CSD discusses DUI, loses a director
Director Dick Taylor announced his resignation from the Community Services District board Wednesday night because he’s moving to Folsom. The empty seat won’t be addressed in time to impact next month’s CSD election, in which three candidates seek two board seats. The CSD’s proposed DUI policy was again a divisive topic, with a vote on the policy postponed until December. Two DUIs in the last week, including an accident Tuesday night at Murieta Parkway and Camino Del Lago, were part of the discussion.
During an update on the proposed policy for DUI enforcement, directors commented on the lack of response from the Rancho Murieta Association board to the CSD proposal that would allow Security patrol officers to attempt a voluntary stop when they observe a suspected DUI within the gated community. The CSD has requested that RMA adopt a rule requiring vehicles to stop when a security patrol vehicle turns on its amber caution lights.
General Manager Ed Crouse said correspondence that went to the RMA Oct. 9 included the updated policy and a specific request to adopt RMA rule for voluntary stops, with a fine for non-compliance. “So we’re waiting for their response,” he said.
The correspondence was acknowledged at the end of the RMA meeting Tuesday, but the issue was not discussed.
“They ignored it. They just passed by it ... and this isn’t funny,” said President Bobbi Belton. “...We’ve spent over $3,300 to date for attorney’s fees related to developing the policy and doing research for us. That doesn’t include his appearance at the October Security Committee meeting and any other work he’s done. So we’re taking this damn seriously. I realize RMA from their actions don’t want to have anything to do with it.”
The policy was scheduled to come back to the CSD board for action in November but Directors Jerry Pasek and Betty Ferraro emphasized they didn’t want to proceed without a written response from the RMA. “We can wait,” Ferraro said. Since the RMA owns the streets, what’s needed is a written reply “that they wish nothing to be done if that’s what they want to do,” Pasek said.
“But that does not preclude us from adopting the policy,” Belton said. According to the CSD attorney, CSD has the authority to adopt the policy “either on RMA property or outside RMA property,” Crouse said.
Pasek suggested that Crouse appear at the next RMA meeting and push the issue forward. “We need to pressure RMA to say yea or nay,” he said.
“What if they say screw you?” Belton said.
“Then so be it,” Pasek replied.
“Which is basically what they’ve done so far,” said Belton.
“Give them a chance,” said Ferraro.
“Another chance?” responded Belton.
Dick Taylor suggested that CSD approval could “force (RMA) action.”
Pasek said, “lack of response isn’t a formal position.”
“Yes it is,” said Belton, and Taylor agreed.
Director Steve Mobley, a proponent of the policy, was not at the meeting.
The board’s decision to change the November meeting date because of the Thanksgiving holiday means the CSD will meet before the RMA board so the vote has been moved to the December CSD meeting.
“It’s only been 25 years that we’ve been doing it like we’ve been doing, so another few months doing it like we’ve been doing it isn’t going to kill anybody,” Pasek said.
The policy will be addressed at the November 6 Security Committee meeting and at the Joint Security Committee meeting 9 a.m. Tuesday at the CSD Building. The Joint Security Committee has two RMA representatives.
- CSD revises DUI plan to address concerns (Oct. 3, 2012)
- CSD continues push for new DUI policy (Sept. 24, 2012)
- RMA backs away from supporting DUI effort (Aug. 24, 2012)
Vehicle crash, DUI arrest
Security Chief Greg Remson related the details of an accident that occurred the night before the CSD meeting and a DUI arrest Oct. 13.
“At about 8:45 last night, a white pick-up truck was coming eastbound on Camino Del Lago from the Puerto end and attempted to make the right-hand turn onto Murieta Parkway,” Remson said. “...One of the witnesses said they could hear the truck coming down the roadway, driving very fast. It didn’t make the turn and ran into the curb and a tree and the median landscaping. And when this happened, it kicked up a bunch of those river rocks that are in the middle and broke out the windshield of a different car that was parked on the other side of the roadway stopped at the stop sign. And luckily the person in that car was not injured.”
