Director Skoien: “Is that a statement of fact Lew that we’ll see in print?”
Director Richardson: “Vicki said it outside in front of about five witnesses.”
Director Skoien: “I’d love you to put that statement in print.”
President Ross: “I didn’t say it. I don’t know what the hell it’s about.”
Director Skoien: “Just put it in print.”
Director Richardson: “No, I’m just trying to figure out who’s who, and without an investigation that is exactly why you have this. Everybody wondering who did what. Until you have a bonifide investigation to find out what happened, everyone’s going to be suspicious.”
Director Skoien: “Everybody knows who you think did it or who said it.”
Director Richardson: “Vicki told me today she did not do it.”
President Ross: “And I didn’t do it either.”
Director Richardson: “Okay. Emery didn’t do it. Vicki says she didn’t do it. You say you didn’t do it. Bill says he didn’t do it. I didn’t do it. Somebody’s lying.”
President Ross: “It’s done.”
Director Richardson: “So you don’t want to investigate it?”
President Ross: “No. You know what I’m gonna tell you. I’m gonna tell you something right now.”
Director Richardson: “I’m gonna tell you something too.”
President Ross: “Let me tell you something. The problem on this board is you have three people, hear this out, that are law enforcement. What do law enforcement guys do? They don’t have management experience.”
Director Richardson: “You were in law enforcement?”
President Ross: “Yea.”
Director Richardson: “Oh, really. Where?”
President Ross: “Santa Cruz Metro. Last about four years. I have the least amount of the three. I said that. I was Chief of Protective Services. All right, but I also have management experience. I have more management experience than law enforcement. Bill has the most. What do you do when you get on a board? What did Bill and I do last time when Bill brought forth, what do you call it, the same thing you’re trying to do here?”
Director Keefe: “Censure.”
President Ross: “Censure. Remember, and investigation and stuff because you don’t have management experience, you revert back to law enforcement stuff.”
Director Richardson: “You’re not following the rules. They’re simple rules.”
Director Kinsella: “Whenever an accusation is made, whether it is true or not, the governing body must investigate and make a finding. I would love to come in and say it didn’t happen, but I don’t know because I didn’t investigate it, and I will not investigate it.”
President Ross: “I’m not gonna investigate it.”
Director Keefe: “Well, I don’t hear…You say an accusation has been made. The only thing I read in that was you asked the question did someone approach you, did someone suggest, did they hint around? It was really, really very vague. Now, you’re talking. Now wait a minute, let me say my peace. You’re saying this is a misfeasance, and it’s this and it’s that, and you’re assuming that there’s some crime when we’re talking about there is no crime. There has been no allegations, and I’m getting so….”
Director Richardson: “It’s a violation. Vicki, you put the policies on your own website. You know what the policies are.”
Director Keefe: “Well, yes. Of course I do.”
Director Richardson: “In 4000, in 4000 says a director should be sanctioned by the board.”
Director Keefe: “If a director, in fact, went to the General Manager and said I want you to fire this person.”
Director Richardson: “Or suggest that they be fired. It’s not that’s director’s position, and you know that.”
Director Keefe: “Of course, it is not. I’m not saying it isn’t, but what I’m saying is…”
Director Richardson: “Then there should be an investigation.”
Director Keefe: “Forget it. It’s a dead issue.”
Director Kinsella: “The allegation is there. It should be investigated.”
Director Keefe: “…gone on forever.”
Director Richardson: “Well, how did all the people down there in Modesto say that”
Secretary Reeves: “Emery, can you adjourn the meeting?”
Director Richardson: “you said Charise and Syndie should be terminated?”
Secretary Reeves: “You haven’t adjourned the meeting.”
Director Skoien: “Those people in Modesto…”
President Ross: “Yes, I did. I banged it down.”
Secretary Reeves: “No.”
President Ross: “Adjourned.”
Secretary Reeves: “5:08.”
PERSONAL ATTACKS INSTEAD OF DEFENDING VOTE
When Director Skoien on August 26th is reminded of his vote in removing Item S from the agenda, which was a complete refusal to investigate the allegation of director misconduct, he does not stand by his previous vote or explain his reasoning, but rather makes a spurious personal attack against me by suggesting I was a poor investigator when I “supposedly got paid to do it”.
Typical move right out of the SO GOSIP Play Book: When confronted with questionable activity on your part, do not attempt to explain your behavior but immediately respond with spurious accusations and personal insults.
Parent to child: “Johnny, are you telling Mommy and Daddy the truth about the cookie jar?”
Child: “Why ask me? You’re the rotten parents.”
“KATHY CUTTING CORNERS”
A few meetings back there was an exchange between the “SO GOSIP” audience and members of the board regarding reducing the reconnection fee when Kathy Agee suggested the CSD “cut corners” to save more money. I knew what she meant but still advised such term generally had a negative connotation implying something wrong or illegal. I was surprised how many of the local real estate crowd immediately supported Kathy’s meaning as just doing things cheaper.
