Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Interim GDPUD GM introduced

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From page A1 | August 02, 2013 | 14 Comments

Gary Hoffmann, the new interim general manager of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District (GDPUD) was introduced at a special board meeting on Tuesday (July 30).

With board President Bonnie McLane lauding his credentials, Hoffmann said he was there “to help the district fulfill its mission and to help the board accomplish it.”

The board also recognized the services of Kelly Shively who has served as interim general manager for the past few months. He is now the operations manager.

However, Hoffmann’s hiring did nothing to reduce dissension at the meetings as board member Norm Krizl questioned if the district had a contract with Hoffmann, as he had not seen it. McLane responded, saying she signed Hoffmann’s contract after Interim Counsel John Knowlton and Hoffmann worked out the details.

Krizl then criticized that action, saying the contract should have been made available to board members before it was signed, noting that, “There’s been tons of criticism for contracts being let without board review and hiring a temporary head of this agency is a pretty important thing and that should have been made available to the board.”

Board member Kathy Otermat said the major points of the contract were discussed during the interviews. However, Krizl maintained the board should have had the chance to review it before it was signed by McLane.

Knowlton apologized, saying he thought everyone had received a copy of the contract. He added that the major issues discussed in closed session had not changed.

Krizl reiterated the point that the contract should have been made available to the entire board and the public before it was signed. “Once again we have gone through an inappropriate hiring process in hiring someone into an important position,” he said, adding that his comments were in no way a reflection on Hoffmann’s qualifications.

“Increasingly we come to board meetings and there’s stuff on here (the agenda) and I haven’t seen anything or heard anything about it whatsoever,” said Krizl, saying he is frequently handed things at board meetings that he’s expected to read and vote on during the meeting.

“It’s not the right way to go,” he said. “We should have it in advance. For someone who reports to the board, and for the board not to have seen the contract prior to it being ratified is huge. It is emblematic of what has been going on here. Things are going on behind the scenes that other directors are not aware of.”

McLane then apologized, saying it was an oversight on her part.

“That’s it?” asked Krizl. “So I can’t review the contract before it’s signed? You’re denying a board member the right to review a contract for the general manager who is going to work for all five of us before it’s signed?”

McLane then gaveled an end to the discussion and moved on to the next agenda item, which was a job description for the general manager. Board member Ray Griffiths said that only Otermat, McLane and Maria Capraun had any input into the job description, to which Capraun suggested he forward any additions to her.

Resident Dennis Goodenow recommended the board focus more on a skill set rather than just job duties. He said that would help them find a “superstar” for the position. Public relations skills are particularly important, said Goodenow.

On the other hand, resident Jack Podsedly thought it wasn’t necessary for the new general manager to either have a bachelor’s degree or 10 years of experience as a general manager. They might cut out lots of good people that way, he suggested.

The board also discussed what process to use in recruiting a new general manager. Capraun suggested using a professional recruiting firm that she estimated would cost around $40,000. Otermat suggested, instead, that the board consider using the personnel firm HR2GO since they previously helped coordinate efforts to hire a new office manager.

Hoffmann was asked to consult with HR2GO and to report back to the board at its next meeting on the firm’s ability to do that kind of recruiting.

In an e-mail from Capraun following the meeting, she stated Krizl will be allowed to examine the contract before it’s released publicly.

The next regular meeting of the board is on Aug. 13 at 9 a.m. at the district office.

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

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 14 comments

  • MorrisAugust 01, 2013 - 1:51 pm

    I feel it's reasonable to state that the general public is quite tired of the petty cackling heard from this board. As well what has appeared to be slanted reporting of such by the Mountain Democrat. I have been one of many voices echoing this statement. But today, well, perhaps that position should be reconsidered after this latest Goatscrew of Georgetown. Bringing on an Interim General Manager without first having provided copies of the final draft contract for review and approval by each board stakeholder is shocking. That it could be approved counsel and approved by the President in this sidestep of procedure warrants the immediate removal of both. As well,the contract void and a restart of negotiations. I feel that after 7 years as the VP of a Fortune 100 company and over 10 years of success in running a small business, that I have some credibility in speaking to this beyond general opinion. This is shocking. Counsel should have the signature of every stakeholder before ever bringing the deal back for public consumption. In the absence of such, the President should have stepped in and facilitated. Lastly, I know nothing of HT2GO but know this: A clerk might be found using their services and one might be quite happy with same. However, a firm labeled HR2GO is the LAST place I'd start my search for a qualified management professional. Especially not If my butt was on the line for approving a candidate submitted for consideration. What a joke. On the ratepayers.

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  • The Power of OneAugust 01, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    There is a very LONG history of GDPUD board meetings with inadequate time or material for the board members to prepare for regular or special meetings. Months ago at one of the evening GDPUD workshops an attempt to resolve this by hiring a temporary part-time board clerk was shot down by Norm. It is well known in town that the current GDPUD staff ignores or refuses to prepare or provide materials or copies, if requested by certain board members. I'm glad Norm is finally admitting there's a problem and hope soon there will be solutions. Norm, you are supposed to represent ME (John Q Public) and would like to ask you... why you couldn't offer to make copies for everyone?

