[News briefs published July 20 and 21] Questions about the community’s water planning remain unresolved after seven hours of meetings this week. Development critic Janis Eckard (photo) claims the community would be deprived of water for landscaping and possibly for drinking and fighting fires during a severe drought because the Rancho Murieta Community Services District’s drought planning for the community requires a 50 percent reduction in water use during a 200-year drought, such as the state experienced in 1976-77.
At the invitation of the Rancho Murieta Association, Eckard made a half-hour presentation at Tuesday night’s board of directors meeting, focusing her remarks on the 50-percent cutback requirement.
Eckard, who ran out of time and was stopped mid-presentation before the CSD board in June, said she was “confident the CSD 2006 Integrated Water Master Plan was manipulated to show Rancho Murieta had sufficient water supply for additional development, placing existing residents at risk.” She said an independent peer review of CSD planning for water and wastewater needs funded by Sacramento County supports her conclusions by terming the water rationing target of 50 percent "aggressive."
Eckard accused the CSD of altering data to benefit developers of 620 homes and a commercial project that are planned for the next phase of the community’s development. She said the CSD board didn’t listen to her concerns about the accuracy of the 2006 Integrated Water Master Plan.
A 200-year drought has a 0.5 percent chance of occurring in a given year. A 25 percent cutback is planned for a 100-year drought, which has a 1 percent chance of occurring in a given year. Currently, the CSD estimates Rancho Murieta uses more than half of its water consumption for landscaping.
On Wednesday, Eckard gave the CSD a copy of the remarks she made at the RMA, but didn’t repeat her presentation. A workshop on a draft update of the Integrated Water Master Plan dominated the CSD’s four-and-a-half-hour meeting.
The update evaluates the effects of a state mandate to reduce per capita water use 20 percent by 2020, climate change, drought planning and drought scenarios, and strategies for meeting a water shortfall during a 200-year drought after the community develops beyond 3,500 homes and 451 equivalent dwelling units. The CSD collects a per-lot fee to fund options to augment the water supply and meet the shortfall. Wells, a storage reservoir, and recycled water use for future development were among the alternatives discussed at the meeting. The draft plan will be released for a 30-day comment period before the CSD board takes action on it this fall.
At the beginning of the meeting, resident Ted Hart said he thought it was “imperative” that the board look at Eckard’s report and have General Manager Ed Crouse respond “item by item” and retain “an unbiased expert in the industry” to look at both sides so the community could be spared confusion.
President Bobbi Belton said she had intended to discuss how the CSD would respond later in the board meeting and suggested that Crouse and consultant Lisa Maddaus sit down with Eckard to discuss the issues she raised. Eckard responded that she didn’t think Maddaus, a principal engineer with the firm of Brown and Caldwell, was independent because “she’s hired by you.” Throughout the workshop, Eckard quoted the peer review and other sources when she questioned the consultant about the draft plan.
The board meeting resumed after the lengthy workshop. During the comments and suggestions portion of the agenda, Belton returned to the question of the CSD’s response to Eckard’s report saying, “I think we have to have for certain things a prompt response, a factual response to erroneous information.”
The board directed Crouse to address Eckard’s claims.
The board voted to bring foreclosure proceedings against a South developer who’s delinquent on Mello-Roos payments for the Lakeview parcel for the tax years 2008-09 and 2009-10. The debt is about $300,000 and collection will include the principal, penalties, interest and attorney fees, General Manager Ed Crouse told the board. It’s not the first time there's been a developer delinquency, he noted.
The board held public hearings on the $1,776.18 per lot community facilities fee, a backup for the parks fee the Rancho Murieta Association collects from developers, and the water supply augmentation fee of $4,283 per lot.
The directors approved the purchase of a replacement utility truck.
The board approved a brochure to be mailed to Murietans about a possible $3.8 million community center and swimming pool. The cost for the mailing was not to exceed $7,000. General manager Nick Arther stressed, “This is a conceptual plan. ... It’s not set in concrete,” and no location has been selected. Director Randy Jenco said the facility would be a “centerpiece” for the community. Directors Jim Moore and Roy Harmon said it would benefit property values, although Moore said it was important to find out if the majority of members want the facilities. Arther said it was reasonable to say that the per-member cost of $1,100 would be exceeded by an increase in property values.
