THE PERFECT FIRE

Reading Time: 7 minutes

LDPCSD BOARD MEETING OF APRIL 16, 2012

Establish quorum: President Bill Kinsella, VP Lew Richardson, Directors Emery Ross, Mark Skoien and Victor Afanasiev present along with Interim General Manager Dan Tynan and Financial Administrator/Treasurer/Board Secretary Charise Reeves. Pledge of allegiance.

UPDATE ON “THE PERFECT FIRE”

Seems like a contradictory title considering destruction and loss is typically associated with arson, however, there is a big difference between a structure being burned to the ground or gutted by fire as was our administration office on February 27th, 2012. It certainly could have been much worse.

I would suspicion many of you have in the past attempted to burn stacks of paper, old magazines, or books (naturally long before such incinerator type garbage burning was prohibited to reduce air pollution), but recall how the pages inside, insulated from contact with the flames, were often only slightly damaged compared to the exposed surfaces? How the “packed” pages actually had to be stirred around with a fire poker to insure total destruction and transformation into ash? Well, such was the case with our recent office fire and boxes of historical records. Very good news.

PINNACLE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMPANY

When Syndie Marchesiello (Customer Billing Representative) questioned our insurance carrier as to the documents damaged in the fire and how to proceed, our insurance adjuster suggested Pinnacle to perform the work. The document restoration process is approximately 50% complete but the results are extremely encouraging and according to Leo Grover it was the “perfect fire” in the sense record loss was minimized.

Mr. Grover advised he was surprised at how slow the fire recovery process was proceeding concerning the office replacement and offered his services as a general contractor for the job as he has worked closely with insurance companies in many different emergencies. He has been in contact with our insurance adjuster who is evidently in favor of having a third party assume the duties of a general contractor.

Pinnacle currently has over 15,000 of our files which are called “wet files” because the documents contain signatures, i.e., time cards, contracts, grant deeds, etc. Mr. Grover stated he took it upon himself (regardless of whether he would be reimbursed or not) to construct a detailed inventory of items and materials lost in the fire because he wanted to make sure everything was listed. Although initially totaling roughly $80,000 he advised the CSD might not choose to replace everything but was still entitled to the value lost. The loss estimate is now approximately $109,000 but is expected to increase. Once everything is cleared with the insurance company Grover estimated that the new building could be up and running around one month’s time. The definition of what constitutes an “emergency” is important on how to proceed. Grover stated the CSD could use his scope even if it decided to work with a different company but having a contractor was the best way to go.

A telephone call was made to the CSD attorney, Raymond Carlson, who suggested following the claims procedure and turning the matter over to the insurance company and allowing them to make the decision on how to best proceed.

Leo Grover further advised he believed the insurance company reserve should be around $250,000 to cover everything. (Documents and building replacement at $100,000 each.)

The board approved Mr. Grover to represent the CSD in regards to the fire pending the insurance company’s approval. Grover suggested presenting his scope to the insurance company for their review as the first step in the office rebuild. Essentially, the insurance company pays for the coverage but the board ultimately chooses the general contractor and if the insurance company accepts the offered scope, Pinnacle will be appointed for further restoration efforts.

PRESIDING OFFICER’S REPORT

President Kinsella stated that since IGM Tynan was seeking employment elsewhere he (Kinsella) felt the board should start advertising for the position. Directors Ross and Afanasiev suggested placing the item on the next agenda. Kinsella stated he could direct the Board Secretary to advertise for a general manager immediately. IGM Tynan advised he recently hired John Turner who has 31 years experience in water treatment and distribution and if his anticipated employment did not turn out he (Tynan) would like to go back to the treatment plant because the IGM position was not working out. A future Special Meeting will be scheduled to address that matter along with the continuing Personnel grievance matter between IGM Tynan and Charise Reeves.

MANAGER’S REPORT

Dan Tynan reported the leak on Banderilla Drive had been repaired and with the hiring of John Turner fire hydrant flushing and testing would resume. Only two routes remain for replacement with the AMR system, (4 out of 6 completed) however, that replacement has stopped due to the disruption caused by the office fire. Exact water loss was also difficult to report due to the fire. Tynan stated the new employee, John Turner, has a T-4/D-4 Grade License (Treatment and Distribution) and the highest grade is T-5/D-5.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Total restricted & unrestricted funds: $416,469. Approximately $19,000 has been spent on replacement items due to the fire. Two large bills have been paid, Merced Irrigation District water bill and the loan payment. Some accounts are over budget, including legal, vehicle maintenance and office overtime, some of the later will be recovered with insurance reimbursement.

Director Ross questioned the actual duties of the Finance Committee to which Reeves responded the auditor advised it could be anything we wanted it to be, but primarily it was just extra eyes looking at the treasurer’s report. Prior to approving the Treasurer’s Report VP Richardson questioned the legal fee amount and requirement that a separate vote of the Board be conducted to approve the over budget amount. Reeves initially stated a vote was only required if a director disputed the bill but after reading the fine print statement on page 14 agreed a separate vote was necessary. The statement under the title Additional Information read:

“Beginning March 2010, these payments will be made after each board meeting without board approval unless disputed by a board member as they are standard district expenses unless we exceed our budgeted amount.”

The board subsequently approved the payment for legal fees in the amount of $8,387.51.

Director Victor Afanasiev questioned the additional legal costs for further depositions in the two wrongful termination lawsuits that were brought years ago since depositions in the case had already been taken. The board agreed a closed session meeting would be scheduled for conference with the attorney so directors could be briefed on the status of the cases.

Ruth Smith reiterated her question from last month about paying for the extra Hughes internet service. Charise Reeves advised once her paperwork was returned from the document recovery company she could provide the follow up answers. Smith asked if it wouldn’t be cheaper to just pick up the phone and ask the questions directly rather than paying $90 a month for a service that wasn’t used. Reeves responded such communication was difficult due to outsourcing to India and without the account information nothing could be done. Mrs. Smith also asked if checks had been lost in the office fire because the Association had recently received a very large bill although a payment had been made earlier. Reeves stated it was her understanding checks were indeed lost in the fire and Mrs. Smith should check with the billing officer for details.

The board approved the read and file of the April Treasurer’s Report.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Reeves advised the fire had affected her production of Minutes and hoped she would be caught up with the February and March Minutes in the near future. Prior to approving the Operations, Finance, and Public Relations committee meeting minutes VP Richardson questioned when the Public Relations letter to the LDPOA (submitted last month regarding the use of the DISCOVERER to contact CSD customers) had been sent to which Reeves apologized stating it had not because she was in the middle of everything but it would be sent later that day.

The board approved the read and file of the consent calendar.

COMMITTEE MEETING UPDATES

MID Committee: After the last board meeting IGM Tynan and VP Richardson reviewed a restored map of the district and recorded APNs (Assessor Parcel Numbers) so the billing officer could cross check on the computer any availability charges that may have been paid to the district by outside place of use properties. Director Ross questioned why the public was not advised of the meeting so they could attend but Richardson explained ad hoc committees are not required to be agendized along with the fact the process required laying a large fire damaged restored map on the floor that required protection.

ACWA HEALTH BENEFITS AUTHORITY

The Board approved the ACWA Health Benefits Authority resolution to retain health benefits while making the transition to ACWA/Joint Powers Insurance Authority. Director Afanasiev requested that Charise Reeves remove the prior GM’s name from the material and replace it with the name of the current IGM.

OUTSIDE PLACE OF USE RESOLUTION

President Kinsella referred to the item as being VP Richardson’s, however, Richardson questioned why the resolution was even on the agenda since the board had decided further research was required regarding how many outside place of use properties were actually paying availability fees. Richardson specifically asked how the item had been placed on the agenda. Charise Reeves stated she had asked IGM Tynan if the resolution should be on the agenda. Richardson objected to Reeves’ explanation citing an email exchange between Reeves and himself that clearly identified the subject matter of the agenda item request. Tynan stated he was not aware of Richardson’s email. VP Richardson read the two emails:

Charise Reeves: As far as #4, can you please provide additional information on what exactly you want on the agenda and anything you want included in the packet.

Director Richardson: I do not understand why the Shaw and Martin (Morasci) properties remain on the Outside MIDPOU report since the meters have been pulled and no availability fees are paid. Perhaps the matter could be considered just normal office updating of information and simply removed but since they have not as of yet I thought the board might consider instructing staff to remove them (along with any others that may not be paying availability).

VP Richardson stated in exchange the resolution was placed on the agenda which had nothing to do with his request. Charise Reeves stated she did not decide what goes on the agenda. Richardson disagreed. Tynan again stated he had not seen the email. Reeves stated she provides matters to IGM Tynan and President Kinsella, they review material and then she is told what will or will not be on the agenda. Richardson asked if Dan did not write the letter to the LDPOA too? He continued by saying he was tired of all the excuses and referenced the office fire. Reeves stated the comment was uncalled for and it was not the first time. Richardson agreed stating it was about the third time he either had a conversation or answered an email from Reeves yet received exactly the opposite (in response). President Kinsella suggested moving on and Richardson agreed saying it (the resolution) should be tabled until the research process was complete.

FENCING

IGM Tynan briefed the board on estimates for fencing around particular equipment that needed further security. Director Mark Skoien suggested since the district may be appointing a General Contractor perhaps he could also handle any additional fencing that might be required in addition to the office area. Discussion ensued, however no motion was made on the matter.

A recess was called prior to the board going into closed session.

Closed Session: Conference with legal counsel regarding Agee vs. LDPCSD – report out – district will defend itself.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

WATCH LIKE A HAWK

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Certainly has been strange weather for the last few weeks – alternating between high summer-like temperatures; thunder & lightening, cold wind blown rain and hail topped with those convenient periodic power outages like on the day of the Health Fair!

One day I am slathering on sunscreen, the next, hauling in firewood to stay warm. Yesterday (Sunday) was especially interesting with the high temperature and moist saturated ground. The evaporation radiating up was almost jungle-like as I tore through healthy weeds with a new two cycle Echo trimmer graciously gifted by my closest of friends in acknowledgment for surviving another year. [Naturally there was fog early this morning as well.]

Yes, the weather has complicated the “War on Weeds” and has been somewhat frustrating, but heck, it is every single spring but I am confident of ultimate victory. Then, after everything is finally cut, raked, sprayed, burned and landscaped, the fall rain is back and the cycle begins again. Not complaining at all mind you, in fact I am a bit embarrassed to admit I enjoy the work and will miss the ritual when the chore becomes too physically challenging.

While cutting fire breaks a couple of weeks ago on my Mother’s lot and watching some wild turkeys we noticed a rather large stick-twig assembled nest in an Oak across the street which turned out to be maintained by a pair of Red Tail Hawks frequently observed in the area. (A neighbor told me he has been watching this pair for years.)

Rather than binoculars, this time I came prepared with the telescope. There are definitely two white fluffy chicks – possibly a third, however, that all too common day to day cruelty of nature stuff is difficult to watch, if there was a third I’m afraid it is now dead. By late afternoon only two chicks could clearly be observed and the larger one continually pecked and attacked the smaller one. When the male brought in a meal (lizard and a vole) and the female tore it up for feeding, only one of the chicks appeared to be fed. Even when attempting to eat the scraps that fell from its sibling’s mouth the smaller chick was attacked. The poor thing was weaving back and forth hardly able to hold up its head then “POW” he got smacked again by the larger chick’s beak. Hopefully it looked worse than it was.

Witnessed something amazing from the other side of the equation and actually got it on video but the image quality isn’t that hot. The female Hawk (larger in size) when not actually on top of the chicks, rotates around the top edge of the nest in little side steps so as to continually cast the best shadow on her young. It was terribly hot yesterday and the female could be seen panting while protecting her young. With wings partially opened she constantly adjusted her position for optimum shade. Now here’s the really cool part, Dad suddenly flies in carrying a leafy branch instead of food. He lands on the edge of the nest and begins walking around with the branch providing shade for the female and the eyasses (defined in below linked article). I kid you not! It was unreal. I don’t have time now, but maybe I can upload that video later.

Here are some poor quality shots. Used the same old trick as with the shots of the Moon at night — just hold the camera lens near the eye piece of the telescope. Only problem is low light conditions mean even a miniscule movement makes for a blurry image. Oh well we do the best we can with what we have right? The detail was fantastic through the telescope though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_Hawk

There’s much I want to share with you folks but need to get caught up. Here’s a quick report on the April 5th, 2012 Special Meeting which was agendized as the continuing Personnel matter between Interim General Manager Dan Tynan and Financial Administrator/Treasurer/Board Secretary Charise Reeves.

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Establish quorum: President Bill Kinsella, Directors Emery Ross, Mark Skoien, Victor Afanasiev and VP Lew Richardson present. Interim Manager Dan Tynan and Financial Administrator/Treasurer/Board Secretary Charise Reeves also present Pledge of Allegiance.

Charise Reeves requested the Board vote to add an agenda item regarding changing a dollar amount on a fire related issue that was approved during the last meeting. Victor Afanasiev made the motion and President Kinsella the second, the board approved the change. Reeves briefed the board on the added costs for the office demolition and President Kinsella asked for a motion which Director Mark Skoien made, seconded by Victor Afanasiev. During discussion Director Emery Ross questioned Charise Reeves on the Brown Act Section she was relying on to revisit the matter. Reeves was unaware of the exact section but advised the issue had already been discussed in a previous agendized meeting which allowed for public comment. Ross cautioned if it were indeed a Brown Act Violation any action would be null and void. Both Ross and Richardson believed a Special Meeting was limited to the posted agenda items.

Audience member Ruth Smith stated she believed recent legislation prohibited even discussing matters that were not listed on a Special Meeting agenda. Reeves suggested voiding the additional part of the meeting and returning to the subject at a later time. Mark Skoien withdrew his motion.