When I think of “cutting corners” I immediately think of construction related activities where quality (perhaps even safety) is sacrificed for cost savings or expediency. There are many examples, thin concrete, inadequate rebar, undersized beams, lighter gauge electrical wire, blahh, blahh, blahh, all sorts of things where people can chose to “cut corners” and quality suffers. When used in regards to driving, “cutting a corner” is like avoiding a traffic light wait by cruising through the corner gas station parking lot which I suspect the California Vehicle Code frowns upon.
I wonder what aspects of the real estate business these folks believe are amenable to a positive connotation of “cutting corners”? Perhaps on little things like, “known disclosures?”
KATHY NOW CLAIMS: “A LOT OF EVIDENCE”
First of all, you cannot take a large packet of papers and throw them up on the narrow edge of the board table and expect them to balance – they were gingerly placed there because of my second point: the massive amount of paperwork Mr. Kalvin Gile brought to the meeting certainly was not evidence. Mr. Gile had several packets containing many pages of what he considered evidence of wrong doing by personnel regarding telephone use. Mr. Gile while making his accusations advised board members they could only look at the material but not keep it. WHAT? Evidence is something to be studied and evaluated. That wasn’t evidence but just another “dog and pony show” these folks present every once in a while. Pop Corn should be provided for these productions.
My understanding is that most of Gile’s “evidence” of wrongdoing by employees was incorrect and will be discussed at the next meeting. Spurious accusations are the “bread and butter” of this group.
VENDETTA FOR VICKI?
Oh please. The last thing I want to think about is Vicki Keefe. What an absolutely absurd statement. I admit to having trust issues with the woman but those are well earned and based solely upon her conduct and behavior. Vicki Keefe is her own worst enemy.
CONSIDER RESIGNING FROM THE BOARD?
Certainly not a surprising suggestion from someone employed at Harry Alfier’s real estate office. Such individuals do not want directors to consider what is best for all ratepayers and the district, just their special interests.
Yes, Mr. Porter the entire country is in deep, deep trouble and the uncontrolled development in Lake Don Pedro is a perfect example of why. When rules and regulations are intentionally violated to increase anticipated profits for a select few at the majorities’ expense, what do you expect will happen?
FIGHT AT THE HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION
The only fight at the “PROPERTY OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION” was the one Thomas Porter created because of his own embarrassment of not paying a large overdue water bill until publication of a satirical cartoon. Of course everything is smooth at the Owners’ Association, all your people are on the board. Those that once did all the screaming and complaining are now seated at a board that often has less than a handful of attendees. Anyone notice last month the Pledge of Allegiance to an audience of one?
THREE HOURS TALKING WITH AN LDPOA DIRECTOR?
Yes the flowers around the Hacienda are exceptionally beautiful this year and the lawn is so green and lush. Perhaps another management company should be hired to run the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association? Wouldn’t that be smooth?
PROMOTE GOOD WILL? – GET OFF LITTLE TANGENTS?
Good will, yes indeed, where to start? Vacant speculative/model homes, rampant foreclosures, short sales, decreased property values, dangerous “developer convenience roads” which do not conform to 1991 SRA (State Responsibility Area) Fire Safe Roadway Standards, etc.? [Speaking of fire safety, what about this new FIRE FEE of $175 a year for every residence in a State Responsibility Area? Wonder how much of that money will be spent in requiring our “Deerwood Access Roads” to meet fire codes?
I do not consider intentional misconduct of elected officials as “little tangents that really don’t mean anything in the whole total picture”, but of course, Mr. Porter is most likely referring to his little picture of Don Pedro.
Perhaps Mr. Porter did not realize one requires an “invitation” to attend a Grand Jury Interview. Boy I sure wish I could make that a reality for Mr. Porter.
IF YOU DON’T…… THEN I WILL PERSONALLY…..
“….ah Bill and Lew you should consider resigning. If you don’t consider resigning then I personally will look into the idea of recalling the board ah, and that’s not a threat that’s just something I do intend, and I ah, I, I want a smooth running board that will serve water and ah….” THOMAS PORTER
Once again, a “smooth running board” equates to one that totally supports the Porter Plan for Pedro.
BULLIES COME IN ALL FLAVORS
There have been so many articles, discussions, and even court cases recently about the reprehensible conduct of “bullying in school” and how it can severely harm those targeted. Guess what “little bullies” in school inevitably grow into without some form of intervention and correction? That’s right, Big Adult Bullies. Sometimes even multi-million dollar land development corporate bullies who push their “for profit agendas” on communities too weak, ignorant, or apathetic to defend themselves from such domination.