Communications Manager Paul Venturella said there was a three-week delay in obtaining electrical permits from Sacramento County for new lines that will power approximately 160 additional amplifiers for the cable system. Despite the delay, the cable rebuild project is expected to be completed before the late October deadline, he said. Replacement of bad underground cable is now underway and going “very well,” he added. Venturella reassured residents that the various color markings they’ve noticed locate existing utility lines and not where cable replacement work will take place.
A resident told the board about run-ins with off-leash dogs at Lake Clementia and requested better enforcement of the rules that require dogs to be leashed.
A driveway parking variance for Lot 170 and a variance to park in guest parking for Lot 828 were approved by the board.
Director Dick Cox suggested naming a ball field at Stonehouse Park for former RMA director Mike Martel, a founder of Summerfest, since he is “probably the most motivating person” in developing the ball parks. President Jim Moore said he had talked about the idea with Director Randy Jenco and there seemed to be a reluctance to single out individuals since many people were involved. Director Roy Harmon suggested changing prosaic park names like Riverview to inspiring names like “Mission to Mars Park.” “Let’s think really big on this. I like it,” he told the board.
The following stories and a CSD document provide background information on the complex dispute over the CSD's water planning.
CSD looks at its assumptions for water planning (June 24, 2010)
At this workshop, the CSD looked at how to meet a state mandate to reduce water use 20 percent by 2020 and discussed state requirements for providing water to the community during a drought. Janis Eckard attended the meeting and received answers to her questions about drought planning and the feasibility of achieving a 50 percent cutback in water use during an extreme drought.
Community Services District Water Shortage Contingency Plan
This CSD document details water use during a drought, how drought measures are enforced, and how reservoir levels provide the trigger for conservation measures. The five stages range from normal (no conservation measures) to a water emergency that requires a 50 percent cutback in water use.
CSD outlines water situation and how it handles the community’s water (February 28, 2009)
In a letter sent to residents, the CSD explained when water is diverted from the Cosumnes River for the community’s use, how it was possible to fill Rancho Murieta’s reservoirs during a three-year drought in areas of the state, and the use of recycled water to irrigate the two golf courses.
CSD begins workshops on reducing water use (February 23, 2010)
The first workshop on complying with a state mandate to reduce per capita water use 20 percent by 2020 provided information about the reasons for the mandate, why the community needs to comply, what current water use is and how much it will have to be reduced for compliance.
Thank you for posting this video. I urge citizens to watch this important tape about water and development.
As Janis Eckard and Richard Brandt (please search Mr. Brandt's experience and history at CSD) tried to explain, the state requirement, (of an up to 50% water conservation in a severe drought) is not the same as limiting water storage/augmentation for developers, to accomodate a 50% water reduction.
In other words, while we are, of course, required to have a drought conservation plan, we should not create the problem, potentially running the community out of drinking water, simply to benefit developers.
I've recently read additional emails from the county-hired West Yost consultant, (for the initial update to the master plan that citizens asked for) confirming that the 50% she spoke of (which could run the community out of drinking water) is NOT the same as the 50% state drought conservation plan the CSD consultant is referring to--these are apples and oranges stats.
Again, thank you to Rancho Murieta.com for airing this tape. My guess is, this recorded document (unlike the very limited mintutes) will play an enormous role in the developer/water public record.
Also: The CSD audiotapes its board meetings and archives them for 10 years. They’re available for listening at the CSD Building. Powerpoints and text reports presented at workshops are archived on the CSD’s web site, as are various studies and reports.
I've been too silent for far too long on this issue. After reading this and other related printed information regarding the issues surrounding the questions brought up by Mrs Eckard, one would think this CSD board was responsible for all the CSD is being accused of. Let me point out that Mrs Eckard's issues with how the CSD handled their water studies date back to about 1990 and essentially end in 2006. That's a period of time dating back 30 years. Our present GM started with us, I believe, in 1994. Since my time on the board (1-20-09) this board has done nothing to threaten our water supply and developer meetings ceased so long ago that I cannot even remember who the relevant players are anymore. I assure you, nothing nefarious or sinister is going on over here. As a professional law enforcement officer, I woudn't tolerate it and you'd quickly know about it.