President Kinsella stated the purpose of the meeting was to discuss complaints by IGM Tynan and Charise Reeves against each other. Tynan had requested an open meeting discussion whereas Reeves wanted a Closed Session. Director Ross suggested the board go into closed session to deliberate which was done at 0910hrs.

The meeting was reconvened at 1015hrs with the following “report out” by President Kinsella: The board is pursuing a satisfactory resolution with legal counsel’s input.

Meeting adjourned @ 1017hrs

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Well that was easy. The next posting will be on the April 16th, 2012 Regular Monthly meeting.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

WACKED THE WEED EATER

Reading Time: 11 minutes

The most recent 4 cycle weed trimmer didn’t even make one year.  Nine days short.  Strange, I usually get at least two seasons of shoulder discomfort from starting the darn things before something requires replacement or major adjustment.  The cycle usually starts with difficult starting and proceeds through “not quite working right”, “losing power”, and then sputtering and coughing just like the operator.

This time however during a lower RPM run it suddenly stopped with a loud metallic sounding “clunk”.   Yes — I checked the oil level before starting and filled it to the proper level, used new fuel, even cleaned the air filter.   It started fairly easy but only an hour or so
into the chlorophyll splashed slaughter of vegetative offerings the engine to my faithful landscaping weapon seized.

Now the traditional dilemma: spend money on equipment repair or simply acquire another dead tool for display on the “Dead Tool Tree” (a landscaping testament to the money spent on failing tools despite reasonably good care.)   Having been down this road a few times already (purchasing “repairs” until the next inoperative incident) I believe the “Dead Tool Tree” is the appropriate choice.   Yup, a couple of telephone calls to small
engine repair shops cinched the decision.

PRESCRIPTIVE WATER RIGHT?

Reading select portions of the law (cases, decisions, opinions, statutes, etc) can be quite perilous if the totality of the subject or most recent “final word” from a court has not been considered.  Based on limited exposure to a particular legal issue it is understandable how any lay person (regardless of how knowledgeable they might actually be) could  accidentally get the “wrong idea” about a legal matter, advocate it to others, and act accordingly.

There is nothing sinister or intentionally deceptive – just a simple misunderstanding motivated by a good faith effort to “do the right thing”.  I believe this is exactly what
happened to Victor Afanasiev when he understood properties outside the Merced
Irrigation District Place of Use [MIDPOU], which pay availability fees for future water service, had a “prescriptive water right”.   His request that our attorney research the
matter, though well intended, appears to be misdirected.

Below is some information which will clarify the matter and is really quite interesting as to how California operates under a “dual system of water rights which recognizes both the appropriation and the riparian doctrines”.

Basically, Riparian rights involve “land abutting upon a stream or body of water” and Common Law appropriation of a water right goes back to the gold mining days when water was diverted to work mining claims.  Posting at the point of water diversion and recording the right with the county were common methods of securing an appropriative water right.
Prescriptive rights have been described as the “parasites of water rights [because] [t]he only way to obtain such rights is to take water rights away from someone else….”)

People v. Shirokow 26 Cal. 3d 301      [Prescriptive rights do not apply-link below]

http://law.justia.com/cases/california/cal3d/26/301.html

Here’s some other information from the SWRCB [State Water Resources Control Board] regarding the different types of water rights.

http://www.waterrights.ca.gov/forms/app-geninfo.pdf

NOTICE there is even a disclaimer in this material on page 3:  “While believed to be correct, the information is by no means complete. For additional information, see the California Water Code and case law.”  Yes, water law is very complicated.

COMPLICATED ISSUES REQUIRE SPECIFIC EDUCATION, TRAINING AND
EXPERIENCE

I, like everyone else (who is not specifically trained in such matters), can only study and attempt to comprehend some extremely complicated subjects – but that is precisely why the LDPCSD has legal representation specializing in water law.   Until convinced that such representation is inadequate I will do my best to adhere to the attorney’s  commendations, suggestions, and legal opinions regarding legal matters and what is best for this district.

Others may choose to elevate their perspective and opinion above that of our attorney, believing the later incorrect in some respect, however, I believe such action could be very dangerous.   If individual lay opinions are to replace our legal representation, something is very wrong, but again, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  (Which is why electing others to represent the public’s best interest is so very important.)

OUTSIDE MIDPOU RESOLUTION

Although disappointed the resolution to prohibit further Outside MIDPOU [OMIDPOU] properties from further taxing the Ranchito Well production again failed, anything  orthwhile takes time and this issue cannot be postponed indefinitely considering the circumstances and necessity for action.    Heck the problem itself took decades to develop spanning many different boards and administrations.

Actually this recent focus on the OMIDPOU Properties will likely produce information long sought which will enable all of us to better understand exactly how this district became so entangled in the issue of what water can be distributed, and where.

Inexorably linked to this is the question of who should reasonably be saddled with the any added financial responsibility of providing a special benefit to properties outside the permitted area for Merced River water consumption under the water license?

EXCEPTION TO THE RULE

For whatever reasons, Outside MIDPOU [OMIDPOU] water service is an exception to the rule and as such, should likely be viewed differently than those traditional “availability properties” which have the right to Merced  River water and have always paid availability, or standby, fees since the beginning.

“STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK”

No one knows how many more connections to the well can be made without jeopardizing what is already served to OMIDPOU customers, but caution is obviously warranted.  The
engineer report concluded the well is 50% of its sustainable yield (I believe there is a bit of “wiggle room” in the calculations).

ADDITIONAL CONNECTIONS FOR WHAT?

Additional connections are one concern, but what about the anticipated water consumption for each of those connections?  Will they be normal domestic single family
residential hookups?   Perhaps the acreage is proposed to be a mini-subdivision with a number of other connections?  What about another commercial cattle or other livestock type ranching activity?  There are a number of other high consumptive enterprises which could be the down fall of the Ranchito Well.

Were “exceptions” made to include properties with no reasonable or immediate expectation of residential domestic water use?  Were connections made for speculative land development or potential commercial benefits outside the permitted use
area?  If this is so, is it fair or reasonable to require 99% of the “legal use” customers to subsidize private commercial enterprises and profit through the financing of a special benefit outside the permitted water use area?

A possible solution has been theorized:  MID and the SWRCB might somehow feel sorry
for the district’s failure to conform in the past and will simply turn a blind eye and permit the district to do whatever it wants.  Considering MID is the entity that holds the license and is responsible to the SWRCB for state water law violations, I personally doubt MID would willingly gamble further potential liability (fines or other State correction) because of compassion for this district’s difficulty in supplying water to every property owner who desires service in the vicinity.

Apparently there was an attempt at an “Administrative Remedy” years ago where our permitted area to serve Merced River water was to be expanded, however, complications developed and the process was halted with the determination that a full blown change petition would have to be filed with the SWRCB.   This is very expensive process and fraught with potential legal protests and objections from other water users downstream, and for us, that means the very organized Delta-Bay area.

Certainly the approval by the SWRCB of a petition to change the place of use would be absolutely wonderful, and perhaps a dedicated effort towards that possibility should be maintained, but first things first.  A priority should be to deal with what has already been created.

“ANARCHY IS BETTER THAN NO GOVERNMENT AT ALL”

Probably my favorite oxymoron.

Oxymoron:     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxymoron

And what about the person who defiantly says “I’m an atheist and thank God for it”?  lol

“ONLY HOW MUCH AN ACRE?”

Recently I remembered an oxymoron from an old college Public Administration course – “honest Graft”.  How only a small amount of “insider information” could be unethically (and criminally) used to obtain substantial sums of money.  One example was how government projects, like military bases, were often designed and located away from more highly populated areas.  (Errant air drops, forced landings/accidents, ICBM mishaps, artillery shelling, noise, etc.)  My miniscule experience as a “military brat” would tend to substantiate this observation considering some of bases Dad had been stationed.  Yep, made sense such facilities would be out in the boonies a bit – then slowly other businesses and communities grow around the installation figuring the commercial benefits
outweighed the risk of injury/damage.

So what if the DOD (Department of Defense) or some subcommittee was considering construction of a new facility somewhere?  (Remember the Cold War era when the emphasis was on rapid construction of bases not decommissioning them?)   Only a small piece of information, like which state and county such a complex might be built, could reap huge monetary rewards.  Not only could an individual or company purchase land for next to nothing then sell it back to the government at a greatly enhanced price but they’d have the ground floor on configuring the infrastructure and supporting entities for an entire community which could be quite lucrative.  Presto:  “Honest graft”.

Naturally there are a multitude of laws and regulations covering such stuff now, heck there probably were then, but the point is certain information at the right time can be very  aluable.  Wall Street insider trading…..what has the country learned from that little game?
Subprime loans?  Blah, blah, blah……

BACK TO THE SUBJECT— WATER

. . . . .California’s new gold!

“Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting
over”.  Attributed to Mark Twain.   Here’s a humorous and interesting perspective about whiskey and the advancement of civilization by Mark Twain http://www.twainquotes.com/WaterWhiskey.html

WHERE IS THE WATER GOING TO GO?

Similar to asking where a new government facility might be built huh?  Drought prone foothill land sure would be worth a lot more money if potable water could be delivered right to the property line of where someone was going to build a home, and after all,
with a few exceptions the water was primarily intended for domestic residential
consumption in the subdivision.

In 1968 Sierra Highlands Water Company President Thad Binkley made an agreement with the Sturtevant Ranch agreeing to provide 10 free water meters and $500 for some Sturtevant land upon which a water tank and access road would be constructed.
Unfortunately, documents on file with authorities do not recognize this inclusion into the water license place of use, thus all those additional properties fall outside the MIDPOU and must receive water from the Ranchito Well.  [The LDPCSD service boundary is
different than the area of service permitted under the water license – the service boundary was expanded outside the MIDPOU.  Apparently, this expansion was done while the
State of California was actively pursuing a more regulated water management program and around the same time this district was formed as a public agency rather than a private water company as initially constructed.]

The Revised June 1978 Merced Irrigation District map entitled “Areas of domestic water use” is the official map filed with the State Water Resources Regional Control Board (SWRCB) which essentially is a footprint of the original Sierra Highlands residential development.  Sierra Highlands was the predecessor to the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association subdivision although some properties, such as Units 4,5,& 6-M (Kassabaum Flats) reverted to acreage and 7-M (the property around Azulete Way off Hidalgo Street east of the elementary school) also opted out of the Association and had no line extension agreements with Sierra Highlands.

The transfer of facilities and assets agreement by Sierra Highlands to the District occurred in August of 1980.  [The actual vote to form the district was 88 yes and 29 no.]   The contract provided for the district to operate and maintain the water system, to “provide water service to all lands and customers within Sierra’s present service area” and subject to certain conditions respecting connection charges and other details.”  This is where things started to get mixed up.  What if a property was being served water by Sierra Highlands even though it was technically “outside” the original residential subdivision?

Water License 11395 in August of 1983 referred to the service area as: “Domestic use at home sites within the service area of Sierra Highlands Water Company and a 55 acre golf course” and the 1978 Map again depicts that service area.  (The golf course is actually 155 acres and was referred to in some material as a “gold” course.)

JUNE 1978 MAP

https://lakedonpedro.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/1978-MID-MAP.jpg

The water license limits use of Merced River water (Lake McClure) to the 1978 MID Map (essentially the subdivision and golf course), however, through the years water has been diverted outside the place of use to  adjacent or nearby properties to the subdivision.  MID in 2000 issued a cease and desist letter which clearly stated all outside MID Place of Use water must be supplied by an alternative source – not the Merced River (Lake McClure).  The Ranchito Well became that source of OMIDPOU water which is comingled with river water, treated, stored, and distributed to outside place of use properties.  As already mentioned, the engineer recommends no further connections (water demand) on the well.

Now this new issue revolves around a limited number of property owners (total outside place of use properties is 34 which is around 1% of the total customer base) who have supposedly been paying availability fees (Maximum $180 a year) for future water that the Ranchito Well may or may not now be able to produce.

Another aspect of this mess is that our ground well water, due to minerals/chemicals, is actually harmful to some of the equipment at the LDPCSD which was designed as a surface water treatment facility drawing water from Lake McClure, which as we all know, if fed by the Merced River originating in Yosemite National Park, and is fantastic water.

ANXIOUS FOR THE FACTS

Well the recent office fire sure didn’t help much in obtaining information any faster and I am curious as to how many OMIDPOU customers have been paying availability fees and for how long.  Whether they annexed or paid a buy-in fee?  (Which I believe was intended to recoup the difference paid in fees by other legal users who had always paid availability.)   What is the estimated water consumption per connection? Are these properties planned
residential or commercial?  Are water mains or laterals present?  Have these other projects stalled as in the South Shore project?   Or the township proposed by the Deerwood Corporation with huge man-made lakes and fountains?  What about the envisioned multi-story building at T-Corners?   Or concept of a modern day ghost town also at T-corners?
Blah, blah, blah… lots of grandiose plans but one of the key factors has always been the acquisition of enough water.

Director Emery Ross is an Outside MIDPOU customer with two meters.  He owns and operates a commercial cattle ranching business and believes the district should drill more ground wells, but again, I must respectfully disagree for three main reasons:   1)
Ground wells are expensive to develop,  2) Can be unreliable in this fractured rock
geology, and 3) It is unfair to require the majority of customers to financially fund a special benefit, especially if a commercial enterprise

WITHOUT “SKIN IN THE GAME”

Without something to lose there are those Outside Place of Use property owners who could care less about the Ranchito Well or the additional costs and procedures required to provide that alternative water source.  Some have even advocated further expansion of the district to include multiple subdivisions with hundreds of homes.  Why should they care?  If the Ranchito Well goes out the district will simply cover all the costs of repair or replacement.  This course “boils down” to the fact all customers (water consuming and availability fee paying properties alike) will cover the costs of a special benefit they do not receive.

