Elk Grove Water District ignores Sacramento County Grand Jury findings, will address at later date

Elk Grove Water District directors Tom Nelson (left), Lisa Medina, and Elliot Mulberg refused to discuss a recommnedation
from a ratepayer at their monthly meeting. | 

Perhaps the five board members of the Elk Grove Water District were emulating the old saying of "for he that fights and runs away, may live to fight another day" at their meeting last night with their decision to not address a scathing report from the Sacramento County Grand Jury. That report, which was issued this month, had a laundry list of governance and operational deficiencies of the water district that is owned by the Florin Resources Conservation District. 

At the beginning of their monthly meeting, the water district's board chair Tom Nelson said that the board would not in any manner address the report by the Sacramento County Grand Jury that found numerous deficiencies. Instead, he said the district would hold a special meeting on July 31 to address the findings.

Speaking during public comment, ratepayer Lynn Wheat noted that the district could have easily implemented one of the recommendations issued in the report. That recommendation urged to the district to have their closed session before the public meeting, not after as has been the board's practice.

"I think it would be more appropriate and most certainly an easy thing for you to do," Wheat said to the five directors.

In a condescending tone, Nelson told Wheat that all the issues raised by the grand jury would not be addressed during the meeting.  

"We will not address any issues tonight," Nelson stated. 

While the recommendation that closed sessions be held before the public meeting was one of the less severe findings in the report, the nature of last nights agenda unwittingly reinforced the broader implication of the grand jury findings. The results showed that the owner of the water district - the Florin Resources Conservation District - its ownership is in name only.

The FRCD was formed in the 1950s as a conservation district for farmers is functionally non-existent and yet with its substantially larger borders than the Elk Grove Water District,  functions only as shell organization. With its more extensive borders, it means that board members can live within the larger FRCD and not be a ratepayer in the Elk Grove Water District.

One of the two directors on the board who is not is a water district ratepayer is Elliot Mulberg, who was appointed to the board and not elected. Mulberg has argued the FRCD is engaged in several water activities in the larger conservation district.

However, a review of the agenda and proceedings from last night meetings exclusively focused on Elk Grove Water District business.      

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2019. All right reserved.


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