Please come to the CSD workshops, read the material and attend the meetings to get informed and then form your opinion. Every single person on this board is a homeowner and has invested hundreds of thousands of their hard earned dollars to live here. We are heavily invested in Rancho Murieta and love this community. Nobody here is trying to change the place, or to my knowledge, committ financial suicide. Contrary to what has been stated and reported, we are not clueless. Far from it.
I'm doing exactly what I said I'd do and that's to do my best to "preserve" Rancho Murieta. Remember folks, we are your neighbors and all of us want nothing but the best for Rancho Murieta, that's why we ran for the board and that's why we spend dozens of hours each month attending meetings, workshops, learning about water, sewer, waste water, drainage and security. We're not water use experts, but we have them on staff and hire them when needed. Those are the reports you've been hearing about that are being questioned. The water use experts (both in-house and contracted) have stated all recent numbers provided by the district have been within the normal parameters used by water districts. The folks doing these reports do this for a living and have engineering degrees in the field. They are experts. They would not risk their reputation or livelihood by falsifying a report by using questionable numbers from their clients. They know their reports are sent in and reviewed by county, state and federal government water agencies (their peers, other water experts).
The conspirational accusations of malfeasance and dishonesty attributed to CSD staff, Board Members and our contracted professional staff is becomming intolerable and embarrassing, not to mention libelous and slanderous. This needs to stop. If one thinks wrongdoing has occurred, there are many options available to them that are far more appropriate. Might I suggest the Grand Jury, The District Attorney's Office or the Attorney General's Office? How about the DWR?
All of the questions Mrs Eckard has raised will soon be addressed by the GM, as directed by the board's president. Please be sure to read his responses. I know I will be.
Steve, It has never been my intent to discredit the Board of Directors of the CSD. As you stated, you are all members of the community, who care enough to get involved. I applaud you for doing so.
That being said, there are serious issues (stated in my CSD Comments document) that need to be addressed now, because the CSD is currently updating the Rancho Murieta drought analysis--which impacts future development strategies and current residents interests.
Many board directors have placed their entire faith in Ed Crouse, the General Manager. He is the expert, so I understand why this has been done. But, what if the expert has a reason to manipulate the study to benefit the developers, rather than protect the community?
In addition, the board has placed faith in the CSD consultant, hired by CSD. However, other consultants and experts in this field are in direct disagreement with some of those conclusions.
The only people who can turn this around are the members of the CSD Board or, as you suggested, the Grand Jury. I'm well aware of the Grand Jury's jurisdiction. However, In good faith, I decided to start with the Board.
Steve I'm glad you spoke up. I don't know Mrs Eckard and Ive only met Mr Crouse briefly at meetings, but if Mrs Eckard really believes that Mr Crouse manipulated drought data for some notorious reason then put some proof on the table so we can clear this mess up. My guess is you could take twenty experts all neutral and end up with twenty varying opinions and sets of data. But to imply that Mr Crouse manipulated data for some notorious reason is a bit slanderous isn't it? The implication is being made that CSD or Mr Crouse have biased the information collected. That plants a distrust about our water officials who we depend on daily. But from a residents viewpoint the accusation is coming from anti development people in the community who themselves have a strong bias as to what the data should say. A shortage of water prevents any building. Does their concern come from extreme fear of water shortages in the future or from their strong desire to not allow any additional development?
Steve speaking up is a good thing when accusations are being thrown at you. It doesn't always look good when everyone being accused remains silent. Mrs Eckard I applaud your concern in the matter but we all need to know if this is a matter of disagreement in opinions on data or if this is an accusation of illegal activity. You say your not attacking the CSD board but these accusations are a direct attack when made towards any CSD employee under their charge.
I've known Steve for years, and we are good friends. Ms. Eckard never questioned Mr. Mobley's credibility.
I suggest you watch the CSD meeting video (if you haven't already). I assume you're aware Mr. Brandt was the former CSD attorney, as well as the former CSD president. Did you hear his comments during that taped meeting? You're not assuming he's "anti development" too, are you?
Time will tell which consultant is correct--the one employed by CSD, or the one hired by the county--who, by the way, is a Cornell and Stanford graduate.
As far as I'm concerned, the history of the CDO (and prior denial of any wrongdoing--instead blaming "anti development" citizens) places additional doubt on the accuracy of the water data.
As far as the Department of Water Resources? They have been contacted. Stay tuned.