THE “OMIDPOU SBAZ”

The Outside Merced Irrigation District Place of Use Special Benefit Assessment Zone

A while back I mentioned the idea of a special benefit assessment zone where those who require the Ranchito well, for co-mixing of Merced River water for their OMIDPOU properties, could form their own organization of service.  The additional costs associated
with the Ranchito Well for supplying water to outside permitted areas (called “ground water substitution for surface water transfer”) would be borne by those receiving that special benefit.  This is the same principal as the sewer system around the golf course where only those properties connected to the sewer system pay for that service, not the majority of owners who have private onsite septic systems.

Every OMIDPOU SBAZ connected property would share in and fund the additional costs required for maintenance, repair, future replacement, power, testing and monitoring of the well.   The OMIDPOU SBAZ membership could decide whether additional connections
would be in the group’s best interest. The LDPCSD would continue to co-mingle
Merced Water, perform treatment, testing, storage, distribution and billing for
the finished product.

The costs would not be significant if the Ranchito Well continues to serve those already connected and that water consumption does not increase drastically (subdivisions and other high water usage businesses).  If, however, further expansion of the OMIDPOU
service area gets expensive with ground well drilling, pumps, boosters, and other
equipment, those costs should be absorbed by those who receive the benefit.

HOW DID THIS MESS DEVELOP?

Will you annex?  Sure you bet.  Will you pay a buy-in fee to make up for all the fees veryone else in the district has paid since before and during the district’s inception?  No
problem.  Better yet…. How about I don’t pay anything until I actually need the water?
Great, it’s a deal.  I’ll pay $180 a year to insure that I can get water someday even though my property is outside the MIDPOU and I have no idea when or what I might construct in the future.  You’ve got a deal!

Heck, that’s only a step up from those properties that are within our district boundary yet do not contribute one thin dime to support district operations.  Gee, they can even be the deciding votes on who represents the entire customer base (realizing of course most of our customers are absentees and usually cannot participate in CSD elections anyway).

Again, it took quite a while for this problem to develop but it obviously needs to be addressed.

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

POST CORRECTION

Reading Time: 2 minutes

DEAD TOOL TREE

POST CORRECTION

In my haste to get the last blog out before “slaughtering Spring weeds” (More on that later, ie, Dead Tool Tree) I inadvertently wrote something that needs some clarification.  I previously stated I had a problem with Dwight Mueller while he was on the LDPOA board signing “a 15 year water contract for Gregoris Pond to supply water to the Tom Porter/Deerwood Corporation golf course when our Governing Documents clearly provide a 5 year contract limitation clause.”

To be precise:

  1. The agreement was not a water contract in the sense of actually supplying the water, because after all that is the Community Services District’s business,  but
    rather, an agreement to “use and maintain” the Association’s recreation lake
    for 15 years in furtherance of supplying Tom Porter’s golf course with water
    from the district.  (Water comes from Lake McClure to Gregoris Lake where it is stored before going down to the golf course.)  True, a technical difference
    but I realized it just a few minutes ago and wanted to clear it up.
  2. The other point is the Association’s Bylaws state under Article XIX, Section 6, Limitation of Powers, No contract shall be entered into which binds the Association for a period in excess of one (1) year without reasonable cancellation provisions included therein.  True, 1 year is more restrictive than 5, but
    still an error.

The agreement signed September 18th, 2005 by Mr. Mueller on behalf of the Association regarding terms states:

“The term of this Agreement shall be for 15 years from the date of execution of this Agreement, or until termination of irrigation of the Golf Course, whichever is longer, at the end of which period District shall have the right to renegotiate for an additional term of years.”

Perhaps no biggie but I try to be as accurate as possible and didn’t care for the wording the first time.

Have a bunch of stuff going on, will post again soon, until then-

 

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

UNDERSTANDING THE SIGNS

Reading Time: 9 minutes

CAN YOU SEE THE LIGHT?

An Insurance loss ratio of 288% over a baseline of 70% in the last five years of operation is understandable but shocking.  The insurance rate getting bumped 10% and a zero deductible changing to $25,000 is very disheartening. This demoralizing information was made known after the most recent addition to this district’s list of financial embarrassments – a suspicious administrative office fire that was recently upgraded to arson according to a Sheriff’s interview reported in the Foothill Express.

[And to think this country has been fighting a war on terrorism for years where and for what purpose? Heck, this area could use its own tasked satellite and maybe a few
surveillance drones on the side.] lol

Wes Barton’s comments, I believe, were right on the money, so to speak.  If long running lawsuits are decided in favor of the district there might be some good news, on the
other hand, those unresolved cases and current employee complaints could theoretically
raise insurance rates even higher.

BIG “IF”

Obviously the tricky and determining word in such matters is “if”.

Q: What is your home worth?

A: Several million dollars if located in Hawaii (or where ever)

Q: Will the LDPCSD leadership make the necessary decisions to correct this financial and Public Relations nightmare of a “down spiral”?

A: Only IF the Board of Directors, GM/IGM, Staff, employees
and public work together to … blah, blah, blah

(Where’s the cheerleading/mascot outfit and disintegrating Pom-Poms when I need them?  You know the routine – that youthful, optimistic, and cheerful “we can do it together” attitude? And if that doesn’t work, the negatively motivated:  “We hang together or hang separately” philosophy.  Regardless, this district will reflect only what this community permits, allows, tolerates, or demands.

RAH RAH REE – KICK ‘EM IN THE KNEE – RAH RAH RASS – KICK ‘EM
IN THE …..

OTHER KNEE

Sure, the current board inherited some past issues which are being financially felt now and tangible progress in bringing rates back down will likely take years of no/loss- minimal/loss management.  Rather like stopping a speeding Jet Ski or locomotive, just because you may immediately stop acceleration or apply the brakes to avoid an accident, there will still be some unwanted forward momentum already in play.  The damage has, is, and will continue to occur for some time.

Yes, the light at the end of this particular insurance tunnel appears to be an oncoming train, but the situation is not entirely hopeless and with hard work, dedication and a common goal, our CSD can surely be put on the right track.

“Rah Rah not just luck”  –  “Rah Rah  ……….”       (you get the idea)

WATER IS A VERY COMPLICATED BUT INTERESTING SUBJECT

You know, I have learned so much in the last 14 months – especially about water issues in this State and how the Lake Don Pedro area plays a vital role in an expansive and intricate network of water projects and facilities that pump, treat, store and distribute water to Californians.  The enormous mass storage as ice and snow in mountain water sheds, cyclical precipitation, surface reservoirs, hydroelectric power generation, environmental releases, recreation, agriculture, underground storage, percolation, runoff, return flows to the ocean, salinity, evaporation, maximum contaminant levels, it is all about what we take for granted as every day water consumers.  Government, as trustee for natural resources of the people, attempts the most beneficial use for the greatest public benefit.

Sponsored online classes and access to publications from organizations such as RCAC (Rural Community Assistance Corporation), CSDA (California Special District Association), ACWA (Association of California Water Agencies), and others, have all been of great assistance in understanding the complexities of this precious fluid we need to survive.

Over the last seven years of posting detailed information about local governing board meetings along with my often verbose personal opinion posts as to its relevance to this community’s development or lack thereof, I have written from both heart and mind.  Sure,
I take the liberty of informally expressing myself and often write things I think are humorous but others don’t – so what? Everyone has an opinion and I choose to express mine publically.  I imagine the familiarity of my writing is fostered in the sense regular readers “should know me by now” concept.   Some have been reading posts since 2004 during the AHRC days – been through a lot haven’t we?

COMMITTEE REPORTS

I was surprised to learn the Finance Committee’s review of the Treasurer’s Report had not been actually approved by the auditor as an acceptable solution to a “check and balance” of Charise Reeve’s Treasurer’s Report since the suggestion evidently came from them.  This is something that needs addressing.  Considering some of the recent information, perhaps an entirely new financial management/record keeping/reporting system needs to be considered?

The Public Relations Committee report consisted of a draft letter to the LDPOA which I’ll post below. Unfortunately, in the hurry to get it out I failed to correct the
redundant use of the word “naturally”. Oh well, live and learn – naturally.
The letter is pretty much self-explanatory – a proposal to include a future CSD publication in the Discoverer thus board approval was necessary to send it to the LDPOA for their consideration.  Here’s the letter:

March 13, 2012

Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association

5182 Fuentes de Flores

La Grange, CA  95329

(209) 852-2312

Board of Directors,

The Lake Don Pedro
Community Services District (LDPCSD) is investigating the feasibility of re-establishing the COMMUNITY PIPELINE publication to reach its water customers.  You may recall this was a simple 11×17 folded newsletter containing important information regarding the district’s treatment, storage and distribution of water within our
community.  Unfortunately, due to financial difficulties of the past that publication was discontinued.

Maintaining, repairing, and replacing components of our forty year old water system
infrastructure will continue to be an expensive proposition.  Obviously Lake Don Pedro’s future depends upon the availability of quality drinking water and there could be no better time than now to educate property owners/customers as to what will be
required.

The Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association (LDPOA) currently provides its monthly corporation newsletter, THE DISCOVERER, to its membership of over 3,100 subdivision
property owners through the FOOTHILL EXPRESS newspaper and would be the perfect
vehicle to reach our LDPCSD customers as well.  Approximately 99% of LDPCSD customers, whether local residents who pay monthly service and consumption fees or absentee unimproved property owners who pay availability fees with their property taxes, could be reached through THE DISCOVERER.

Both our organizations are designed to serve this community and co-operation in furthering our respective missions by utilizing your publication seems logical and the most efficient use of our funds.    Naturally the COMMUNITY PIPELINE would be responsible for its own printing, insertion, and share of postage costs.   Naturally
it will be an independent publication responsible for its own content and would
contain the appropriate disclaimer indicating no legal affiliation with the LDPOA or Foothill Express.

This project is only in the preliminary stage of development; however, the LDPCSD Public Relations Committee is interested in meeting with your representatives at your earliest convenience.

Thank you,

LDPCSD PUBLIC
RELATIONS COMMITTEE

%*%*%*%*%*%

Just about every board training class I have had has emphasized public transparency of the government decision making process (Public Records Act, Brown Act, etc.) along with relevant and timely communication with customers.  How can a solution be pursued
and obtained without a clear understanding of the problem?  I’ve heard this time and time before:  The last thing a district should do is communicate with their customers only when further financial support is required.  Those who financially support this district have a right to know where their money is spent and for what purposes.

OFFICE FIRE UPDATE – OFFICE EQUIPMENT REPLACEMENT

What can anyone say? An office requires equipment, equipment requires an office, our office was gutted by fire and equipment destroyed and a new office and equipment must be replaced.   A very good reason for every ratepayer of this district to be furious and demand answers: who would do such a thing and why?  Who might have a motive to destroy or severely disrupt this district’s operation? Again, this latest incident is absolutely disgusting.

Although there was no fire investigation update available at the last board meeting, I just received my April edition of the Foothill Express newspaper which contained some very interesting information in an article by Lorri Wickenhauser titled “LDPCSD fire investigation points toward arson”.  The article included a telephone statement by Mariposa County Sheriff Doug Bennewies regarding the office fire: “It definitely appears that arson is involved”.  This announcement for many in the community was likely met
with some variation first blush response of “NO DUH”.   (“Oh really?”, “Big surprise”, “Who thought otherwise?”, etc.)   The sheriff also stated there were “a couple of people who are persons of interest” but “one of those (persons) is not cooperating”.   No arrests have been made.

ANYTHING VALUABLE REQUIRES PROTECTION

I chose that introductory statement for this website because I believe it applies to Lake Don Pedro just like anything else.   Despite our tumultuous history this foothill environment is a wonderful place to live and I honestly believe in time (probably
not my lifetime) it will blossom into a thriving place many more people will want to live and call home.  With that said, without vigilant protection the damage already experienced in this subdivision due to uncontrolled growth and development will surely again occur
without organization of those who pay the bills.

POLITICAL SIGNS TARGETED BY VANDALS AND THIEVES

While on the subject of area protection, and as posted earlier, I am voting for Merlin JONES for District II Mariposa County Supervisor because I believe he will best serve the interests of the entire district as well as Lake Don Pedro.  His interest and research into unfunded liability and resulting costs per County resident is appreciated and I look forward to him as a Supervisor facilitating answers to this literal “growing problem”.

I met Merlin Jones while he and his wife were canvassing Lake Don Pedro for support in his bid for District II Supervisor.  I subsequently decided to publically support him and agreed to have a sign placed on my corner lot.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be done….the candidate meets with the land owner and gets permission to place the sign.  Obviously some candidates have not conformed to the rules and place signs anywhere they want hoping such a display will garner more votes.  Perhaps it will have the opposite effect.

Isn’t it strange that the candidate who has followed the rules and done the “leg work” to obtain  property owner’s permission to place election signs becomes the victim of vandalism and theft?

 

 

 

 

 

The Merlin Jones sign on Hayward Road was located on private property with the permission of the ranch owner yet someone decided to cut it down.  True, a quick repair put it back up on the gate where it belonged but the question becomes what sort of person does such a thing?  Why are they so afraid of allowing legal advertising for a particular candidate?

Like anything else a choice between multiple options often begins with the basic process of elimination.  Understanding what you already know you DO NOT WANT.  Now the following explanation is not meant to offend, insult or harm anyone.  It is the truth and offered to voters in this district as they consider a number of different candidates as a public representative.   I do not know the background of all the candidates, but I am well aware of the backgrounds of our two local offerings.

