Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cameron Park Community Service District

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)…

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!


Cameron Park

Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 1 comment

  • jriordanMarch 24, 2012 - 1:27 pm

    Ms. Neibauer, Unfortunately I am not surprised. When this original CSD proposal was going to ballot, I pointed out that there was no money allotted for maintenance of the pool, supervision & lifeguards, liabilty insurance, etc. And that we were a small CSD lacking the funds to build and maintain such a Taj Mahal. Mr. Clarke, and another bozo on the board at the time the building of the pool was being discussed, packed the meetings with people, some not even from our district, demanding that the pool be reconfigured to have more lanes, equipment, etc. without any MOUs in place to assure at least a break even budget. Instead, the pool size and configuration were increased which of course increased maintenance and supervisorial needs. The buildings' sizes increased while promised "kitchen facilities" and other "promised" equipment shrunk. Every time any citizens asked for actual budget figures, you know, backed by real "generally accepted accounting practices" books and records, there were NEVER any such records produced or made "available". To me this verges on criminal. It is my understanding that only after Rusty Dupray stepped in and began demanding REAL accounting, that citizens finally had a glimmer of hope of finding out where the funding of the CSD truly stood. Again, it is my understanding that the CSD is today still over $100k in the red once the "real" numbers came to light. It does not surprise me at all that Mr. Clarke would have no clue about presenting accurate "state of the CSD" financial reports. You see his "background" ,as I understand it, was as a lobbyist and political consultant and their only expertise, in my opinion, is to attempt to make weeds smell like and look like roses. His world is one of smoke and mirrors with no grasp of reality. It does not surprise me at all that Mr. Clarke would be unable to understand the "sixth grade math" you spoke of. After all, it takes him twenty minutes of flipping pages back and forth just to get through a three page document. Just watch for yourself. . . However, change may be near. He is soon coming up on the end of his term, thank God. Perhaps Sheva can then beg Rich Green to fill his slot . . Mr. Green actually (sigh) understands math, accounting and the challenges facing this district. All Mr. Clarke and his (finally) departed "comrade in idiocy" have to show for their time at the CSD is leaving us with an upside down financial house and, well, they can brag about being accused of "sexual harrassment." Yep, I'd be real proud of those accomplishments. Lastly, I can understand Mr. McNeil's reluctance to Mr. Nutting being able to obtain public information . . .after all, wasn't it public information that clearly showed Mr. McNeil was running for supervisor in our district while actually living in another district? . . . .Or wait, maybe that was not supposed to be public information. Please Ms. Neibauer keep attending as long as you can stomach it . . You and people like you are needed . . and appreciated.

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