Ms Chand, I did not imply that Mr Mobley was the target for Ms Eckard. I also did not say who's report was the correct one. My comment dealt with accusations towards Mr Crouse which reflect on CSD and their ability to perform their job. I don't want to have future water shortages for any reason, development, waste, poor landscaping practices or what ever. it does not help property values and I enjoy a good shower now and then. But I do feel that those of us on the side line find it difficult to know who to believe as the side presenting this accusation of corruption has definite bias against development and I feel want to find any type of problem that will stall, delay or prevent development. And again I say I am not pro development. Maybe a little pro property rights but I don't want improper or wreckless buildout either.
I'm not assuming that the highly educated Cornell expert is anti development. As I said 20 experts will come up with 20 different reports. If I were trying to reinforce a cause I would choose the one that supported my cause. Please don't tell me that your cause is not anti development. On the other hand we are being told by anti development advocates that CSD and or Mr Crouse has had some type of cause to manipulate and support a report that allows development for some improper or perhaps illegal reason. If that was done I would be one of the first to advocate his removal. But in fairness to both the accused and the community, it isn't right to imply wrongdoing without spelling out the indictment. And saying his report doesnt agree with our report doesn't cut it.
The difference between the consultant reports is just one issue. Did you watch the entire presentation on channel 5? Did you read the documents? Do you remember that CSD once manipulated facts that backfired under the CDO?
As far as trying to stall development, are you kidding me? Half the developer projects are already in bankruptcy, the other half seem to be circling the drain. The developers can't even pay a small legal bill at CSD. They have been out of negotiations for ages.I have no fear, whatsoever, that they are going to build, nor do I have any motivation to "stop" something that simply isn't coming.
However, it's always important to get the facts on the table, so that eventually, if SOME developer ever decides to build, the community will be protected.
It will all come out in the wash. Hopefully, folks will be open early, rather than later. Last time ignoring concerns, and claiming they were trumped up by "anti development" people, cost us a very expensive CDO. That was a $200,000 fine, and the RWQCB made it clear they could have fined us as much as 131 million dollars.
I pray we never go there again. Ignoring problems, or claiming folks are making up concerns to "stop develpment" does not make the problem go away.
Did you watch Mr. Brandt speak at the CSD meeting, along with Ms. Eckard? It's on video tape. You do know Mr. Brandt's history at CSD, correct?
Below is a quote from Mr. Brandt's letter regarding CSD's manipulation of the development/water study assumptions.
'What it does is to make a large unsolved water supply shortfall problem look like asmaller unsolved problem and to allow developer/landowners to increase the number ofhouses and/or development density that they can build without solving the water supplyshortfall in accordance with a water plan that provides that all landscaping will be killedin the first year of the drought and the residents of the community will be compelled toabandon their homes if the drought lasts more than thirteen months.
To conserve water is socially responsible. To plan for future drought is prudent.
To adopt a drought response plan that limits the available water supply to an amount thatrequires all water use for landscaping to cease immediately when the drought begins and leaves the community totally without water after 12-13 months is stupid. Does the RMCSD Board stand behind such a plan? Why not a plan that says to developer/landowners build fewer houses or bring us some water?"
In all of Janis's statements about the water issues, she has never accused the board of any wrong doing or questioned their love of this community. There is however, a huge example that Candy has pointed out where someone with expertise, who lives in our community, spoke out at a meeting about something having to do with our water, and it was blown off, and cost all of us money. The board relied on Ed totally instead of looking into Brad's concerns. That is all Janis wants the CSD board to do, is consider what she is saying. Hopefully that will be the case. Myrna Solomon
18,000,000 gallons of treated water was dumped into the Consumes River. Treated water stored in Bass Lake leaked into Consumes River. This resulted in a “Cease and Desist Order”against the Country Club and CSD and a $200,000.00 fine which could have been as high as $31,000,000. Who paid this fine? You and I paid this fine, every tax payer within this district.
Developers received County approval to build when CSD GM and the CSD BOD verified there was plenty of water to support additional roof tops. The amount of available water for additional roof tops kept increasing even though there was no increase in storage capacity or additional water supplies from the controlling authorities. Where did this water come from? It came as the result of the numbers being changed on several occasions by CSD that inflated the amount of available water. These numbers were put together by the GM and his staff and the then BOD approved them.