CAN’T SEE THE PARKS THROUGH THE TREES?

While serving on the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association Board of Directors, both Dwight Mueller and Orb Hatton (owner Tri County Realty) proposed selling some of the Association’s open/natural parks to developers.  I was in the audience, heard their presentation and subsequently wrote much about their plan which was basically:  the parks were unknown to most owners, rarely used, would never be missed, and represented a financial liability yet their sale would provide a great deal of operating revenue to the
Association for years to come.

Again, some folks might have considered selling our parks as a good idea and supported such but I was not one of them.  I believed, and still do, such a plan displayed an amazing lack of vision and respect for future generations that will call Lake Don Pedro home.  True, it might have generated some quick cash, but unfortunately, money like that often seems
to disappear through needless spending for ill-conceived projects simply because the money is there and available.  (I am not suggesting anyone would have committed theft or embezzlement.)

It is also true that then, as now, residents may not notice if a few hundred acres of park land were developed, heck the subdivision is only half developed after over 40 years anyway.   There’s lots of unimproved property right now, however, someday this
subdivision will be built out and most every lot will have a residence and associated buildings and improvements.  It will be at that time, many, many years from now that future residents would miss open areas devoid of human construction and improvements.  A place where what might remain of indigenous wildlife could live and travel.  Without
a number of “dark areas” where stars and planets could be viewed at night or a resident could walk a quiet deer trail safe from motorized traffic, Lake Don Pedro would sadly, and irrevocably, be overdeveloped.

Another problem I had with Dwight Mueller (while he was on the LDPOA board) was his signing of a 15 year water contract for Gregoris Pond to supply water to the Tom Porter/Deerwood Corporation golf course when our Governing Documents clearly provide a 5 year contract limitation clause.  Once again, there is no doubt there were supporters for this idea of “locking in a water contract” for Deerwood, but ignoring corporation regulations doesn’t seem to me like the way to proceed.  Again, this is a simple difference of opinion regarding methods of operation to achieve goals.

I recall it was also Dwight Mueller and Orb Hatton who characterized a particular 1,600 foot developer convenience road (there are several) constructed by the Deerwood Corporation (which does not meet several fire safe public safety roadway standards) as a simple driveway dispute between Association members.

Then there was that $10,000 Hacienda party paid for with Association dues that entertained a limited number of members and their guests.  There were a whole slew of
decisions and actions during Mr. Mueller’s Board service which appeared to cater to the special interests of real estate and land development over that of the average assessment paying property owner.  The recent utilization of the closed Deerwood Corporation golf course facilities on March 31st for a Dwight Mueller candidate event is not surprising
nor is it wrong for Mr. Porter to back the candidate he anticipates could do him and his real estate interests the most good.  That’s politics right?

Again, some people support such activities, but I happen to be one of those in opposition.  A simple difference of opinion yet the reality is that this same individual now wants to bring his experience to the table and represent District II on the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors.

How can such signs advertise services not available to the public still remain in this community?

Well, it is a beautiful sunshine foothill day and I’ve got some weed slaughtering to get done – later

My best to you and yours, Lew

PS:

PLEASE CONSIDER

Categories: Uncategorized.

LDPCSD MEETING March 19 2012 part II

Reading Time: 16 minutes

March 19 2012 Part II

Transcribing by the digital recorder/computer really slows things down but here’s the II installment of the last meeting.  Yak with you later, Lew

[Continued discussion regarding insurance increases due to five year loss history]

Director Skoien confirmed that the insurance deductible was based on our loss ratio of 288% over a base line of 70% and commented that the report referred to the recent office fire as “fire-arson”. Skoien questioned whether that determination had been made. Financial Administrator/Board Secretary Charise Reeves and IGM Dan Tynan both stated they had not received any official statement regarding the status of the fire investigation.

Director Victor Afanasiev questioned a $20,926 claim in 2011-2012 to which IGM Tynan explained it was due to a major water main break which caused damage to the basement of a residence.

Wes Barton commented that most of the 10% insurance rate increase along with the increased deductible ($25,000) was due to matters that have yet to be resolved (employee lawsuits and recent fire) and there was a possibility that they could be reversed with a favorable outcome. Barton said some of the issues regarded members of the current board that were elected in November 2008, ie, $35,000 harassment and hostile work environment, a $17,000 claim and the recent fire. He said current difficulties as he understood them that were to be heard in Closed Session involved 5, 6, or 7 different employee complaints and there were a multitude of Grand Jury issues pending that still had to be resolved and theorized the rates for next year could be even be higher.

Board accepted and approved the SDRMA correspondence as read and filed.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

The previously scheduled Personnel Meeting was postponed until later in the current meeting. Charise Reeves advised she had not yet received confirmation that the Finance Committee reviewing her Treasurer’s Report would satisfy the auditor’s questioning of the checks and balances of the Treasurer/Financial Administrator. VP Richardson stated he had understood that the auditor was the one who suggested such a remedy but Charise Reeves said she and Wes Barton had a difference of opinion as to what was supposed to be done. Reeves stated she has not been able to speak with the auditor about the situation due to the busy time of the year with taxes.

President Kinsella stated the Finance Committee had reviewed the Treasurer’s Report.

Public Relations: VP Richardson stated there was a draft letter in the board packet and it was a separate item to be discussed later with a request the letter be approved by the board. [Request that the LDPOA permit the LDPCSD to use the Discoverer to contact their customers.]

OFFICE FIRE UPDATE

Already discussed – there was no interruption of water service and the office is in the process of securing new equipment (currently leasing temporary equipment). Existing water line under the old building location is still an issue to be resolved before the new building can be installed. (Reposition new building or relocate 22 year old PVC pipe.)

A 3/17/12 staff report by Charise Reeves to the Board of Directors requested:

  1. 1. Approve staff to work with the insurance company to replace office equipment (example: computers, servers, printers) in an amount not to exceed $60,000 upon verbal authorization of the insurance company.
  2. 2. Approve staff to work with the insurance company to proceed with the demolition of the existing building and replace the physical building, not to include moving the building’s location, in an amount not to exceed $100,000 upon verbal authorization of the insurance company.

Estimated $40,000-$50,000 for new computers and server. $7,900 for a big printer (replaces four machines previously used) and a color printer ($2,000). Director Afanasiev questioned why the district needed a color printer to which Reeves responded for brochures and board packets that periodically require color printing. VP Richardson questioned why the insurance company would only provide verbal approval for replacement equipment instead of putting it in writing. Reeves stated Director Afanasiev also requested the approvals be in writing but that is not how the insurance replacement procedure works. VP Richardson suggested recording any such verbal approvals for equipment replacement.

An audience member asked why the insurance company didn’t just give a check for everything that was lost in the fire and covered or at least an estimate for everything. Charise Reeves advised they had basically come back and said our upper limits are of no concern and that another company was doing an itemized inventory of everything that would be forwarded to the insurance company with all receipts for things already paid for by the district. Insurance will replace “like and kind”.

Reeves stated the company contacted to replace the office building is working in conjunction with our engineer and insurance company. She stated the district would have to go to the county to obtain the appropriate permits but questioned why the original building was originally permitted in light of the water line location – did the county know the pipe was there?

Director Ross stated he didn’t think the district would need a permit because we were a public utility and the building is related to the treatment of water. Reeves advised that the district still needed a septic permit in the past. Director Ross wasn’t sure but thought the office might be exempt because it had more to do with the distribution of water. Director Skoien thought we would either have to move the pipes or get a narrower building. President Kinsella suggested waiting for the authorities to advise how to proceed. IGM Tynan also thought a narrower building might be the easiest and least expensive way to go.

Harry Alfier questioned the high expense of the equipment. Reeves advised 5 or 6 computers and 5 printers and scanners had been destroyed and the server alone was originally around $40,000.

Merlin Jones commented on contacting the County about the demolition first and thought the building department could probably clear up the matter about the pipe under the new structure with a telephone call.

Wes Barton stated the district’s systems are indeed very expensive and were initially purchased during the real estate building explosion (that stopped) with the understanding they could support 10,000 homes. Barton stated the engineer should be on site and determine how best to solve the pipe issue.

There was a question and discussion about the pier block foundation of the existing building and Ruth Smith asked if a used modular building had been considered and referenced how much Golden Lakes Charter School saved. Reeves advised the insurance was paying for the full replacement of what the district had.

On recommendation of the IGM the board ultimately decided to approve the $60,000 for office equipment purchase and $10,000 to remove the fire damaged building.

OUTSIDE PLACE OF USE RESOLUTION

VP Richardson advised the attorney had revised the resolution to address some of the questions by Directors Ross, Skoien and Afanasiev and questioned if all directors had received a confidential communication from the attorney sent to their address. (The letter was stamped confidential but was essentially a copy of an email sent previously marked confidential – attorney client privilege.) Director Ross questioned the confidential nature of the correspondence.

Director Afanasiev stated after reading Raymond’s accompanying letter he (Afanasiev) did some research and believed the attorney failed to address the issue of prescriptive water rights. Afanasiev stated if a person had property and requested water and was paying for that, they had a prescriptive right to water even though they might be outside the MID place of use. Afanasiev suggested the attorney look into prescriptive water rights. Afanasiev felt the District could be looking at a law suit if those properties Outside the legal use area were never-the-less paying an availability fee for future water, yet could not receive it now.

VP Richardson made the motion to accept OMIDPOU Resolution 2012-3 that the CSD attorney had prepared, President Kinsella made the second, board and public discussion ensued.

Director Ross questioned how many Outside MIDPOU properties were actually paying availability fees for future water service and mentioned the McDonough case (an owner who had recently withdrawn from district service after paying for many years) and others who have been paying availability fees. Ross also mentioned a 1968 agreement where 10 meters would be supplied in exchange for land to place the Sturtevant water tank. (Based on past records, this was evidently how Director Ross originally obtained his second OMIDPOU meter in 1993 but was subsequently challenged on that meter installation by the Sturtevant Ranch citing that Ross’s property was specifically excluded from a free meter under that agreement.) Director Ross also questioned why names were returned on the OMIDPOU report (as it had been for approximately 10 years) since MID does not specifically require such.

[NOTE: You will recall Director Ross himself stated he had complained about names being on the report for two years and advocated that it be changed. The reporting did in fact change however there was no record of a board vote to do so and Ross stated he had no idea how it had been done. The board recently decided to return to name reporting because it cleared up for the public the locations of large water use outside permitted areas under the water license. Entities such as the fire department, elementary school, waste water plant and goat and cattle ranches can now be identified for clarification and understanding.]

Director Ross advised he knew of at least one person whose property was Outside the MIDPOU who has been paying availability fees for future water. President Kinsella voiced the opinion that if OMIDPOU properties had been paying availability fees for years they should get water but Director Afanasiev stated the resolution does not provide for that.

VP Richardson argued the resolution did not preclude these properties from receiving water but an alternative source would have to be located and used because no Merced River water can legally be used for outside MIDPOU properties. Richardson stated the CSD has violated the license and agreement and felt approval of the Resolution would be a show of good faith to MID that the district was attempting to clean up their act and abide by the license regulations. He also voiced the fear that once MID was done with their hydroelectric project business with FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) in 2014 MID could set their sights on the CSD regarding compliance with regulations. VP Richardson also mentioned the possibility that the resolution could actually stimulate other alternatives in obtaining water. He believed there were very few of these properties, (OMIDPOU paying availability fees) many of which were planned projects that had since been abandoned. Richardson has been asking for the information for months without success. He stated neither McDonough or Clark, who Director Ross had mentioned earlier, wanted our water, in fact they were trying to get out of the district not in. Richardson said it was disingenuous to use those two examples as someone wanting water who was denied when they clearly wanted out of district service.

Director Afanasiev stated the water rights stay with the property not the owner. Afanasiev suggested a lawsuit could result. VP Richardson didn’t feel that was necessarily true. $180 a year for a number of years would be the worst case scenario if CSD had to payback availability fees to a property owner. Richardson stated if the property owner wanted to hang with us we might be able to supply the water in the future. Both Directors Afanasiev and Richardson agreed further ground water wells were not the way to go.

Director Ross asked if Richardson believed all the current connections outside the MIDPOU were legal. Richardson asked, you mean like yours? Ross replied yes. Richardson said they were so long as the Ranchito Well produced the water to those properties. Ross asked if the well water could be comingled with Lake McClure water to which Richardson responded, of course that’s the way it’s been done. Ross began talking about information posted on Richardson’s blog and an article in the Foothill Express but he was told it was not the issue at hand, Ross contended the blog was the issue. President Kinsella suggested staying on the issue. Richardson stated the issue is this resolution and Ross only muddied the waters by saying things like oh this resolution is going to make me a criminal. Richardson countered It’s not making anybody a criminal, it’s setting forth the rules which they have always been for over 12 years.

Ross stated by receiving money for future water and putting it on the tax rolls and then not providing water was fraud, and asked what do you think it is? President Kinsella humorously suggested it was more like theft. (laughter)

Richardson also pointed out that many of the properties never annexed properly and referenced the Poe matter where it was agreed the CSD would provide water if the OMIDPOU properties annexed. Water was supplied but the properties never annexed. President Kinsella stated you can sue anybody for anything, at any time, but are you going to win? I doubt it. Director Afanasiev disagreed.

VP Richardson reiterated the resolution was our attorney’s opinion and he is trained in water law – Director Afanasiev interrupted stating he disagreed with Raymond as he (Raymond) never cited cases. Richardson said he didn’t think you needed to cite cases when CSD had signed an agreement with MID to abide by the regulations. Director Afanasiev said the prior board violated those agreements to the detriment of their customers. Richardson questioned if the current board was going to override what our attorney suggests in these matters. Director Afanasiev stated Raymond should cite case law in his legal material. Afanasiev stated if these properties did not receive water their property values would go down drastically. Director Ross wanted to see a list of how many people have been paying availability for water to OMIDPOU properties. President Kinsella said he believed if someone had been paying availability for water and were Outside the MIDPOU they should still receive the water.

