Larry Shelton, a Rancho Murieta Association director in his second term on the job, announced his resignation in a public statement early Wednesday, pointing to “too many negative, controversial and disrespectful people who have no integrity about how they treat their fellow citizens.”
The resignation follows a string of three contentious board meetings about the Recreation Committee, which Shelton was appointed to co-chair last month as a way to address some of the strife. He has come in for public criticism at meetings, some of it shouted, and he and his Recreation Committee co-chair were forced to accept a board action overriding their proposed roster of committee volunteers at last week's RMA board meeting.
In an interview Wednesday, Shelton called the board’s action “a vote of no confidence,” adding, “I can’t proceed to do anything meaningful on the board of directors when I do not have the confidence of the board to support me.” Additionally, he said he is unhappy about the “disrespect shown the board” by disruptive audience members at recent meetings and the board’s response to those challenges. His bottom line: “It’s not what I want to be part of.”
He said he submitted his resignation in a letter Tuesday. The RMA would not release the letter, and Shelton said he wanted to consult his lawyer before sharing it publicly. Alex Bauer, the RMA board president, was not immediately available for comment.
Shelton, a retired environmental scientist who moved to the community in 2015, was elected to the board that year and re-elected last fall. He was in his third year as the board’s vice president.
Here is his full resignation statement to the media:
Based on several months of controversial events associated with the Rancho Murieta Board of Directors, I have decided to resign, immediately. This was not an easy decision because there are so many important issues that still need to be addressed, and I have the background and knowledge as well as some creative ideas for solutions that could be of value.
It is sad that Rancho Murieta, California, the USA, and even the World has become so angry, combative and deceitful. I would like to say I live in a community that is above all that, but it is a universal cultural shift that will take a long time to correct, if we ever do. I’m a fighter, and have survived many battles, however this is one battle I don’t need to win and couldn’t anyway.
Lately I’ve been forced to deal with way too many negative, controversial, and disrespectful people who have no integrity about how they treat their fellow citizens, those people do not deserve my attention. I have resigned because I will no longer compromise the principles and values that are important to me and should be important to everyone. This is simply about who I choose to spend my time with and where I choose to apply my energy. I plan to surround myself with positive, progressive thinkers with no grudges, hidden agendas, or open animosities. People who have the wisdom to understand the magnitude of their decisions and the courage of conviction to not be influenced by the loudest voice.
I do want to thank those of you who have supported and encouraged me to pursue, with strength and character, the issues in Rancho Murieta. I hope that each of you will step up and become involved in decisions to move this community forward and have a positive, compassionate impact in the direction we take.
I still plan to be involved in selected Rancho Murieta functions. But I will only focus on positive, fun, and enjoyable activities. See you on the disk golf course or at FreeRock.
During his time on the board, Shelton, who lives on Laguna Joaquin, took special interest in the problem of midge flies and water issues there, including two fish kills. He worked with the Community Services District on water issues, often challenging the CSD’s planned approach. Also, out of his own pocket, he staged free music events at the Gazebo last summer and has announced plans to do the same this year.