Continued report of the OCTOBER 21st, 2011 SPECIAL MEETING
Verbatim transcript based on analog and/or digital recordings of the meeting.
Well, as is so usual for this time of the season I am scrambling to get things done before more rain. Storing firewood, burning debris, and spraying herbicide in a frantic attempt to preserve some of the weed eating work completed this last spring. The older I get, the more challenging it becomes but such is life in these foothills – wouldn’t trade it for anything.
So much has happened lately. Difficult to believe it’s already been 21 days since the October 21, 2011 meeting where Harry Alfier, owner of Lake Don Pedro Realty and Coralane Porter, daughter of Thomas Porter, president of the Deerwood land development/mortgage corporation, both called me a liar – and I am anxious to address their comments. Sure, some might argue I could just consider the source (lack of credibility) and let it go (ignore them) but I disagree because people like that will continue to repeat such garbage in the absence of a challenge. Besides, every time they make such slanderous statements about me they provide a reasonable opportunity for me to defend myself which only further illustrates their disingenuous character, lack of integrity and personal control.
Unfortunately there is some other information that needs to be covered which occurred prior to multiple personal attacks by members of the SO GOSIP (Same Old Group Of Special Interest People) orchestrated by TUMMOTA (The Unidentified Male Member of The Audience).
Incidentally, I realize most of you know what SO GOSIP and TUMMOTA stand for but it bothers me when an author uses an acronym without clearly stating the explanatory definition for the letters used. I’ll only do it once per posting for the sake of new viewers.
YOU WILL “RECALL”
TUMMOTA had represented himself as being from the State Attorney General’s Office in Sacramento. Oh but there was much more to that embarrassingly deceptive and illegal plan. [AG’s office was investigating our LDPCSD? Ouoooo, actually sounds pretty good to me. Why not start with how local government was corrupted with the special interests of real estate and land development?] He wrongfully interrupted an official meeting and directed how the SO GOSIP should continue their all too typical disruption of meetings with complaints about matters not even close to the business of the district. TUMMOTA failed to clearly identify himself to those who asked – couldn’t intelligibly pronounce his own name – no business card – complete absence of any authentication of his position or authority what-so-ever. Pretty serious stuff when you think about it – even bigger than just interrupting a government agency business meeting. You know, in addition to the SO GOSIP Wile E. Coyote “KA-BOOM” Syndrome (blowing themselves up when repeatedly and unsuccessfully pursuing the Road Runner) another old expression is appropriate: “Give ‘em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves”.
Let’s jump back into that meeting with the “REPORT OUT” of the Closed Session deliberation regarding the personnel issue at 1241hrs.
Vice president Bill Kinsella: “The board has been placed in an extremely difficult position and as with any decision that’s made by anybody, you’re going to get somebody that’s going to be happy, somebody who’s not going to be happy. My own personal opinion is that both Charise and Dan are outstanding people and great employees and I, I’m happy to have them working with us. The board has had an extremely difficult time trying to resolve this issue. Some of the issues that were mentioned have already, fall under the operation activity, and some of them have been resolved. The primary issue in Charise’s eyes is that she not report to Dan as her supervisor unfortunately the government code identifies that all employees report to the general manager so the board cannot honor this particular request. At this time the board believes that a mediator might be able to assist us in resolving the matter.”
[NOTE: The two employees agreed to give the “mediator process” the opportunity to resolve their differences. A mediator had previously been suggested by the former Grand Jury to assist the Board of Directors in working out some of their difficulties.]
VP Kinsella: OK. The board, other board members have requested time to express their thoughts and I’ll start with a the old board member Emery
Director Emery Ross: (Laughing) You know Charise, ah, I was going to make a comment, ah, and then I didn’t earlier, you know when the board came out but, ah, I see you (inaudible) l see Betsie, you know, a numbers person and ah, you know, Betsie ah, at ten o’clock at night wants to pay bills, you know, I want to go to bed. And I think that this, that we got to be a little more flexible Dan must, has to be, like Betsie said when she needs to add columns up and stuff you need quiet and that’s why you, maybe you want to be there the hours that you are there and I think there needs to be flexibility because you get interrupted on the phone call (inaudible) you’re finance and ah, I think there needs to be some flexibility you know, in that area, ahm, you know, I write my stories at three o’clock in the morning because I want quiet and I assume that that, your time, all I want as a board member is you guys to get your time in, you know. You come and go as far as I’m concerned because of your, you know, numbers thing that you do and I’d like to see some flexibility there Dan, you know, in that area if possible, you know.