VP Richardson stated he didn’t know because the engineer’s report indicated the Ranchito Well was over taxed as it is right now – it said no more potential new sources. Director Ross questioned what the 1978 boundaries were to which Richardson responded it’s not the district boundary but the license boundary which is essentially the subdivision and the golf course. Richardson said the resolution put CSD in line with the contract so we do not breech it. It would be the first step in a water management program to keep CSD in line with past agreements but remedies would not occur overnight. Richardson advised things might be changed by the State Water Board but Director Afanasiev stated the courts controlled such issues.

Director Skoien said if someone whose been paying for water that is OMIDPOU and yet now can’t get it will not be happy having to wait a couple of years. VP Richardson asked if he knew of anybody in that situation because we’ve got people leaving the district right now and there weren’t people pounding on the door to come in. Director Skoien believed MID didn’t really care about how much really came out of the Ranchito Well. Richardson advised it would be a big deal to people like Director Ross if the well goes dry and the resolution was meant to prevent that.

Director Skoien asked how the resolution was meant to prevent the well from going dry. VP Richardson advised because the engineer reported the well was only at 50% of its sustainable yield but if you keep adding more connections to it that percentage is going to go lower, and lower until the well goes out. People that are dependent on the well are going to loose their water source such as Director Ross.

Richardson also questioned how many of the properties actually annexed as required by the water agreements such as in the Poe meter removal situation where their property and the other two were never annexed yet they were supplied water.

Director Afanasiev commented CSD had over 5,000 acre feet of water per year but VP Richardson reiterated that the CSD could not use Merced River water for outside MIDPOU properties. Director Afanasiev wanted MID to show us some case law regarding the matter. VP Richardson said “OK we keep piddling around like this and MID gets done with FERC (Federal Energy Relicensing Commission) they’re going to come down here and clean our clocks, they could put us down to 800 or 1,000 acre feet”

There was an audience question as to those OMIDPOU properties already receiving water, would they be cut off? No. The question was asked to whom did the resolution apply, answer, to OMIDPOU properties not currently receiving water, but the issue revolves around how many have paid availability with the understanding they would receive water in the future. VP Richardson stated he had been asking for that information for months and still has not received such. Apparently there are approximately 5-6 of those properties some involving huge projects that never got off the ground like a six story motel proposed at T Corners. Richardson stated he didn’t think that would be happening very soon. Director Ross says he knows someone who has been paying availability fees on an OMIDPOU property for years that wants to build a house.

There was some discussion about the South Shore project (2,010 acres) that was allotted (by the State Water Board) 772 acre feet of water a year, but nothing has been done on that for many years. Richardson also advised that that particular project pays the CSD nothing.

Harry Alfier questioned why, with so much water allotted from Lake McClure (5,160 acre feet), would MID be against CSD using it in the area? VP Richardson advised that has been the issue all along and at one time the State Water Board considered making changes while Bob Kent was still general manager, but after some sort of water audit or something it stopped. Richardson emphasized that it wasn’t necessarily MID, it was the license restrictions and any violations would come down on MID from the State Water Board. Richardson compared the water license to a driver’s license, you can drive a motor vehicle so long as you abide by the rules and regulations otherwise the license could be suspended or revoked. Harry Alfier asked about any possibility of talking with MID. Richardson said the MID didn’t make the decision the State Water Board would and it was an extremely expensive proposition. He said originally a change was attempted through an administrative remedy to make small adjustments to the place of use but it was abandoned with notice a full blown petition process would be required. Richardson stated if a full petition could be filed there would be protests from the Delta-Bay people screaming because they need the water there. Richardson suggested the CSD could keep a low profile for a while and then maybe try to approach them again otherwise the water could be taken away and used for other beneficial uses elsewhere.

Director Afanasiev also wants to know exactly how many OMIDPOU properties have been paying availability fees. VP Richardson again stated he had been asking that question for months but still thought that was a minor issue in comparison to passing the resolution and showing MID we were trying to do the right thing. Director Afanasiev believed they really didn’t care now because they had enough problems with their FERC relicensing. President Kinsella stopped the discussion stating it was the public’s opportunity to speak.

Another audience member questioned whether the state or MID recently approached the CSD and voiced concerns about our OMIDPOU operations and felt VP Richardson sees a problem. Richardson advised that our attorney felt the resolution was 12 years past due. [Reeves changes tape] The speaker felt Richardson was attempting to protect us from a worst case scenario but now learning his water (as an OMIDPOU customer) would not be affected he was much less concerned. The speaker thought having a map of the actual service area would be helpful and questioned why it would be so hard to find out where these properties were. Richardson advised his (the speaker’s) guess was as good as his (Richardson’s). The speaker thought knowing exactly how much money might have to be returned was important. Richardson believed that was less important than passing the resolution. IGM Tynan stated he would follow up on the matter immediately. The speaker also questioned Director Afanasiev about his prescriptive water rights statement but Director Ross interjected “prescriptive easements”. Afanasiev corrected Ross by saying “prescriptive water rights” which he stated run with the property.

VP Richardson mentioned that the speaker (an Outside MIDPOU customer) should also be concerned about how many connections are added to the Ranchito Well because it places his water use at risk. The audience member acknowledged that fact.

Another audience member asked if the resolution had anything to do with a request for water by a gentleman……President Kinsella interrupted asking the speaker to make her comments from the podium which she refused to do saying it wasn’t necessary, everyone could hear and if Bill didn’t want to hear what she had to say – that was fine. Kinsella explained it made it easier to hear what a speaker had to say. (A microphone is located at the podium.) The speaker reluctantly agreed to comment from the podium and asked if the resolution had anything to do with the gentleman who wanted to build a store at T corners because it seemed the issue came up right after that request. President Kinsella said it had nothing to do with that issue and added his understanding of that situation was that there was a “property war” going on between that person and CAL FIRE.

Board Secretary Charise Reeves then stepped from behind the board table to the podium to speak. Reeves stated it was her understanding that the way the resolution was written someone who had been paying availability for OMIDPOU water would be denied that service. Reeves acknowledged that there may be only a couple, but if only one came in for water and was subsequently denied there could be a problem. VP Richardson suggested the first question would be, did they annex to the district as required. Director Ross stated the rest of us didn’t have to (annex) because they (their OMIDPOU properties) were grandfathered in. Richardson stated that the resolution did not preclude allowing someone who has paid availability to connect with the Ranchito Well but it came down to people like Director Ross and his neighbor who were already connected along with everyone else which is why he (Richardson) originally had proposed a Special Benefit Zone which was dropped from the agenda.

Richardson felt it should be up to the people already dependent on the Ranchito Well to determine if more connections should be made because it will affect their water supply from the well. Richardson believed if the Ranchito Well went dry now the district would be obligated to pay the costs to continue the service but if the district continues to over tax the well with more connections there could be a big problem. He felt there was a big difference between a person wanting to build a home which the board could approve subsequent to the resolution and the many failed big development projects like South Shore that never went anywhere. Reeves stated she was referring to the individual. Richardson felt the resolution could actually stimulate the search for other alternatives but the current process of just hooking people up without annexation had to stop. He felt if this is something the attorney thinks is right and should have been done 12 years ago he didn’t know why – “oh well, it’s up to the board”.

Director Ross: “Email from me to Raymond what about people who are already paying availability who are outside place of use how does the resolution affect them? He says the moratorium will not allow them to get district water unless it was from some source other than the Merced River, well they’re going to be cut off, that’s the answer, they’re cut off, according to Raymond.”

VP Richardson: No, they could go on the Ranchito Well

Director Ross: No because this here says you can’t

VP Richardson: No, it says we cannot provide them Merced River water Emery

Director Ross: But Lew you’d be the first person to be screaming that it was a violation of the law

Multiple voices

VP Richardson: I wouldn’t care

Director Ross: Yes you would

VP Richardson: … if you want more people on the Ranchito Well and risk your water delivery – hey that’s up to you.

Director Skoien asked if the Ranchito Well was maxed out to which Richardson (referring to the engineer’s report) – no it’s 50%. Richardson stated not only the attorney but the CSD’s engineer recommended no more Outside MIDPOU connections.

Director Ross agreed that the CSD shouldn’t be going out to look for people to hook up to the system but if people had faithfully been paying availability they should get the water. VP Richardson stated the board could always agree to add more connections (if availability had been paid) even after the resolution passed but it would not be fair to the customers already dependent upon that well’s production without their permission. Director Skoien asked what would happen if the Ranchito well went dry. Richardson responded that we would be in the ground well water business. Director Skoien disagreed thinking under such an emergency situation the state water board would give permission “in a heartbeat” to pump McClure water. Richardson characterized that as if someone were committing theft over a long period of time then committed a big theft the authorities would excuse the situation. Skoien said he did not mention theft only that if the well broke and CSD went to the state water board and said we have no other way to serve certain people in this community they would say just keep pumping the water. Richardson doubted they would violate their own rules but asked how the petition would come before the state water board in the first place because it would be a lot of money and CSD had many other things with which to deal. Director Ross stated we should be drilling another well just in case Ranchito goes dry. Charise Reeves suggested submitting that project to the IRWMP (Integrated Regional Water Management Program).

VOTE: Failed: Kinsella/Richardson aye, Ross, Skoien and Afanasiev, nay.

Director Afanasiev said he could not vote for it until knowing how many properties were involved.

Charise Reeves advised Syndie (Billing/Property/Customer Service Representative) may not be able to respond to the requests for information (about how many properties were involved) because the map she needed was being restored due to the office fire and didn’t know when it would be back.

– – – – -E N D M E E T I N G – – – – –

I’ll post my blog blah, blah, blahs later since there’s enough material to digest for now.

Beautiful day before the storm huh?

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

THE SDRMA WHAT?

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Let’s see,… telephoned County Fire at 0800hrs Monday morning and was assured the flag would be taken down as soon as possible and it was. Good job! Sure would be great to see a new one back up there because it looked pretty good with fire equipment underneath.  Actually I happen to know a local woman who offered to donate an American Flag that once flew over some sort of prominent government building, don’t recall whether State or Federal. Anyway, placed a call to see if it is available, if so, will check with County Fire. I am still disgusted with the office fire and am surprised how many people make jokes about a situation that isn’t humorous at all when you think about the consequences and ramifications. Take a look at our insurance rate and upcoming deductible requirement due to the numerous claims in the last 5 years – that surely won’t encourage laughter. Well guess I might as well start with the next meeting – as depressing and frustrating as it might be.

—– S T A R T M E E T I N G R E P O R T —–

Quorum established: President Bill Kinsella, VP Lew Richardson, Directors Emery Ross, Mark Skoien and Victor Afanasiev, also present Interim General Manager Dan Tynan and Financial Administrator/Board Secretary/Treasurer Charise Reeves. Approximately 15 people in the audience.

Pledge of allegiance.

MANAGER’S REPORT: Dan Tynan

Fire has not affected water production however the LDPCSD is dangerously understaffed and interviews for prospective employees to take place the next day. Security control panels to be installed with individual codes to track usage. Director Skoien commented on IGM Tynan’s suggestion that a policy be established regarding keeping personal pass codes secret. There was difficulty during the entire meeting in locating specific pages in the Board packet without page numbers due to the lack of proper equipment in the office. (Penning in the numbers would have been helpful before making the copies.)

TREASURER’S REPORT- Charise Reeves

$451,716 in combined accounts (Restricted & Unrestricted). More voided checks this month due to smoke damage; there was a negative cash flow this month of $72,534 because of large payments such as MID (water) and the loan for plant improvements; there were a lot of retroactive adjustments made due to the fire; many fixed assets also need to be eliminated during this fire recovery period; a new employee classification; and three payroll periods for the month due to leap year (1st, 15th, and 29th).

Director Emery Ross questioned payments for board education/training and mileage reimbursement (Afanasiev and Richardson) and a district/board liability class sponsored by the SDRMA (Special District Risk Management Authority) in Clovis that VP Richardson attended. [NOTE: Educational classes and training for directors will always be over budget since not one dollar was budgeted for such.]

Wes Barton questioned the bank record and why the cash receipts appeared so low and why there was an entry with reversed cash receipts for $15,486. Charise Reeves responded there were payment checks that had been destroyed in the fire and customers have been requested to resend the checks. Barton also questioned the Customer penalties accounting and meter set fees. Reeves advised that had to do with the waste water facility and the difference in final billing that was agreed upon. [District recovered over $40,000 that had not been paid in years.]

Ruth Smith asked if the district was still paying for two separate internet service accounts (office operation has been done through Throckwisp but Hughes Net has been kept as a backup). Reeves advised she must locate the files but they have been taken for document recovery (smoke damage). Reeves advised if the Hughes.net account is no longer required it will be cancelled. Smith also questioned how long the district has been paying Hughes, Reeves answered one year for $1,200. Hughes was the original provider but Reeves reported it was down for approximately 3 weeks last year at which time Throckwisp was installed and has been working fine since then.

Director Skoien questioned the petty cash lost in the fire, Reeves advised it was $125 and $563 in customer cash was also lost.

Carolyn Bartholomew asked again if the district has been paying for two internet service contracts to which Reeves advised it was not. When the Throckwisp contract was changed (contract not yet formally revised and signed by the parties) part of the new modified contract was for Throckwisp to provide free internet service to the office and employees at home (so they could access the district SCADA system). Throckwisp is currently paying the district less than the original signed contract because of these services. The district only pays for the Hughes.net service which is not being used and will be cancelled when Charise Reeves obtains the information.

