EDITOR: I only began attending Cameron Park CSD meetings and several of the monthly committee meetings several months ago. My original thought was to familiarize myself with various community issues and to volunteer if and where I saw a need. It became apparent from the very first meeting that there is a general lack of professionalism, sense of arrogance and apathy from several Board members, which is met with a questioning and frustrated public with varying levels of trust. Mostly these Board members sit inattentively much of the meeting, eyes and pencil to the paper before them, never meeting the eyes of the speaker or those of the public before them. As I listened night after night, I found that I, too, became frustrated and concerned with the lack of information and financial condition of the District , but the unprofessional and straight up arrogance of some Board members is beyond anything I have seen in my 35 years of government administrative experience. And then came last Wednesday night’s meeting (Feb. 15)…
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Board member McNeil publicly challenged the newly-seated Board president several times. He chastised her in open session for not being properly indigent when a citizen, coincidently a County Supervisor, formally asked for information concerning legal costs relating to litigation between the County and the District. Apparently, McNeil feels that Supervisor Nutting is not a citizen with a right to access to public information. Nor does it seem McNeil respects the right to confidentiality so as to protect those who ask for such information, certainly a breach of ethics as a Board member at the very least.
That same night, the staff presented a request to increase pool fees with no other justification than a comparison of fees at surrounding area pools. No estimates of increased costs or attendance estimates of those in various fee categories such as seniors meant to cover these costs. No data to support the need for pool fees to be increased, or decreased. And certainly no specific data to suggest that certain groups, individuals, families and seniors be targeted for a fee increase as proposed.
Unfortunately, this is not the first fee increase to come before the Board with this lack of proper cost analysis and support. A couple of months ago, the Community Center facility rates were revised with little opposition from the Board. With McNeil as Board President and contrary to public concern regarding the lack of proper supporting cost data for the request, the revised fees, were approved, an ill afforded decrease this time, without any support data beyond a survey of facility fees of surrounding areas.
But, back to Wednesday night and the pool fees, when Board President Frentzen asked that the fee request be taken back for staff to properly support with the necessary cost information, a vote was taken. The vote tally was 3-2 with McNeil and Clarke voting “No” due to a March print deadline for the District Recreation Guide pointed out by the District Manager as a concern.
An unsupported fee increase against a print deadline? How could such an irresponsible decision be considered as good for the community and the CSD…McNeil? Clarke?
So, here is my concern…How do we come together as a community, make the hard decisions that must be made, both financially and operationally, to make the Community and Aquatic Center financially healthy and not drag the District down, when we can’t put together and work through a simple pool fee increase using 6th grade math? Come on Folks Let’s Just Do What’s Right Before We Break The Bank!