twenty-four thousand dollar 10 inch main down there, ah, at ah, the insistence of Bob Kent, ah to serve us and so ah, as soon as the staff knew about this they came ah readily came and they tried to solve the problem. I came over there and I said hey, you can’t find it here, you can’t find it here, you can’t find it here, let’s go up to the middle of ah Ranchito and Merced Falls Road where it’s hooked in there, where it’s hooked into the 10 inch main. We went up there and we found it yes?

Director Ross: Found what? A meter?

IGM Tynan: Ah, in the middle of the road there was a plate, there’s about four, three shut offs right there

Director Ross: Oh

IGM Tynan: one had the plate, it had been tarred over, I had to take a screw driver to pry it open, turned it on, it was shut off for some, some reason, I don’t know


Director Ross: So it was one in the street?

Director Skoien: Did it get shut off when you had the break right there at that intersection?

IGM Tynan: No, those are, those other two shut offs over there, that connect that

Tom Porter: Well I guess the question is, do you want to give hundred dollar bills or how we getting some money



Director Victor Afanasiev: I have a question Mr. Porter

Dan Siria: (Retired LDPCSD employee): It was Wes that turned that off

President Kinsella: Say again?

Dan Siria: It was Wes that turned that off after they put the well in


Director Afanasiev: Yeah but how was the meter read?

Director Skoien: Then why would the meter change where they get these different figures to bill you?

Tom Porter: I want to know that too, I want to know who read them and how we

Director Ross: (laughing)

Tom Porter: got sometimes a big bill and sometimes a little bill

Director Skoien: But you got past

Tom Porter: (inaudible)

Director Skoien: records that show

Tom Porter: water (inaudible) I want to know

IGM Tynan: I just

Tom Porter: (inaudible) Wes was never told to turn anything off


IGM Tynan: Well, this all came to me this morning


Director Skoien: Yeah I was just wondering if they have past bills that show the meter reading, start and finish (inaudible)

Tom Porter: They should have something

IGM Tynan: Syndie will

Tom Porter: that matches this

President Kinsella: Yeah

Tom Porter: we’d like to know who did read the meter

President Kinsella: there’s going to be some record of it

Multiple voices

Tom Porter: You have records that would show this, but I am saying that ah, this is kind of like the other one, ah, that we have been paying and not getting any service.


Director Skoien: IS it on now? Did you get it on?

IGM Tynan: Yes, yes, it’s on

Director Skoien: The big, square ones?

IGM Tynan: Ah-hum (affirmative answer) yeah

VP Richardson: So now consumption will be going up?

Tom Porter: Of course it will, of course it will

Tom Porter: because you’re going to be ahh

VP Richardson: Because you’d rather pay us than use your well?

Tom Porter: (inaudible) well whether I pay you or I pay PG&E to run the pump, we’re talking the same dollars probably. Yes?


IGM Tynan: Yeah I was just thinking, I’ll get with Syndie as soon as she gets back and she call pull up the past meter readings and all that because if it’s shut off, ah

Tom Porter: Sure, sure

Director Afanasiev: There shouldn’t be any readings then

VP Richardson: That’s right

Director Ross: Could you come back to the board next month with what happened?

IGM Tynan: Yeah, yes

Director Ross: OK, thank you.

Director Skoien: See if it was ever s,ss, somewhere down on the zero use list it should have been right?

VP Richardson: If it wasn’t used there should be nothing

Multiple voices/cross talk

President Kinsella: (inaudible) I want to find out why, what the meter consumption is and who reads the meter?

Tom Porter: …that’s what’s got me too

Multiple voices/cross talk

Tom Porter: (inaudible) I’m signing checks signing checks, I’m not paying attention but hey, we didn’t, weren’t getting the water.


VP Richardson: Yeah, but how could there be consumption if you weren’t getting water?

Tom Porter: I want to see who read the meter and

Director Skoien: Well was the meter off too?

President Kinsella: That was my statement (laughs)

VP Richardson: Yeah

Director Skoien: Was the meter off?

Tom Porter: (inaudible) how that happened?

President Kinsella: Say again?

Tom Porter: I’d like to know how that happened?

President Kinsella: Yeah

Tom Porter: how they (inaudible)

Director Skoien: Wait! Excuse me, now, I, was the meter off also?

IGM Tynan: I’d have to check with Randy, I got there after the fact and I got there with Mr. Porter

Director Skoien: because if the meter wasn’t off (pounds table) and even though if the valve was leaking through, then maybe some water was being used along with the well water if the meter wasn’t off.

Tom Porter: Where would it come from?

Director Skoien: Well if the valve wasn’t quite working in

Tom Porter: How tight was it Dan?


Director Skoien: Well it can be tight and it cannot be closed

President Kinsella: This is all supposition let’s get the facts

Director Skoien: No I’m just saying

IGM Tynan: Yeah

President Kinsella: I’d prefer to deal with facts rather than supposition

Director Skoien: (Sternly) Since when?

President Kinsella: What?

VP Richardson: Whoa

Director Skoien: Since when?

VP Richardson: Whoa

Director Skoien: (starts laughing when his comment was obviously not well received)

President Kinsella: You know….

Director Skoien: (Continues laughing)

Tom Porter: Since when Mr. Chairman?

President Kinsella: Go ahead

VP Richardson: That’s interesting, to say something like that after the reports you guys made on Poe.

Director Skoien: Oh yeah



Tom Porter: It looks to me like, we’ve resolved two of the lots, the other three are going to be studied by the ah committee


President Kinsella: Yeah we just have to, we just have to get the backup paperwork for it and make sure

Tom Porter: And ah, then this one there’s got to be some resolution to this

President Kinsella: Yeah we’re going to have to figure that out too

Director Ross: Come back next month with a report on this right Dan?

IGM Tynan: Yeah, I’ll get the meter readings

President Kinsella: Go way back to ’07 that’s a long way

Tom Porter: Yeah

Director Skoien: Well look at that one in November (inaudible)

Director Ross: Do you remember when I said at a meeting Bill, that Jason said, do you remember what I said at a meeting long ago, I said, he said, you’ve got the same problem at Tom’s house as you’ve got at the dump, at, at the, and nobody ever said anything, and then they said it was a different meter, but he said that there’s a problem with his place and the sewage plant and there, there, now we got it. There it is, there it is…..

IGM Tynan: No, it’s two different things.

Director Ross: Well, it’s it’s a problem isn’t it?

IGM Tynan: Oh yeah, yeah

Director Ross: (Laughing) OK


IGM Tynan: We had the same meter problem at the high school

Director Ross: (inaudible)

Multiple voices background

President Kinsella: The 475 is what bothers me too how could it jump that much?

Tom Porter: That, that, I want to ah, be there and see who, who read the meter and how does it jump from 135 to 558 or something like that?

President Kinsella: 662, 310

Tom Porter: Yeah, yeah

President Kinsella: 475

Tom Porter: You, we can look, we can back check that too, we could look at your books to see if you need money that month.


Unknown: laughs

VP Richardson: You paid the bills (laughs)

Tom Porter: My fault huh?

VP Richardson: Yep

Tom Porter: OK, I,

President Kinsella: I wasn’t, I wasn’t running, so don’t blame me for that one

Tom Porter: Ah, no, ah, thank you all.

VP Richardson: Thank you

Director Skoien: Thank you

President Kinsella: Thank you

Director Ross: We’ll get it straightened out



President Kinsella: And the committee will get back to you Mr. Porter

Tom Porter: And I have two more wells, two. In case you’re really in deep trouble I got some more wells.


VP Richardson: Boise had 14 of them at one time.

Tom Porter: Yeah, well we’ve got some more ah, I think we’ve got 4 or 5 more down at the Country Club

IGM Tynan: I’ll give you a call

Multiple voices

Director Skoien: Boise had 14 out here at one time?

VP Richardson: Yeah

Director Skoien: 14?

VP Richardson: Yeah, and then they abandoned them for some reason.

President Kinsella: OK

Director Skoien: There’s ah, maintenance and they wanted to be gone

Multiple voices [Mr. Porter and company leave Board Room]

Dan Siria: That whole thing is confusing ‘cuz I remember that, they did use water out of that meter, they had what? That’s a two inch meter?

IGM Tynan: It’s a two inch meter

Dan Siria: Two inch meter, sometimes it was zero, other times it was two to three hundred units


President Kinsella: Yeah but who was the guy that was reading the meter?

Dan Siria: All of us,

Director Skoien: You see that valve might not have totally closed

Dan Siria: That, that’s, and that line came from a 10 inch he said?

IGM Tynan: That’s what he said

Dan Siria: Or what he, they tapped into a two inch line into the 10 inch is what

IGM Tynan: No, it’s off the main

Dan Siria: Well yeah, but, I mean the service line.

IGM Tynan: Oh yeah

Director Skoien: Yeah, he said the main was 10..

President Kinsella: Onward and upward, any other comments from the (laughs) from the audience?


Director Skoien: (inaudible) the valve didn’t quite shut


Have a relaxing and safe weekend.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 21 minutes

OMIDPOU = Outside Merced Irrigation District Place of Use

This 1978 MID Map of Areas of Domestic Water Use depicts the residential subdivision and golf course.  The subject matter of this posting concerns properties located within the small white square between the words “Barrett Cove” and the section number “27”.  The small triangle to the left (west) of the white square (below the number “27”) is the location of the former Deerwood Corporation Sales Office.  (Corner of Ranchito Drive and Merced Falls Road)  The red line identifies the Tuolumne-Mariposa County line.

WATER LICENSE 11395: August 1983: Domestic use at home sites within the service area of Sierra Highlands Water Company and a 55 acre golf course.  (Above map indicates golf course is actually 155 acres)

PHOTOS: Portions of Kassabaum Estates discussed in the last blog posting.  The former Deerwood Corporation sales office is in the background to the right of the white storage buildings.



Tom Porter: The other one I want service there and, in other words it’s in, within the district, and ah I want to know if you’re not willing to serve it what, what is the basis of your reason for rejecting

Inaudible-multiple voices

Director Skoien: What’s entailed there with getting water?

IGM Tynan: It’s outside place of use

Background talking

Tom Porter: In other words, there is a property to the east of us getting water and they’re bringing their line through our property and they’re also hooking up to a service to, to a meter that is on the corner of a lot we were going to build on – across the street on Merced Falls Road

Director Skoien: OK, wait, wait a minute I’m I’m I’m getting a

Tom Porter: confused

Director Skoien: Yeah, and not afraid to admit it (laughs) OK, let’s go by these numbers, 44, 45 and 46 OK?