VP Kinsella: Mark?
Director Mark Skoien: Well I just hope that, I want you guys to work it out, I don’t, I don’t think it’s unworkable, I mean, a lot of these things are, can be worked out with give and take by both sides and maybe this happening and going this far might, might make it easier for you all to do it. Ah, it’s just, it’s a lot to have on this district right now, I mean, we’ve got a lot going on and (laugh) it’s ah, well timing is everything I said, I just, you know I guess, so, I, I, I’m going to think positive that we can work it out with ah some kind of mediator and then reassess everything, both parties making some changes this is not a one way deal, I mean a lot of it is he said she said deal, so, I think there’s flexibility in both of you and I, and I hope it comes up positively. That’s all.
VP Kinsella: Lew?
Director Lew Richardson: Uhm, I pretty much agree with, with the other directors said, I was going over all this, this morning and it occurred to me that some of the issues that were controversial to begin with seemed to kind of work themselves out after there was a even minimal dialog in just the meetings we’ve had and that’s what I would think, hopefully, maybe a mediator could push that even a little bit further, you know with the training and stuff. And I too am very optimistic, because I think you’re both great employees and whatever the difficulty is I hope it could be worked out because ah, we all, we all depend on each other. That’s about it.
VP Kinsella: OK. My final comment, ah, I’ve always worked as a salaried employee for many years, at least 30 days and I always had the latitude to adjust my schedule to the work habits, ah, there seems to be a lack of communication between Dan and Charise as to when she can or cannot ah attend a meeting, or when she can or cannot be at work on time, I don’t think that salaried employees in this situation, because we are such a small unit ah, should be held to rigid hours. I think that a going by and seeing Charise’s car in the parking lot at seven o’clock at night ah really bothers me but nobody appreciates that, but if she shows up and you know, there again you, you made a comment yourself, that if she shows up 15 minutes late everything is thrown into turmoil. I don’t believe that, I believe that if, if you work together that’s fine. You work hours, early hours, Charise works late hours, so I don’t see, I don’t see a problem with that. And I do get upset with people who ah constantly criticize and don’t have a solution, or don’t even offer a tentative solution as to what’s going on. And ah, I’ve been a victim of that for many, many years, up here. So I am hopeful that you two can get together and resolve some things, it’s going to have to be a give and take situation on both sides and if you want to sit down over a cup of coffee sometime I think that might be a good idea but, can’t force you to do any of that stuff. I know that Charise is doing an outstanding job with finances and Dan I’m really impressed with the operations that you’ve performed here, so, I know that you guys can do the job and I know that you can do it very well, problem is you’ve got to keep that line of communication open. Yes
Unknown female audience member: (Speaking from audience) Who’s paying for a mediator?
VP Kinsella: Say again?
Unknown female audience member: Who’s paying for the mediator?
VP Kinsella: We have to pay for the mediator
Unknown female audience member: I don’t want to pay for a mediator
VP Kinsella: Huh?
Unknown female audience member: I don’t want to pay for a mediator
Director Ross: Well, we do, you know, we think it would be money well spent
VP Kinsella: I think, yeah?
Carolyn Bartholomew: I’ve worked, like you were saying, I’ve worked on many jobs too and, but I have never been able to bring my kids to work, I mean, I always had to work my problems out before I got to there, I had to have my babysitters lined up, or mother-in-law, or my mother, or whatever, I never heard of anybody getting to bring their children to work and then to lock them in a room, what if, it’s like Dan that said what if, what if, one of them fell, who’s liable?
Charise Reeves: Me.
VP Kinsella: She is. Did you, did you listen to Charise’s statement earlier today? How that she made the comment that the board that hired her knew that she had children and knew that she, that there’d have to be a give and take on that part? And there was no problem?
Carolyn: It still doesn’t make it right though Bill
VP Kinsella: We’re not talking about right or wrong, we’re talking about
Charise Reeves: (Inaudible – crying) my daughter will never be —
Carolyn: (Making shushing sound)
VP Kinsella: We’re talking about
Charise Reeves: — here
VP Kinsella: an agreement between the board and Charise, period.
Charise Reeves: (Leaves board room upset – audio recorder still running.
