Here's a look at CSD enforcement in several categories in the last year. These numbers are taken from monthly reports to the CSD board and, when those were not available, from the daily Security Logs. “Parking” combines driveway and street parking violations. The August 2018 numbers are a projection based on the first 20 days of the month.
While the Rancho Murieta Association board has pushed for and welcomed stepped-up traffic enforcement, Community Services District directors took a critical view of its impact on patrol time at their meeting this month. The board also questioned an RMA proposal for a security committee meeting.
At the CSD's meeting, on Aug. 15, Security Chief Jeff Werblun said patrol officers had written more than 100 speeding citations since Aug. 1. Director Jerry Pasek said the uptick in speeding and stop sign violations “clearly points out that we have a severe problem,” and asked why the CSD wasn’t charging RMA for the time spent on traffic enforcement. CSD General Manager Mark Martin responded that officers are on patrol when they write citations “and being paid by the fees paid by the residents behind the gates.”
Residents behind the gates pay a security tax of $29.15 a month to the CSD for safety and security services provided by gate officers and patrol officers within a framework of RMA rules and policies.
The citations are processed by RMA, which provides enforcement and levies fines through the Compliance Committee.
Pasek proposed charging RMA “for the time and effort to handle these citations. In the past we weren’t writing very many ... right now when you have hundreds of them, and it’s getting worse, there’s absolutely no reason why you don’t try to recover some.”
Referring to RMA Compliance, Pasek described enforcement of traffic rules “as kind of a joint effort. I’m just saying there ought to be some way of collecting some money back.”
Martin said, “Right now the officers that are conducting enforcement are on duty as patrol....”
“But doing traffic and speeding isn’t part of their duties,” Pasek disagreed.
Werblun termed traffic enforcement “an ancillary duty” for Security, and Director John Merchant characterized the potential for revenue from fines as “windfall cash” for RMA.
Director Les Clark brought the focus back to safety, but didn’t rule out a monetary component for traffic enforcement. “I would like to make sure that we’re focusing on the real issue here and that is making sure that roadway safety is of primary importance,” Clark said. “I understand the dollars. ... My question was: Is there a way that CSD can request a report back from RMA on the final disposition of those citations and then start the dialogue?”
As this conversatrion was going on, the RMA was meeting on its goals for 2019. CSD President Mark Pecotich attended the RMA meeting, asking the RMA to work with the CSD to achieve common goals to benefit the community. The RMA board meeting a week later had a good amount of member criticism of Security. Martin and Werblun were present but didn't comment.
The RMA has an agreement with the CSD to pay for parking enforcement, which is considered a CC&R violation and not a security issue. Fines levied by RMA stay with the association.
Traffic enforcement wasn’t the only security topic where RMA and CSD seemed at odds. An RMA proposal to revive the Joint Security Committee instead of holding a far-ranging town hall meeting on security drew a critical response from directors. Martin described the Joint Security Committee as a subcommittee of both RMA and CSD boards that includes entities south of Highway 16 and the Country Club.
Merchant said he was drawing on 30 years of experience with Joint Security meetings to call them “a waste of time. What we were focusing on was more scope than it was how many speeders we were going to catch.” Merchant said the meeting CSD envisioned looked to the future, at co-sharing responsibilities, and discussing security options “and putting prices on them … what we might do going forward.”
Martin acknowledged that CSD had “a pretty big game plan” for a security meeting, with a PowerPoint presentation, a review of the security plan summary and survey, an effort to educate the public on the role and responsibilities of CSD Security, and an opportunity for public input.
Merchant said, “But if you want to have a real discussion with public input, which sometimes can be a problem over there, then I would hold out for our proposal. ... I don’t want it done in the Joint Security Committee meeting. That thwarts public input.”
Director Les Clark said although he agreed with Merchant, the effort should start with a Joint Security Committee meeting and then set the parameters for a public meeting on a larger-scope CSD security plan.
“I’d like to know what their beef is,” Merchant said of RMA. He suggested that CSD should hold the meeting if there’s no cooperation from RMA, but Pasek said RMA and CSD have a “theoretical” shared responsibility for security. “Nobody knows who’s responsible for what. ... I personally don’t think they want to fix it. ... It’s a mess the way it is,” Pasek said.
Morrison Graf , saying CSD is trying to be as clear and transparent as possible, suggested a “side meeting” between the RMA and CSD general managers to work out issues in advance of the Joint Security Committee meeting. Martin said he would reach out to RMA.
Chances are anyone who had occasion to call or visit the CSD office during the last nine years met office assistant Joyce Czerwinsky, either as a friendly voice on the phone or the helpful person at the front desk. This month she retired, and, in addition to thanking Czerwinsky for her service, the board passed a resolution in her honor, which Vice President Morrison Graf presented.
Board acts on delinquent accounts
The board voted to place delinquent accounts totaling $249,569.48 on the Sacramento County tax rolls for collection.
“We are able to take part in Sac County’s Teeter Plan, which basically is Sac County buying our delinquent accounts from us and then they collect them through the tax rolls,” Controller Eric Thompson told the board. “It is an amazingly effective way to basically ensure that we will be paid.” The district exercises this option annually.
There are 14 parcels on the CSD list of delinquent accounts for 2017-18. Four undeveloped parcels on the North constitute the bulk of the delinquencies. Delinquencies on three parcels owned by Murieta Lakeside Properties LLC total $188,270.88, and a fourth parcel owned by Murieta Highlands LLC has a $52,433.53 delinquency, according to the list.
The largest homeowner delinquency is $3,901.45. It’s the result of a dispute over a sewer repair. When the dispute came before the board in March, the district agreed to dig up the line and establish where the break was located, and the homeowner agreed to pay for the work if it proved to be his responsibility. The CSD subsequently made the repair, and concluded it was the homeowner’s responsibility to pay for it.
Homeowner Bill Kelly appeared at the August meeting to contest the charge. Director Morrison Graf, acting as board president, responded that the “break happened in an area of the pipe that you are responsible for.” “Those are the standards,” Les Clark explained. “They did everything they possibly could to accommodate you and to demonstrate what the problem was,” John Merchant said. “That’s just what the facts say they are.”
Kelly stated that he could have had the repair done “a lot cheaper.” Graf replied, “We’re a public agency. We’re not a contractor that gives a bid that has profit built into it. This is cost. You couldn’t have gotten it any cheaper from a contractor.”
Job descriptions, salary approved
The board approved revised job descriptions for the general manager, director of administration, controller, and accounting supervisor . The reintroduction of the director of administration position necessitated the realignment. The board approved a monthly salary range of $9,342 to $12,332 for the position.