For the past many years several CSD boards and the CSD GM have been in conflict with the majority of residents within Rancho Murieta. These boards with staff input have continually relied on the Developers to foot the bill for improvements and additions to our water storage and treatment facilities. Assuming the housing market would continue unabated into the future and the money from developers would continue flowing in CSD kept the fees artificially low by not increasing our rates. It amazes me that anyone who has lived in California for any time would forget what happened in 1980-81 when interest rates reached 21.5% and the housing industry slumped, and again what the housing market was like in the 1990’s in Rancho Murieta It’s now apparent proper reserves were not established to take care of these additions and improvements and we the taxpayers are going to see ongoing large fee increases to pay for them.
All these thing happened, partially or in total, under the watch of the current CSD GM.
Mrs. Eckard has brought to the attention of our community some very interesting information. If we don’t require our elected officials to explain how we arrived at our current position then we deserve what ever happens. Mrs. Eckard is the messenger and I’d suggest it’s not a good idea to “Shoot the Messenger” because they bring information you don’t want to hear. Janice didn’t slander any sitting board member; she spent hours analyzing a situation and then made a great effort to bring it to the attention of the proper authorities. This effort was met with quite a bit of distain and doubt and very little or maybe no effort to investigate her claims. In talking to Janice I get the distinct impression there was a real lack of cooperation from the GM. When she requested information under the “Freedom of Information Act” her requests were met with resistance and in some cases were ignored completely. The first time Janice attempted to bring this to CSD BOD attention she was basically ignored. Only after RMA heard her full presentation and put it out to the RMA community has CSD started paying attention. I hope each member of the CSD DOB fully realize they don’t work for the GM, but he works for them. The GM, who makes about $140,000 a year, is a public servant and he now has a wonderful opportunity to open up and respond to us the people who pay his salary
Unlike the RMA BOD and committee participants, the CSD BOD receives a monthly salary plus they are paid to attend a certain number of committee meeting monthly. In that regard they are the employees of us the tax paying voters of this district and shame on them if they don’t perform for us and investigate this now. The members of the current CSD Board are not who created this situation, however; they are now the BOD task with the responsibility of cleaning it up.
At least the anti development leadership and the weaponized proxies have shown themselves for what they are which is unyielding opponents of any development whatsoever of this area. Its okay that they can live here but God forbid anyone else having that same desire to build the same sort of homes or any other homes here. If you followed the recent resoning on the lack of water supply in the time of a 200 year undefineable drought we may well never have built anything out here in our fine community at all. Despite the whitenoise being kicked up it has nothing to do with the Cosumnes river, the groundwater, saving oak trees, the future water supply or anything else they have made hay about in recent years. These people are simply contrarian obstructionists and nothing more. I would suggest those in the anti- development crowd put their money where their mouth is and sue the CSD if they think they have a legally defensible issue with the CSD GM whom they have disparged. The anti-development crowd is yet another example of the ugliness that exists out here in what should be a beautiful community. I watched Janis's meandering "report" and didn't see anything to be disturbed about regarding water. We have no water problem here in Rancho Murieta. This is yet another kitchen sink approach at stopping development period.
What Janis told all of us at the RMA meeting have absolutely nothing to do with anti-development, and if you, Andy, came up with this, it is only in your mind, I saw her presentation as having to do with her tremendous concern that during a draught, this community wouldn't have enough water to not only water our landscape but everything else as well. And clearly in her mind, something smells really bad at CSD when it comes to honesty toward all of us in this community. When a public official blows off a member of the community repeatedly, that really concerns me, shouldn't it you as well??? As Dick said in his comment, Janis is just the messenger and as rate payers in this community, we now need to find out what the truth really is when it comes to; her figures or Ed's. I for one find it very suspicious that even though nothing has changed with our water situation, the number of houses have increased dramatically. These are issues and questions that we all should be wondering about, and instead of blasting the messenger Andy, I would think that you would be as interested as I am in finding out the TRUTH...... Myrna Solomon
Thank you to Steve Mobley, current director. As a previous director for eight years (1998-2006), I am appalled at the accusations of Janis Eckard. Does she think that Ed Crouse , GM, is a Svengali--fooling board after board into his view of water availability and usage? To suggest/accuse him of some sort of cabal with developers is beyond understanding. For what purpose would he do this? A payoff?? Call the cops!