Witnesses called Security and CHP was also called, Remson said. The vehicle was there but the driver was gone when Security arrived, and officers were told the driver had been picked up at the scene by his father, Remson said. According to the security logs, a witness said the vehicle was speeding and the driver was “under the influence.”
The CHP arrived, tried to contact the father and eventually succeeded. The father told CHP “his 21-year-old son had got out of the car and ran off somewhere. They didn’t know where he was,” Remson said. “My understanding is CHP was not happy with the way things went. There’s potentially a multitude of issues. The first, of course, is leaving the scene of an accident.” As far as DUI, “that’s over,” Remson said. “I’m glad he hit the tree instead of going across the median and possibly hitting that car that was stopped at the stop sign.” The CHP towed the vehicle.
The DUI arrest occurred in the parking lot of the Country Club. Security received a call and when the officer arrived he found “a clearly drunk subject wandering around” the parking lot, Remson said. He was advised to call for a ride, which he did. The ride arrived, but the driver was drunk, and the CHP was notified and arrested the second driver, Remson said. The incident involved non-residents connected to a wedding party, he said.
Director Dick Taylor resigns
Dick Taylor served on the CSD board for a decade, and he was midway through his third term when he announced Wednesday he is moving to Folsom and resigning from the board.
“Dick, nobody’s going to fill your shoes,” Director Betty Ferraro told him. General Manager Ed Crouse thanked Taylor for his service and “good counsel” during his time on the board. He also thanked Taylor’s wife, Claudia, for supporting Dick’s work with the CSD.
The procedure to replace Taylor will begin after the election, when applications for the vacancy will be requested, President Bobbi Belton said. “The election is only for two seats. It’s not for three,” she said. Director Jerry Pasek said the board will fill the vacancy in January.
Live-blog coverage of the meeting is below.
CSD President Bobbi Belton, left, presented certificates of appreciation to Rancho Murieta Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff Jacque Villa and Steve Lentz for their assistance in directing traffic for the recent CSD household hazardous-waste collection event. More than 100 vehicles dropped off items at the FAA parking lot, where the event was held.
The DUI frequency is too high for me and I sure hope we don't have a tragedy before somebody acts to implement measures that will help reduce the problem.
RMA please get off your duff on this DUI matter and make residents accountable in one way or another.
CSD please continue forward and have this voted in with your next meeting.
I explained to Betty Ferraro when we spoke on the phone that my intention in writing the letter was only to make CSD, which wants drought resistant landscapes, aware that RMA was opposing a resident who was trying to install a drought resistant landscape. The threat was a $100 fine if I didn’t green up my lawn in two weeks. I had no choice but to water three to four times a day plus add fertilizer and lawn seed to comply with RMA’s demands. Betty was very anxious for me to attend the meeting so I agreed. I was called to the podium and asked a couple of questions. I was interrupted when I tried to explain the circumstances and was told to call the outgoing RMA General Manager before he leaves.
None of the Board’s instructions or comments made any sense to me at the time and obviously it didn’t to the person creating the blog. It says “It's not clear what the issue is here. It sounds as if the resident let her lawn die, maybe to move to a low-water landscape, and got cited by the RMA. But that's not for sure.” I can understand the blogger making this kind of statement because he obviously didn’t read my letter but for the Board Members not to have been prepared and not having read my letter when I was on the agenda is inexcusable. My friend and I left the Board meeting immediately because we were so bewildered by the action of the CSD Board.
I wasn’t asking for anything as I told Betty. I just thought it was my duty as a resident to make CSD aware of RMA’s actions in this situation.
Why didn't Betty step up to your defence at the CSD meeting or at the least say that she had encouraged you to speak?
Beth, My friend and I also wondered why Betty didn't step up or even acknowledge her call to me. As I said, we were bewildered by the entire event.