Tom Porter: OK

Director Skoien: 46 is getting water?

Tom Porter: no, they’re not getting ah, ah, they’re not getting water from this district no.

Director Skoien: Oh, OK, where, whose using your other lot’s meter and getting water? One of those three?

Tom Porter: I’ll show (inaudible) point it out to all of you it that’s permissible

Multiple voices

Tom Porter: OK, this 40 acres right here

President Kinsella: OK

Director Skoien: I can’t see it

Tom Porter: is being served right here

Director Ross: (inaudible)

Tom Porter: there is a lot across the street, across Merced Falls Road

Director Skoien: You mean this one here?

Tom Porter: Yes

Director Skoien: OK

Tom Porter: And what they do is, they took, they hooked to the meter and they went through a drainage pipe that is underneath ah, Merced Falls Road, they came up here and they go, they traverse ah the west line of these properties and they get up to here and they have dug a trench in here and brought the pipe up here up in here and he’s right there’s a leak (inaudible) but they, leaks along here

President Kinsella: So it runs through your property then?

Tom Porter: They did without our permission and also they have a road in there without our permission

Director Skoien: OK now right in here, where is your, this is your Deerwood Offices right here?

Tom Porter: Yes

Director Skoien: OK, I’m just trying to get oriented

President Kinsella: Trying to get oriented

Director Skoien: Yeah, yeah, so these lots, this lot is behind your office and then this is further I guess south down Merced a little ways and then this forty acres behind is not yours

Tom Porter: No

Director Skoien: and the meter is on, what meter is he tied into?

Tom Porter: Ah, it’s, what lot is that Randy?

Unknown: If I had a map I could show you

Tom Porter: It’s 180 or something like that?

Unknown: It’s 580

Multiple voices-inaudible

Tom Porter: 580, 580 I’m sorry.

Betsie Ross: Did those two maps stick together? (inaudible)

Director Skoien: OK, so what is entailed in in putting lines there, it’s not as easy as Torre or what?

IGM Tynan: No because the thing is, again, going by the map in the office it’s showing ah these properties being inside the district boundaries but outside place of use

Tom Porter: Doesn’t make sense

President Kinsella: But he’s been paying availability?

IGM Tynan: No

Tom Porter: No

VP Richardson: No, not on these

Multiple statements of “no”.

Director Skoien: Now are you saying, that you’d be willing, are you going to pay back availability or that’s not

Tom Porter: Hey we’re here ah shooting the dice here right now

Director Skoien: (laughing) no I just, I

Tom Porter: In other words, in other words I’m here to say that I’d like to have service here, if you, if you say OK you owe us availability since we bought the property I’d be willing to do that. Ah, to keep the record straight.

[LEW’S VIEW:  I’m sorry, but if any availability fees are to be paid for ANY PROPERTY, shouldn’t they go all the way back to when all other property owners were required to pay and financially support this district?]

VP Richardson: But we still have the issue of outside MIDPOU

President Kinsella: Yeah

Tom Porter: Well it’s within your district.

VP Richardson: Well they’re two different animals.

Director Ross: Bill

President Kinsella: The license is what we, one of the things that we’re concerned about

VP Richardson: Because any water supplied to those properties would have to come out of the Ranchito well and as that board right there behind you says the Ranchito well is not producing enough.

Tom Porter: Well what, ah, why would with over 5,000 acre feet of water in McClure and you’re using only what 1,500 feet of that?

Director Skoien: If that

President Kinsella: If that

Tom Porter: Why do you need a well?

VP Richardson: That’s what the State Water Board says because of our outside

Director Skoien: That’s been my opinion all along but evidently it’s a law

Tom Porter: It’s a law that you can’t serve within your district?

President Kinsella: No

Director Skoien: No it’s kick, it’s a sleeping dog that’s been kicked, let me just say that.



Tom Porter: You know, I’d like to tell you a little story, I’m a good story teller. Brook Trails where we have a 160 lots, sold 2,500 up there, just lost another 280,000 on this kind of a thing, they’ve lost the, in 2011 they lost 600,000 in ’94 they lost a million two. In other words they filed suits, if this, if you’re supposed to be serving water within your district then we’ll test it, it’s not a threat, I’ll just get my attorneys we’ll work on it, and see whether you guys should be ah, I can understand if somebody is outside of your district and it’s the sphere of influence, you should say no, I agree with that. But here you’ve got somebody past me taking water and ah, with a real, make shift deal of, yes Dan?

IGM Tynan: I was just thinking of, I think it would be clearer if we got you gave you a copy of the contract with MID, because that’s our problem it’s almost, MID has our hands tied because our contract is with them, they have us inside place of use, outside place of use, but if I gave you a copy of the contract maybe you can read it over

Tom Porter: Oh I’d love to have a copy so that I could then present that to my attorneys and we go from there.

VP Richardson: Yeah, because it all has to go before the State Water Board

Tom Porter: well

VP Richardson: and MID doesn’t want to go to the State Water Board to expand the license where we can serve, we can only serve

Tom Porter: (inaudible)

VP Richardson: domestic home sites.

Tom Porter: I’m sorry Lew, they gave you the right to serve within this district

VP Richardson: No they did not

Director Afanasiev: They didn’t

Tom Porter: They did

VP Richardson: No they did not

Director Afanasiev: No

Tom Porter: Well, then let, can I ask, may I ask a question?

VP Richardson: Sure

Tom Porter: If somebody over here is not using water on a lot but they’re within the district, do you have to serve them or not?

VP Richardson: Yes. My Mom, my mother has been paying standby availability for 20 years and she hasn’t used one drop of water.

Tom Porter: So, ahh, but, so, the thing that really stops this in your opinion is availability fees, is that right?

VP Richardson: No, I, I

Director Afanasiev: No it’s MID

VP Richardson: The water license 11395 says we can serve water to the subdivision and to the golf course period. That’s it.

Tom Porter: Well how are you doing this other 40 acres there?

VP Richardson: Well just like a number of other properties that got under the radar in the past, when the license wasn’t acknowledged and LAFCo wasn’t aware of it, they rubber stamped things, we have to deal with them, and MID snapped us in the early 90’s and we had to go to the Ranchito well because we cannot serve Lake McClure water to outside MIDPOU properties, so the Ranchito well must produce that water.

Director Ross: I have a question Bill. I, I emailed Elizabeth and I asked her about this, you look at her ah report of a 12-13-11 she says, therefore we advise against committing any Ranchito well water to new users. So (cough), excuse me, I asked her, ah what does that, could you please clarify what that means? You know, new users, right? Ahum, she says, the study covered the engineering aspects not administrative or legal of the Ranchito well which includes the well productivity versus water usage outside the MID Place of Use. The ah usage data we were provided was a list of 34 to 36 customers who are outside MID Place of Use and goes back to a decade. Syndie provided the ah, the sphere sheets and I do not know whether the ah sphere sheets include everyone with a physical connection outside the MID Place of Use. The quest….I’ll stop right there, my question to her is, your example, you’re within the district boundaries,

Tom Porter: yes

Director Ross: you may or may not have been paying availability there maybe people that are but if you’re within, why can’t we serve these people because we’ve committed you know, the, ah, it’s within the boundaries. Anyway she says we don’t have any information in this office on parcels outside the place of use who have or have not been paying availability charges or any other fees, it is difficult for us to make a recommendation on drilling a new well since we do not know the extent of the situation. So I said to her well then let’s just put a new well in there. She said I don’t know. Ah, it is a very good question and brings up good legal, financial and administrative questions we are willing to help with this if possible and if needed. I mean, if somebody, you have this boundary ah and Schartz, he was when here he was outside, he’s a different issue, but here’s this thing that’s within the boundary the district should have a policy, because we set policies, that should say that we serve people who are not – that are within in boundary, you know, we set policy. Or we have a policy that says we don’t serve people within our boundary, but to me, we, we, we’ve now raised, ah created a monster by doing a well report and it says (pounds board table) we can’t serve anybody else so now it’s time to (pounds table) drill a new well because you’ve got people like Mr. Porter who has these lots within the district boundaries that want water, he’s not outside the boundary like Schartz was or you’re just gonna say we don’t serve everybody, I don’t know but everybody within the boundary (pounds table) we should be serving. Correct?

[LEW’S VIEW/QUESTIONS:  Created a monster by determining what the sustainable yield of the Ranchito Well actually was?  Would it have been better to ignore the situation and keep adding connections to it until it went dry?  The fact Mr. Schartz was outside the district boundary certainly did not stop Directors Ross and Skoien from advocating that another OMIDPOU parcel be connected to the system. ]

VP Richardson: Not necessarily

Director Ross: Well, then set up, you come up with a policy because that’s all we do.

VP Richardson: Well it would be nice if we did have policies but first we have to do the research to see exactly what’s been done in the past.

Director Ross: Well, its, its people have been hooked up in the past.

VP Richardson: Illegally

Director Afanasiev: Right

Multiple voices

Director Ross: Illegally, legally what ever you want to call it

VP Richardson: Well, ill – illegal in the, in the regards to a license 11395 and MID made that perfectly clear.

Director Skoien: See that to me, I’ve said this several times here, and I know Lew knows where I’m going, a lot of, all these efforts with lawyers and committees, if any of us knew what the hell we were doing and how to do it, what needs to be changed is that part of the law that says we have to pump, make up that water out of our well for the simple reason like you said, we use 1/5th of what we’re allotted. We get plenty allotment to fill, feed whoever wants water and those are ratepayers and that’s what we need here are ratepayers but because of this stigma of that law, somehow we should fight to change that. That well and I think this gentleman and Dan will tell you should be just backup because it’s it’s corrosive to our system, it’s it’s crap water compared to the lake water and if you had an common sense since we’ve never come close to using our (pounding table) allotted water that well should go on emergency backup and we should be allowed to serve water until we use up 5,000 acre feet

Tom Porter: I agree


Director Skoien: and we’ll never see that in our lifetime probably.

VP Richardson: But, but we have to think

Director Skoien: 5,000 acre feet I hope we see that law changed

VP Richardson: But Mark, first of all it’s not a law it’s a license

Director Skoien: OK license, then that

VP Richardson: The second part is we have a fiduciary duty to over half this subdivision that isn’t developed yet, they have the primary right to that water because they have been paying availability fees

Director Skoien: Right

VP Richardson: for decades

Director Skoien: Right, but if we get rid of that, that license there’s plenty

VP Richardson: You don’t get rid of a water license

Director Skoien: Get the water license changed

VP Richardson: That’s what we were trying to talk with MID about

Director Skoien: We have more than enough in our allotment that handle every other lot if they should build, I mean we’re about half

VP Richardson: And you would have the Delta-Bay Area people all over us in court.

