The Personal Page of Rex A Schildhouse Regarding the Ramona Municipal Water District (RMWD).

QuickLinks

San Diego County Grand Jury issues with RMWD
My Efforts to Bring Attention to the RMWD Board
Issues Within RMWD
RMWD Board Meeting, Feb. 11, 2014, - If Beck does not approve the question, it cannot be asked.
RMWD Board Meeting, Feb. 25, 2014, - Lots of fun in this one.
RMWD Board Meeting, July 8, 2014, Very Interesting Costs of Holding Evening Budget Presentation.
Special Board Meeting, Monday, July 28, 2014, LEGAL COUNSEL RESIGNS FOR CAUSE!!!!

Welcome to my personal page relating issues with the board and staff of the Ramona Municipal Water District (RMWD). I was elected to the board in the November 2012 general election. As I started to serve the four year term for which the electorate of Division III voted me to serve I found out that there is a governance between select members of the board and select members of the RMWD staff which appear to have turned this organization from a ratepayer and taxpayer owned organization into an oligopoly, controlled by few and accountable to none.

I RESIGNED from the RMWD board of directors in total frustration in the final months of my second year. This was after I confirmed that unless I had both the approval of selected board and staff members I had not authority to place items on the agenda. Nor was I allowed to speak freely as other directors were allowed to. When staff members are not required to answer director's questions, my questions, about RMWD events and activities something is seriously wrong. Welcome to RMWD.

The board appointed Mr. Arnie Cares to complete my four year term representing Division III. Mr. Cares RESIGNED at the end of the second board meeting, serving less than three months. You will have to ask Mr. Arnie Cares why he RESIGNED from the RWMD board of directors after only two board meetings. Mr. Cares did write an article about his resignation and the Ramona Sentinel published it.

Director Kit Kessinger, representing Division II became "INACTIVE" during his four year term and did not attend a significant number of board meetings during his four year term of office. You have to ask Mr. Kessinger why he chose to become INACTIVE in RMWD board activities.

Thanks, Rex

San Diego County Grand Juries and RMWD

There have been two San Diego County Grand Jury investigations and reports on RMWD activities. During and after my term I filed numerous complaints with the San Diego County Grand Jury and they chose not to do anything. It appears that the Grand Jury does not care if RMWD board and staff violate the published legislative codes of RMWD.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report for 1986-1987

This is the San Diego County Grand Jury Report for 1986-1987 in a PDF format. You should be able to download it and read it at your leisure. I have no idea who was on the board during the timeframe of this report. The recommendations are of extreme interest.

Click here for the San Diego County Grand Jury Report for 1986-1987 in PDF format.

This is from Page 3. You have to ask "Why?"

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1987 Page 3

From Page 4 of the Grand Jury 1986-1987 Report. In the era of 2012-2014, Director Kessinger decided not to run for an additional term. You need to ask Mr. Kessinger why. In 2014 I resigned before completing my first two years of four. In 2015 my successor, Mr. Arnie Cares, resigned before his third board meeting. You need to ask Mr. Cares why.

In a special board meeting called by Director Beck, legal counsel, Mr. James B. Gilpin, attorney at law with Best Best & Kreiger (BBK) resigned both himself and his firm as of the conclusion of that board meeting. The audio of that meeting is provided later in this page.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1987 Page 4

From Page 6 of the 1986-1987 San Diego County Grand Jury Report. Listen to the audio files later on this page so see if anything has changed.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1987 Page 6

You need to read the lead-in paragraphs of the full report to grasp this paragraph from Page 7 of the San Diego County Grand Jury Report of 1986-1987. Then you can ask board members who have resigned, not run for a second term, or who have become "inactive" during their term questions. With a military career as a commissioned officer, a master's degree in management and a professional certificate at the graduate level, I resigned since I was not allowed to be an equal participant of the board.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1987 Page 7

If you have been following the Ramona Sentinel recently, this is an interesting paragraph. It is from Page 9 of the San Diego County 1986-1987 Grand Jury Report.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1987 Page 9

From Page 12 of the 1986-1987 San Diego County Grand Jury Report. Seems like bi-focal vision. Looking into the past and seeing the future.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1987 Page 12

From Page 12 continuing onto Page 13 of the 1986-1987 San Diego County Grand Jury Report.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1987 Page 12-13

This is from Pages 5 & 6 of the Addendum to the 1986-1987 San Diego County Grand Jury Report. It will be mis-cited and used by board members to justify afternoon board meetings. At least one member of the board who remains on the board today, Sunday, October 11, 2015, stated during my board service that when the public attended board meetings they slammed tables and used in appropriate language which disrupted the conduct of the meeting. Therefore, making the board meetings more accessible by the public will result in similar actions. Hmmmm.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1987 Addendum Pages 5-6

San Diego County Grand Jury Report for 1990-1991

This is the San Diego County Grand Jury Report for 1990-1991 in a PDF format. You should be able to download it and read it at your leisure. I have no idea who was on the board during the timeframe of this report. The recommendations are of extreme interest. It appears that there are other reports in front of this report so the page numbers start on 23.

Click here for the San Diego County Grand Jury Report for 1990-1991 in PDF format.

It appears that after several years of having the San Diego County Grand Jury Report for 1986-1987 available, little within the district has changed as the Grand Jury again investigated the district on 1990-1991.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1991 Page 23

This is from Page 24 of the San Diego County Grand Jury Report for 1990-1991. It is a powerful statement about what RMWD is SUPPOSED to be. This statement reinforces that RMWD board and staff are public servants. The ratepayers and taxpayers of RMWD, two distinctly different groups as identified by board and staff members, are not to be subservient to the board or staff.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1991 Page 24

From Page 25 of the San Diego County Grand Jury Report of 1990-1991.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1991 Page 25

From the recommendations on Page 26 of the San Diego County Grand Jury Report of 1990-1991. Once again, stop the attacks.

