Wednesday, April 23, 2014

No-shows at GDPUD could cost district $$

From page A1 | December 10, 2012 | 20 Comments

A special meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District on Friday afternoon was continued after three board members failed to show.

The board was notified on Tuesday, Dec. 4, of the need for the meeting in order to vote on amending the district’s CalPERS contract.

But board members Bonnie McLane, Kathy Otermat, and newly elected board member Maria Capraun didn’t attend.

Board member Norm Krizl said he didn’t know why the three women missed the meeting, saying it was a dereliction of duty to boycott the meeting and to not return phone calls or e-mails regarding whether or not they planned to attend.

Board President Ray Griffiths said that Otermat and Capraun had earlier indicated they might be available later in the day but McLane hadn’t responded at all.

After waiting 30 minutes, Griffiths decided to continue the meeting to 5:30 p.m. in the evening in the hope of getting a quorum. The other option discussed was to meet early Saturday morning.

While there were other items on the agenda, the main reason for the special board meeting was to amend the district’s CalPERS contract to save money on future retirement payments to new hires.

Under the district’s current agreement, employees receive 2.7 percent of their highest pay at 55. Under the new plan, if adopted, new employees would receive 2 percent at 55.

Tight deadlines associated with amending the contract prompted the urgency of the meeting. Those deadlines were based on CalPERS interpretation of a new law governing California public employees pension plans.

According to District Counsel William Wright, the board is required to follow a certain process before amending their CalPERS contract, including making available a revised actuarial valuation of the proposed amendment to bargaining units as well as to the public. This is followed by the board adopting a resolution of intent to implement the amendment. These two action were suppose to take place at the special meeting Friday afternoon.

Then no sooner than 20 days following those actions, the board is required to hold another public meeting to adopt the contract amendment. The amendment then goes into effect three days following the adoption of the amendment.

According to Wright and CalPERS, GDPUD is required to amend its current contract by Dec. 28 if it wants the changes to go into effect.

Failure to adopt the resolution by the deadline could end up costing the district thousands of dollars.

Other actions that were supposed to take place at the meeting included the swearing-in of new district board members and voting on new board members to the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association.

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


Discussion | 20 comments

  • Dink LaneDecember 09, 2012 - 2:03 pm

    Let's see -- A Board member is paid $400 a month. That tells me that the board member is NOT making a living from being a Board Member .... The three board members have JOBS! and calling an emergency meeting in 24-hours (For a PERS request made back in March or April).... to OK something that couldn't wait until Tuesday (3 days).... Is ANOTHER example of POOR Management at GDPUD..... How about waiting until 5:30 pm after they got off work.... OH, I forgot.... NORM didn't want to do that.... The lone-Non-employed board member wanted to go home to his wine-tasting room.... Guess it wasn't all that important if NORM couldn't adjust...

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  • EvelynDecember 09, 2012 - 3:01 pm

    What is the source of the Mt Dem's info that "The board was notified on Tuesday, Dec. 4, of the need for the meeting"? Hank White's notifying email is dated Wed, 5 Dec 2012 12:26:18. In the 2nd para he wrote: "Ray Griffiths has called a special meeting for the board on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 5:30 p.m." It seems Board members were not consulted about the date of the meeting; further, subsequent to initial notification, the time was changed. What are Board members with full time jobs meant to do at such short notice? Had they been properly consulted, hard feelings and waste might have been avoided. It is patently unfair/irresponsible for the paper to assign blame in the manner reported. It serves to exacerbate and prolong tensions. Time to call a truce and get down to work. Everyone.

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  • Maria CapraunDecember 09, 2012 - 3:14 pm