Director Ross: So you’ve talked

Director Skoien: Why is that?

Director Ross: to MID about this? What did they say?

VP Richardson: Oh they’ve been talking about this for decades Emery

Director Afanasiev: They will not allow it

Inaudible-multiple voices

VP Richardson: They will not touch it

Director Skoien: Touch what, I didn’t…?

VP Richardson: Our place of use modification for 11395

Tom Porter: You know the only place that that term is used is here.

VP Richardson: What, water license?

Tom Porter: No, place of use, you have a district and you have outside the district, El Dorado Irrigation District, ah, Brook Trails Community Services, they have a district boundary, if you’re within that boundary they serve

VP Richardson: Well

Tom Porter: And place of use I don’t know where that came from

VP Richardson: Well as you know the district boundary was changed to go around those properties that you purchased

Tom Porter: Well, no it wasn’t

VP Richardson: It went outside, see our, originally our district coincided with the water license

Tom Porter: Ah-hum

VP Richardson: Then as people said hey I’m right across the street I’ll be a good customer, hook me up, nobody really paid attention and they ran a line out. And then someone else – hey you did it for him, do it for me, so they ran another line out over there and then pretty soon we had lines going all over the place and when MID snapped us for the 11395 that’s when the Ranchito well came in, and when we said well please, please, please let us change the license to coincide with the people we’re serving, basically it was – you created the problem you deal with it.

Tom Porter: So in the meantime, (laughs) in the meantime we have 40 acres being served past my property, through my property, ah but I can’t get it?


Director Skoien: OK, but I, and I have a question about that. The meter that that guy’s pulling off of is

Unknown: Somewhere

Director Skoien: only in the district but it’s it’s your lot across Merced Falls Road?

Tom Porter: Yeah, we were going to build a house there

IGM Tynan: That’s across, yes it is across the street

Director Skoien: OK and it’s not within the service district boundary or it is?

Tom Porter: Oh it is, it is one of, one of the lots that (inaudible)

Director Skoien: and it has, it has a meter?

IGM Tynan: What they’ve done is they’ve taken..

Director Skoien: Wait I’m getting to a point, who’s paying the bill, are you, you

Tom Porter: No I’m not paying the bill, I’m

Director Skoien: OK, but the meter is

Tom Porter: There was two car loads of people came up here, ah, I saw them a week ago and they said we’re looking for something and I said what are you looking for? They said that, they have a property over here, ah, over, and they pointed in the direction of this 40 acres and my understanding is there’s a squatter that lives there now. Ah, he’s living there the owner doesn’t and they said

Inaudible unknown

Tom Porter: our Auntie, our Auntie owns that property and I said well I know where the water hookup is, the water hookup is on that lot, I showed it to him. I said that’s where it’s hooked up and then I showed him exactly where it came up through and went through my property. SO

Director Skoien: And who pays that bill?

Tom Porter: This,

Dan Siria: The lady that owns that property

Multiple voices

Tom Porter: And, and, and what they did they came up and said OK, Auntie isn’t there anymore, the squatter’s there and the bill came to 800 and some dollars and they, this all of a sudden got their attention.

IGM Tynan: Shut their water off

Director Skoien: OK, so they, OK they, they’re the ones that have the property that the meter is on

Dan Siria: No

Dan Tynan: No

President Kinsella: No

Unknown: No

Director Skoien: You have it, OK, so how did they get billed the water if the meter is in….?

IGM Tynan: Can I explain?

Director Skoien: Yeah, yeah I don’t get it…(laughing)

Multiple voices

IGM Tynan: OK, here’s Merced Falls Road, OK? We’re going this way, here’s Merced Falls Road, here’s the meter, you go over the road, go over a second road, and here’s the properties, outside place of use but the meter is inside place of use.

Director Skoien: Yeah, but how, that meter was assigned to him?

IGM Tynan: No

Unknown: No

Unknown: No

Unknown: Yes

Multiple voices/cross talk

Director Afanasiev: Then who was it assigned to?

Dan Siria: Not the meter, but the

Tom Porter: We never did start the home

Dan Siria: Right, right, the, that yoke there is his, but the other people are using it, the simple fix and that’s on the short side where the main is, would just run a new box for his property.

Multiple voices/cross talk

Director Skoien: No I’m just wondering how they pay for the water?

IGM Tynan: Well, who’s, who’s being charged again, Syndie hasn’t been here, I’ll have

Director Skoien: That’s what I’m wondering

IGM Tynan: to go see Syndie who’s , that’s what I need to find out but Syndie has been on vacation and ah, so I’m going to have to check with her, who the people are that’s paying for that meter and paying for that $800 water bill.

Director Afanasiev: Why are they paying?

IGM Tynan: Huh?

Director Afanasiev: What are they paying?

IGM Tynan: They’ve got an 800 dollar bill I assume they are

Unknown: Maybe if they don’t pay, maybe we can have that?

Director Skoien: I got no problem with you having it for all three of them.


Director Afanasiev: Yeah, but MID does probably

Tom Porter: Another thing, if you go up on Merced Falls Road just north of Ranchito, and look to the east, you’ll see a meter that goes to Doscher. He’s outside of the district, outside of the district outside of the place of use.

Director Ross: 35 of them Tom.


President Kinsella: On the north side?

Tom Porter: No, he’s on the east side of Merced Falls Road.

President Kinsella: Ah, you go north on Merced Falls Road

Tom Porter: Yeah

President Kinsella: he’s on the east side

Tom Porter: he’s on the east, about I’d say a thousand feet up there

Dan Siria: There’s a lot of them like that, I mean when this place was done it was on the simple thing and ah

VP Richardson: right

Dan Siria: and where a

Multiple voices

Dan Siria: Craig Lawson lives, there’s one, two, three, three houses in there it’s the same thing, they’re getting their water off from Chicharra.

VP Richardson: Right. Things weren’t done properly a long time ago and it’s coming home to roost now.

Director Skoien: And there’s no way to determine who did them

Tom Porter: Well I know what I was told

Director Skoien: A lot of things happened in this office

Tom Porter: (inaudible) important to you

President Kinsella: Well let’s, I guess the simplest thing to do would be to confirm what Mr. Porter says, check our records, and then we’ll have to meld again, get together again, and see just exactly what to do along with the license

IGM Tynan: We’re still kind of messed up with the MID Outside Place of Use, inside place of use, I mean, I don’t, I can’t go against that contract but that’s why I brought it to the board because, you know, it is what it is with MID unless we can get them to (inaudible)

Director Ross: Is there any law or rule or anything that says we can’t put another well in?

Unknown: No, I don’t think so

Director Afanasiev: But where are you going to put it?

Multiple voices/cross talk

VP Richardson: And, and who’s going to pay for it?

Multiple voices

Tom Porter: And you do have another well

Director Ross: The district

VP Richardson: Why should the district pay for water to go outside the water license?

Director Ross: Because they’re gonna make money and you’re in the business of trying to pay your bills.

VP Richardson: Well then wouldn’t that be incumbent upon the people receiving the benefit to pay the charges for that well?

Director Ross: Normally the district doesn’t work that way.

VP Richardson: Well normally the district almost went bankrupt.

Director Ross: Well it did because of a publication, a newsletter, but that’s not here or there

VP Richardson: A what?

Director Ross: A newsletter did that, but anyway

VP Richardson: A newsletter?

Director Ross: A fruitless newsletter, which is (inaudible)


Tom Porter: I have another thought here

President Kinsella: OK

Tom Porter: Ah

Director Skoien: Put a well on this property

President Kinsella: Ah Mr. Porter has the floor

Tom Porter: Number one, ehh and I know what you’re going to say the Board has to make all decisions, but a board member, Wes Snyder and Bob Kent both said, yes, we will serve that property (banging on podium) to me, personally. Now you’re going to say, well one of those people is in Heaven and the other one I guess still got a lawsuit.


President Kinsella: He’s waiting

Tom Porter: So, but anyway there’s a, one more thought, I have a very good well ah, if you look on the map and it says Deerwood lots, about where it’s

Director Ross: Which map Tom? Which map?

Tom Porter: This map right here, (inaudible)

Director Ross: This one

Tom Porter: You can look to the west of that, I have a, a very good well, and I’m wondering if we could ah, rather than get legal and run off through all that stuff, if we could have, make some agreement between me and the water district to use water from there?

VP Richardson: This map?

Tom Porter: Yeah, I’ll show it to you

Director Skoien: The well is on lot 46?

Director Ross: Which lot number?

Tom Porter: It is right there

Director Skoien: Oh just the outside

VP Richardson: Oh it’s a, OK

Director Skoien: It’s behind your offices

Tom Porter: Yeah, and it’s a very good well.

Director Ross: How many gallons a minute?

Tom Porter: Three or four times as good as your well

Director Ross: How many gallons a minute?

VP Richardson: Well then why don’t you just use that for your properties?

Director Ross: Where’s it at?

Director Skoien: He says it’s somewhere in here

Tom Porter: That’s not (laughs) ah

Director Skoien: Behind his offices

Tom Porter: in other words,

VP Richardson: I mean, it’s on your property

Tom Porter: No, it’s on that property, it’s not on the other properties

VP Richardson: No, no, no, no You just said you had a very good producing well, you indicated that it’s right here

Tom Porter: Yes

VP Richardson: and that’s your property where your sales office is right?

Tom Porter: Yeah

VP Richardson: Well then, why don’t you just use your own well water?

Tom Porter: And go into the PUC business?

VP Richardson: No, like anybody else that has a well, you

Tom Porter: Well it’s not, that’s not the same property those are four different properties, in other words, the minute I

Director Skoien: In other words he may sell them and then he would be responsible

Tom Porter: if I sell them to somebody

Multiple voices

VP Richardson: Well, no

Tom Porter: I can’t serve them water, you can, I can’t.

President Kinsella: Well, he’s right

Director Skoien: Can’t provide water to

Tom Porter: I can’t (inaudible)

Multiple voices

President Kinsella: It’s his well, it’s his well

Tom Porter: (inaudible) gave it to a

VP Richardson: It’s his well, if they’re his other properties

Multiple voices

Director Skoien: Yeah, but what if, what if he wants to have water to these to sell them then they’re not

VP Richardson: Oh so then the whole point of this is to get water to sell property?

