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
- Clarification as to why State Controller’s Office listed 15 positions (not employees) for CSD
- Request to pay ACWA Annual Dues for 2012 in the amount of $5,495.00, and
- 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.
ITEM F: CONSENT CALENDAR
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.]
ITEM H: COMMITTEE MEETING UPDATES
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 J: RANCHITO WELL STUDY.
ITEM K: REQUEST FROM JESSE FIGUEROA (for water service)
ITEM L: REQUEST FROM MIKE SCHARTZ (for water service)
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