    The original time of the meeting was 5:30 pm on Friday the 7th but because NORM KRIZL HAD DINNER RESERVATIONS and he wanted the meeting changed to 12:30 pm. The Board was notified by email of the change, no phone calls were placed until after 12:30 pm meeting with no other member in attendance. They could not hold the meeting on Saturday because the General Manager had other plans. So, these two were why the meeting changed. I was not requested to attend this meeting! I was scheduled to be sworn in on the 11th and I was planning on attending the meeting at 5:30pm before the time change. The agenda was not posted on the District website and as of today Sunday, December 9 no agenda is posted for this meeting on the website. I was sent an email on this issue on December 5th not the 4th, on the 4th I receive the agenda for the December 11th meeting stating I was to be sworn in agenda item 2. I received this from the GM on the 5th: Hello, The board concluded labor negotiations on November 13, 2012. Pursuant to CALPERS procedures, staff sent a letter requesting a contract amendment on November 16. CALPERS contacted the district on November 29 and informed the district that the pension reform act effective January 1, 2013 would impact the district’s contract amendment. Mary Pat and Bill have researched the impact and Bill has reduced the information into the attached memo for your review. Ray Griffiths has called a special meeting for the board on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. This meeting will occur if CALPERS is successful in providing the actuarial and other amendment documents prior to the meeting. If CALPERS does not provide the documentation by Friday, it is questionable if PERS will allow an amendment to the existing contract. Also, if the legal counsel had done his job along with the General Manager the Board would have known that this was going to need to be done. The bill was passed on September 12 of this year and the General Manager was notified on September 6 of the event. Neither thought to look into it further to keep the Board informed. I was unaware of the fact that I need to be sworn in until Thursday the 6th with an email which was sent on the 6th at noon and I informed them all as soon as I read it that I could not attend the change of time of 12:30. There was not a boycott!!! Director Krizl is out of line and is the cause of the time change causing this mess. This is the most dysfunctional and none professional behavior from the GM. The GM is the Board Clerk and it is his job to ensure that the Board is informed on the meetings. Yet, he refused to call to insure that each Board member was aware of the meeting time change since he had already set a time of 5:30pm. I never received a call from the District, I received a call from a member of the public after 12:30 pm meeting time to see if I could make the 5:30 pm meeting time. I had already informed the Board President, I would come if he need me and for him to let me know. This will all change!!! This Board reports to the Public and the GM reports to the complete Board. Policies will address this shortly! All must be accountable for this behavior.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 09, 2012 - 3:45 pm

    Good grief, Dawn!!!

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  • EvelynDecember 09, 2012 - 3:51 pm

    Did Hank White write this report, or did someone from the Mt. Dem. actually attend the meeting?

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  • Maria CapraunDecember 09, 2012 - 4:21 pm

    Dawn wrote this, was at the meeting at 12:30 pm. She failed to show up for 5:30 pm.

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  • Written by Hank or Wright? You guessDecember 09, 2012 - 7:18 pm

    These articles constantly bewilder me. It's almost like they are being drafted by someone at the district. For instance this: "The board was notified on Tuesday, Dec. 4, of the need for the meeting in order to vote on amending the district’s CalPERS contract.". How does Ms. Hudson know this and why in the heck is she reporting on it? Anyone with half a brain (yes Dawn, I'm giving you credit for a half!) knows the meeting didn't happen, but this detail would have had to come from whomever sent the notification to the board. That's either getting into someone's personal information or doing completely irresponsible journalism and stating something as fact without having verified. It's really odd that this is allowed to go down on the "Oldest Newspaper" in California. You'd think they have a little more pride than that. Dawn is now a laughingstock and frankly will never be able to work anywhere else as a reporter. Perhaps the National Inquirer is seeking a hefty sad woman.

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  • Flaccid NormDecember 09, 2012 - 7:27 pm

    Is this statement from Norm Krizl TRUE or SLANDER: "....... it was a dereliction of duty to boycott the meeting and to not return phone calls or e-mails regarding whether or not they planned to attend"

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  • Jack PodsedlyDecember 09, 2012 - 8:16 pm

    The public has been trying to get the 2.0 at 55 for a year and all of a sudden the manager and 2 monkeys are trying to get a special meeting to rush it through. I can not wait until sanity is in the majority on the board.

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  • EvelynDecember 09, 2012 - 9:03 pm

    Is there some sort of sub rosa agenda at work in the Mt Dem's misrepresentation of GDPUD staff and directors? The most generous interpretation involves ignorance. But that interpretation is becoming increasingly indigestible. Please pass the Milk of Magnesia.

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  • EvelynDecember 09, 2012 - 9:29 pm

    SUGGESTION: Perhaps the paper should write a clearly identified opinion piece setting out their view of the state of affairs at GDPUD, stating who they hold responsible for the current state of affairs and why. Having got that off their chest, they subsequently could endeavor to report what actually happens.

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  • Pat SnellingDecember 10, 2012 - 4:40 am

    I am bewildered by GDPUD's leadership. Board President said the other Board members could meet at a later time -- and the Board President calls a meeting anyway??? Who does that? Why couldn't they meet later when they would have a quorum? -- Here is one more question: HOW MUCH DID IT COST TO HAVE THE ATTORNEY STAND AROUND? You can't blame the people who were asked to jump on such short notice. I blame the people who called for the 12:30 pm meeting knowing that they wouldn't have enough members to do business -- so the Attorney's fees start clicking.

