Security Chief Jim Noller, left, pinned the badge on his
successor, Greg Remson.
CSD names security chief, unveils technology plan
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Community Services District attracted an audience at its
April meeting to witness the appointment of a new security
chief, the unveiling of a $2 million communications technology
plan, and the restructuring of a community security committee.
Remson officially became the head of Security after serving
as the interim chief since former Security Chief Jim Noller
retired in late October.
It seemed fitting that the man who hired Remson in 1982
would return to the CSD Wednesday to pin the gold badge
on his successor and shake his hand.
Remson's wife, Sheri, took photos and his mother-in-law,
Peggy Clauss, looked on from the audience, Noller offered
words of advice to his successor. "If you treat this community
and all the people who work and live within these 3,500
acres with honesty and respect, they will stand behind you
100 percent. Wear this badge with honor as the guy before
an interview the following day, Remson talked about Security's
role in the community. The goal is "to make (Rancho
Murieta) a safe and a comfortable place" to live,
to work, or to visit, he explained.
reality is "any time you're in an enforcement
job, you're not going to make everybody happy. And
you're not going to do it the way some people think
you should do it. You're either too hard on people
or too soft on people. Some people think you're not
fair or you're playing favorites. … It's
hard to keep people happy when you have to try to get them
to obey the rules and the laws."
Remson began his career, Murieta Parkway extended as far
as the second turn on Guadalupe Drive, which defined the
boundaries of the community. Despite the demands growth
has placed on Security, "we try to do now what we
did then – provide all the services within reason.
We're not going to take your garbage out for you,
but we'll certainly check to see if you left your
stove on or left your garage door open."
said one of the nice things about being here as long as
he has is seeing kids grow up and come back to raise their
own children here. It's not commonplace, but when
it happens, it becomes a source of job satisfaction. "I
really like that. … We want to hear that people are
district plans to use technology to accommodate future growth.
"The goal is to use what we have more efficiently,"
Remson said. A wireless network and laptop computers will
enable security officers to use patrol cars as mobile field
offices and remain visible in the community. "Visibility
is a big deterrent," he observed.
some, a security position is a stepping stone to other law
enforcement jobs, Remson acknowledged.
there are people like me who will be here forever. …
You do get some enforcement activity – a little bit
of excitement — but the majority of the people are
good people and that makes a big difference," he said.
"Not everybody who gets into law enforcement wants
to work in high-crime areas… A community like this
is perfect for those people. … The crew that we have
now is one of the best all-around groups that we've
ever had here."
job can offer unexpected benefits. It provided Remson with
the opportunity to meet his future wife. Sheri Remson moved
to Rancho Murieta with her family in 1980 and her mother
still resides here. Her late father, John Clauss, was a
member of the Rancho Murieta Association board.
and Greg Remson have been married 20 years and have an 18-year-old
son, Jack, a student at Sacramento City College. The family
lives in Sacramento.
million technology plan is well-received
million master technology plan phased in over five years
could meet the CSD's goal of using technology instead
of additional staff to meet its future needs, a consultant
told the board last week.
plan was well-received by the board, although no action
was taken beyond accepting the report and filing it.
plan, developed by COMSYS (formerly Venturi Technology
Partners) at a cost of $33,615, recommends using computer
applications and a wireless network to make CSD services,
facilities, and field operations run more efficiently.
plan evaluates the district's current use of technology
and recommends improvements. The board was graded A for
its use of laptop computers while the dated system used
for utility operations barely passed.
presentation made by COMSYS managers Brian T. Melville and
Jim Swartzlander addressed the needs of the CSD's
operations and offered specific solutions to problems like
tracking maintenance schedules and retrieving data. Both
speakers emphasized the importance of having tools and information
available where employees need them.
plan proposes installing a wireless network and using laptop
computers to allow maintenance staff to access work requests
and maintenance data in the field, to put incident reports
and resident data online for Security patrol officers, to
centralize water meter reading, and to monitor and direct
utility plant operations.
Hall, director of administrative services, said most of
funding for the plan would come from developers. "We'll
be adjusting those hook-up fees for the developers to pay
for this infrastructure," he said, and noted other
fees are already in place.
wireless network that's proposed would use access
point devices mounted on roofs, utility poles or vehicles.
