Two dozen community members attended the CSD's "Candidates Night" to hear from those running for the board.
[Corrected Oct. 16] Seven candidates for the Community Services District board fielded questions for two hours Thursday night in the CSD’s “Candidates Night.” There are three seats – a majority of the board – open in next month’s election.
The evening’s moderator, construction executive Bob Kjome, a past CSD director, had three questions for the panel
, which were provided in advance. Then there were questions drawn at random and finally, for the better part of an hour, questions from the audience of two dozen Murietans.
Tim Maybee, a past member of the Rancho Murieta Association board, was the only candidate to offer open criticism. A couple of times he panned Security operations of the recent past. He took on the Saving Our Lakes & Open Spaces group by name. More generally, he was critical of those who cite water issues as a means to confront development. He also said “open space” does not describe the community’s unbuilt land.
“To clear the air, there's only three types of property here within the district – governmental, homeowner association or private property,” he said. “There is no such thing as open space, and we're gonna hear people talk about saving open space, and really what it is is private property, whether it's owned by an individual or the developer themselves.”
Maybee’s criticism did not draw any return fire, from the panel or the audience, although there were questions about why he and two other candidates – Randy Jenco and Martin Pohll – have joined forces to run as a slate. (Their response: They were successful together as directors on the RMA board, so they want to help the CSD board.)
Below are the candidates and a sampling of comments from each. Each quote has a link – "Transcript" – at the end. That will take you to the full transcript of the question that yielded the comment. The full transcript of the evening's questions and answers has been broken into chunks at the following links. Choose the parts you find most interesting.
Retired trucking supervisor and small business owner
Introduction: “I will listen to you. I am here for you. I care about you, and I will stand up for you. I have no baggage and beholden to no one. I bring a fresh pair of eyes. I have a fresh perspective. I can work with people who have different viewpoints. I can listen to their concerns. I care about our water supply and want to make sure it's adequate and safe.” (Transcript)
Top issues: "...The top three issues ... would be the quality of the water, the quantity of it, and the development that's going to be here eventually and if we're going to have enough of that quality and quantity for to be able to serve. And also the security part of it, the traffic. It's going to – which is bad enough already, as it is – I think it's going to get worse. A lot of people are speeding, running stop signs, and driving recklessly. We need to put a stop to it or do something about it because once the development comes here, they're going to see the bad habits of what we're already having here and it's going to get worse." (Transcript)
Addressing squeaky wheels: "Well, the main thing is, willing to work with other district groups, know what they want and listen to them. Help them in any way that I can and the squeaky wheel will squeak for a reason. We'll try to solve what squeaks and just be there for them and work with them." (Transcript)
Retired social worker and optical sales manager, past Murieta Townhouses Inc. director
Introduction: “I've lived in the North and the South. I've been a homeowner and a renter, and now a homeowner again. I have served on a myriad of townhouse boards. I participate in our elections. I have kept myself updated and informed and as active as possible in community issues while working as a businesswoman in the optical industry for 30 years.” (Transcript)
Issues: “My concerns and those expressed to me by so many of our residents are, number one, development: How much and where? Development in Rancho Murieta is absolutely necessary. We need new housing and services, but how much and where and at what price to our unique quality of life? Number two is water quality and quantity. It's impossible to discuss development without discussing water and vice-versa. As a community we must be prepared to face a number of pertinent issues that impact our water supply and quality. We must plan and prepare for the what-ifs and not wait to see what happens. Number three, safety and security continue to be subjects that demand examination and attention.” (Transcript)
Addressing squeaky wheels: "I really think that it's important to know who the district's customers are. Sometimes the groups within the district are forgotten or don't really get the attention that they deserve and require. So, I think staying on top of who our customers are is very important. Squeaky wheels get the grease for a reason. It's important to listen to them, but then you have to either direct them to who can help them or figure out ways it can be taken care of." (Transcript)
Incumbent. Civil engineer, career in construction project management
Introduction: “I have education, training and experience in all the same systems that we do here at the CSD, excluding security a little bit, but when it comes to moving water and sewage places, that's what I understand. That's kind of the bread and butter of what I've been trained to do and what I've experienced building. My career really has been in construction project management. The last half of my career has been very specifically in the hospital and medical side of things, so very regulatory environment. So coming to CSD I again bring that understanding of the regulatory side of doing things in California.” (Transcript)
Issues: "(The) first one comes to my mind is really controlling or managing our aging infrastructure. ... It seems like every week there's pipes breaking, it seems like every meeting, we are replacing 20-, 30-year-old equipment on a pretty regular basis. So we are chewing through those reserves. It is being looking at, it is being managed, but basically we've got a lot of equipment that's coming to the end of its ... usable life." (Transcript)
