Friday, August 1, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

GDPUD board discusses code of conduct policy, staring

By
From page A1 | November 20, 2013 |

Last Tuesday’s board meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District promised to be a humdrum affair until Director Kathy Otermat circulated drafts of two new policies for review and comment.

Important Subscriber Update

We will be switching to a new online subscription service on Tuesday, August 5th. If you are already a subscriber with login access to MtDemocrat.com you will need to re-register under the new service. This will not affect your bill. Please take the time today to click "Subscriber Verification" to verify your subscription with us and continue your access to MtDemocrat.com before the new service takes over.

We apologize for the temporary inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience and continued support while we make this transition.

- Mountain Democrat

1-Month Access
Subscriber Verification
Help?

Brought up previously at workshops and other board meetings, the more contentious policy outlined how directors should conduct and communicate among themselves. A second policy set down rules of order for board and committee meetings.

A mix of the obvious, the banal and the cloying, the policy on personal conduct advised directors, among other things, to keep discussions focused on specific agenda items in order to make “wise decisions intended to solve problems.”

The policy went on to specify that during meetings, directors should participate while “demonstrating respect, kindness, consideration and courtesy to others. Responsiveness and attentive listening in communication is encouraged.”

Directors were also expected, both in meetings and in public, to “serve as a model of leadership and civility to the community (and) demonstrate honesty and integrity in every action and statement.”

“Belligerent comments” were to be forbidden along with “loud, uncivil tones (or) shouting or physical actions that could be construed as threatening.” Directors were also to avoid “personal comments that could offend other board members.” If accused of such, the director could be called upon to “justify or apologize for the language used.” The policy also cautioned directors to avoid “double talk, hidden agendas, backbiting and other negative forms of interaction.”

With the policy governing conduct drawing most of the negative comments, Director Maria Capraun suggested it be simplified and shortened, saying there was no need to specify what is meant by civility. “Most people know what it means,” she said.

Director Ray Griffiths agreed, saying the policy was too “voluminous.” However, Board President Bonnie McLane said the district had been sued in the past because of a lack of policies, though her main concern seemed to be that District Counsel Barbara Brenner stay within her retainer fee when reviewing the policies.

Speaking in favor of keeping the policies as they are was Otermat, who said it was important to keep the definition of civility in the policy as well as the part about avoiding physical actions that could be construed as threatening; “at the last board meeting, Director (Norm) Krizl was sta-a-a-aring at me,” she said, leaning across the table to glare at him.

Krizl responded by saying, “For the record, I think this will end up costing us hundreds if not thousands of dollars and it is a colossal waste of time and energy. All this stuff is either stuff our moms taught us to do or is already in the Utility Code. It’s all in place and we’re just reinventing the wheel and spending $200 to $300 an hour to do it. We’ve had this on the agenda four or five times and it just keeps going and going and going. It’s a waste of time, in my opinion.”

But this is how you create policies, insisted Capraun, saying they were just getting started.

“That’s fine,” said Krizl. “I won’t argue about it anymore. I’m not going to win the argument. You guys are going to do whatever the hell you want to do anyway.”

Otermat responded saying, “That’s why we need the policy. Because there are exaggerated untruthful statements that directors make,” adding it would only cost $150 to $175 an hour for legal review. “You can’t make statements with no consequences,” she continued. “That’s why we need a policy. The public needs to know we have a director who wants to still stand on history and tradition with no rules and no policies. I’m glad you clarified that. You’re right. You will not win this one. Your vote is insignificant now.”

Krizl laughed and asked, “How does that fit in with the code of conduct? And this from a director who sent an e-mail to the local paper calling me by name an ‘–hole.’”

With that, McLane gaveled the discussion to a close and directed counsel to review the draft policies and bring them back to the board at a future meeting.

The board has already adopted one part of the policy governing personal conduct and has since incorporated it into its meetings. For several months now, McLane has read a statement at the beginning of each meeting advising people how to address the board, which means using the director’s title and last name. In addition the public is warned that persistent disruptive conduct is grounds for “summary termination, by the president, of that person’s privilege of address.”

In other business, the board discussed a request from John and Alexandra Duarte to consolidate two irrigation services, one on their current property and the other on an adjacent property that the Duartes are in the process of purchasing. The matter was referred to counsel.

The next regular meeting of the board will be on Dec. 10, at 9 a.m. at district headquarters.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Cameron Park house burns

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Supes delay petition

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

    Fire generated small city, inspired volunteers

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Sand Fire 95% contained

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

     
    Two fires in town

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A3

    .

    Opinion

    Missing the point

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    The weekly Daley: The wrong side of history

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

    Billingsley’s bullets: Advice from my psychiatrist

    By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Letters

    Second Amendment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

     
    Pollock Pines’ Fourth of July Parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

    Water conservation

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

     
    Koby

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    Debt reduction at EID with Coco?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Time for change in CP

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

    Olives need less water

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    EID rate discrimination

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

    .

    Sports

    Camp draws good numbers

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post | Gallery

     
    New law tackles gridiron concussion problem

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Outside with Charlie: Rafting denied

    By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A9

     
    Racing returns with big 5-division card

    By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A9

    Roundup: July 31, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Prospecting

    Sing while you paint

    By Placerville Arts Association | From Page: B1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

     
    Plenty of golden fun during SlugFest

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Things to do: Aug. 1, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2

     
    The making of a champion

    By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B2

    Art on the Divide is showing new exhibitor

    By Art On The Divide | From Page: B3

     
    ‘The Flu Season’ stirs emotions

    By Ovation Stage | From Page: B4

    Guitar group performs in Sutter Creek

    By Sutter Creek | From Page: B5

     
    Time to register for classes at Center Stage

    By Center Stage Dance Academy | From Page: B5

    Get a groove on in Sutter Creek

    By Sutter Creek | From Page: B8

     
    Chris Young in concert at Carson Valley Inn

    By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B8

    The music continues at Bear Valley Music Festival

    By News Release | From Page: B8

     
    Sacramento Museums are celebrating

    By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B9

     
    .

    Essentials

    Weather stats

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

     
    Crime Log: July 17-19

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

    .

    Obituaries

    Mark A. Smith

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Jeffie “Jeff” Lee Callahan

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Patsy Ruth Wing

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Lisa Oliver Rose

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Larry A. Randall

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Real Estate

    Decorating your home by the numbers

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

     
    Avoiding the deal killers

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

     
    Luxury home sales jump

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

     
    Pending home sales decrease in June

    Press Release | From Page: HS13

     
    Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

    Press Release | From Page: HS17

    Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

    Press Release | From Page: HS23

     
    .

    Comics

    .

    Home Source

    Decorating your home by the numbers

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

    Avoiding the deal killers

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Luxury home sales jump

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

    Pending home sales decrease in June

    Press Release | From Page: HS13

    Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

    Press Release | From Page: HS17

    Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

    Press Release | From Page: HS23