Director Skoien: Well I’m not sure, but he has a right to sell them whenever, but he can’t provide water that

VP Richardson: Yeah but see, that’s another thing about our water rights, it’s for residential domestic consumption, it’s not for speculative land development

Director Skoien: Well how do you know, some residents

Tom Porter: (inaudible)

Director Skoien: aren’t going to build on these lots if

Tom Porter: somebody buys these things

Director Skoien: I mean, (inaudible-multiple voices/cross talk)

VP Richardson: If, if, if there’s a lot of ifs.

Director Skoien: Yeah, exactly. People could be living there five years from now, we don’t know

Tom Porter: Yeah, or two years, or one year.

President Kinsella: Dan this is an operational problem, how about ah, calling the Operational Committee together

IGM Tynan: OK, yeah

President Kinsella: and ah, iron out some of the issues here and then get back with Mr. Porter and ah, the board and we’ll all sit down together again, is that alright with you sir?

Tom Porter: Who is this operational committee?

Director Skoien: Me, Dan

Tom Porter: The two of you?

Director Skoien: And well, it’s always with the President

President Kinsella: Yeah

Tom Porter: The president too huh? OK, alright, I’ve got a shot

President Kinsella: I’m the titular head of it

Tom Porter: Well, I’ve got a shot

Dan Siria: The only way that you could get credit for your well is if it’s tied right back into the raw water line that runs down that same street

Tom Porter: Well, there’s a raw water line that comes up ah

Director Ross: Yeah

Tom Porter: Barrett Cove Road

Dan Siria: Right

Tom Porter: We know that and we could take some water over there if they needed it, really it’s not a need, you don’t need the water out of this well on Ranchito, ah, it’s, it’s, it’s

Director Skoien: It meets the license and requirements

Tom Porter: It, it, it’s to satisfy your requirements

VP Richardson: To keep us legal

President Kinsella: Yeah

VP Richardson: because, see MID could get slapped with a 25 to 50 thousand dollar fine if we screw up, because we operate underneath their license and they’re not real happy about some of the things we’ve done in the past because they have the liability for it with the State Water Board.

Tom Porter: Well, wha, OK Lew, you’re part of the board, what do you think of this idea of taking some water that I would offer?


VP Richardson: I, I don’t know, I’d say if you have a good well, I think you should use your water.

Tom Porter: Well, I can’t sell to other people

VP Richardson: Well you’re asking us to

Tom Porter: you can

VP Richardson: change things with the State Water Board, I think you’d have a better chance of changing things to use your own water

Tom Porter: Well, get into the, I guess you have your other meeting

President Kinsella: Getting into, into the finer points of law

Tom Porter: then we find out that we have to go find out legally what is the status of the district and, and place of use and all those things.

President Kinsella: OK

Tom Porter: Yes sir?

Director Skoien: OK, but back to Torre then, you’re OK with those?

IGM Tynan: Yeah, Torre ah

Tom Porter: That’s finished

IGM Tynan: yeah,

Tom Porter: The only thing I would like to do is go with you when we decide where to put the laterals, there is a fire hydrant right to the corner of one of those pieces

IGM Tynan: (inaudible) mention this to Porter, I’ll get a copy, I’ll give you a copy of the MID contract and that way you’ll get more of an idea of the place of use

Multiple voices/cross talk

VP Richardson: We’re not agreeing to anything right now on these right?

President Kinsella: No

Director Skoien: It’s Operations

President Kinsella: I think that a, the Operations Committee should delve into this thing and gather all of the information possible and sit down with Mr. Porter and pick his brain for things as well as ours and present the package to the board.

IGM Tynan: It’s easier if the four of us get together and I can show you what I’m seeing on the inside outside place of use instead of just, you know, it’s hard to see if you’re

Tom Porter: And I don’t think it would hurt if this little committee actually went there and we show you exactly on the ground what it is

President Kinsella: Well that’s why I wanted, I want them to get together with you and your representative

Tom Porter: what has happened

Director Skoien: Yeah I got no problem with that (inaudible)

President Kinsella: So will you ah notify Mr. Porter when you guys want to meet and ah, his availability and then we’ll go from there.

IGM Tynan: Yeah I’ll get with you

Director Ross: Is this a Standing Committee?

President Kinsella: Agreeable Sir?

Tom Porter: Yeah, you bet.

Director Ross: Is this a Standing Committee?

President Kinsella: Yes it is

Director Ross: Then it’ll have an agenda and all that too in time?

Background voices inaudible

Tom Porter: I have more

Multiple voices/cross talk

Director Ross: If the public wants to attend

Director Skoien: Oh yeah, yeah cuz it would be a continuing subject

President Kinsella: Are we finished with this section of it?

Tom Porter: Yeah we are, we know that you’re going to provide laterals for those two pieces D and E, OK, we know that

Multiple voices in background

Tom Porter: now we’ll work out the details of where they go

President Kinsella: Right

Tom Porter: (inaudible) to his satisfaction

President Kinsella: OK

Tom Porter: OK

IGM Tynan: I’ll get with the engineer also

Tom Porter: OK, I, I guess the next thing

Multiple voices/cross talk/inaudible

Tom Porter: ….that ah

IGM Tynan: I don’t want to do the same thing..

President Kinsella: Order, Mr. Porter has the floor.

xxxxx  to be continued  xxxxx

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 13 minutes

Hello folks! Hope things are going well in your neck of the woods. I received the two January 17th meeting audio cassette tapes from the office yesterday and quite frankly am burned out with typing today. Started before 0600hrs this morning and 26 pages later still haven’t finished Mr. Thomas Porter’s presentation on why some of his properties should receive water despite the prohibition in the water license of service to areas Outside Merced Irrigation District Place of Use (OMIDPOU).

No. Don’t panic. I’m not going to hit you with it all at once even though my instinct is to post whatever I finish as soon as it’s done. As you know numerous people have advised me to dribble such information out in more palatable portions – and I agree with that approach, besides, this way I can run over the tape one more time for accuracy.

Let’s see…..California residents probably know we received some rain on Friday January 20th and Saturday the 21st. Many areas of the subdivision lost power for about an hour and a half on Saturday. Still can’t believe the force of the wind here sometimes. Heard on the news this morning we’re only 38% of the snow pack – sure hope more is on the way. Crazy weather – last weekend it was like Spring – thought there must have been a beehive around my house somewhere because the Incense Cedar tree was covered with them. Yep, the buzzing was “intense” in the “Incense”…. Sorry, seemed funny at the time. Guess all this typing is starting to take its toll.

Well, guess I should quit with the blah, blah, blah for now.  Too bad though, this is easy writing compared to the transcription stuff.  I think the best way to proceed is with my opinion indicated within [brackets].  OK, let’s glide into the meeting……..


Quorum established, all directors present (Kinsella, Ross, Skoien, Afanasiev and Richardson), along with Interim General Manager Dan Tynan. Board Secretary Charise Reeves was absent due to a training class. Pledge of allegiance was recited. President Kinsella advised that Wes Barton had dropped off a prepared statement he (Barton) wished to have read into the record, however, after reading the material Kinsella thought it best for Mr. Barton to read it himself at another time. During Public Comment neighboring property owner Don Pucilowski inquired if the district might be interested in getting rid of a derelict trailer.

MANAGER’S REPORT: IGM Tynan reported that by replacing laterals a reduction in leaks has been noted in problem areas. He advised the lead operator had hand surgery and was off for a while so only six hydrants had been flushed. 432 new meters and 644 transmitters have been installed. There has been a substantial reduction in overtime.

VP Lew Richardson questioned the Manager’s Report which indicated 1,387 billed metered customers however, that number only represented the 5/8s meter connections – [FOR THE RECORD, Director Emery Ross arrived late at 1311hrs] yet there were another 17 billed customers with larger connections (1 – 4 inch diameter and 6 inch fire hydrants) traditionally not included in that report. The Billing Officer will be contacted about the figures. Richardson also mentioned that the tank chart had omitted the diameter of the Coronado tank.

IGM Tynan while referring to a standing display board with photographs advised they had been getting alarm calls at an average of one every twenty-eight minutes but since the repairs to the SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system and antenna there are only 5-10 alarms a week. The two generators have been installed at the tank sites at Arbolada and Alamo Drive and are awaiting some wiring and fencing. The “Blow Off” project (dumping of unwanted water out of the system) is nearing completion.

Director Ross questioned how much money was represented in recently completed Capital Improvement Projects. Director Skoien questioned the particulars on the Septic Repair/Upgrade project also listed on page 15. Director Ross asked a couple of questions regarding materials purchased for the AMR meter boxes and the attorney’s bill. Director Victor Afanasiev advised he had some questions regarding the attorney’s bill and wished to have a Closed Session regarding some issues he had researched about the continuing law suits by former employees.

Director Victor Afanasiev also questioned the Outside Place of Use report (Documents how much water is pumped from the Ranchito well and used outside our permitted license area under the water contract. This must be reported to the Merced Irrigation District every month.) in regards to a drastic spike in water use for one of the accounts (90 to 206 units) and another large reduction (102 – 22 units). Dan Tynan agreed to check with the office about the particulars. Director Ross voluntarily stated: “One of those is the fire station and one of those is the elementary school”. Afanasiev stated that was the problem – there was no identifying name on the accounts.

Director Ross stated CSD couldn’t provide such information and was the reason names were replaced with account numbers. Ross stated “we got it put back to numbers because there were names and so numbers is what it’s supposed to be just like your bills, you know, supposedly confidential”. Director Afanasiev indicated the usage information was not confidential because it was simply printed on post cards.

TREASURER’S REPORT and MID water bill payment were approved.

CONSENT CALENDAR: Minutes for the November 21, 2011 Regular Meeting and December 19, 2011 Special Meeting were approved. [December 19, 2011 Regular meeting Minutes had not been completed yet] Election/campaign material for other agencies discussed and deferred.

COMMITTEE MEETING UPDATES: No reports. Director Ross expressed his belief that the MID Committee (specifically investigating District Boundary issues and Outside MIDPOU service areas) should be changed to a standing committee rather than ad hoc.

TOM PORTER – Review request for service for several parcels (15 minutes).

Tom Porter (President of the Deerwood Corporation): Mr. Chairman, Members of the Board, ah, I have several items I would like to discuss this morning, ah, I wrote you about ah, getting some laterals put in and I previously had a ah onsite ah inspection with the ah interim general manager. We looked at the sites, ah, item E and D on your list of, ah those of course are being there’s availability charge being paid on those and for some reason the ah laterals were not put in ah to, there is a fire hydrant that actually goes right to the ah sites, and would be E, and then across the street ah would probably be a good place to put a lateral there, but, I’m, since ah, the interim general manager ah, was not in position to say yes I’ll put the laterals in, and he asked me to come to the board and I’m coming to the board to ask that you do that.