Did boards plan their budgets on future growth? Of course. Good business practices demand it. We did our due diligence, the same as current boards do, using the best water planners and experts available as did boards before us If you could have heard Jim Lensch (board president) castigate Bob Cassano at one of our board meetings, you would have been shocked. And known that our boards are not in the pockets of developers. Until the anti-development folks started their vendetta against developers, of course the CSD took into consideration the fees paid by them as well as from lot owners who were building. That allowed for reserves for future replacements to be fairly applied to both current and future homeowners alike. Incidently, we are seeing raises last year and this year and probably into the future in our water rates, because we have NO new homeowners in our future. Buildable land sits vacant.
Dick Cox claims that CSD directors receive salaries. They do not. I don't think you could pay them enough to put up with some of the things that pass their way.
I am sure this brou-ha-ha will be answered satisfactorily. But slanderous accusations are out of place and unwarranted. Even the water consultant is suspect according to Ms Eckard. Please, address your concerns, but not at the risk of destroying reputations.
The presentation mentioned and the multiple emails I have read / sat through, were full of opinions, interpretations and assumptions made from "faulty" or misunderstood facts. Everything brought up during the presentation was pretty much answered to my satisfaction by either the GM, or one of our paid expert consultants. We're still going to be looking into some of the discrepancies brought up, but most of those concerns appear to me to be opinion based only and not supported by any codified regulation. I can't satisfactorily address at this time what happened before I came on-board, but I will be looking backward as has been suggested.
Not to take away from, or diminish what Mrs. Eckard has researched / learned / presented, but keep in mind that just because someone in our community makes an accusation, or comes to a different conclusion, does not make it true, valid or necessary for the district to spend tens of thousands of additional district funds to prove/disprove her, or defend the district's decisions. The district would go broke if we allowed this to happen every time a resident had an issue, or idea different than something we (CSD) were doing. Again, this board is not clueless and the GM works for us, not the other way around. If one thinks it's okay and acceptable to get up in public, on camera, and accuse the district's executive staff of criminal activity, deceit or other wrong-doing during a public meeting without all the facts, in front of the Board of Directors, you're wrong. The Board has an obligation to protect its employees from this type of abuse, deserved, or not. In my opinion, our GM was subjected to abuse. Additionally, if one thinks a public agency should give unlimited speaking time at a monthly board meeting, you are also wrong. Meetings at the CSD and other public agencies are structured.
Both forums have folks who respond to events without any thought or facts, but state their cases "firmly" enough that it sounds to the uninformed that they're credible. For example; the GM does not make $140K and CSD Directors do not get a "salary". Both answers are readily available, but the poster chose not to investigate before posting. He obviously didn't bother to investigate any of the claims being made against the CSD either. I refer to this type of behavior as the "Bull Goose Looney" approach to problem solving. Do I make my case, or should I continue to waste my time disproving much of what is being posted here? I’d prefer you come to the meetings / workshops, or at the very least wait for the GM’s directed response.
FYI, the most obvious reasons the number of houses has increased is due to the mandated construction of more water efficient homes and landscaping over the past years. The type of home being built also influences whether or not we have enough water. Smaller homes, lots, multiple family dwelling etc... use less water, therefore, more can be built. Same amount of water, smaller/different type of homes etc... less landscaping and more water efficiency in those homes equates to more homes with the same amount of water being used. Get it?
Wait until you get the facts before partaking in public responses and criticism. Have a little trust in your neighbors on the board. I can't say this enough; we're in this together and we, your CSD board, are doing our job with a watchful eye on our precious resources. Thank you for your patience and your time.
Steven Mobley, Director
Rancho Murieta Community Services District
Are you serious? You seem to imply that good-inentioned directors at CSD couldn't possibly be fooled. I don't doubt their good intentions, but I have to remind you of some rather recent history.
You were a CSD director before, during and after the $200,000 (could have been 131 million dollar) costly Cease and Desist Order. I'm sure you remember your time on the board and how Mr. Sample wasn't believed when he tried to warn everyone. In fact the attacks against Brad's credibility, the presumtion that his motives were "anti development" and the attempt to hush him seem like a painful preview of what Jan is experiencing now.