Board approval for the read and file of the Treasurer’s report- unanimous. Director Richardson’s reimbursement for mileage after attending a training class regarding district/board liability, VOTE: 3-1-1. Kinsella, Afanasiev and Richardson aye, Ross no, and Skoien abstained.

CONSENT CALENDAR

VP Richardson commented on the Board Secretary’s January 23rd, 2012 Meeting Minutes where Director Afanasiev, having completed a class Richardson was also going to take later, stated: “I also warned the instructor about Mr. Richardson”. Richardson subsequently responded: “Well, Victor, I look at it this way. You warned him about me. I’ll apologize for you.”

Richardson’s point was that the comments were humorously made (with laughter) yet the Minutes, without such qualification, could lead a reader to believe they were ugly comments. Richardson felt the Minutes misrepresented what had actually occurred. Reeves stated she could indicate there was laughter and that it was not a negative exchange. Director Skoien stated that’s how some people felt about Richardson’s blog, to which Richardson stated he included the word “laughter” when a comment was intended as humor and laughter could be heard. Reeves admitted when she created the Minutes she thought the comments could be taken differently. The board approved the correction. Director Emery Ross declined from comment on the matter since he was absent from that meeting.

Director Emery Ross commented on the SDRMA [Special District Risk Management Authority] correspondence in the Board Packet:

You know last year at this point I wanted to get on that board up there and you guys didn’t want me on that board and would wouldn’t, you know, nominate me or something, but you know that was another bad decision that this board has made – there’s been a lot of them, (inaudible) it says, “SDRMA will implement a $25,000 deductible for any employment practices and/or error and omissions, that’s us, claims which have an occurrence date after January 1, 2012

[NOTE: Director Ross misread the correspondence because the effective date in the letter read: after July 1, 2012”, not January 1, 2012.]

This board is going to go bankrupt pretty quick if we don’t get rid of Director’s comments, blogs, verbatims these things are all going to be costing us $25,000, something that Dan does or Charise does or anybody else -$25,000. ah that, if you look on on the ah their, we have a 2 million dollar, ah policy, ten million per occurrence but and these ah used to be zero deductibles are now, we’re going to pay $25,000 I think we better start shaping up stop fooling around here especially this verbatim stuff that’s going to come back. When the guy was here we got into an argument with the man from SDRMA, that’s my understanding who it was, and that’s how you get this kind of stuff, you know, we better start shaping up quick. Its $25,000 it used to be zero, now it’s $25,000 you get three or four of those a year we’re going to be bankrupt that’s all I have to say – and it’s not going to change for a long time until we change our losses – also the former board in that lawsuit contributed to this too.

VP Richardson: I have a comment on that

President Kinsella: Sure

VP Richardson: Ah Mr. Ross I don’t believe you stated what happened with that nomination ah correctly.

Director Ross: Nomination?

VP Richardson: Yeah, your nomination for SDRMA. You came in here and just before the vote Vicki Keefe got up and said she had to leave for another engagement and you decided to withdraw it, I believe every director on the board encouraged you to wait until we had a full board and bring it up again and you said no, you wanted to withdraw it.

Director Ross: We’ll have to look at the, I’ll go back tonight and see if that’s right and I’ll

VP Richardson: It’s right.

Director Ross: (inaudible) next time. I think we did it twice.

——-S T O P M E E T I N G R E P O R T ——-

LEW’S VIEW: (THAT MEANS MY PERSONAL OPINION)

The above statements by Director Ross regarding the SDRMA are incorrect, extremely misleading, and once again obstructs any possibility of meaningful progress by confusing issues with inaccurate information that he will never “own” or explain.

Need to get rid of director comments, blogs and “verbatims” or $25,000 cost?

Director comments, blogs and verbatim transcripts had nothing to do with our insurance deductible being raised to $25,000. That embarrassing figure was based on a five year loss ratio of 288% which is greater than the 70% baseline established for the insurance program.

Notice any similarity or common denominator between the three items Ross mentions – comments, blogs and transcripts? They all involve communication of information and represent an opportunity for other people who might hear/read to decide for themselves as to the veracity, integrity or trustworthiness of the speaker/author.

Expression of opinion is good – especially when the person doing the expressing voluntarily agreed and is supposed to represent the interests of other people. Honest expression should be encouraged not regulated or prohibited. Now I agree that Minutes should be brief and verbatim transcription should be avoided when possible, however, when someone is not telling the truth that misinformation should be challenged immediately and the best way to challenge such “flip flopping nonsense” is with the speaker’s own prior words. [Also works with unfounded outrageous statements.]

Why would anyone be so frightened about being held accountable for what they have said? Heck I welcome different opinions and appreciate a good logical argument, but to make such absurd and unfounded statements again, and again, and again, and again…..without one shred of accountability is, not only frustrating, but demonstrates a method of operation and a major source of dysfunction.

There is no 2 million dollar (insurance) policy or a ten million per occurrence statement.

How could it be a bad decision not to support Emery Ross for a position on the SDRMA governing board when he withdrew the matter himself fearing the lack of support? [Mr. Ross ultimately obtained support from the Mariposa Resource Conservation District but was still not elected to the SDRMA board.]

How could arguing with a guy who interrupted our meeting, that Emery now – five months after the incident somehow “understands” was from the SDRMA, be remotely responsible for our higher insurance deductible?

How in the world did Emery Ross come to “understand” that the mystery man (who disrupted a Special Board meeting, orchestrated personal attacks of a director and district employee, and lectured directors how to conduct meetings), was from the SPECIAL DISTRICT RISK MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY? Such a statement, especially after the highly suspicious administrative office fire, is completely irresponsible. No doubt such asinine rumors are not good advertisement for the SDRMA.

(READ ALL ABOUT IT! Insurgent undercover insurance investigator disrupts business meeting of a public agency his organization insures? …….GOOD GRIEF!)

Perhaps there could also be an “understanding” that Mr. Ross might actually be the unfortunate victim of EBMGI (Excessive Bovine Methane Gas Inhalation) due to confined cattle ranching activities. The primary effect of sustained EBMGI exposure is a temporary loss of reason accompanied by repetitive illogical and absurd assertions. LOL [laugh out loud]

After transcribing this portion of the meeting I contacted Mr. Dennis Timoney, Chief Risk Officer for the SDRMA, and advised him of the statements Mr. Ross had made during the meeting. Although I did not believe the information I never-the-less wanted to either positively confirm or dismiss such a ludicrous “spin”. Mr. Timoney assured me our policy does not contain any 10 million dollar coverage per occurrence nor is it a 2 million dollar policy (the SDRMA letter in the packet also documents this).

Mr. Timoney also unequivocally stated no representative from his organization was involved with the “impersonation” that occurred at our October 21st, 2011 Special Board Meeting and anytime the SDRMA is involved with a district’s business their identity and purpose is clearly made known. He further stated that SDRMA would be happy to come to Lake Don Pedro and explain the program’s functioning and loss calculation if the Board so desired.

NOTE:  Although I stand by what I have written in the past, I never-the-less acknowledge that some of my terminology or attempts at humor are not appreciated by some and that’s fine, and I don’t mean to pick at a scab but you must admit that TUMMOTA performance was pretty bad.  (link below).   I had not planned on revisiting that particular point in time but this Recent Ross Revelation of “understanding” that the SDRMA was involved with such a ludicrous farce seems to warrant the link.

Regarding the past “imposter” who interrupted the October meeting (allegedly from the State Attorney General’s Office), here’s a link to that November 4th, 2011 posting entitled “DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY DUMB DIDDY DO” https://lakedonpedro.org/?p=581]

Well so much for the first installment of our last LDPCSD meeting. I need to get away from this insanity and computer for a while and enjoy this beautiful weather before the anticipated weekend storm that will hopefully augment our sub average snowpack.

My best to you and yours, Lew

PS: Here’s another “LEW’s VIEW” (personal opinion) for you to chew on …

The District II Mariposa County Supervisor election is right around the corner. As you will recall the current Supervisor for this area, Mr. Lyle Turpin, sustained a serious injury in a ranch accident and subsequently decided not to seek re-election. There are apparently six candidates vying for the position including two from the Don Pedro area, Mr. Emery Ross and Mr. Dwight Mueller.

I would suggest voters in this District take a serious look and do a little investigation as to what some of these candidates do, or do not, “understand” and how that “understanding” has been formulated. Sure, it would be nice to have a county supervisor from this area but that should not be the deciding variable in determining who can actually best perform the job. Personally, I cannot in good faith support our local offerings and will cast my vote for Merlin Jones as the next District II County Supervisor.

Categories: Uncategorized.

March 13 2012 CSD Meeting

Reading Time: 22 minutes

MARCH 13th MEETING BLOG

This is one of the more difficult postings I’ve had in a while. There’s a lot going on in both my heart and mind. This is not pleasant.

FLAG BUSINESS

The flag thing still bothers me and stings of the expression “they get what they deserve”. I’ve always interpreted that as basically meaning those who allow bad things to continue but are later harmed by what they permitted through inaction shouldn’t really complain. I still have mixed feelings about yesterday’s “flag post”.

Yes, I do feel a twinge of “posting remorse” for showing Our Flag in such a condition.

Yes, I realize I could have just picked up the telephone and called –or- written an email with an attached photo to the appropriate agency (of course many government agencies do not accept emails with attachments).

Yes, I am just as guilty for thinking “someone else will surely call” (although I was told by one person they did indeed report it to a volunteer deputy over a month ago).

Yes, I realize it was wrong of me to perform such an experiment and wait to see how long it would take to correct such a disgraceful display.

Yes, my military family upbringing and Boy Scout background screamed in my head I should attempt correction immediately – don’t wait, and although a weak defense, I thought it worth the extra time if only to prove a point about this community’s apparent apathy for situations most communities would consider totally unacceptable. Guess I am naïve and have an antiquated concept of community pride. Agghhh, a dinosaur! Anyway, I waited for as long as I could before posting what should be a community embarrassment.

This photo was taken late this afternoon and quite frankly, I was again disappointed.

I will be making some telephone calls early Monday morning to both County Fire and the Sheriff’s Office.

PERSPECTIVES

The circumstances leading up to this meeting (report below) have placed me in the difficult and unpleasant position of having to adamantly disagree with someone with whom I normally share very common views. Ironically, I also find myself sharing some of the same complaints and concerns from another group with whom I have traditionally disagreed. Seems the more I learn, the more confusing it all becomes. Anyway, everyone has their own opinion and perspective and that is fine, however, when it comes to established procedures, especially potential disciplinary actions, I believe an organization should stick as close to policy as possible.

The ethics training course public officials are required to take stresses the point that if a public official finds themselves in a questionable situation they should seek advice from their legal counsel which I did. During the last regular monthly meeting I brought up this personnel matter because since January I have advocated it be addressed.

Well, sorry about the length of this report. There might be some mistakes but I just don’t have the time to go over this transcript again – – -the next board meeting is this Monday. Another great weekend once I receive the Board Packet. Later.

SPECIAL MEETING March 13th, 2012 @ 1300hrs

Directors Bill Kinsella, Victor Afanasiev, Mark Skoien and Lew Richardson present. Director Emery Ross absent due to a family medical situation. IGM Dan Tynan and Financial Administrator/Treasurer/Board Secretary Charise Reeves also present.

Pledge of Allegiance.

AGENDA

  1. a. Office Fire (15 minutes) Request – Update the Board on the status of the office fire, declare the office fire an emergency, and grant authorization to recover.

NOTE: A STAFF REPORT by Charise Reeves stated: “In order to alleviate any problems and to speed the process while replacing items damaged or destroyed by the fire, staff is requesting the following motion be approved:

“The Board of Directors move to declare the fire in the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District office building an emergency and authorize staff to perform the necessary tasks and purchase all items, structures, and equipment damaged or destroyed in the fire that is covered by the District’s insurance company.”

  1. b. Audit (10 minutes) Request – Approve final 2010-2011 Fiscal Year Audit
  2. c. The Pipeline (10 minutes) Request – Public relations committee discussion/ recommendation for possible publication of the Pipeline

*-*-*-*

Charise Reeves advised the office was only closed for one day; temporary telephone service installed and office equipment brought in on Wednesday; all Springbrook billing data was recovered successfully due to the billing officer’s back-up procedure (saved much time and money); contact has been made with the modular building manufacturer for a replacement office; there may be an issue with a chlorine line located where the new building will be installed; computer server and equipment replacement bid to be provided; and that the four separate printers may be replaced with one multi-function unit.

President Kinsella interjected and addressed the public’s concern as to the cost of office equipment replacement and asked if his understanding that insurance would cover all losses was correct. Reeves advised that both she and Syndie Marchesiello (Billing Officer/Customer Relations Representative) were working with the insurance personnel and were being conservative in replacing lost equipment and supplies. (If there were three boxes of paper prior to the fire, only three boxes of paper were purchased.) All replacement bids on major equipment (and building) will be forwarded to the insurance representatives for approval first. Document recovery has been onsite and taken custody of critical files in an attempt to restore them. Insurance is also involved in this process because every damaged file needs to be treated with ozone to remove the chemical smoke smell. There has been no recent contact by fire investigators as to the cause of the fire.