[END OF TRANSCRIPT]
ATTACK ON AN EMPLOYEE NOT PRESENT BEGINS
Following the Board Secretary’s departure (upset regarding comments about her daughter having been at the office a couple of times due to scheduling difficulties) a number of discussions were initiated by members of the SO GOSIP. Ruth Smith, who like Carolyn Bartholomew is a sitting appointed director with the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association [no election in two years since the Porter recall of that former board], commented on what they believed to be the proper handling of the matter.
Ruth Smith spoke of “common courtesy” in reference to contacting a supervisor and advising them of being late [this goes to the heart of a controversy regarding hourly vs salary compensation designations]. Coralane Porter (daughter of Thomas Porter, president of The Deerwood land development/mortgage corporation) also used the same term “common courtesy” in her comments about the situation.
Unbelievable. Here are two directors from the LDPOA voicing their opinions on how the CSD should be run when their own organization’s board does not have the “common courtesy” to acknowledge, much less respond, to repeated complaints about the LDPOA’s failure to enforce 40 year old subdivision CC&Rs. Wonder if that nonresponse policy had anything to do with their personal relationships with the violator who just happened to be a local real estate business owner? Anyone care to take a guess who? Talk about hypocrisy!
Kathy Agee (a local realtor formerly associated with Harry Alfier’s Lake Don Pedro Realty office in La Grange, Stanislaus County – unknown if she is still working there) questioned Bill Kinsella about director responsibilities and not working as an individual. Agee seemed especially concerned that Kinsella had no problem with a staff employee attending a “Recall of CSD Directors Meeting” held at the former Deerwood Corporation Sales Office on Merced Falls Road. Agee felt such attendance was inappropriate although she acknowledged CSD Director Emery Ross was specifically invited. Kinsella advised Agee she was commenting on a conversation she was not privy to and taking it out of context and he would not continue “beating a dead horse”.
TUMMOTA (from the comfort of his SO GOSIP chair in the back corner of the board room) interrupted and commented that ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER should be adhered to in our meeting. VP Kinsella advised he wished the organization followed such rules and had brought them up in the past but CSD did not operate by them. TUMMOTA stated that was a problem and every one of our meetings should follow them. Wes Barton attempted to explain to TUMMOTA the decision not to incorporate ROBERTS RULES was a CSD policy. Kathy Agee then continued her complaints regarding director roles and responsibilities and the relationship between supervisor and employee.
TUMMOTA SPEAKS AGAIN
Our “officious intermeddler” then attempted to characterize in his words what he interpreted the board said but was immediately corrected by VP Kinsella. I questioned TUMMOTA’s statement of the SO GOSIP speakers being under oath to which he responded it was “a matter of honesty and integrity”. [Sure doesn’t know the group he was representing and allowing to violate the Brown Act!]
TUMMOTA stated he took “fastidious notes of ever, every word spoken by the parties that I want to hear but when I, (inaudible) the more I see people come to this podium and be berated that is a problem, and it will remain a problem, it will become your problem if this goes on again if I ever hear that again, now leave it at that and we’ll go forward”.
[Fastidious notes? Good grief, why not simply tape record the meeting like everyone else? Who the hell does this guy think he is – I mean besides a representative of the State Attorney General’s Office? You know, I’ll bet you money, marbles or chalk there are some legitimate government officials anxious to talk with TUMMOTA the imposter, but who knows? Maybe he is undercover for the FBI now? Or Secret Service? Maybe he’s a private security guard at a 7-11? Maybe he purchased his badge at a pawn shop? lol]
When TUMMOTA contradicted my observation that he was lucky to see people come to the podium because most of the time they don’t, I asked him how many meetings he had attended to which he responded “that’s not important”. I advised “of course it is because you’re talking something you don’t know anything about”.
TUMMOTA stated it was adversarial to have ratepayers speak from the podium. I explained to the misinformed attendee that speakers were not asked to speak from the podium to intimidate them but so the recorder could pick up their words, otherwise what they say would be inaudible. I advised TUMMOTA was making my point – because he too was interrupting and speaking from the back of the room which is what usually happens at our meetings and it’s very difficult to get an accurate transcription and give the public their fair say when everything is inaudible.
TUMMOTA demonstrated further ignorance regarding our procedures by asking questions about transcriptions and stating anyone asking for a transcript should be furnished one even if they had to pay for it. I responded: “I love it, you know you’re making my point? You’re making my point that all these people (SO GOSIP) have been against (laughs)”
Wes Barton spoke on some of the history of the LDPCSD, difficulties faced, reiterated the policy regarding Roberts Rules and discussed audio tape retention since the lawsuits. TUMMOTA asked if they were under lock and key? Yes.
