SBCWD BOARD MEETING MINUTES


SPECIAL MEETING

A.    CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL



Directors present:
Scott Tye, President
Elizabeth Sapanai, Vice President
Barbara Boucke, Director
Joe Veit, Director
Jim Zell, Director

Council present:
Raymond McDevitt
Kurt Franklin

Staff present:
Raven Schauf, Recording Secretary
Richard Dinges

B.    PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Director Tye stated that on September 15, 2006 he sent Richard Dinges a notice of today's meeting and a description of some of the specific concerns the board has with his performance as General Manager; Mr. Dinges responded to those concerns in a letter dated September 20 in which he stated his intention of speaking to the board. Director Tye said he informed Richard that by addressing the board in open session his referenced letter would likely be made a public record with the District.

Richard Dinges then addressed the board. Mr. Dinges stated that he had been informed that in a closed session the Board of Directors had formed an ad hoc committee to address the actions of the office manager, but that what occurred instead was an investigation of his actions. Mr. Dinges posed the following questions to the Board:

  1. Why was he not told that an investigation of his actions was being done?
  2. Why was the only staff member questioned in this investigation the individual making the allegation, and why wasn't he or anyone else questioned?
  3. Why was the list of allegations given to him only after he was asked for his resignation?
  4. Why were the concerns of this disgruntled employee, and employee who has openly expressed opposition to infrastructure improvements, been given more credence than his?
  5. Why is the Board continuing with its request for his resignation when the accusations are unfounded, seemingly petty, and in many cases several years old?
  6. Why does the Board now claim that it does not understand or remember certain items, despite acting on them in 2002?
  7. Why were none of these issues brought up during his reviews in the past couple of years?

Mr. Dinges stated that during his tenure from 1995 to date he has kept this district in DHS compliance, reinstated its insurance with JPIA, and reduced insurance costs to this District.

Mr. Dinges continued that major projects completed under his direction included: the installation of new water meters that increased revenue by twenty percent, the addition of new tanks that increased storage capacity by thirty-five percent, and the installation of the well and pump station that increased pumping capacity and source supply by thirty percent. In addition, the District increased flow capacity to meet fire flow needs and domestic service.

Mr. Dinges said that he enforced education, training and certification of all employees, and was instrumental in reducing construction costs by utilizing district personnel on most projects. Mr. Dinges noted that the District had not had any legal disputes or lawsuits brought against it during the past twelve years, and that the District's wastewater management plan and policies are continuing to lead the nation. Finally, Mr. Dinges stated that the wastewater inspections and telemetry have played and integral part in keeping with the environmental protection of the location's natural resources. Mr. Dinges concluded his presentation by stating that he would like to get some answers to his questions outlined above.

Director Tye stated that he would like to close the public part of the meeting and move to closed session, which pertains to the next item on the agenda: Dismissal of the General Manager.

C.    CLOSED SESSION/DISMISSAL OF THE GENERAL MANAGER/RETURN TO OPEN SESSION

  1. Review of the General Manager's Position: The Board met in closed session under Government Code Section 54957. The Board returned to open session.

D.    AREPORT ON ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION OR ACTION IN OPEN SESSION TO DISMISS EMPLOYEE

Director Sapanai made the motion for dismissal of the General Manager and for termination of his contract, adding that as it is not a dismissal for cause, the District will be making the payments that are due to him under his contract. Motion seconded by Director Zell, approved by unanimous vote. Director Tye confirmed the motion as accepted by all Directors and stated that the Board will execute the communication in a written letter.

E.    PERSONEL COMMITTEE - TITLE III

Director Zell stated that advice of counsel dictates that no action can be taken regarding issues under this agenda item because the agenda listing was not specific enough. Still, Director Zell declared that he needs some feedback from the board regarding several personnel issues and that action needs to be taken on those issues as soon as possible.

First, Director Zell asked the board to give some consideration to a severance package for Raven Schauf. Director Zell asked the board if they received the email of Raven's declination of the offer extended to her, and then added that Chris Kelley has offered his assistance in the office.

Second, Director Zell stated that Toby Bisson's job description needs to be changed to accommodate his pay increase, and that an effective date for the increase needs to be determined. Director Zell said that he had penciled a rough draft of Foreman Bisson's interim job description to be circulated to all directors. Director Boucke emphasized the importance of relating to Toby that his rate increase is temporary. Director Zell replied that he plans to meet with Toby once the job description for his increased responsibilities is approved. It was determined by counsel that public sector retroactive pay increases are statutorily and constitutionally prohibited.

Third, Director Zell discussed the possibility raised at the last meeting of increasing Rich Souza's hours. Director Zell related a conversation he had with Chris Kelley during which he learned that Rich gets a discounted hourly rate when he works for the District; Rich currently commands $120.00 per hour but his standard rate is $135.00/hour. Chris conveyed that it is of concern to Rich's employer when Rich is asked to do additional work. Director Zell added that Mr. Souza does not like to drive over the hill for less than a full day's work. Thus, Director Zell indicated that the District may need to offer Mr. Souza his full rate in order for him to increase his hours. Director Sapanai suggested as a solution that the Board consider the idea of having Rich spend his additional hours at the county offices signing off on plans.

Director Sapanai stated that Raven's severance pay must be set for the next meeting so that action can be taken on it. Director Sapanai added that she would like to see Toby Bisson at board meetings and suggested that the Board consider going to a temporary agency to hire someone to perform Raven's clerical tasks. Board discussed tasks to be delineated to a temporary clerical employee vs. an interim general manager

F.    ADJOURNMENT

Motion to adjourn made by Director Veit, seconded by Director Zell, meeting adjourned by 6 p.m. by unanimous vote.




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