Director Skoien questioned the reason for the board to declare the fire an emergency and approve Reeve’s resolution since water production was not affected. Reeves advised they normally had to get bids for anything over $25,000 and the building would be over that and if the computers and server were put together they’d be over that limit as well. Director Skoien stated he didn’t believe the situation met the requirements as an emergency and the normal bidding procedures should be followed. Reeves stated the insurance would cover replacement of “like and kind”. Reeves said the other option would be to see if the insurance company would require other bids from different companies but she was only trying to cover all aspects that might come up. Director Afanasiev questioned Reeves what our insurance coverage was and she replied it was much greater but wasn’t sure since her papers were “toasted” but believed it was two million as relayed by the document recovery person. The original building that was installed in ’01-’02 was $59,000 without engineering and some other incidentals and a current ballpark replacement estimate is about $79,000 with $6,000-$7,000 for demolition of the old structure. Afanasiev also asked if a building permit would be required to which Reeves replied it would but that process hasn’t been started yet and was only in the preliminary stage. Other permitting fees might also be involved, including engineering due to the buried line near the existing footprint of the old building. New building codes are also going into effect the end of this month.

The emergency request was tabled without any objections by board members with the understanding all bids would be submitted for insurance approval and then brought back to the board.

AUDIT

One error was reported to the auditors for correction which was the fact our Billing/Customer Service Representative, Syndie Marchesiello, did in fact make multiple reports of the $40,000+ under-billing for the waste water plant prior to May 20th, 2011. Director Afanasiev suggested changing the referenced phrase “District Attorney” to “legal counsel”. Wes Barton questioned a $50,000 discrepancy in the accounts receivable report stating he was advised it was due to the waste water plant late billing, however, did not believe this was the case since the waste water billing was in July. Barton had sent a written request to Charise Reeves back in December to check the matter out but had not received an answer. Reeves stated she would double check that.

Barton asked if the entire board was aware the auditor reported material weaknesses and significant deficiencies in our CSD financial operations.

The auditor’s report was approved with those two corrections with a 3-1 vote: Kinsella, Afanasiev and Richardson aye, Director Skoien abstained.

Reeves asked if the district should continue with the same auditors (contract for 3 years expiring) or seek a new firm? Reeves advised that the auditors have not officially approved the oversight of the finance committee as a sufficient remedy to the problem with Reeves being both Financial Administrator and Treasurer. Consensus of the board to inquire whether the same auditors would be used for the next audit.

THE PIPELINE (Proposal to bring back the Community Pipeline newsletter)

Tabled with VP Richardson advising he would have something prepared for the next meeting.

Charise Reeves requested that the agenda for the next meeting on Tuesday be kept as minimal as possible. Reeves advised the Throckwisp contract had been requested by Richardson and Afanasiev and two requests but she hadn’t even found her notes in the stacks of smoke damaged papers. Director Skoien corrected, and confirmed, the meeting was for Monday March 19th. Reeves continued by saying the agenda needed to be kept minimal because the office did not have scanning capability yet. Director Afanasiev stated his requests could wait. President Kinsella said he had no problem and liked a short agenda. Reeves advised VP Richardson that the Throckwisp contract was in one of the boxes somewhere but Richardson advised the Outside MIDPOU Resolution was already held over but Reeves said it too would be held over. Richardson asked if Reeves had contacted Raymond (the CSD attorney) because that resolution was supposed to have gone back to the attorney to address the concerns of three directors and Reeve’s replied “You know, like I said I haven’t even found the notes because they’re in a pile in a box”. President Kinsella stated if he remembered correctly Reeves had told him that she had referred it to Raymond but Reeve’s stated: “Yeah, but I don’t know if it got… I don’t know if ”

VP Richardson: “Well I contacted him the other day …”

Charise Reeves: “No I had not…”

President Kinsella: “OK, well….”

VP Richardson: “This is how things drop through”

Charise Reeves: “The fire happened (bangs board table) the Monday after the meeting”

President Kinsella: “OK”

Charise Reeves: “So, we’re in recovery mode in the office”

President Kinsella: “Will you contact Raymond and find out…..”

Charise Reeves: “I will, I will find, I will search for those files – papers and see what (inaudible)….”

President Kinsella: “I think, I think it’s imperative that that be on the, the agenda, we’ve got to, we’ve got to maintain control on that…”

Charise Reeves: “OK let me see what I can do”

[No director comments, meeting was adjourned at 1340hrs.]

PERSONNEL COMMITTEE MEETING

President Kinsella: We now have a Closed Session for a ….

Charise Reeves: You have to open it…”

President Kinsella: yeah, yeah but I’m just saying we’re going to have to clear the room because we have a closed session on the first matter so,

Wes Barton: I, I, I’d like to

President Kinsella: ah, how do you want to handle this you want to have both of them sit in or handle them one at a time.

VP Richardson: Bill you’ve been running the whole thing since day one so

Wes Barton: Bill I heard you say you wanted to clear but I’d like to ask a question.

President Kinsella: Say again

Wes Barton: I know, I heard you say you’d like to clear the room but I’d like to ask a question before you get started.

President Kinsella: OK ….go ahead

Multiple voices/cross talk

Charise Reeves: Wait, wait, wait…..let me, let me, let me get it, the tape on here

Wes Barton: I just wanted you to know I wasn’t ignoring you when you said you wanted a, wanted it cleared.

Director Skoien: So this is the open part before you close?

President Kinsella: Yeah this is the open….

Director Skoien: I can listen to this

Multiple voices

President Kinsella: OK, we’ll open this session at ah 1341….this is a Personnel Committee and it’s going to be Director Richardson and me listening to a complaint by ah Justin and Jose against Charise. Wes, you’ve got something to say?

Wes Barton: Ah yeah, I ah just, more of my ignorance probably I know in a regular ah board meeting if you’ve got a complaint you have to offer the person the opportunity to ah have it in an open meeting, you have to, it has to be in writing, have an open meeting or a closed meeting. In a committee like this I don’t know if you have to or not but if you’ve referring to the same codes, and so my question is did you, in this case I guess it was Charise, give her the a right 24 hours ahead of time in writing –

President Kinsella: She did, she’s been duly notified

Wes Barton: OK that was my only question. Is it actually, did you guys go to the attorney on that? I’m, I’m just, that’s curious, curiosity

President Kinsella: I’m sorry?

Wes Barton: It, do you have to do that?

President Kinsella: Yes

Wes Barton: In a committee meeting?

President Kinsella: Yeah, on a personnel issue, yeah.

Wes Barton: OK

VP Richardson: But that wasn’t done in a committee meeting was it?

President Kinsella: Huh?

VP Richardson: That portion wasn’t done in a meeting

President Kinsella: What the notification?

VP Richardson: No, no…

Wes Barton: I don’t know that it has to be…

President Kinsella: You don’t have to notify her in a meeting …

Wes Barton: You just have to do it in writing….

President Kinsella: You just have to do it in writing

Charise Reeves: And I’ve chosen closed

VP Richardson: Yeah, but I noticed on the one on a Dan Tynan it had the section in there where they had the right to choose closed or open and this one didn’t have that

Charise Reeves: That one was because he had chosen open, (clears throat), and it was, I (clear throat) and I had contacted Raymond and said how do I do this because we weren’t sure whether it was open or closed

VP Richardson: I didn’t know it was closed until I received this, I’m just curious when it was decided to be closed

Director Skoien: (inaudible) closed

Charise Reeves: Because as soon as I was notified I told him I would want to have it in closed session

Jose: Can I ask a question. What if we wanted ah our session to be open?

Charise Reeves: You can’t

President Kinsella: Say again?

Jose: What if we wanted our session to be open, me and Justin?

President Kinsella: You don’t have any choice

Jose: We don’t have a choice, OK.

President Kinsella: No, you’re the complainant she’s the victim

Director Afanasiev: Defendant you mean

President Kinsella: Or the defendant, it’s her choice

Jose: OK

President Kinsella: I’d like, I’d like ah one of you to stay the other ah will be called when we need your testimony. Sir?

Unknown: I’m a witness to this

Kinsella: OK, then why don’t you step outside, what’s your name?

Unknown: Tony

President Kinsella: Hum?

Unknown: Tony

President Kinsella: Tony what?

Tony: Jacobs

VP Richardson: I have a question

President Kinsella: Sure

VP Richardson: Now it’s alright for ah the other two directors to sit in?

President Kinsella: No, they’re going to be leaving

VP Richardson: OK then I’d like to make a Statement for the Record

President Kinsella: OK

VP Richardson: The previous Personnel Committee decisions have proven to be ineffective and ignored. The Grievance process has been abused for ulterior employee motives of advancement. There has been selective enforcement of policies and intentional failure to timely investigate written complaints. The intentional disregard of our attorney’s explicit instructions, I believe, is far more egregious than a common supervisor-employee dispute yet this matter has been completely ignored. The new office building will only be re-occupied with the same management dysfunction without intervention that must come from the General Manager – not individual directors. The big loser is the district and the ratepayers. For these reasons I believe the Personnel Committee Meeting should be adjourned and rescheduled – subject matter to be heard by the entire Board.

President Kinsella: ….I disagree with you. You talking about this specific incident?

VP Richardson: This and it ties to the previous one as well.

President Kinsella: Well this has to be treated as a different, a, a, individual case on its own merit.

VP Richardson: But due to the failures of the other one that involved some of the same people, ah, I don’t see this going anywhere. And it should be before all the directors.

President Kinsella: Well, the purpose of the Personnel Committee is to gather information and if it rises to the level of concern it’s then referred to the full board. Am I wrong in that conclusion?

VP Richardson: I don’t know, did you check with counsel about this?

President Kinsella: Did I specifically check with counsel?

VP Richardson: Yeah

President Kinsella: No I did not.

VP Richardson: Dan, did you check with counsel regarding this?

IGM Dan Tynan: Ahaao, I spoke with Raymond I believe a couple of times on this, yes I did, I actually sent him a copy of the complaints and ah, his response I can’t remember off hand, but I did give him a copy of the response uhm I believe he thought they should be in a timely manner – don’t quote me on that – but I’m pretty positive that’s what he said. It’s been a while ago, a month ago since I sent him the information on that.

VP Richardson: Right, right, but any view, did he express any view as far as personnel committee versus the entire board?

IGM Tynan: I believe he said open

VP Richardson: He said open?

IGM Tynan: Yes, I believe

VP Richardson: Open to the full board?

IGM Tynan: I believe but it’s been such a long time I don’t want to put myself – you know, it’s like I said I haven’t talked to him about this in about a month so I’m trying to go back through my memory about a month, but I do believe he did say it should go before the whole board, don’t quote me on that but yeah it’s been about a month since I spoke with him about this, because I waited about four weeks to six weeks and then talked to Raymond.

VP Richardson: I just think because of the nature of some of the charges and the way it’s been handled up to this point all directors should be involved in it.

Director Skoien: Could I say something since it’s still open?

President Kinsella: Sure

Director Skoien: I just don’t want to get us in conflicting things here but I agree with Lew’s statement but you said you talked to Raymond want to make sure we’re doing this right here, I don’t see the difference from Raymond saying Charise had a choice to go closed even though you wanted it open why would he say they should be open and not include that choice for her, that’s all I’m asking, I, I

VP Richardson: I don’t think they are the issue at all it’s the person that is the subject of the complaint

Director Skoien: OK

VP Richardson: has the choice

IGM Tynan: (inaudible)

Director Skoien: OK so, well wait a minute let me finish, that’s the same thing as Dan against Charise, she was the subject and had the choice to be closed

VP Richardson: Ah-hum

President Kinsella: If you remember ah when the accusation was made against Dan he wanted it the session open

Director Skoien: right

President Kinsella: Dan countered and wanted, against Charise, and Charise wanted it closed

Director Skoien: OK that’s what I’m getting

President Kinsella: there’s, there is no difference

Director Skoien: Theirs is against Charise and she wants it closed so how do we legally get it open? That’s all, I don’t want us to do something wrong here.

Director Afanasiev: You don’t, that’s the problem, you don’t. It’s the choice of the defendant to make it open or closed

Director Skoien: Then why did Raymond say to him

Charise Reeves: No he said for the whole board – put it in front of the whole board that’s what he’s getting to, not in open session.

Director Afanasiev: The way I see it

Director Skoien: Oh I see not necessarily open but in front of the whole board,

VP Richardson: Right

Director Skoien: OK, that’s where,

VP Richardson: Right

Director Skoien: OK that’s

Charise Reeves: You know what

VP Richardson: All directors would be included

Charise Reeves: I don’t have a problem

Director Skoien: that’s where I crossed wires – I love that too

Charise Reeves: I don’t have a problem (bangs board table twice) throw this in front of the whole board let’s resolve all of this for once and for all because I have been asking for five months to have it all resolved.

[NOTE: Technically that is not correct. Mrs. Reeves agreed several months ago during a meeting to consult with the mediator to resolve the problem but to my knowledge such mediation process has never occurred.]

Director Skoien: OK I was mixed up I was thinking closed meant, I was thinking the whole board meant open and that’s, I confused it

VP Richardson: Well since nobody’s really sure what Raymond’s thoughts are on this I would think it would behoove us to contact him

IGM Tynan: I’ll contact him today

Charise Reeves: Why don’t you schedule a special ah meeting ah after the regular meeting or at the end of the regular meeting, throw this baby on it let’s get it done

Director Skoien: Well we have one

President Kinsella: I want to get it out here

Director Skoien: We have one before the regular meeting to don’t we?

Charise Reeves: Well that’s a question are we doing a Finance Committee meeting ahum before the regular meeting? Or are we skipping that?

Director Skoien: Ah, Finance Committee Meeting and the rest of the salary plan?

Charise Reeves: No, Finance Committee Meeting meaning going over Treasurer’s Report, that would be Bill and Lew and Wes are we doing that

Director Skoien: OK wait a minute

Charise Reeves: before the Regular Meeting or are we going to postpone that one with everything that’s going on?