ANOTHER ATTACK ON AN ABSENT EMPLOYEE (WRONG!)
A female member of the audience commented that she started coming to meetings since February and always though Charise was a board member and proceeded to negatively evaluate her performance. “She runs the whole show, and nobody stops her. I don’t understand how you guys can let this woman run these board meetings, she’s always whispering with Lew, we don’t know what they’re saying. Nobody will stop Charise from running these entire board meetings, and I don’t understand why.”
[INCREDIBLE! This woman’s comments are ridiculous and illustrative of the sustained attack on our Financial Administrator by the SO GOSIP. You will “recall” that the former director who had to resign in order to accept a plea bargain to a lesser criminal offense (providing false information to a Peace Officer) was set on terminating Charise’s employment but when that attempt failed the SO GOSIP turned on the IGM, yet now appear to support the IGM while continuing the original attack against Charise. Just for clarification of those ignorant enough to believe such nonsense: When I first came on the board I advised Charise that I would appreciate a “heads up” if she noticed something improper happening during a meeting and I stand by that request.
“Always whispering with Lew?” That is an absolute fabrication of the truth and simply listening to the audio tapes will confirm that fact. Sure is funny how this lady will complain about the Board Secretary advising me (only because I sit next to her) about an error in procedure yet (this lady) doesn’t make a “Peep” when a director’s wife walks behind the dais DURING A BOARD MEETING and whispers into the former president’s ear! [The president who had to resign due to criminal charges] Or when that same director’s wife later passed a written note to her husband during the meeting to remind him to personally attack me! LOL
Here’s some more verbatim transcript.
KATHY AGEE: I just want to correct Lew, I don’t know of anyone that said they didn’t want these meetings taped, I don’t know of anyone
Director Lew Richardson: I didn’t say taped, I said transcribed.
Kathy Agee: Oh, I thought you said taped
Director Richardson: No, no. Transcribed. I think it would be great if all our meetings frankly were verbatim. Were verbatim so that every ratepayer, especially the people in Colorado and Arizona, half our membership, half our customers are out of state, they could get on the website and read every single word that occurs in here. I’d have no problem with that at all.
Harry Alfier (Owner Lake Don Pedro Realty): I’d just like to address the board as far as ah, show my support for Dan Tynan. I think he’s done a fantastic job since he’s been here and as far as this issue with Charise, ah, I’ve never worked anywhere where I’ve got an employee pretty much run the show and tell me where to stick it and how to do my job and it seems like ever since the man’s been hired as Interim GM she’s been keeping copious notes waiting for this moment to undermine her boss basically. Just seems to me that that this whole complaint was nothing more than her way to take the heat off from her for being reprimanded by Dan on the issues of bringing her children to work, showing up late for work, ah, numerous issues and just, and again I think it because she does not want to be accountable or be responsible for some of the decisions and some of the behaviors she’s exhibited towards the boss. Again, I don’t know anybody, you might ask Charlie Sheen how it worked for him telling his boss to F off.
(inaudible) So where she comes up with her authority and and you know I feel bad that she’s upset but I, bottom line I don’t think you opened this can of worms I think Charise did, I think she over played her hand ah, I, I think she decided she was going to undercut her boss and that you guys would back her 100% and and Dan would be showed the road. And I think it really, you shouldn’t be telling Dan how to do his job whether he should show flexibility. If he thinks someone’s not living up to their standards, and I think he has the right to take them into their office and talk to them. Ah I don’t really think that, I’ve never heard him raise his voice to anybody, now he may have been agitated and raised his voice, I doubt very seriously if he yelled or intimidated I think the way she framed her whole argument here is that, you know, it’s an attack upon a woman employee which raises a flag immediately that you’re going to have to take her side and I think these these accusations by her are very serious they could follow this man around the rest of his life and I think they’re as much serious as they are claiming that she’s being ah exposed to a hostile work environment. SO I do applaud you for maybe bringing in a mediator a neutral third party to talk to them both and get to the bottom of it. And I think some things need to be looked into you know, there’s rumors out there different things that maybe Charise has been involved in that are more serious than you know, a hostile environment or some of the other issues, so I do applaud you for bringing a mediator and I would like to see you give your general manager, let him do his job, I, I can’t think he seems like the kind of man to yell at anyone if someone’s not living up to what they should be I think he has every right to to talk to them about that and I would hope you would let him do the job. Thank you.
