Proposed Recall – Just The Facts
At the special FPUD Board of Directors (BOD) meeting on February 25th I was presented with a Notice of Intention to Recall. Subsequent to that, the proponents of the recall published their Notices of Intention to Recall in the Auburn Journal. This action, if successful, could remove me from the BOD. In that document, several untrue allegations were made about me that I am now addressing with you.
As a district resident and member of the Board of Directors for Foresthill Public Utility District, I take my position as a serious responsibility to represent all members of the District. I volunteered for this position and have been on the BOD since December 2016.
The proponents outright state that there is a majority conclusion among the constituents and ratepayers that I failed to uphold the best interests of the ratepayers. The only evidence they offer are the signatures on the recall notice, and those signatures represent less than one percent of the ratepayers. Apparently, the proponents believe they do not need to follow the legal system in order to reach a majority conclusion.
The proponents of the recall allege that I somehow conspired to ignore a Superior Court judgement and Writ of Mandate. The facts are far different from these fallacious allegations. In fact, I have fully followed all legal requirements regarding that judgement, as well as any writs and all pending legal suits.
Here are the facts: As representatives of the ratepayers, the FPUD Board of Directors met with the District’s legal counsel in a legal meeting, as required by law. We thoroughly reviewed the said Judgement, debated the issues, and determined the court ruling made incorrect assumptions and rulings, and was therefore flawed. To protect the financial interests of all ratepayers, we voted to appeal the decision to the California Court of Appeals and asked that court to review the case and reverse the lower court’s ruling. It is indeed our duty and responsibility to make such decisions in order to protect the District from incorrect interpretations of the law, as is fully supported and allowed by the law.
Because the lower court’s decision is under appeal, all court findings including judgements, Writ of Mandates, performance of a rate study, and adoption of a new rate structure are awaiting a decision by the higher Court of Appeals, and therefore, are on hold pending a decision by the Appellate Court. The litigants in this suit are upset that the District has not rolled over and yielded to their ongoing demands for money. They have persisted for the past year to attempt to influence public opinion by publishing false claims in newspapers and in social media as well as employed rude and disruptive verbal attacks during BOD meetings.
Do you really want people to represent you who are unwilling to acknowledge and follow the procedures of our legal system? Do you really want the District to just roll over and pay anyone that files a suit? Do you really want the District to charge any person or business what they wish to pay rather than have them pay their fair share?
If your answer is “NO”, then you do not want the proponents of the recall to represent you. Please do not sign any petitions to recall any current Board Members.
Despite not being a legal requirement at this time, the District and the BOD decided to do the right thing. We adjusted the current rate structure, in a manner specifically stated by the court, by lowering the rate for residences without a physical meter as well as refunding the amounts called for in the ruling. This adjusted rate is still in effect today.
The litigants contend that their rate should be reduced by far more than the District’s calculated amount. All they had to do to resolve their contention was to request clarification from the lower court. They failed to make that request, and that is on them, not the Board, nor the District, nor the ratepayers.
There has been a majority protest to a proposed water rate structure that has prevented implementation of that proposed rate structure. The proposed rate structure would have yielded the same revenue to the District as the current rate structure. As of now, the BOD has not decided how to address this matter. I have talked to people that signed that protest and they were presented with false statements and twisted facts. When I presented the real situation, they were appalled by what was presented to them by protestors and would not have signed the protest had they known the real facts.
Look closely at the motives behind this recall attempt. The organizers have a big interest in you paying for the bulk of their water.
As a Board member and your neighbor, I am always willing to meet with you to discuss any concerns you may have. My email address is Mark3655Bell@comcast.net
Submitted by Mark Bell, personally.