Director Mark Skoien: And you’ve always paid availability?

Tom Porter: Absolutely. I didn’t, I’m sorry I did not give you the (inaudible) here’s ah, would you like a copy of this Mr. Chairman?

[I would be more interested in knowing if these properties have paid availability since the very beginning like all the other 3,100+/- lots in the Don Pedro subdivision. That’s the real question. Have these lots paid their fair share for decades, or just since the purchase by the Deerwood Corporation?]

President Bill Kinsella: What is it Mr. Porter?

Tom Porter: It’s, it’s showing the bill, our water bill where we paid the, the tax bill, where we paid the availability

President Kinsella: Oh, this isn’t, this is a different issue

Tom Porter: Different issue, yes sir.

VP Richardson: Well what property is that?

Tom Porter: Ah, this is on ah

Director Skoien: Torre

Tom Porter: D and E

VP Richardson: D and E.

Director Ross: Is that this piece of paper with the yellow?

Director Skoien: Other one

Tom Porter: Actually

VP Richardson: So it’s, so it’s this one here?

Multiple voices/cross talk (Discussion of which specific paper Mr. Porter is referring)

[NOTE: The materials Mr. Porter presented to the board the day of the meeting technically should have been provided to the office prior to the Board Meeting and contained within the Board Packet so all directors and the public would have had adequate time to review the material.]

Tom Porter: I have the tax bills on both of those showing availability paid.

IGM Tynan: They’re inside place of use

President Kinsella: Now these are the ones on Torre is that correct?

Tom Porter: Ah-hum (affirmative response)

Director Ross: They’re outside

IGM Tynan: Well these are inside

Director Ross: Outside, they’re not in the original subdivision. How, how is it they’re outside? Or inside, whatever you call it.

[I am waiting for some requested information about Kassabaum Estates. There are at least 25 properties, the majority of them over 15 acres, which are north and south of Ranchito Drive and west of Merced Falls Road. The larger parcel size is atypical of lots on the Mariposa side of the subdivision. Apparently these properties had their own CC&Rs and Governing Documents which were separate from the original Sierra Highlands Subdivision which later became the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association Subdivision. The Deerwood Corporation purchased over half of these parcels for future development that never occurred.]

IGM Tynan: Well according to the map that I, that’s in the office

Director Ross: Yeah

IGM Tynan: It’s showing that these properties are inside place of use, according, I’m just going by the map

[Agreed, the perimeter boundary of License 11395 appears to include these properties but the real test is if they had paid availability fees like other properties within the Merced Irrigation District Place of Use, or designated as parcels to be served with ground wells.]

Director Ross: Yeah, yeah, yeah

IGM Tynan: that’s in the office. Uhm, now the availability is, you know, that’s great that you have a receipt and everything because I was told that it hasn’t paid availability

Tom Porter: Had not been?

IGM Tynan: Yeah, so, you got a receipt, that’s fantastic.

Tom Porter: Receipt, where we paid them to the county so

IGM Tynan: But a, it looks like these are inside place of use, these, I just

Tom Porter: These, the other three we have not been paying a, ah, an availability charge but we were never billed for it, so if we had been billed for it we would have paid it, but they’re, all three parcels are within the district.

[Apples and oranges. The other three properties are clearly Outside the MIDPOU and were never intended to be served Lake McClure water according to the water license.]

VP Richardson: That’s this one?

Tom Porter: Yes, all three of those parcels are within the district. In fact ah, the property ah to the east of ah, ah, VVS or VVH, and VVS, ah, 40 acres, receives water from the district, they actually have a, they’re hooked up to a meter on the west side of Merced Falls Road, ah, that’s one of our meters that serves one of our lots, in fact we were going to build on it, but they’ve hooked into that, they’ve come through a, a drainage pipe that goes under Merced Falls Road then, ah, they parallel the west line of those two twenty acre parcels and then they, ah, cut across ah say VVH, or whatever that is, VVN OK. They cross that, in fact there’s a leak there now, I took the general, interim general manager up and showed him that too, so, there is water being served to the east of us which is within the district also, the forty acres is, that’s being served.

IGM Tynan: Yeah, that leak, that leak is on their side

Tom Porter: Yeah, yeah it’s not (inaudible) So any how, I’m asking for that also to be included and ah, for you start billing us for availability charge. It’s within your district.

[Start billing for availability charge? What about the many years prior? What happened to the buy-in fee to cover the period of time availability was not charged to cover district expenses in maintaining our expansive infrastructure?]

Director Skoien: So, when you say availability charge you mean, you want to start paying availability charge or do you want a lateral in and meters on those?

Tom Porter: I’d like to have a lateral there yes, I’d like to have a lateral there on each of these pieces, yes sir.

Director Skoien: OK, well, let’s do them one at a time (laughing)

Tom Porter: OK

Director Skoien: On Torre, that doesn’t seem like a much of a problem does it?

IGM Tynan: No, ah, I, I, they’re inside place of use and if Mr. Porter has a receipt saying that he’s been paying, it’s no problem

Director Skoien: Yeah, but when it comes to the lat….you don’t know why the laterals were never put in this?

IGM Tynan: I don’t know.

[Lateral pipes not installed? Could this be a clue that the properties were never considered to be part of the service area? I don’t know and but look forward to evidence one way or the other. This issue has festered for decades.]

Director Skoien: This was all supposed to be that Unit M, wasn’t it? Back in the day, or something?

Tom Porter: I’m not sure but

VP Richardson: 4,5,6

[Kassabaum Estates was going to be Units 4-M, 5-M and 6-M in the original subdivision but were never included, much like 7-M and other units on the Tuolumne County side that were ultimately abandoned.]

Tom Porter: we all know that on that same Torre you had not ah, you had not provided us a lateral and you were charging us, billing us every month for water and the district had to repay us that money, I think it was in excess of a thousand dollars or eleven-hundred, twelve hundred dollars, so, the fact that you hadn’t put in laterals is not unusual for this district.

Director Skoien: Yeah, yeah

VP Richardson: Now, uhm, now is Kassabaum Flats considered inside the MIDPOU?

Tom Porter: Of course, every one of them has a water meter and

VP Richardson: Oh they do?

Tom Porter: Oh, every, every lot in Kassabaum, and I have a copy of all that and I can show you where every meter is.

VP Richardson: When were those installed?

Tom Porter: Huh?

VP Richardson: When were those installed?

Dan Siria (Retired CSD employee): In the beginning

Tom Porter: From the beginning

VP Richardson: In the beginning huh?

Tom Porter: it was put in.

President Kinsella: I’ve been up here

VP Richardson: huh. Meters on every single lot?

Tom Porter: I, I don’t have one that I can give to you, but I can show you, we’ve checked these ourselves, here are all the meters. And availability charges are paid on every one of those.

VP Richardson: What about this one, oh I see. What’s this? And that one?

Tom Porter: Well,

VP Richardson: And this one, and that one, and this one?

Multiple voices (discussing the different materials presented by Mr. Porter)

Tom Porter: Well this one for example… and ah, this one we found here, and this one we found here

VP Richardson: What did you find?

Tom Porter: We found meters

VP Richardson: A meter or a meter box?

Tom Porter: A meter box, in other words, we, it was stubbed out to there

Multiple voices/cross talk

President Kinsella: Now is this ..

Director Skoien: (inaudible) meter, meter box (laughing)

VP Richardson: Big difference

[Didn’t we just have this same confusion between a meter and a meter box presented in the Poe Meter Removal case where two directors stated there was a meter in the box, but those statements were proven to be incorrect?]

Director Skoien: It happens

Tom Porter: The Rose Garden was here

Multiple voices/cross talk

President Kinsella: And they did have water there and you, did you remove that, the ah lateral?

Tom Porter: Ah no, (chuckles) it, it wa, ah, wasn’t in but only because ah they did some work and they didn’t put it in ah, Dan knows that…

Director Skoien: Now every meter box you had looked in

President Kinsella: Mr. Porter can I ask somebody to make a copy of that for the board?

Tom Porter: Sure

President Kinsella: Dan would you do this?

Director Skoien: in the meter box that you looked in

Director Ross: Betsie can do it Bill

Director Skoien: could you see ah, coupling

Tom Porter: You see the stub

Director Ross: Dan Betsie (inaudible) Betsie can take it

Multiple voices

Tom Porter: this one here predated the district, this right here came from the old Sierra Highlands Water Company, in other words totally different service but its there, you know

[But again, were availability fees paid since the beginning? I don’t know but it is a fact that needs to be discovered.]

President Kinsella: Ahm, Betsie (inaudible)

Betsie Ross: I’ll take it over (inaudible)

Director Skoien: Now Dan, this

President Kinsella: You know, the thing that kind of confuses me when I moved up here Kassabaum Flats actually had their own CCRs and they were designated for wells ..

Director Ross: Tom can we get a copy of your receipt? For Betsie to make copies? Thank you.

(Multiple voices – Mr. Porter and Betsie Ross sorting materials for copying)

Director Skoien: So this

Tom Porter: They were not designated for wells and there’s

President Kinsella: No, no that’s what I was told

Tom Porter: half of them have houses on them and served by this district.

VP Richardson: Half of them have homes?

Tom Porter: Sure, there’s some on Banderillo, there’s three houses up there, and then there’s Nancy Debuque’s house, and then the Jenkins have a house

VP Richardson: There’s 25 parcels

Tom Porter: We have two, we own two lots with it, and ah, and there’s another one ah, at least 8, 8 houses on those and

VP Richardson: Well then that’s not most

[Half of 25 is 12.5, not 8.]

Tom Porter: Well OK

VP Richardson: If there’s 25 parcels

Director Skoien: Well he said about half

Tom Porter: And then also the Clines, Pam Cline – her husband they have, in fact they’re in the process right now of breaking their parcel into three, there’ll be two more

Multiple voices

Director Skoien: that far I didn’t even know they considered that Kassabaum Flats

VP Richardson: Yeah, ahm, well I’m concerned about is, I never knew that all lots paid availability

Tom Porter: We do, every one of our lots in Kassabaum is being paid an availability every month

VP Richardson: And when you say we you mean

Tom Porter: to, to the county and then you get the money

VP Richardson: No but when you say we you mean the Deerwood Corporation?