VP Kinsella: Any other comments? Ruth?
Ruth Smith: I’ve been reading some of, ah, some of your policies that ah, that became effective, they were approved and adopted on January 17th, 2006, ahum, I read one at the Monday’s meeting and I was more than knocked to my knees. Ah, where a director shall not act alone, this is your own policy, number 4070.1 ah, it says, ah, no director, no director has the authority to act individually, ah, I brought that up at the meeting and I was chastised for it. Ah, by, by Bill, ah, also, it says directors should, should ah commit themselves to emphasizing the positive avoiding double talk, hidden agendas, gossip, backbiting and other negative forms of interaction. That’s 4010.1.5. 4010.2.1, when responding to constituents requests and concerns directors should be courteous responding to individuals in a positive manner and routing their questions through the appropriate channels and to responsible management personnel. People have come to these meetings and, and we’re afraid to talk, afraid we’re going to be knocked down to our knees and there’s a lot of people, when this opening came on the board, several of use went around asking different individuals if they would put in for this position, that was open, everybody said I will not work with that board. That, that shows that we’re being bullied and intimidated and, and it you know, we’d like to come here and come to a civil meeting without being over talked, and, and, like I say knocked down to our knees. And that’s all I have to say.”
VP Kinsella: Any other comments? Directors’ comments? That was a joke earlier Emery.
Director Ross: Well I didn’t get it but, I was told it was a joke later (laughs).
VP Kinsella: Do you have any comments? (multiple voices) Lew?
Director Richardson: Yeah but I’m not just sure what it is. I keep going back to the gentleman’s comment about the child in the office, I, I heard that happened I thought it was like years ago, are you saying something’s happened recently with that?
TUMMOTA: I’m saying there’s a case where Charise brought children to the office against the authority of the manager, I’ll leave it at that.
Director Richardson: When did that happen?
TUMMOTA: That’s not an important fact right here
Director Richardson: Well it is to me because if it happened while I was here
TUMMOTA: (inaudible) should be able to go through your transcripts and find that, I’m not here to advise you
IGM Tynan: Actually Lew, I can answer that, it, I didn’t, again it’s my oversight I didn’t write down the date and everything but it was probably ah three months ago
Director Richardson: Oh, OK
IGM Tynan: Four months ago, something like, it’s happened I believe one or two times, but I know, ah, ah, one instance, again I didn’t take notes, I should have taken notes, but I came to work and I saw Charise had her daughter here and I understand single moms, single fathers too that work here, and have children issues, but yes, I was shocked like I wasn’t even notified, I was just, came in and ah, she took her daughter in the office and shut the door and I just can’t ah, and actually if you see that email it states ah giving a, basically an ultimatum, either I’m late or I’m bringing my kids to work and that’s in the email. Ah
TUMMOTA: That is what I was speaking of Mr. Richardson.
Harry Alfier: I don’t think anyone wants to crucify Charise about her children, we’re all, I’ve been a single dad for many years, I was, there were times you just maybe have to take them to work but to me it’s more of a pattern of, to me it shows more of a pattern of her insubordination I hate to say it, you know, I have nothing personally against her but, you know, you have to have a boss and you have to have employees and the boss has to have the authority to talk to those employees and can’t be undermined by by this board or people she has to answer to, you know, you either trust him to do a job, I, you know, I think he’s a pretty straight shooter I’ve never seen him lie or scream or (inaudible) you know, and I, I just feel this is a power play by ah, ah, ah an employee basically, looks to me like she’s after his job or wants him, just don’t be accountable and his license, his license is from the State that then maybe she has to be accountable. You can’t expect this guy to put his license on the line and his very ability to earn a livelihood for his family because you have an employee that wants to be, I guess, be rogue. She’s a rogue employee that thinks she’s the boss and it’s up to you guys I think to let her know what the change of command is. Thank you.
VP Kinsella: Kathy?
Unknown: Isn’t this director comment?
Ruth Smith afraid to speak? If only that were true! LOL Harry Alfier has nothing personal against Charise? Funny how the people around him supported the wrongful attempt by a former director (who also worked in the real estate industry) to fire her.
Well, I still have some firewood to put up and of course it’s raining. No biggie. Need to get away from this keyboard and monitor for a while anyway. We’ll start the next posting with another personal attack by Kathy Agee, who even when she accuses somebody of something wrong, still can’t get it right. lol
My best to you and yours, Lew