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  • sliderAugust 02, 2013 - 8:10 am

    "Hey Moe, Lets hire a general manager...nyuck, nyuck nyuck". Once again the three stooges show us how incompetant they are. While I am very impressed with Mr. Hoffmans resume and experience and think he will do a fine job, I regretfully believe that once he starts to act professional, Moe, Curly and Larry will will poke him in the eyes and hit him over the head with a bowling pin. nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. NO CONTRACT SHOULD BE SIGNED BEFORE THE ENTIRE BOARD AND THE PUBLIC HAVE A CHANCE TO REVIEW IT! Basic high school civics girls.

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  • SD CounselAugust 02, 2013 - 8:34 pm

    Dear Slider, Nothing thrills me more than to hear ignorant baboons throw out BS and expect other ignoramuses to believe you! I serve 3 local special districts and contracts are not public records until they are final. If GDPUD is still allowing Board Members review and possibly amend a contract then their legal counsel was absolutely correct in not allowing Director Capraun to give it to the public including Dawn Hudson, something you wouldn't find in high school civics idiot. Next time read the CA Public Rexords Act before you pretend open your mouth.

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  • Phil VeerkampAugust 02, 2013 - 8:43 pm

    Morris, do you have anything for SD Counsel?

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  • FranAugust 02, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    Seattle removes offensive words 'citizen,' 'brown bag' from vocabulary 7 hrs ago Sorry Seattle residents, but citizens are no longer allowed to brown bag it, because city officials have decided that the words "citizen" and "brown bag" are offensive. The Office for Civil Rights has circulated a memo encouraging government employees to stop using those terms. Memo author Elliott Bronstein suggests using "residents," "sack lunch" or "lunch and learn" instead. (Because everyone will start asking co-workers "Are we hitting Subway or did you lunch and learn it today?") Bronstein says that brown bag could be misinterpreted as a reference to skin color, while citizen isn't inclusive enough. "A lot of people who live in Seattle aren't citizens but they are residents," he said. "[Citizens] doesn't include a lot of folks." http://now.msn.com/seattle-says-words-citizen-and-brown-bag-could-be-offensive

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FranAugust 02, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    High court won't delay release of Calif. inmates http://news.yahoo.com/high-court-wont-delay-release-calif-inmates-213152860.html

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  • Foaming at the MouthAugust 03, 2013 - 9:53 am

    SD Counsel - What does your experience tell you about one board member signing a contract before the entire board has approved it?

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  • SD CounselAugust 03, 2013 - 10:20 pm

    I am trying to get a recording of the meeting then will report back. Just reading comments from other GDPUD articles recommend listening to recordings and as opposed to Slider i prefer not to be ignorant before I comment further.

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  • Foaming at the MouthAugust 04, 2013 - 10:45 pm

    SD - recordings are on their website.

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  • The Power of OneAugust 05, 2013 - 10:59 pm

    July 30 Special Meeting recording still not available on GDPUD website. We need a little less foaming and a lot more fact. In other news, two Foresthill Board Directors recently resigned and will not be serving the balance of their term.

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  • SD CounselAugust 06, 2013 - 12:14 pm

    Correct, no recording yet. Basically because Board Members cannot communicate as a majority outside of public notification, it is NOT UNCOMMON for legal counsel to get the parameters of a contract, send a draft and receive comments, then work with the Board President rather than wait for the next meeting. The direction from the Board to legal counsel would have been in closed session so we will most likely never know what the Board directives were. I looked at the July 30th agenda and there was no topic regarding the IGM contract. Closes was Introduction of Gary Hoffmann, New IGM. Legal Counsel should have stopped Krizl midstream first sentence regarding the contracts as this was clearly outside of the IGM introduction (at least I would have done that). And Krizl should have know he was clearly stepping outside of the Brown Act re going off topic. I understand Krizl has been on the Board for 10+ years too. He should have known better, he either needs a refresher on the Brown Act or intentionally was trying to stir some shit that the other Board Directors couldn't comment on because it clearly was a closed session topic. Too bad Dawn Hudson didn't catch that and instead was right Norm was clearly violating the Brown Act and instead chose to run with Krizl's rant.

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  • SD CounselAugust 06, 2013 - 1:24 pm

    Yes, there is no July 30 recording up. It is not uncommon for a Board to give legal counsel the parameters for a contract, have the draft sent to the Board, then have the Board President work with counsel to finalize and sign a contract. Because Boards only meet once a month, with a special meeting now and then, and a majority of a board cannot communicate with each other without public notice, in order to keep business going in a timely manner, most items cannot and do not have a board meeting for each reiteration of a contract. To do this would surely not benefit the publics best interest. Interestingly enough when I reviewed the July 30h agenda, there was no agenda for discussion of the IGM contract, closest was a topic welcoming the new IGM. If I were GDPUDs legal counsel I would have told Director Krizl he was off-topic and should ask for the contract topic to be agendized at a future meeting and stopped it right there. Apparently Director Krizl isn't knowledgeable with the Brown Act or deliberately chose to throw out allegations for the sake of the press while the other Directors had their hands tied in order for them not to also violate the Brown Act. Why doesn't Dawn Hudson report on those areas also?

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  • EvelynAugust 06, 2013 - 1:33 pm

    SD Counsel is correct. The July 30 recording is not up. I haven't been following this particular thread but would agree with anyone who might have suggested that, minus the recording, it is impossible to judge.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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