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  • Jim RiordanDecember 10, 2012 - 10:22 am

    Fire em all. I'm sick and tired of hearing about CalPers and all the other worthless unions with their hands out . . .If they want more, let 'em go EARN it somewhere else. Other NON-UNION folks will gladly step in to make what they earn.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 10, 2012 - 11:01 am

    Mr. Riordan,CalPERS is not a union. It's more like "Fidelity" or an IRA or a 401K than any union. Public employers AND employees contribute (defer pay) and CalPERS invests in stocks and bonds (wall street). CalPERS has never "struck", or initiated "work actions". Nonetheless CalPERS is in financial difficulty because the Ponzi scheme of wall street relying on uninterrupted compounding growth is . . . uh . . . never-never land of OZ bologna. . . LINK - FACTS AT A GLANCE

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  • Kathy OtermatDecember 13, 2012 - 2:01 am

    to "Flacid Norm" - it is not true and is slander. After the open session of our GDPUD regular board meeting on Dec. 11, I asked Norm based on what facts did he state "the three women boycotted the meeting?". He stated it was his opinion since the tree of us didn't show up. He is not the Board President. I don't cc: a quorum of the Board so I did reply by email to our Board President Ray Griffiths and the GM Hank White regarding my inability to attend a 12:30pm meeting due to my work schedule. They are both aware I work during the day. Mr. Krizl's statements was entirely inaccurate. I did not know whether Maria Capraun nor Bonnie McLane would be attending the meeting. I only responded regarding my scheduling conflict. As opposed to the prior Board, we do not meet nor discuss as a quorum. We have and will continue to abide by the Brown Act with no backroom meetings, or lunches as a quorum. No one at the district called me regarding the meeting times or to ask about my ability to attend. As past treasurer, I received calls to come in and sign checks but with something like the CalPers amendment with a hard deadline, no one at the District thinks the Board Members should be called? I've known that Director McLane's email has been down for a couple of months, it turns out that she too never received a call. Shortly after I learned the meeting was changed to Friday at 12:30 I received a call from a cousin who lives in Georgia, asking if I could pick him up at Sscramento Airport Friday at 5:30pm. I said yes. When the GM sent an email on Friday at 1:30pm (again no phone call) that the meeting was changed to 5:30pm, my cousin was already in the air and I had no one to pick him up for me. Another cousin's funeral was last Monday so I was busy helping with arrangements including helping out of town relatives. To read that Norm called me derelict in my duties for boycotting the meeting, just made me shake my head. Norm had the nerve to chastise Director Capraun to speak with respect to the GM when his statements to the Mountain Democrat are yet another example of his poor judgement and his lack of respect for other Directors. As Ms. Capraun stated to him, perhaps it's time for him to look in the mirror when it comes to not treating others with respect. I encourage all to listen to the Board audio for themselves rather than the sensational biased reporting Dawn Hudson and editor Mike Raffety choose to continue to report regarding GDPUD.

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  • Jerry SilvaDecember 13, 2012 - 2:08 am

    Excuse me but doesn't the Brown Act require 24 hour prior notice for a Special Meeting. How could the Board President continue the meeting to a new time (5:30) that was never posted to the public. Perhaps someone with real legal expertise could help this Board out? Obviously District Counsel Bill Wright isn't earning his keep. Read in another article he turned in his resignation. Good riddens to him!

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  • EvelynDecember 13, 2012 - 4:48 am

    Speaking of dereliction of duties: Elsewhere ("EID GM, counsel voted raises") Editor Michael Rafferty reports EID Director John Fraser's remark that GDPUD's District Counsel Bill Wright is "a real expert on water law." Unfortunately water legal eagle Wright either has learned nothing about the Brown Act during his 20 year GDPUD stint or has not seen fit to impart relevant information to GM White. Oh, and about that slander . . .

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  • Bonnie (former Divide Resident)December 13, 2012 - 8:26 am

    I read with interest the comments re: Bill Wright and his "expertise with water law". Bull pucky. Has no one forgotten he was let go by the Garden Valley Fire Department and Black Oak Unified School District, both Govt Districts on the Divide? Board members from that era don't recall Mr. Wright with any respect for his knowledge but rather his ability to milk their respective districts. Bill Wright found a home at GDPUD for the last 20+ years. A little "quid pro quo" perhaps? IF he were a true "water law expert" then why doesn't he handle water rightslicensing for GDPUD? He was just their general counsel. Areas requiring expertise were contracted to other firms for water rights, litigation, etc. Bill Wright and John Fraser may be think highly of Wright's expertise but I tend to hear more talk on the Divide about his lack of knowledge which led to his contract not being renewed at other Districts. This is information that unless you are close to some of the Board members who experienced working with Bill Wright, you may not know. And wasn't Bill Wright's name on lunch receipts with the entire GDPUD Board too? Ask any other legal counsel for a govt agency if that is compliance of the Brown Act? Isn't his job to guide the district to comply, not assist by participating?

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  • ClydeDecember 13, 2012 - 8:49 am

    Sorry, Bonnie, you're off script. Repeat after me: BILL WRIGHT IS A REAL EXPERT ON WATER LAW.

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  • Bonnie (former Divide Resident)December 13, 2012 - 8:54 am

    Sorry folks, just took my dose of Special GDPUD Koolaid that relinquishes all thought processes. Bill Wright is a real expert on water law. Bill Wright is a real expert on water law. Bill Wright is a real expert on water law.

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