Tom Porter: Yes, yes

VP Richardson: OK, so then there may be other lots that do not pay availability that you’re unaware of

Tom Porter: Well I don’t know what other people who own other lots do, but ah, I know that they’re all

VP Richardson: Well, well originally you said there were meters on every single lot so you were

Tom Porter: Well there is a stub to every one

VP Richardson: Ah OK, so not meters.

Tom Porter: No, no

VP Richardson: OK, alright

Director Skoien: So Dan, this is basically I think Operations, you can

[Excuse me, how is this an Operations Committee matter? This seems more like policy for the entire board to consider and decide once all the pertinent information has been obtained. Everything I have learned about CSD policy indicates Directors should refrain from becoming involved in the day-to-day operations of the district, you know, micro-managing stuff. I believe the Operations Committee was established and necessary when there was no General Manager, but with a current Interim General Manager, what is an Operations Committee tasked to actually do? I do not believe a single meeting has been held up to this point anyway.]

IGM Tynan: Yeah, but you see my problem was, this is why I brought it to the board, the one on Torre I was told was not yet paying availability, that’s why I brought it to the board

Director Skoien: There’s two on Torre

IGM Tynan: There’s two properties on Torre that’s why I brought it to the board,

Director Skoien: OK

IGM Tynan: but if Mr. Porter has a receipt then I can give it –

Director Skoien: Yeah

IGM Tynan: to billing and

President Kinsella: He has receipts, we have to confirm it

IGM Tynan: yea

President Kinsella: and then we can

IGM Tynan: Yeah, Yeah,

President Kinsella: move on with that, is that alright with you sir?

Tom Porter: Yes,

Director Skoien: The only thing I’m wondering is if this has happened in the past and then what is done, well I guess if someone is paying availability it’s not his fault the lateral is not in so I guess that cost is, is your time and, cuz availability’s been

President Kinsella: You’ve been paying availability ever since you’ve owned the lot?

IGM Tynan: That’s, that’s why I brought it to the board

Tom Porter: Absolutely

Multiple voices

Director Skoien: I say just put them in

President Kinsella: Yeah, all we have to do is just confirm that ah, with our records, and if our records don’t jive then we talk to Mr. Porter

IGM Tynan: Yeah, part of the problem is ah, you know, Syndie is really good at her job but hasn’t been, she’s on vacation so I haven’t been able to

VP Richardson: That’s 14 availability fees

Tom Porter: Yeah, that’s ah, you guys aren’t cheap

Director Skoien: OK, so now the other ones?

[Once again, I believe the issue is not whether availability fees were paid when Mr. Porter purchased the property because he obviously needed water for the planned development that never materialized, the important question is: HOW LONG HAVE AVAILABILIITY FEES BEEN PAID BY THESE PROPERTIES? I do not know, but hopefully the information will be forthcoming and this issue can be decided once and for all.]

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

LAKE DON PEDRO CSD 12-19-2011 Regular Meeting

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Well, let’s see if we can finally put the December 19th, 2011 Regular Board Meeting report to bed because some pretty interesting things happened at yesterday’s board meeting (January 17th, 2012). The below photos of Tuesday’s Sunset are a bit blurry (no tripod) but the colors still make the point: absolutely beautiful! OK, back to the meeting……..


ITEM C: INTERIM GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT. Dan Tynan advised they were still replacing laterals with 200 PSI (Pounds – Per Square Inch) pipe rather than 100 PSI, flushing and color coding fire hydrants, continuing the monthly safety meetings, and the floc basin had been drained and cleaned. Dan acknowledged a mistake in the last Board Packet regarding some confusion between units and gallons at the Waste Water plant that serves the golf course and nearby properties. The Ranchito Well test has been completed but the results were not encouraging for the number of connections it currently serves. (ITEM J)

ITEM D: CIP PROJECT UPDATE. The majority of the Blow Off CIP Project has been completed. [Completion of this project will permit safe disposal of water unfit for distribution through the system, something that was overlooked when the plant was first constructed.] 271 new “drive by reading” water meters and 492 transmitters have been installed since November 7th. Tynan presented different estimates for the concrete pads required for the two emergency generators that will be installed at the Alamo and Arbolada tank sites. Board approval to proceed with project. Vote 4-1, Emery Ross abstained.

ITEM E: TREASURER’S REPORT: Charise Reeves, Treasurer/Secretary to the Board

  1. Clarification as to why State Controller’s Office listed 15 positions (not employees) for CSD
  2. Request to pay ACWA Annual Dues for 2012 in the amount of $5,495.00, and
  3. Approval for CSDA Board Training of $225 per director

President Kinsella questioned why bottled water is purchased for employees at the Don Pedro Market and suggested supplying our own with a cooler. IGM Tynan agreed. Skoien agreed stating employees should pack what they need for the work day from home. Kinsella questioned some vehicle repairs listed on page 35 of the Board Packet to which Tynan responded the vehicles were neglected for a long time but safety issues required the repairs. Kinsella suggested coordinating repairs. Kinsella also suggested changing the initials BK (Bob Kent) to RK (Robert Kent) so there would be no confusion with legal billing statements that contained the initials BK which could be misinterpreted as referring to him.

Unanimous Board approval for the Treasurer’s Report and ACWA (Association of California Water Agencies) Annual Dues payment.

Director Training Class. Director Emery Ross commented that no money should be spent on director training classes because CSD does not have enough money. Both Ross and Skoien felt the free training classes were sufficient for directors. Comments were also made regarding how much more information is provided at the paid classes and the positive benefits of “networking” with directors from other agencies. Richardson commented he has taken many free on line courses in the past and this was the first paid training requested. (Over one year on the board with three years to go.)

How to be an effective Board Member Training class, approved: ayes; Kinsella, Afanasiev and Richardson; Ross and Skoien no.


Previous Minutes approved with the exception of November 21, 2011 Regular Meeting Minutes which had not yet been completed.

ITEM G: REVISIT UNAPPROVED MINUTES: February 22, 2011 Regular Board Meeting, April 18, 2011 Regular Board Meeting, and July 25, 2011 Special Board Meeting. Director Mark Skoien suggested removing the verbatim transcriptions and approving the rest of the minutes. Director Emery Ross wanted a motion that verbatim transcription would not ever be done again – none was forthcoming. VP Richardson advocated approving the minutes because what happened – happened and it was accurately recorded. Director Skoien stated he wasn’t sure the transcriptions were accurate because everybody can’t remember what they said to which Richardson suggested listening to the tapes.

Eventually it was agreed to simply read and file – not approve, the Minutes that contained verbatim transcriptions to which Director Emery Ross and Director Mark Skoien objected. In response to a comment by Donna Morasci about keeping the audio tapes of these particular meetings and not destroying them, VP Richardson stated “No one has questions about what happened, it’s just embarrassment about what they said.” Simply reading and filing the Minutes will hopefully address the concerns of the auditor. Morasci stated it was obviously public information and she was interested in obtaining the information. [Board approved to only Read and File the Minutes for February 22nd, 2011, April 18th, 2011 and July 25th, 2011 but approve all board actions made in each meeting.]


MID Committee Report. Director Victor Afanasiev stated the meeting was interesting. Some prime concerns regarded; District maps (where we can legally serve water); the dormant South Shore Club Project (a golf course/residential subdivision on 2,010 acres off Bonds Flat Road which the State Water Board had approved 772 af/yr but MID was unable to contract project representatives – Director Afanasiev is going to check with Tuolumne County for possible information [there is also an outstanding bill owed to CSD to which VP Richardson commented the CSD should be receiving something]); Interim General Manager Dan Tynan added there was some controversy regarding a “will serve letter” composed years ago regarding another project that contains Outside Place of Use property; the issue of converting one meter connection into multiple connections was also discussed. VP Richardson advised MID officials made it clear they were not inclined to sponsor a change of place petition before the State Water Board. (So as to bring the current 36 Outside Place of Use properties into the water license approved places of use in order to halt required dependence on our only ground water well along with mandatory monthly reporting to MID.)

NOTE: CSD is a surface water treatment facility for Lake McClure water and that water can only be legally used under the water license for: “domestic use at home sites within the service area of Sierra Highlands Water Company and a 55 acre golf course”, therefore, ground water must be pumped in order to “offset” any Outside Place of Use water deliveries. (This is technically known as ground water substitution for surface water transfer) Land developers and other outside place of use property owners want to increase CSD’s dependence on ground water sources and drill more wells.


PERSONAL OPINION: Past violations of the water license created this decades old problem but continuing to expand outside permitted places of use will only force this surface water treatment facility into the ground water well business at considerable expense and water production uncertainty. Two wrongs do not make a right, much less an equitable financial obligation for the majority of permitted users who have always paid availability fees.

QUESTION: Is it fair to jeopardize the current 36 outside MIDPOU connections consuming water by further taxing the Ranchito Well with more outside service area connections?

QUESTION: Why should 99% of the legal users of Lake McClure water (including future users who pay availability fees on their property taxes) be required to subsidize special interest development outside the MID Place of Use with expensive and uncertain ground water wells?

QUESTION: Should this not be an issue taken before all paying customers in a vote?

Personally I have no problem what-so-ever with our CSD providing water to any property so long as they “pay their way” as the majority of Lake Don Pedro Subdivision property owners have done for decades.

RELATED QUESTION: Should the vast majority of property owners with individual septic disposal systems be required to pay for the Don Pedro Waste Water Facility which only furnishes sewer connections to properties on and around the golf course?

QUESTION: How is this different from forcing the majority of CSD customers to fund ground well water production for a select few?

QUESTION: Why not create a “special benefit zone” so that those who receive the benefit pay for any additional costs of providing water to their outside MIDPOU properties?)


ITEM I: MARIPOSA MASTER GARDENERS. Sally Punte requested that the Master Gardeners be provided a small corner of the old board room for use by members of the group. A desk, book case and telephone line for messages (paid for by the Master Gardeners) were the basic requirements. Use would be confined to normal office hours. Punte said the purpose was for community benefit. 4-1 approval with the exception of Director Emery Ross who stated: “I abstain because what happens if fifty other people show up?”




ITEM M: REQUEST FROM ROY WALTON (for water service)

Interim General Manager Dan Tynan reported the Ranchito Well study report, conducted by our engineer, concluded: “Therefore, we advise against committing any Ranchito Well water to new users.” [NOTE: The supply side long term sustainable yield was calculated to be 35 gpm (gallons per minute) but the maximum day demand of current users was calculated to be 72 gpm.]