Addressing squeaky wheels: "Well, the question of the squeaky wheels is always one of the hardest things to get over in terms of trying to understand what does your community need, what do people really want? Because like you say, it's really the people that are upset and have something to say that are going to come up and attend meetings and listen to the discussions and so on, because they obviously want something." (Transcript)
Contractor/civil engineer, business owner, past RMA director
Introduction: “I own a construction company that does public works, agency work, highways, mostly bridges. I'm sure a lot of you know that my company built the wooden bridge. I served as the architect and the project manager for the company on that job, and I'm pretty proud of it.” (Transcript)
Issues: "Top of my list is water rights. ... There's a lot of laws and a lot of people that are looking for water and they'll take it from wherever they can get it and we need to be sure that we don't get caught in a surprise. Because if we think that our water is secured, just wait – somebody's going to want it, and we're going to have to fight that fight. Second thing on my list is topical right now, opening up the Escuela Gate. I understand that it's not CSD's purview, but we're going to be part of that situation. So if RMA decides to open up that Escuela Gate, we need to be ready with a plan to make that work. Personally, I'm in favor of opening it up. I think we ought to open it up, put a license plate reader there, and it's just too convenient for too many people to let it sit there and not use it, in my opinion." (Transcript)
Addressing squeaky wheels: "I've got a lot of experience ignoring squeaky wheels. I'm not a squeaky wheel guy. And I recognize that there are a lot of various groups in the CSD including people outside of the RMA boundaries, so ... now I'm all about thinking about everybody that's involved with any decision." (Transcript)
Retired fire captain/paramedic, past RMA director
Introduction: “...After 32 years responding to 911 calls, I'm pretty non-emotional. You can ask my wife about that. I also don't take anything personal. What I have learned from prior services is government is most efficient at its lowest level, just like the fire district, just like the Community Services District.” (Transcript)
Issues: “I want community service brought back to Security and the district. To me it's four things that I ask of myself and my crew – you're safe, competent, consistent, courteous. And right now we don't have a little bit of consistency. I want to bring that back. I think we need to get the leadership back, get the expectations. I've worked with the Security chief as the board member in charge of compliance. I know we can get there. But we haven't, and that's the perception that's out in the community.” (Transcript)
Addressing squeaky wheels: "As a former RMA board member, I've been able to piss off everybody in the neighborhood. So when it comes to that squeaky wheel, I think Randy said it best: You have to know why they're making the noise. I think Martin said it best: What is the purview of CSD? I'll pick on a group that's very vocal, SOLOS. They want a viewshed, they want this open space. They're very vocal about it. I appreciate that. I don't agree with it. That's not my commitment to the board, so you have to know who the customers are and what are those expectations." (Transcript)
Incumbent, has engineering degree, retired after technology career
Introduction: In his work life, “The biggest project I had was $150 million that I was the public director for. It was just computers that were state of the art and the systems that supported state of the art with a couple hundred programmers. If you want to manage people, try a couple hundred programmers.” (Transcript)
Issues: “The real problem I see we have here is we have multiple homeowner associations showing up. Used to be just RMA and behind the gate, but now we have a homeowner's association across the street for both homes, as well as the business community, and getting a handle on who does what to whom and why, and not a lot of finger-pointing is usually a big problem.” (Transcript)
Addressing squeaky wheels: "You know one of the things we have here is the issue of transparency, and the board and the district uses the Pipeline and other methods to get out their message, and we need to look a little bit at the social media that floats around here to determine what the community, quote unquote, and particularly the squeaky wheels because sometimes it's always the same people that are pouring a little grease on the wheel...." (Transcript)
Civil and structural engineer, semi-retired, past partner in architectural engineering firm, past RMA director
Introduction: “I'm semi-retired now, but I still am employed designing bridges and buildings. I think my engineering background has trained me to research the issues and seek input and solve problems, and I think that's what I would bring to the CSD. I've had extensive experience in the local community. I was on the MTI board for five years, where I was the treasurer. I was on the RMA Board for six years, where I was also the treasurer. I'm currently a member of RMA Finance Committee. So I have experience in reserves and in budgets, and I'm very interested in making sure that CSD is fiscally sound and has sufficient resources to maintain its aging infrastructure.” (Transcript)
Top issues: "...The last two budgets showed an excess income over expenses of over $400,000 in the last two years. Maybe it was intended, maybe not, I don't know, but maybe there should be ... more ... planning of reserves so that we know exactly what's needed to maintain our infrastructure. So there probably needs to be a condition study to figure out what our expenses are going to be over the number of years and so we –. It just seemed odd to me that for a $6 million budget, we had $400,000 of excess income." (Transcript)
Addressing squeaky wheels: "Well, I think we need to determine if the vocal interests that you're talking about are actually related to the mission of the CSD and the core services that they provide. If they are, then I think we need to listen to those people and learn what they're trying to tell us and implement changes if it's necessary. If the issues are outside the mission of the CSD, we need to stay out of it, I think." (Transcript)