HARRY ALFIER [Owner Lake Don Pedro Realty]:
“….probably not appropriate for a sitting board member to ahh, and I see Raymond’s response is basically relying on the First Amendment….” Harry Alfier
Well Harry, factual information affecting those who financially support the CSD is in the best interest of the district and the ratepayers, and yes, as much as you and your ilk would like to further suppress the truth, the First Amendment does exist. I am a citizen of this country, a property owner in this subdivision, and financially contribute to the support of this district and have a right to express my opinion even if it conflicts with your obvious special interest as a real estate business owner.
Come on now Harry, it is more than just the installation fee for the water meter. Those homes are located in the special benefit sewer zone and have not been paying their fair share of the water bill…..a thousand times less!
“…and of course Lew decides that that’s some kind of conspiracy that all the people that live down around the golf course that they must have been somehow been in kahootz or you know, that they’ve been receiving some kind of benefit cuz we’re a special benefit because cuz it has the word golf course in it.” Harry Alfier
You are confusing issues Mr. Alfier. Yes, the homes around the golf course are in what is commonly referred to as a special benefit zone. The far majority of homes in Lake Don Pedro have onsite sewage disposal systems on the property that the owner must install but the homes around the course are tied into the Lake Don Pedro Waste Water Facility. Since they receive the service, they must pay for the water that is used in the treatment process. What is so unfair about that? Special benefit = special fee. Where did I use the word conspiracy? There you go again with those “action words” supported with nothing but your contempt for rules. [How’s the asphalt paved Pedestrian & Equestrian Trail driveway The Deerwood Corporation constructed working out for your trailer parking?]
Harry Alfier: “Yes, special interest all us real estate and golf course people you know we’re the scum of the Earth I guess”.
“Scum of the Earth?” Your characterization not mine. Actually, my feeling is the folks tied into that system are victims in a sense. The planned, anticipated, or promised growth needed to share the expense of that waste water facility never occurred leaving those using it with more of a financial burden to keep it operating. If I had a home tied to the system and expected my bill to go up during these times, I’d be upset too. I understand the situation is further complicated due to the number of foreclosures and owners not paying their property taxes. [I recall Mr. Porter once suggesting owners refuse to pay property taxes in protest to any Prop 218 rate increase to unimproved properties, which is bewildering. Why would anyone suggest not paying property taxes and incurring penalties and fines? I remember Porter saying people could check the records in both counties and confirm he doesn’t pay his taxes. Guess you might also confirm how many properties have been subject to foreclosure proceedings as well. Didn’t sound like good business sense to me, but heck, I’m not the millionaire.] Yes, not good news for those folks tied to the sewer system.
WHAT ARE THEY DOING?
Our CSD nearly avoided bankruptcy. The Prop 218 rate increase pulled our bacon out of the fire. The board in a, what has become all too typical 3-2 decision, “rebated” over $30,000 to a small group of people complaining about notice wording. Consider the constant pressure from this real estate group to drastically reduce the reconnection fee for delinquent “meter pulled” properties which would affect less than 1% of the customers but seriously harm the CSD’s financial situation. Ponder the misrepresentation of facts by other directors regarding meter installations and removals for certain properties outside the water license (MIDPOU) and outside the district boundary. Almost appears as though some people want the CSD near bankruptcy again.
ANOTHER SPECIAL DEAL ON THE WAY?
The July 2011 Edition of the Foothill Express front page article “CSD finds sewer plant billing error” reported on page 9 (bottom first column):
“Director Emery Ross worried aloud that a $21,000 bill adjustment could have “a gigantic impact” on the handful of people who would have to pay it. He suggested the board might “arrive at some negotiated number where we don’t wipe those people out.”
Well, that $21,000 billing “error” (Actually, staff pointed out the discrepancy multiple times but supervisors did not take action, so please do not believe it was a failure with office staff) is now in the ballpark of $45,000.
[Adjust your thinking cap]
If someone owes you money but they suggest “negotiating a number with you”, this likely means: (Please choose only one answer)
a) They wish to further discuss the matter with you on the telephone
b) They want to practice guessing your weight for a part time carnival job
c) The suggesting party is an undercover agent
d) You will not receive all the money owed
“D” is the correct answer.
PROUD TO BE VICTIM OF THE “CARTOON RECALL”
OK Mr. Alfier, bring up the reason for the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association Board Recall again, doesn’t bother me one bit. I am proud of my position on that matter and would not do anything different.
FACTS: Thomas Porter of the Deerwood Corporation owned the golf course (don’t know if he still does or not, last I heard it was up for sale) and had a very large outstanding water bill which Mr. Porter repeatedly refused to pay. A satirical cartoon was sent to the Association which juxtaposed two facts:
(1) A high school illuminated sign was donated which read: “Don Pedro High School” and under the message area: “Donated by Tom and Peggy Porter” encouraging the misunderstanding the entire high school had been donated, and,
(2) an unpaid water bill owed by Porter which had been dramatically reduced down multiple times to $20,000 and change.