According to the report, the CSD would be able to offer
broadband service to its customers, but the option was not
viewed as a high priority. There would be additional costs
for adding bandwidth and customer support would be an issue,
the COMSYS managers said.
annual operating expenses for the fully implemented plan
were estimated at $261,000.
the plan is aimed at increasing the efficiency of CSD operations
and reducing the need for additional staff, Director Mary
Brennan noted that between two and four additional employees
are called for in the plan -- including a network security
manager and IT manager. She was told some of the personnel
cost was included in the plan.
John Merchant said he wanted to find a system that "can
accommodate virtually any application because, if we can
do that, there no end to what we can do on a day-to-day
basis using the system. … If we can satisfy the district's
operational requirements with a wireless network and we
can cost-justify it … and we can do it well …
the opportunities in the future are limitless. … If
we can do this in an operational environment, there's
no reason we can't ultimately do it in a commercial
John Weatherford, an outspoken critic of the Rancho Murieta
Association's technology plans and operations, complimented
the CSD board for demonstrating "the right way to
do it." Ryan Fogleman, a resident referred to in the
technology plan as a vendor the CSD increasingly depends
on to provide networking services and support through his
company, the Murieta Group, also addressed the board as
a member of the public. He thanked everyone present "for
being very forward-minded in their approach for service
to the community."
and Fogleman are partners in FastKat Wireless of Roseville,
which provides wireless Internet service. The company installed
a wireless network linking the CSD Building and the district's
warehouse last year.
votes to keep Joint Security Committee open
board approved a proposal to restructure the Joint Security
Committee with the provision that the meetings would remain
open to the public.
proposal, which was developed at a recent meeting of RMA
and CSD directors and general managers, called for allowing
the meetings to be closed to the public as a way to encourage
frank discussion of the security issues that have caused
conflict between the two boards.
General Manager Ed Crouse said it was agreed on at the meeting
with the RMA that conducting the dialogue "behind
closed doors without the public is best."
Tuesday, the RMA board approved the restructuring plan,
including the closed meeting option.
following day, at the CSD meeting, resident Bobbi Belton
objected to excluding the public, citing what she referred
to as a history of secret meetings in the community that
went against the CSD's "spirit and intent"
Brandt, the CSD's legal counsel, told the board it
would have more latitude if the meetings were open. He said
a committee established on the basis of holding closed meetings
was "problematic" for the CSD as a public agency
operating under the Brown Act.
Dick Taylor said he thought restructuring the committee
would accomplish nothing and maintained that he would vote
against the proposal. He characterized it as an effort by
RMA President Paul Gumbinger to deal with "a couple
of his snitty board members that continue to throw darts
(at the CSD) ..."
John Merchant responded that only good could come out of
bringing the two groups together to begin a dialogue. "You
gotta take the personalities out of it … the idea
is to bring two warring nations to the table," he
he said the "occasional" closed-door meeting
was acceptable to him, Merchant voted with Directors Bill
White and Wayne Kuntz to restructure the committee, keeping
it open to the public.
Mary Brennan joined Taylor in voting against the proposal.
Brennan focused on the opportunity for participation the
present committee structure offers individual residents
and other governing organizations besides the RMA and the
CSD -- Murieta Village, the Villas, and the Country Club.
Taylor favored expanding the present committee to include
business entities in the community.
mentioned the RMA Compliance Committee and the CSD Security
Committee as alternative opportunities for public participation.
Joint Security Committee scheduled for May 3 at the RMA
Building at 8:15 a.m. is expected to be the last one in
the present format. The restructured committee is expected
to meet in June.
wants value for park acreage
CSD board suggested that a developer figure out a way to
make giving up a four-acre park site financially worthwhile
to the community. This approach could prepare the way for
the park site acreage to be used for larger, privately owned
lots, an outcome advocated by the Rancho Murieta Association.
Hogge, land development manager for River West Investments,
the firm that's creating the map for a subdivision
on a 14-acre Escuela Drive site, has been working with the
RMA in recent months to eliminate a four-acre park site
in order to enlarge the 39 lots proposed for the site. River
West donated the property to a nonprofit charitable organization
in 2003 for a tax break but continues to guide the project
through the county planning process.
the North and South developer representatives and the CSD
representative on the Parks Committee outvoted the RMA to
keep the park site, the RMA board requested that Hogge approach
the CSD in hopes of changing its vote.
President John Merchant tabled the matter until Hogge returns
to the CSD board with a proposal.