President Kinsella questioned whether Figueroa, Schartz and Walton had been notified to which IGM Tynan stated he had advised them about the meeting. None of them attended. President Kinsella made the motion that they be notified in writing that upon the recommendation of the engineer the board must deny them water. IGM Tynan added that a copy of the engineer’s report also be included. Director Skoien commented he still believed, regardless of how it got “messed up” the guy (Schartz) should receive a water meter. [RE: the Poe meter removal matter initiated by Directors Ross and Skoien in January of 2011.) VOTE: Kinsella, Afanasiev, Richardson aye; Director Skoien no, and Director Ross abstained.

ITEM N: MEDIATOR. Update on the proposed mediation process for employee grievances and the Grand Jury recommendation that the Board of Directors also avail themselves to such. President Kinsella stated he didn’t believe anything would be resolved with mediation. Board approval to continue with the proposed mediation process for the employee grievances with Kinsella voting no.

The Board directed IGM Tynan obtain more information regarding potential mediation costs for the board and how the Brown Act might apply.

ITEM O: FLEETMATIC. IGM Tynan advised he recently received a complaint of employees driving around Jamestown in a company vehicle, yet fortunately, there was a reliable witness that could verify the vehicle never left the CSD service area. Fleetmatics is a monitoring system for vehicles that not only locates vehicles in real time but also keeps track of things like idling time and speed. Due to our foothill terrain cell phones and walkie-talkies seldom work and the only reliable communication is one way, office to field personnel. With this tracking system, if a service call or emergency occurs the office can locate the nearest vehicle and provide the work location. The system could also locate an overdue vehicle during an emergency situation. Director Afanasiev advised he did a little research and found Fleetmatic has 14,000 customers and monitor on a daily basis over 200,000 vehicles with a very high satisfaction percentage. Naturally, like satellite television, in severe storms the system may not operate. Tynan also stated CSD might possibly receive $1,000 discount on our insurance premiums.

Director Ross made the motion to continue the discussion until next month due to the number of pages in the director’s packet and he wanted more time to think about it. Director Skoien made the second but the motion failed with President Kinsella, Director Afanasiev and Richardson voting no, and Ross and Skoien voting aye.

VP Richardson made the motion to accept the Fleetmatic proposal with President Kinsella making the second. VOTE: Kinsella, Afanasiev and Richardson aye, Skoien No, and Ross abstain.

ITEM P: IRWMP UPDATE. Board Secretary Charise Reeves advised there were two facilitation trainings scheduled for January.

DIRECTOR COMMENTS: Director Skoien commented that the board finally got the unapproved Minutes Read and Filed, but he wanted to make a motion to prevent further verbatim transcripts in the future. Director Afanasiev questioned if we could ask the Grand Jury why members did not stay for the entire meeting. It was suggested that jury representatives were merely checking to see if a mediator was being utilized by the board.

Meeting adjourned unanimously.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 12 minutes

December 19th, 2011 Meeting Continued

Hello! I hope the New Year is treating you all well. Difficult to believe a year has passed already – that is until I take personal inventory of all the new aches, pains, frustrations, and ramifications of getting older. Last weekend I finally got around to replacing a 10+ year old “temporary” walkway bridge which was actually just a deteriorating painted wood pallet over a drainage ditch. (Funny how those “temporary fixes” remain so long.) Yup, muscles are still pretty sore but at least they remind me that something was accomplished.

Here’s another installment of the December 19th, 2011 Board Meeting.


Vice President Bill Kinsella: OK, let’s open it up, and it’s nomination for board president.

Director Lew Richardson: I’d like to nominate Bill Kinsella

VP Kinsella: OK, any other nominations? I don’t want to win by default.

Director Emery Ross: (inaudible) laughter

VP Kinsella: There are no other nominations?

Director Ross: Get it by default

VP Kinsella: OK then (multiple voices) to make it legal I have to call for a vote, all in favor?

Director Victor Afanasiev: You need a second first

Multiple voices

Unknown: I’ll second it

VP Kinsella: No, no you don’t

Multiple voices/cross talk

Director Afanasiev: (inaudible) nomination…and I’ll make a second

VP Kinsella: OK, who made the second?

Director Afanasiev: I did

VP Kinsella: OK, any comments from the audience?

Director Afanasiev: Wes Barton, no comment?

VP Kinsella: Huh?

Director Afanasiev: No comment from Mr. Barton

VP Kinsella: OK I’ll call for the question, all in favor say “Aye”

Director Richardson: Aye

Director Afanasiev: You mean for a vote?

VP Kinsella: Yeah, in favor of me

Board Secretary Charise Reeves: a yes….

Director Ross: Don’t need to vote you’ve got it by default

Multiple voices/ cross talk

VP Kinsella: (inaudible) got it by default

Secretary Charise Reeves: So did we need a vote?

Director Ross: Nope, there’s only one person that’s

Director Richardson: Well we didn’t need one but it was still three to two

Director Ross: No it wasn’t

Secretary Reeves: OK

Director Richardson: Oh, how was it not?

Secretary Reeves: I need to record this guys

Director Ross: I didn’t vote

Director Richardson: Victor voted, I voted, Bill voted, that’s three

Director Ross: He got it by default, there is no vote

Director Afanasiev: We still need a vote

Director Richardson: What is your vote Emery?

Director Ross: I’m not voting because he got it by default

Director Richardson: OK, so you’re abstaining?

Secretary Reeves: What about Mark?

Director Richardson: I don’t know?

Director Mark Skoien: I’ll abstain, he’s the only candidate

Director Ross: He’s the only candidate that’s it, ah

Director Richardson: Well it would be a nice show of support

Director Ross: Vice President next

Multiple voices

President Kinsella: OK, ah, I’ll open it up for nomination for vice president.

Director Skoien: I’ll nominate Emery

President Kinsella: OK, I nominate Lew Richardson, Victor you have any comments?

Sally Punte (Former Board Member in audience): Can I interrupt?

President Kinsella: Huh?

Sally Punte: May I interrupt?

President Kinsella: Go ahead

Sally Punte: I don’t know that Emery is electable…

Director Ross: I’m electable

Sally Punte: because of the Grand Jury

Director Ross: No, no, that’s the president, not vice president

Sally Punte: Well yes but that would mean

Director Ross: Different – different board

Sally Punte: in the absence of a president guess who that would be?

Director Skoien: That was a different board

Multiple voices

Director Richardson: Good point

Director Skoien: Different year

Director Ross: Well Lew’s not supposed to write on his blog either, those were recommendations.

Director Richardson: No, that’s not true.

President Kinsella: Oh boy

Multiple voices

Director Richardson: Get your facts straight.

Director Ross: (inaudible) let them vote

President Kinsella: You’re right

Sally Punte: I know

Director Ross: Let them vote, take the vote

Director Skoien: He followed the recommendation when they ah said he (Emery Ross) should resign as president

Sally Punte: That’s true but

Director Ross: the grand jury

Sally Punte: you see my point Mark

Director Ross: the Grand Jury

President Kinsella: Well OK

Director Ross: Call for the vote

President Kinsella: I am, all in favor of Emery raise your hand or say aye

Director Skoien: aye

President Kinsella: Emery did you vote?

Director Ross: No

President Kinsella: Just Mark

Secretary Reeves: OK

President Kinsella: all in favor of Lew? Aye

Director Afanasiev: Aye

Director Richardson: Aye, three to two?

Director Ross: I didn’t vote

President Kinsella: Huh?

Director Ross: I didn’t vote

Director Richardson: Abstained

President Kinsella: I know you didn’t vote

Director Richardson: Abstain?

Director Ross: That’s a vote, it’s voting, if I abstain it’s a vote, I didn’t vote -not abstaining.

President Kinsella: Well Emery don’t be

Multiple voices/cross talk

Director Ross: Mark

Director Skoien: What?

Board Secretary: OK, wait a minute

Director Ross: Mark voted

Board Secretary: For the first nomination (Ross talking in background) for Emery we had an aye for Mark

Director Ross: Right

Board Secretary: Emery you did not vote so that means you abstained

Director Ross: Whatever you’ve got to call it

Board Secretary Reeves: But the three of you, were those nays?

President Kinsella: Yes

Board Secretary Reeves: Victor, Bill and Lew?

President Kinsella: Yes

Board Secretary Reeves: OK, and then for a Lew it was Bill, Victor and Lew for an aye, Emery abstained, and Mark

Director Skoien: No

Board Secretary: OK, OK, so Bill is our President and Lew is our Vice President.

President Kinsella: My sympathies Mr. Richardson

VP Richardson: Well I threw you into the fire

President Kinsella: (laughing) OK, now comes the issue of committees.

Director Afanasiev: Ah what (inaudible)

President Kinsella: What?

Director Ross: Committees are always part of it ah Victor

Director Afanasiev: Yes

President Kinsella: It’s in the same line Victor, board reorganization, and president and vice president and committees.

Director Afanasiev: OK

President Kinsella: We need somebody for finance?

(After long silent pause …. laughter)

VP Richardson: Listen to everybody….

President Kinsella: I can, I can certainly, can’t hear anything for the (inaudible) you know. I guess the president should be that huh?

Board Secretary: Yep

President Kinsella: That’s a standing committee, Operations?

Board Secretary: Don’t we usually do two board members per committee?

President Kinsella: I’d love to have two board members per committee, but ah, I know how it’s going to… Emery would you be a board member, I mean would you be a committee member?

Director Ross: No I told you I don’t do committees because they’re not legal.

President Kinsella: OK. Mark? Would you be a committee member?

Director Skoien: Not finance, I’ll do Operations again.

President Kinsella: Victor?

Director Afanasiev: Not finance, no, that’s not my bailiwick.

President Kinsella: Lew you’re it

VP Richardson: I guess it’s me

Board Secretary Reeves: OK

VP Richardson: I can balance my checkbook – (laughter)

President Kinsella: Operations

Director Skoien: Well you’re qualified

VP Richardson: Probably not qualified but if it balances I’m happy (laughing)

President Kinsella: Operations

Director Skoien: I’ll do that again I don’t have a problem

President Kinsella: I’m already listed down there so we can do that

Board Secretary: Bill and Mark on Operations, OK

President Kinsella: Personnel? Ah, Lew and I are listed down there, do you want to change?

VP Richardson: I don’t know, is someone else interested in it or….

Director Skoien: I’d say with what we’re in the middle of I think it should stay the same, but that’s just my opinion.

VP Richardson: That makes sense. Makes sense.

Director Afanasiev: I agree with Mark, remain the same.

