“STEPPING IN IT”

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Certain areas around my property were years ago chosen by my [then] puppy for her normal bodily functions so I am cognizant of where cautious walking is prudent. The normal routine calls for immediate yard work if new areas have been utilized for this function because it signals over-capacity of the traditional “poop field”. Dog sitting for someone else obviously changes the normal procedure since any place is subject to such contributions because the new animal is unaware of our normal “business areas”.

NOT A BAD DOG AT ALL

There should be no expectation that an animal placed in a new environment would instinctively know that the corner over by the big Oaks is the accepted repository for “number two” donations or that rock cleared trails were not specifically created for that purpose or convenience. Given sufficient time such information will be learned through repetition along with corrective action for any of the more egregious violations and fortunately, in this situation, no “in house accidents” have occurred as of this posting.

NOT A SERIOUS PROBLEM

Only once thus far have I been required to scrape and hose off the soles of my boots due to accidently “Stepping in it” and that clean-up was only necessitated because I was headed into the house and did not want to track up the floors with the obnoxious material. Had I been continuing work outdoors I would have probably just allowed it to naturally wear off during the course of my travels around the property with a quick check to confirm its absence before entering the house.

NO DOG OATH

Seriously, it’s not like a canine has the ability to take a solemn oath to not “doo doo” in certain places around the property before being admitted to the premises. They cannot “raise a paw” and repeat after me……”I, [bark your name], do solemnly swear or affirm that I will not relieve myself near the garage door, deck steps, around motor vehicles, …..” We take them as we find them and begin what will usually, and hopefully, be a long term relationship of mutual love and companionship.

TELEVISION PAIN IN THE NECK

When it’s time to get some rest but my head is full of thoughts and musings of the day’s activities, I often drift off to sleep with some program on the television. The television shut off timer is a fantastic option to prevent awakening to loud commercials at 0300hrs in the morning. The two biggest problems for me with this particular method of sleep induction: 1) waking up in the morning with a sore neck from too many pillows under my head, and 2), leaving my eye glasses on. I’m not sure, but I think this last pair of glasses has passed the previous record for not incurring scratches or nicks on the lenses.

CLICK-CLACK

Wednesday morning at approximately 0350 hrs, I pulled on the covers while rolling over in bed and vaguely recalled hearing something hit the floor. I knew it wasn’t the television remote control because I’ve heard that fairly loud noise many times. I was drifting back to sleep when three thoughts almost simultaneously woke me up: 1) the noise was likely my eye glasses hitting the floor, 2) the visiting dog sleeps on the floor on that side of the bed, and 3) she has a propensity for chewing!

GOOD MORNING GIRLS

Got up, turned on a light and started searching for the glasses which naturally signaled my sleeping canine roommates that it was time to start a new day. Searching for glasses without your glasses is an interesting dilemma in itself but when combined with the time limitation caused by two dogs dancing around because they need to go outside for their morning ritual made a quick successful search imperative. Found the glasses, got the dogs outside without incident but the commotion summoned the cat to the back door and she was now impatiently meowing for an early breakfast. Needless to say, after all this going back to sleep was not an option so the day started early.

AS IF I CHEWED THEM MYSELF

Had I ignored the sound of something hitting the floor; didn’t appreciate the probability that my glasses had fallen; failed to remember there was a “chewing machine” in the immediate area; and simply drifted back to sleep, whose fault would it have been if the glasses were indeed chewed up and/or destroyed?

The facts of the situation, clues to what had happened, reasoning, probability analysis, along with a personal commitment to protecting fairly expensive eye glasses from damage, all played a role in starting the day early.

SO WHAT?

Why bother to take the time to mention this stupid little “doggie story”?

Answer: Because it simply illustrates how a foreseeable negative outcome can be avoided by preemptively taking action based on known facts.

What does it have to do with Lake Don Pedro?

Answer: The far majority of LDPCSD customers essentially have no idea what is happening within a public agency they financially support which severely limits the probability of being able to detect and avoid foreseeable negative outcomes.

COMMUNICATION

One of the water publications I read regularly mentioned some time ago that the worst possible thing a water agency could do would be to only contact their customers when raising their rates – yet this is exactly what the LDPCSD has done, and will likely continue to do, without re-establishing “THE PIPELINE” publication. Think about that for a moment. Shouldn’t a ratepayer at least have the opportunity to be informed as to how their money is being spent and why?

The ONLY REASON customers are notified now about rate increases is because such notification and opportunity to respond is REQUIRED BY LAW. Sure, there are laws requiring factual reporting of public business, which is generally provided at mandatory board meetings, but if the customer never receives the information what good is the reporting process …. I mean other than dotting the “I’s” and crossing the “T’s” of government regulations?

WATER LICENSE SERVICE AREA

The permitted service area under our water license is the Lake Don Pedro subdivision and golf course.

The subdivision is governed by the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association. The LDPOA is required to furnish members with their mandatory corporation disclosures so the DISCOVERER is sent to members all over the country. Out of area owners of unimproved subdivision property pay “water availability fees” with their property taxes and therefore financially contribute to the district. Doesn’t it make sense that the LDPOA DISCOVERER would be the perfect vehicle for the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District to furnish district information to its scattered customers as well?

During a time when both private and public entities are looking to save money and be more efficient, doesn’t dual use of an existing publication sound reasonable?

Since two Directors on the LDPOA Board routinely attend LDPCSD Board meetings wouldn’t they be excellent candidates for assisting in putting such a dual use program together? The LDPCSD could create a minimal publication that could be inserted into the DISCOVERER and reach 99+% of their customer base at the same time the LDPOA is contacting their property owners with their mandatory corporation disclosures. Why is this concept resisted?

DOES THIS WEBSITE DO ANY GOOD AT ALL?

I have asked myself that question for years (usually when disgusted or frustrated with what goes on here) but received another unambiguous affirmative answer during the Public Comment portion of Monday’s Board Meeting [December 19th, 2011]. A citizen of Mariposa County, whose name and property ownership had been linked to some serious questions regarding multiple water meter installations on an adjacent single property, happened across postings on this website which contained her name. This “meter matter” was initially presented by two CSD directors last January (a third former director also supplied a partial map of the questioned area) who asserted that a woman by the name of Donna Morasci-Martin owed money to another land owner for a pipe extension yet had refused to pay the debt for almost two decades. Those assertions, along with some others, were unequivocally contradicted by Ms. Morasci herself.

Although factually reporting on what others had to say about this matter (supported with audio tapes of those meetings), I would never-the-less like to offer a public apology to Donna Morasci-Martin for posting that incorrect information along with any theorizing on my part. [How our CSD actually became involved in this matter also appears to have been largely based on that same incorrect information presented to a past board some twenty years ago.] I have had a number of questions regarding this matter since the beginning and the information Ms. Morasci furnished last Monday provided important missing pieces to this confusing puzzle. Her words of “fraud” and “cover-up” appear warranted.

AFTER THE HOLIDAYS

I will follow up on this story after the holidays because there is much information to go through and organize (including four audio cassette tapes of meetings on December 19th), but for now, suffice it to say it is absolutely shameful how information was intentionally misrepresented and another person’s name and reputation was sacrificed in the process. Differing opinions and/or perspectives are desirable and useful in any decision making process but intentional fabrication of the truth should never be permitted, especially in the public sector.

When a public official “steps in it” through misrepresentation of the truth, they track up not only their own personal floor of integrity, but more importantly, the base reputation of the public agency they supposedly serve.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

My best to you and yours, Lew

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