Of course this topic is complex, and nothing is black or white--not even the water issue. However, I believe the truth will unfold. Sooner or later, it always does.
Possibly the sanest response yet to the continued libelous assault on public officials serving CSD and the Sacramento BOD I've seen to date. Thank you for your service and I look forward to your continued proactive leadership. Keep the faith brother.
Setting aside all the bickering regarding who's pro development and who's not, I firmly believe our CSD has lost credibility with some, if not most members when they discharged 18 million gallons of treated water into the Consumes River on our behalf. Just that one major act put the membership on the hook for $200,000, a big chunk of change that could have been much larger. I for one am happy to know we have concerned residents checking and bringing into question just exactly how much water we do have, what we can expect to have in drought years and lastly, what our lakes will look like in full build out.. Prior to that CDO I believe the majority put their trust in our CSD, that day has now past and I thank Janis, Candy and Brad and the rest for stepping up and asking the tough questions.
In your words, I admit I am one of the "ugly" residents of this community who for 10 years have challenged the crap and b.s. Murieta Holdings developers Cassano/Kamilos have sought first in Town Halls, and then the County BoS, to cram on us and destroy what we so value here. They simply overlooked the intellect of Murietans and tried their "time share sales/feeding frenzy marketing technique on us. When that failed they went to the County Planning/DRE/BoS with their bags of bucks and gorilla lawyer delivery boy. If you can't recognize good development from bad, so be it, yet its apples and oranges from calling any opposition to this crap as anti-development and obstructionists. We formed RMDCCC, some 10 years ago, knowing this would be played out at the County level, and some 2,000 of your fellow intelligent "constituents" signed on to this effort, thoroughly knowing the crap being marketed by these bad actors. If you don't believe this, suggest follow the path of Kamilos in his other projects at Patterson, Natomas, with AKT, or the three-way arena swap deal. Indeed Director Mobley has early been part of this movement in his campaign parroting RMDCCC's mantle of "Preserve Murieta through responsible, controlled development". As a leader, he rightfully is publically defending his peers and those under him, albeit in my view, with some unintended bias towards ratepayer constituents. To use him now as your champion in your unrelated anti-Murieta campaign is disgusting. Obviously the County BoS bows to the bucks and the gorilla holding the bigger bag in rubber-stamping approvals, as we have found out. They don't give a wit about EIRs, and that can be proven. That system is corrupt!. Except for our District Supervisor Nottoli, they don't give a damn about citizens. Just witness Dickinson and his political aspirations. On to our CSD GM and local/those County meetings. He has purely changed his tune at every turn over these 10+years. There is no way to conclude other than at every turn he has favored these particular developers/agents; e.g. in meetings with key RMDCCC members some 10 years ago, he has stated Murieta has plenty of potable and treated water to handle build-out, and is in total compliance with all directives. Then a CDO? And then at the numerous County BoS hearings, where your fellow Murietans were represented in the hundreds, he invariably huddled with those developer agents Cassano/lawyer Taylor/Woodside/Warmington, rather than the countless Murietans present, and gave continuing contradictory testimony under oath to support approval of those developer maps with ample H2O satisfactions, inconsistent with what he had earlier stated in the previous 10 years, starting with his grand pronouncement at the Merchant-orchestrated annual 2000 RMA meeting, where Murieta Holdings Cassano/Kamilos were introduced by Merchant.
So contrary to these new CSD Directors and you, Mr. Lewis, Ms. Brennan, et al, the CSD GM has long been suspect in aligning with these bad actor developers at the expense of ratepayers. Why? At least to expand his sphere of influence as often happens in long tenure by furthering "will serve"/development, no matter what type? He has been too empowered and overlooked by Directors, who need to look-back on his record. You only need to start with his multiple contradictory statements in the countless meetings and EIRs on these particular projects, which have evolved over the past 10 years. So if he is such a hydrologist engineer expert which he was hired and paid to fulfill, why did he need to recently hire a water engineer at our expense without expansion, particularly in a down/freeze economy? To cover his tracks and back?
All to say, on behalf of those majority 2000+Murieta residents and rate-payers, Thank You Janis Eckerd, for having the courage to be concerned, and to challenge such perceived irregularities in our public system. Preserve Murieta and please keep charging! We are behind you. As Candy says, this will all wash out and good/right will ultimately prevail.