President Kinsella: Public Relations, Lew, you and I are listed on this thing but I’d like to drop off it because

VP Richardson: Well Victor has since come aboard, so

President Kinsella: Yeah, Victor would you do that?

Director Afanasiev: What Public Relations?

President Kinsella: Yeah

Director Afanasiev: Not really, I’m not very good at Public Relations

VP Richardson: Well I thought you said you would?

Director Afanasiev: No, I don’t agree to (inaudible) in Public Relations (laughter)

Multiple voices/cross talk

President Kinsella: You have to have two, you should have two so

VP Richardson: Well then you’re still in

President Kinsella: I guess I am

VP Richardson: Well – with all the support here, you know…

President Kinsella: Area Planning, got me listed on that, I think I’d

Board Secretary: We didn’t

President Kinsella: like to drop off on that one.

Director Afanasiev: I’ll take that one

President Kinsella: Ah Victor (inaudible)

VP Richardson: Alright

Board Secretary: And who’s our second?

President Kinsella: Mark? Would you like to be on that?

Director Skoien: No

Board Secretary Reeves: It’s a temporary advisory committee; I don’t even know what that really applies to

President Kinsella: It’s a temporary advisory committee, Lew?

VP Richardson: Sure, I’ll go, Victor’s Chairman right?

President Kinsella: Yeah

VP Richardson: OK

President Kinsella: Long Range Benefit Committee. I don’t think we can have an employee on that – can we -?

Board Secretary Reeves: Actually yeah, that one you need two employees, two directors and two employees and you guys kind of hash out what the policies that have to do with employee long range benefits and then you bring that to the board.

President Kinsella: OK, Victor, how about that one?

Director Afanasiev: That’s fine.

Board Secretary Reeves: Bill you’re on that one too?

President Kinsella: Yeah, I can’t dump everything

Board Secretary Reeves: We do need to get a second employee on that one because ah Syndie is our only remaining employee

President Kinsella: Well, but

Director Afanasiev: This is long range (multiple voices/cross talk)

President Kinsella: Well, there’s only you, and ah,

Board Secretary Reeves: Me, and Syndie, well there’s Dave and Randy…

Unknown: Yeah we know more about the ah, the

Board Secretary Reeves: OK, so we can assign me and Syndie as employee representatives

President Kinsella: Yeah, Dan will you question some of your people to see if they would sit on this

Interim General Manager Dan Tynan: Yeah I can ask the guys, yeah.

President Kinsella: Huh?

IGM Tynan: I can ask one of the guys, well the guys

Director Skoien: Can it be Dan?

Director Afanasiev: Or ladies?

President Kinsella: Well, if he wants to do it, he can do it

IGM Tynan: Actually I think Syndie and ah Charise would be very good at it

President Kinsella: I think Charise has enough to do (laughter) but I’d like to, my philosophy is that if we get the guys in the plant or the outside guys involved in this thing we get a better overall picture of what’s going on and they would, they would feel that they have a say in (inaudible)

IGM Tynan: OK, I’ll give – I’ll ask them

President Kinsella: Say again?

IGM Tynan: I’ll ask them

President Kinsella: Ok, thank you. MID, Kinsella drops off, and Afanasiev goes on.

VP Richardson: You’re still on that?

Director Afanasiev: Yes

VP Richardson: OK

President Kinsella: Plaza by the Lake?

Multiple voices questioning committees

Director Skoien: Why are these next three even (multiple voices/cross talk) unless someone, unless they come up, I mean

VP Richardson: What do you call it – decommissioned?

Board Secretary Reeves: I don’t know what it’s technically called

VP Richardson: Dissolved?

Board Secretary Reeves: like to eliminate those three committees, (multiple voices) so is there consensus by the board to eliminate Sierra Foothills, South Shore and Plaza by the Lakes?

Multiple voices

Director Skoien: Yeah, temporary ah, eliminate them until a need arises or something

Director Afanasiev: Charise, which, no, I got Plaza by the Lake (multiple voices)

Board Secretary Reeves: Sierra Foothills and South Shore

Director Afanasiev: Ah, I wouldn’t eliminate South Shore there is a big question with Merced Irrigation District regarding South Shore, they’re very concerned about it.

VP Richardson: Well, could we make, since it’s a temp advisory, could we throw that into the MID or something?

President Kinsella: I think we should eliminate it and if a need arises then we could reinstitute it.

Director Afanasiev: Well we could throw it to MID Committee because they are extremely concerned about South Shore

VP Richardson: Right, it came up a number of times

Director Afanasiev: Yes

Board Secretary Reeves: So eliminate the three and then, kind of anything with South Shore ties into MID?

President Kinsella: Yeah, right, OK

Board Secretary Reeves: OK is there consensus by the whole board to eliminate those three committees, temporary advisory committees?

President Kinsella: Mark says yes

Board Secretary Reeves: Mark says yes

Director Afanasiev: I have no problem with it

Director Ross: I don’t have nothing to do with committees

President Kinsella: I didn’t ask you to be on a committee, do you…

Director Ross: I said I don’t comment on committees

Board Secretary Reeves: OK, so it’s Victor, Bill, Lew and Mark consensus.

President Kinsella: Right, Emery abstained again. Waste Water? That’s going to be a big problem, we, can we refer that to the – ah MID Committee, no.

Board Secretary Reeves: No it’s totally different

President Kinsella: but it’s entirely different, yeah.

VP Richardson: It would probably go more with area planning wouldn’t it?

Sally Punte: And LAFCo

VP Richardson: But we don’t have a LAFCo

Director Afanasiev: What do you mean we don’t have a LAFCo, yes we do have a LAFCo

Director Skoien: No, not one on LAFCo

Multiple voices/cross talk

President Kinsella: (inaudible) put that into Area Planning

Board Secretary Reeves: OK, so Waste Water becomes part of Area Planning?

President Kinsella: Yeah

Board Secretary Reeves: How do you see that? If it, are you talking about Waste Water as in the Waste Water bill issue? Are you talking about in taking it over at some point, what?

Sally Punte: (inaudible) that was..

Board Secretary Reeves: That’s what that was, was originally taken

Multiple voices/cross talk

Director Skoien: Eliminate, we aint taking over that

President Kinsella: It would still be Area Planning

Board Secretary Reeves: Huh? So in the context of what it was originally designed for that goes away because, until they come to us and say, hey, we want you to take it.

President Kinsella: Well they wanted us to take it in the beginning

Board Secretary Reeves: Yes but we’ve heard nothing, at least in the three years I’ve been here, nothing’s been said about it

VP Richardson: We were organized, Sally wasn’t this district organized under the presumption that we would be taking over the Waste Water Plant?

Sally Punte: Right, and there is a file I wanted to give to you but I haven’t because I’ve dumped so much on you that I thought that I really should hang on to it

VP Richardson: Bring it on, bring it on

President Kinsella: Everybody is pick – everybody is picking on Lew

VP Richardson: But, I, you know ah, I’ve talked to someone up at the county and I asked them and I never got really a straight answer as to whether they still want us to take that in the future or not

Board Secretary Reeves: I’m sure they would love for us to take it over right now since we would owe ourselves (NOTE: reference to the outstanding $45,000 bill for the Waste Water facility that serves the golf course and homes around the course)

Director Skoien: Yeah

VP Richardson: Yeah, yeah that’s true

Sally Punte: (inaudible) I suspect (inaudible) this place is floundering (multiple voices) and so they’re not trying (inaudible)

VP Richardson: We need to handle our water first before getting into sewage

Director Skoien: Or eliminate it

President Kinsella: Yeah. So where are we going with that

VP Richardson: Well I don’t know

Director Afanasiev: I agree with Mark, let’s eliminate it

Multiple voices

Board Secretary Reeves: At this point, and, if, when it comes up (multiple voices – inaudible)

President Kinsella: Re-establish the committee

Director Afanasiev: If in the future, if there’s a need for it we can discuss it, but (multiple voices – inaudible) let the county handle it

Board Secretary Reeves: (inaudible) eliminate until the need arises again

President Kinsella: OK, that’s fine. Any comments from the audience?

Board Secretary Reeves: And that was consensus by the four of you again.

President Kinsella: Any comments from the audience? Back to the board – Interim General Manager’s Report, Mr. Tynan you’re up.


I’ll try to get back to the December 19th, 2011 meeting soon but with more of a quick paraphrase approach as to what transpired with the agenda items. This verbatim transcript stuff takes time but is sometimes necessary to adequately, and fairly, report what individuals actually say while simultaneously reducing the probability that I will be accused of misinterpreting their words.

Let’s see what else? Still participating in free online training courses and have signed up for another 20 or so up through June. I recently attended a free 6 hour workshop in Madera regarding Regulation Basics of drinking water. [Treatment, distribution, reporting, etc.. For those of you interested these regulations can be found in Titles 17 & 22 of the California Code of Regulations.]

I obtained an SDWA (Safe Drinking Water Act) poster regarding water related topics such as Inorganic/Organic Chemicals, Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts, Microbiological Contaminants, Future Regulations, Secondary Standards, Maximum Contaminant Levels, known Health Effects of particular contaminants, Monitoring requirements, reporting, etc. [Naturally this poster was added to my growing collection of district related materials – my garage is rapidly becoming a water library and sprawling map room. LOL]

The information presented was pretty overwhelming especially when considering safe drinking water is something most of us just take for granted. Frightening as well – consider this partial list of health effects if water is not properly treated for consumption: increased blood pressure, intestinal lesions, gastrointestinal difficulties/liver/kidney damage, thyroid/neurological effects, bone disease, adrenal gland problems, reproductive system problems, ocular problems, stomach difficulties, anemia, nervous system problems, and of course, the infamous catch-all, the “Big C” – cancer. This is precisely why MCL (Maximum Contaminant Levels) have been established by health departments and agencies of the government – to protect the public from preventable illness/injury/death.

Naturally some of these MCL quantities are extremely small and an enormous amount of contaminated water would have to be consumed multiple times a day for many decades to appreciably influence the probability of serious health issues. [And we of course all know how many of these Maximum Contaminant Levels are established – through the use of laboratory animals such as mice.]

Reminds me of an old joke:

Health scientists recently added human saliva to the known list of cancer-causing agents, however, the public should not be alarmed because there is no serious danger unless consumed in small amounts over a long period of time.

My best to you and yours, Lew

PS: Think I’ll take a chance on a cold beer regardless of what might be in it!


There were actually five Deer that had crossed the road but a small one was evidently camera shy and just jumped out of the photo.

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