Director Skoien: OK wait a minute, wait a minute I’m confused. I got an email asking if I was open for the hour before our regular meeting on the 19th

Charise Reeves: OK, I’m unaware of that

Director Skoien: And, and I said I was, ok

Charise Reeves: OK I’m unaware I’m in the dark on this one

Director Skoien: Ok, so ah, what you want to do then it should be after

IGM Tynan: It should be after

Director Skoien: Yeah

Charise Reeves: So

Director Skoien: if we’re going to

Charise Reeves: So you make it part of your

Director Skoien: we’ll be packing a lunch (laughs)

Charise Reeves: you can just do it as part of your regular meeting

Director Skoien: (Inaudible, laughing)

Charise Reeves: you can just do it at the end, you can do it at the end of the regular meeting just hold closed session at the end of the regular meeting

Director Skoien: If you gu, if the Personnel Committee wants to change it to everybody, I’m, I’m for it

IGM Tynan: Is there still a need to call Raymond, if it’s going to be open – just to make sure that he thinks it should be open?

President Kinsella: Say that again?

Director Skoien: It’s not going to be open, see that’s where you confused me with that word – full board

IGM Tynan: Full board

VP Richardson: Full board

Director Skoien: Full board not necessarily open, that’s where you cross wired my (inaudible – laughing)

IGM Tynan: Sorry, I’ll call today and

Director Afanasiev: Are you going to call, ah, when you will be calling him

Charise Reeves: That would be (inaudible)

Director Afanasiev: when he gives you the information

IGM Tynan: I’ll get, email it to you

Director Afanasiev: ah no no no, let me finish please,

IGM Tynan: sorry

Director Afanasiev: ask him to give the case law, citations and (inaudible) just because he says so, I was trained in legal, you back up something with case law and citations and

IGM Tynan: Case law?

Director Afanasiev: case law and citations

Director Skoien: Let’s just get in there and knock it around

Director Skoien: Because Raymond has been wrong more than once

Director Skoien: Well everybody’s wrong at least once

Director Afanasiev: Yeah, but this way he can back up, this is what the court says, this is what it says

Director Skoien: You know what? In my opinion the way this district is going there probably isn’t case law anywhere in the country to cover it – (laughs)

Director Afanasiev: Wouldn’t be surprised

Director Skoien: Would you be surprised?

(Laughter)

Charise Reeves: Are we doing, OK, so that will be part of the regular meeting are we doing Finance Committee Meeting before or no?

Director Skoien: Before the regular?

Charise Reeves: Yeah, I’m talking to, to these two

VP Richardson: Sure why not? That will work.

Director Skoien: What about that other thing that’s supposed to be before?

Charise Reeves: No it’s not going to be before it will be part of the regular meeting at the end.

Director Skoien: Oh the Finance Meeting?

Multiple voices

Charise Reeves: No the Finance Committee will be an hour before hand, what was originally apparently a Special Meeting will be at the very end of the regular meeting we will have a regular meeting we’ll have closed session at the end.

Director Skoien: So the meeting that I ah, that I was asked if I was available for by our General Manager you’re not going to do?

Charise Reeves: I wasn’t aware of that meeting so

IGM Tynan: It’ll be at the end of the meeting at the end of the regular meeting

Director Skoien: Your’s will? That thing will?

IGM Tynan: Yes, yes

Director Skoien: Oh cause this said, it said 12 o’clock

IGM Tynan: Well (inaudible) discuss this so

Director Skoien: Oh, OK

IGM Tynan: it sounds better to have that at the end because we’ll probably take longer than that

President Kinsella: Alright just to clarify the damn thing. Nobody has contacted me for a special meeting. It’s a closed issue, the regular board meeting will be at 1 o’clock.

Charise Reeves: OK, Finance Committee at 12?

President Kinsella: Yes

Charise Reeves: Closed Session with Personnel Issue I’m assuming, is it all inclusive?

VP Richardson: Yeah, I’d like to go back to the original

Director Skoien: Did you get a majority answer on that?

IGM Tynan: I believe it’s going to be after the regular meeting because when the personnel grievance will be discussed

Charise Reeves: OK so we’ll just put it generically and I’ll ask Raymond whether I need to clarify anything, multiple items how to deal with this

VP Richardson: But did you put in something for a special meeting as well?

President Kinsella: You got the email

IGM Tynan: Yes I sent it to you I believe (inaudible)

VP Richardson: Did the president get a copy of it or?

IGM Tynan: Yeah I sent the email out to everybody

VP Richardson: Ah OK

President Kinsella: And since it

Director Skoien: I answered it

President Kinsella: since it was specific that the, a majority of the board or at least three board members called the meeting I’ve never been told about it that there were members that called the ah special meeting and unless I’m told, I’m not going to go for it, I don’t care.

Director Skoien: No listen, wait a minute, if you got the email

VP Richardson: Yeah

Director Skoien: If everybody gets an email, and Dan asked asks if you’re available at a certain time blah, blah, blah, blah I said yes I am, I’m only one, but if he got three people

Director Afanasiev: Who’s the three people?

Director Skoien: Well I don’t know, I’m just

President Kinsella: You need a majority of the board,

Director Skoien: That’s three people

Director Afanasiev: right

Director Skoien: right.

President Kinsella: Yeah

Director Skoien: OK

Director Afanasiev: I never responded

Director Skoien: I’m not saying you did, I’m saying if he got three people that said they were available for that meeting

President Kinsella: Then a meeting will be called

Director Skoien: it doesn’t matter how you feel about it, that’s all I’m saying

President Kinsella: You’re right, it does, it doesn’t really make any difference how I feel about it.

Director Skoien: Right if he got

President Kinsella: But since the accusation was made against me, you must tell me.

Director Skoien: I have not heard what the meetings about I was just asked if I could be there and I said yes

Charise Reeves: OK, you just brought something up that I’m unaware of, because I’m understanding the closed session is about personnel. Is there something else that needs to be in this closed session or…. I didn’t get the email.

President Kinsella: Well Dan, Dan accused me of 17 items and he wants a special meeting before the regular board meeting. Nobody told me that they ah were in favor of that and unless I’m told, I’m not going to call it.

Director Skoien: We don’t have to tell you

President Kinsella: But I have to be, I have to be notified just like everybody else

Director Skoien: Well that may be but a general manager

Charise Reeves: Cannot – no he cannot

President Kinsella: No he cannot

Director Skoien: can call a special meeting with a majority of the board

Charise Reeves: three members of the board

Director Skoien: Yes

Charise Reeves: have to request it

Director Skoien: majority of the board

Director Afanasiev: I for one did not respond to that, I read the email and I did not respond to it because I figured we would be discussing it later

President Kinsella: OK, I read it I did not respond

Director Afanasiev: So that’s still out of, there’s three others

President Kinsella: The other three responded

Director Afanasiev: I don’t know

President Kinsella: Well I know one that didn’t and said he was not going to respond. So there’s your three. It’s three to two. He didn’t respond the answer is no.

Charise Reeves: OK, so in our closed session it is just

Director Skoien: So you don’t want to have a meeting if your general manager would want that?

President Kinsella: He can’t call them

Director Afanasiev: He cannot call them

Director Skoien: With a majority of the board

Director Afanasiev: Right, but the thing is, I never responded therefore

VP Richardson: Why did you not respond?

Director Afanasiev: Why?

Director Skoien: Yes or no, I mean you got to answer the question

Director Afanasiev: Because I wanted to clarify more information before I would respond.

VP Richardson: OK

Director Skoien: And how were you going to do that? Talk about a closed session subject in an open board meeting?

VP Richardson: can’t do that because it’s not agendized

Director Afanasiev: (inaudible) the reason I say, I was doing other things, OK? I just read the email and I was, figured, OK I would find out more information today maybe

President Kinsella: Well why don’t we move on to the current issue, if he wants, if he wants a meeting ah before, have him ask everybody again and respond, otherwise I’m, it’s not going to happen.

Director Afanasiev: Are we talking about the 19th?

Director Skoien: Monday the 19th is our regular meeting.

President Kinsella: I don’t know what (inaudible)

VP Richardson: Is that going to be packing too much into one day?

President Kinsella: Boy you got that right.

Charise Reeves: I have, I have no idea

Director Skoien: don’t even know if we’re going to be able to have it

Charise Reeves: I don’t know what’s on that meeting, I, we already discussed the agenda yet

IGM Tynan: I’d just like to see a grievance that was done 1-10-2012 just be addressed by the whole board to where, you know, three months,(inaudible) two months that’s too long yeah,

Charise Reeves: Yeah and so is October

IGM Tynan: well this hasn’t (inaudible)

President Kinsella: Personnel Committee met, referred it to the whole board, the whole board decided that a mediator was appropriate.

VP Richardson: And that didn’t work.

President Kinsella: And that didn’t work and I’ll tell you something else the mediator is not going to give us a report.

Director Skoien: A report of what?

President Kinsella: On what, how they

(Multiple voices)

Director Skoien: They didn’t have a mediation

VP Richardson: So then I think, the whole thing, all these disciplinary actions need to be rolled into one and come before the full board.

Director Skoien: That might be nice to just have them all on a, you know,

Director Afanasiev: But not the (inaudible)

Director Skoien: the whole can of beans, lets open them and eat it all.

VP Richardson: I thought that’s what we were talking about, after the next regular meeting

Director Skoien: OK, OK, ah then (inaudible multiple voices) too because I, alright, after the regular meeting

Director Afanasiev: On the 19th?

Director Skoien: Yeah, slash 20th maybe (laughs) as much as is on the ticket, yeah.

VP Richardson: OK

Director Skoien: I got no problem with that, do you Bill?

President Kinsella: I don’t have a problem with any of this. I think it’s stupid but that’s my opinion whether you like it or not.

Director Skoien: No I agree with you, a lot of it is stupid

VP Richardson: A lot of it was needless

Director Skoien: And un-factual

President Kinsella: To get back to this issue, I was given the complaints, or the com, what ah apparently turned out to be a complaint, and read it and then I asked Dan if it was a formal complaint and a week later I got an answer. He was gone for a while. She was gone for a while, we had the fire and here we are.

IGM Tynan: Well that wasn’t

President Kinsella: I want to, I want to get this, I want to get this thing out of the way I don’t care who likes it or who doesn’t like it I want it out of the way get it off the table it’s got to be closed.

IGM Tynan: I agree with you 100%

VP Richardson: Let’s just wrap them all together put it in a special meeting

Director Skoien: This one too?

VP Richardson: Yeah

Director Skoien: That was going to be today?

VP Richardson: Yeah

Director Afanasiev: Fine

Director Skoien: Next Monday

Charise Reeves: So is it a special meeting or is it at the end of the regular meeting, you going to close the regular meeting, open a special meeting, what are we doing?

Director Skoien: Go to closed session after (inaudible)

President Kinsella: I don’t know, they, they’re telling us what to

Multiple voices

VP Richardson: And address all this stuff and try to get rid of it all at once

Charise Reeves: just do it at the end of the regular meeting do it as part of one meeting unless we just

Director Afanasiev: But would, would we have the time for both for that, or would we

Multiple voices/cross talk

Charise Reeves: Well if we minimize what’s on our regular meeting because, I mean,

Director Skoien: Why don’t you drop the Financial for the regular this stuff is important, and do, so we can get to it after, will that save some time?

Charise Reeves: Well that saves the two of them from an hour

Director Skoien: You were asking about, ah, it’s up to the committee, what do you think? Can you live with that or? Dropping the financial

VP Richardson: Yeah, sure because it’s not set in stone

Charise Reeves: No

Director Skoien: And then that gives us a little more time because basically we’re going to have three issues here

VP Richardson: Sure

Charise Reeves: OK, so 1 o’clock regular meeting, Dan can minimize what’s on the regular meeting agenda and it could literally be as short as manager’s report, treasurer’s report, I don’t know if we’re going to have consent calendar

Director Skoien: And I have no problem, I don’t know how anybody else feels, if you want to make the regular start time for the regular meeting earlier

Charise Reeves: No, we have to do it at one, we have to do it at one it’s in our policies

Director Skoien: Oh, OK, alright

Charise Reeves: And I don’t know what other items you have for the regular meeting we got, we’ve got to sit down and come up with the agenda

President Kinsella: This is why nothing gets done eh? – I’ll entertain a motion to adjourn.

Director Afanasiev: So, before we adjourn, so, we’re going to have a regular meeting

Cross talk

Charise Reeves: Regular meeting

Director Afanasiev: then we’re going to have

Director Skoien: a closed

Director Afanasiev: a closed session

Director Skoien: Is that correct?

Charise Reeves: Yes

Director Skoien: Yes

Director Afanasiev: Fine

Charise Reeves: And I’ll find out from (inaudible)

Director Skoien: I second the motion by the way

President Kinsella: Well there, it didn’t get a first

Charise Reeves: So, Mark, you making the first to adjourn?

Director Skoien: Yes

Director Afanasiev: I’ll second

President Kinsella: The meeting’s over.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

ACCEPTABLE TO YOU?

Reading Time: 1

JANUARY 28, 2012

JANUARY 28, 2012

FEBRUARY 27, 2012

MARCH 15, 2012

**********

You know I get hammered all the time by some who accuse me of complaining about things that should just be left alone. Perhaps I am a member of a diminishing group who believes some things are simply right or wrong. I have waited for months to see if anyone else felt as I but to my disappointment either of two things have occurred:

1) Such display of our Nation’s Flag is acceptable to others who must surely see this when going to the transfer station (dump) [not to mention the fire and law enforcement personnel who routinely use the facility to store equipment and conduct business]; or

2) Although reported it has gone uncorrected by the appropriate county/state officials.

An old blog posting might also fit here: “IMAGE IS EVERYTHING”.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

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.]

BOARD MEETING RECESS

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.

THROCKWISP CONTRACT

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

[NOTE: IT WAS AN AGENDA ITEM REQUEST: THROCKWISP CONTRACT]

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.