Mr. Keyes, are you running for reelection as an anti-Murietan? Lets repeat your posts just this thread:
Quote Andy Keyes "Anti Development is the issue.
The anti-development crowd is yet another example of the ugliness that exists out here in what should be a beautiful community.
At least the anti development leadership and the weaponized proxies have shown themselves for what they are which is unyielding opponents of any development whatsoever of this area. Despite the whitenoise being kicked up it has nothing to do with the Cosumnes river, the groundwater, saving oak trees, the future water supply or anything else they have made hay about in recent years. These people are simply contrarian obstructionists and nothing more."
I’ve been out of town for almost a week so I’m late in re-joining this discussion:
First Mary weren’t you a board member before, during and after the Cease and Desist Order? Were you not part of the BOD that castigated Brad Sample when he alerted CSD to the problem of leakage into the river? It surely appears to me that you were fooled on this one. If your professional staff would never risk their reputations by partaking of questionable activities, how did they manage to dump 18,000.000 gallons of treated water in the river? Your quote: “Dick Cox claims that CSD directors receive salaries. They do not.” So they don’t get paid $600/Month plus a stipend for up to 3-meeting a month? It’s all public record
Steve I think you are taking this far too personal. I never mentioned your name or suggested any involvement on your part in this clusterflub, so I’m amazed at your reaction. For example; the GM does not make $140K and CSD Directors do not get a "salary". I admit I was wrong about the GM’s salary, it isn’t about $140,000, it's more likes $160,000. Steve it’s great you are willing to defend the CSD staff and you should be commended. It’s also great that you are interested in getting to the bottom of this problem. The CSD BOD also has a responsibility to protect their rate payers and I’d rather see CSD spend some money to find the truth regarding this situation than sweep it under the table like they did the COD which ended up costing us $200,000.
Andy you are obviously someone who believes if there is water in the lakes there will never be any water problems. Anyone who lived through the draught of 75’, 76’, and 1977 knows how bad it can be. During 1977 I lived in the Bay area and we were limited to 125 gallons of water per day per household which resulted in everyone in our area losing their landscaping. It happened then and it will happen again, it’s just a matter of time.
By the was I had an e-mail from Janice Eckard, dated, Jul 29, 2-10, when I got home today informing me that Ed Crouse has still not released the information she asked for on current figures regarding his last estimates of available water. Wonder what he’s waiting for? It has always seems odd to me that where you find smoke you usually find fire. This should be a great opportunity for the GM to step up and show he’s part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Nitpicking the details of planning for an event that may occur once in a nations lifespan seems a bit hypersensitive especially when now it seems that some are discussing the compensation packages of the CSD staff and its board. Opening that can of worms no doubt will open the door to the community questioning the compensation package of the RMA staff and the RMA BOD’s continued lack of planning on regarding its own vast landscaping throughout the associations common areas, that is, if this is really about water management.
I have asked Ed Crouse on three separate occasions over the last three years, usually just after the Cosumnes pumping season is complete, the capacity of our water storage system. Each year it has been the same answer, 106% with the batter boards installed. We have been in a drought situation in California to some degree for those years. Each year we don't even come close to running the system dry. Should we suffer a catastrophic event as is hypothetically suggested (not supported by any data thus not statistically proven to occur at all) why would anyone assume there would be no loss of landscaping throughout the community? It’s like planning for a direct hit from an F5 tornado and expecting that your home would be damage free. If the issue is really about water management and not a witch hunt as I have suggested previously, then why is there no suggestions as to the requirement for purple pipe, radical changes in ARC rules regarding new landscaping, radical changes in all common areas including our parks to artificial grass and removal of all non native plants, strict enforcement of watering of all landscaping throughout the year, a drive to expand our water storage capacity?
You are correct Dick that I don’t believe we have a water problem here in Rancho Murieta. There are waste issues in present usage of the water resources we have that can be changed over time with education and active leadership. To date I haven’t heard any solutions to the hypothetical problem especially since they have stated that there will be no development thanks to them in our lifetime. So what is the issue? CSD’s compensation packages, its mistakes that date back decades and have now been dealt with, or is it simply the lack of CSD following the directives of a very vocal unaccountable group within the community?
As for a draught, please pour me an Alaskan Amber if you please.