Although Mr. Porter’s Grandson had offered $5,000 as a fair offer on the bill, approximately four days after publication of that cartoon, which was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors under the concept of free speech (Vicki Keefe incorrectly stated in a Letter to the Editor in the Foothill Express that some directors were unaware of the cartoon prior to publishing) Mr. Porter paid the $20,000+. The recall process for that board started and even included “free lunches” at the golf course during the petition signing process.
The recall was successful with the exception of Ken Kennedy who was re-elected as a write-in candidate because of a mistake in the “recall boards” lineup leaving one position open. Ken Kennedy is no longer on the board which is now entirely composed of people who support Tom Porter and his Deerwood Corporation plan for Don Pedro.
WELCOME BACK TO THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DON PEDRO
The blossoming NEW DISCOVERER newspaper was turned back into a minimal newsletter devoid of pertinent information shaping this community because your previous board recognized and appreciated the right of free speech granted under the First Amendment. That in itself might have been alright but that board also had the audacity to uphold the concept by permitting publication of a satirical cartoon about Thomas Porter’s activities in Lake Don Pedro.
PORTER GROUP NOW DENIES MEMBERS THEIR VOICE
Has ANYONE noticed the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR section has been totally abandoned in the DISCOVERER? Strange, the recall board used the newspaper to spread untruths and propaganda, got elected, then took away every member’s voice. Yup, a publication that every owner must financially support will not permit legitimate letters of concern, suggestion or opinion by members. That is not a NEW VISION as promised by this group – it is an old system of control and domination called: censorship. Control the press so members only receive what the “New Vision Board” decides to show them. Who are these “little dictators” who continue to advocate a failed and dangerous plan for Don Pedro?
Where did a member’s opportunity to comment go? It was placed in the same “round file” (trash can) as your 17 year old protective regulations that were upheld in both Tuolumne and Mariposa County Superior Courts and abandoned by the same special interest group because rules are inconvenient.
“…AH Bill, I believe you need to do something to straighten your life out. (Laughter) You really do. Every time I see, every time I see you it’s adversarial to me.” THOMAS PORTER
Bill Kinsella needs to straighten out his life? Oh boy, that’s a good one Mr. Porter. Bill Kinsella wasn’t the one who purchased a non-performing golf course. Bill Kinsella wasn’t the one who used his enormous voting block of properties to place “developer friendly directors” on the LDPOA Board, including another real estate business owner who cannot get a broker’s license due to past Department of Real Estate violations. Bill Kinsella didn’t violate established regulations prohibiting construction of speculative/model homes. Bill Kinsella didn’t construct a number of dangerous non-conforming developer convenience roads which are contrary to Fire Safe regulations. Bill Kinsella didn’t run up a substantial unpaid water bill. Bill Kinsella didn’t have to close the golf course twice. Bill Kinsella hasn’t lost a number of properties to foreclosure. Bill Kinsella doesn’t complain about how much money he has lost in Don Pedro. Seems to me Mr. Porter should be straightening out his own life rather than giving such advice to Bill Kinsella.
“…gee you even went to Fresno to the appellate court….” Thomas Porter
Poor Tom is wrong again, I know Bill Kinsella wasn’t at that court hearing because I was. It was the same day I had a photograph of a tornado funnel in Merced posted on the online Sonora Union Democrat. When I told Mr. Porter after the meeting that Bill Kinsella was not there but I was, Porter said it didn’t matter because “we were the same”. (Guess he was referring to Bill and I both being honest and having integrity.)
So, Thomas Porter, president of the Deerwood Corporation; Harry Alfier owner of Lake Don Pedro Realty; and Kathy Agee a real estate agent for Lake Don Pedro Realty think Bill and I should resign from the Board of Directors? Don’t hold your breath.
You know, there is a lot more I’d like to comment on but I’m exhausted. I spent the better part of yesterday mixing mortar and building a decorative rock wall and I am SORE and tired. This second board RECALL by THOMAS PORTER AND HIS DEERWOOD CORPORATION is going to take some time to orchestrate so there will be plenty of opportunities to respond in the near future.
Until then, pay attention, dust off your “thinking cap” and use it to seriously consider the veracity of information the Porter Group is spreading through this community. If their plan was legitimate, lies wouldn’t be necessary.
My Best To You And Yours, Lew
PS: The Mariposa Gazette has published the LDPCSD advertisement for bids on the water meter replacement project. Check out the link below. FIrst column, second legal notice (above CSD ad): Is that Bill Kinsella’s name in the foreclosure notice? Nope. This is the second such notice (same name, different property) I’ve seen in a couple of weeks – but that’s another story. Hummm,……People in glass houses ……