San Diego County Grand Jury Report, 1991 Page 26

My Efforts to Attract Attention to the Ramona Municipal Water District

Due to the conduct of selective members of the board and selective members of the staff, I have filed formal complaints with various entities within the State of California. The response is, by and large, "We don't care, do not bother us, we do not want to hear from you. We have no influence, control, or oversight authority in regards to RMWD. Go away. Leave us alone. It is 9:00 AM, we are going to lunch, we will be back at 3:00 PM. Do not call or write back."

The entities and or individuals I have contacted include the following.
Governor of the State of California - I do not remember even receiving a reply,
Attorney General of the State of California,
San Diego County District Attorney,
San Diego County Grand Jury,
Ms. Dianne Jacobs, Division II, San Diego County Supervisor,
San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) - I do not even recall a response,
California Bar Association,
The senator representing the Ramona, California region in the state legislature, and
The representative representing the Ramona, California region in the state legislature.

Representative of many of the responses, was the classic in a phone call that went something like this: "Ramona has less than 40,000 residents and RMWD has less than 10,000 accounts. This is not what we would consider a major issue."

When not one of my nine agenda items for the Tuesday, October 13, 2015, board meeting, submitted on the required form and more than twenty-four hours before the deadline, did not appear on the board, I contacted every television station in San Diego County. They don't care. Its only Ramona.

Issues and events within RMWD

RMWD Board Meeting of February 11, 2014.

Two issues with this board meeting. First, I have submitted agenda items that did not appear on the agenda.

Second, in this board meeting Director Beck, as president of the board, decides that he does not have to follow legal counsel recommendations and clarifications of proper process. I am stopped from asking a question several times.

At approximately 1:15 into the recording I start asking about why my agenda items are not the agenda.

At approximately 2:15 into the recording I state that I have a call on my cell phone stating that my submissions, prior to the deadline, are deemed unnecessary by the union of the president of the board, Director Beck, and General Manager Barnum. While Beck denies knowledge of the event, Barnum is silent on the issue.

At approximately 3:15 into the recording, General Manager Barnum commences his report and addresses agenda items.

At approximately 3:15 into the recording Barnum confirms that e-mails count as written. While Barnum states there is a form, the form is not identified in any RMWD legislative code. Legal counsel will later state that the form is not required. Director Foote will also state that submissions not on the secret form are also acceptable submissions and should appear on the agenda.

At approximately 8:15 into the recording I ask a simple question. During this exchange Director Beck states the rules of the RMWD board as he desires them. Legal counsel disagrees.

11:10 Beck tries to bypass the question and close agenda item.

At approximately 10:25 into the recording issues about questions are clarified. Do not wait, ask the question, get an answer or, if the question requires research, it will be addressed later.

At approximately 12:00 into the recording Beck again tries to close the agenda item and continue.

At approximately 12:10 into the recording I get ruled out of order for asking a question that legal counsel says is appropriate.

At approximately 12:30 into the recording legal counsel confirms I have the right to ask the question.

At approximately 12:50 into the recording Director Beck decides he will allow General Manager Barnum the privilege to answer my question. Beck does not control this other than with the powers he holds over RMWD.

At approximately 12:55 into the recording the answer starts and what a BS political response for a simple yes or no answer.

At approximately 14:25 into the recording Beck adds are rather interesting, BS, comment to General Manager Barnum's answer. What is he trying to state? Because we have the potential of serious fires, we cannot answer the question?

At approximately 22:30 into the recording I make my statement under the "Items for Sequence Meetings," for items for the next meeting. Listen to terminology, at no point do I say “You will” or “You must.” My phrase is “I would like.” Not one of my items appears on a future agenda. Not approved by ?????

If items cannot be submitted at this point, why is this in the agenda? Hmmmm. Interesting.

At approximately 25:45 into the recording the meeting is adjourned.

RMWD Board Meeting of Tuesday, February 11, 2014.

RMWD Board Meeting of February 25, 2014.

Lots of fun in this one.

At approximately 3:00 into the recording the discussion begins on a Policy 1 workshop. False statement – General Manager Barnum states I directed legal counsel to do things. Listen to the February 11, 2014, meeting. I asked legal counsel to bring a dictionary. The rest of the items were in the agenda items for subsequent meeting and given to the board and staff.

At approximately 8:45 into the recording, General Manager Barnum lists tons of documents and states were requested. You have to ask, where / when were all these documents requested? I wanted to discuss them. Not read them. I had already read them.

At approximately 10:30 into the recording General Manager Barnum addresses a quorum. One of my issues. The Ralph M. Brown Act states many things about what the board members can and cannot do. There is a high possibility that members of this board have discussed, possibly with staff, board issues and decided in those discussions what was going to happen in the board meetings. Therefore, it appears that a quorum is what board and staff outside of public purview.

At approximately 11:42 into the recording General Manager Barnum holds up tons of paper and states that this pile documents are presented to new board members during their legal briefing. Barnum states this orientation is pretty comprehensive. No such briefing has occurred. The only brief by legal counsel was a general, quick run through at the first board meeting of the term.

At approximately 12:10 into the recording Beck starts his oration. He is reading from a prepared document. It continues through

At approximately 15:10 into the recording Beck talks about ad hoc meeting compensation. In discussions with General Manager Barnum, he repeated stated it is the policy of RMWD not to compensate directors for participation in ad hoc committees. RMWD legislative code states otherwise, as Director Beck states here.

At approximately 15:40 into the recording Director Beck states, on the record, that he, has an individual member of the board, has the authority, and does, delegate to the general manager to clarify and discuss the issues. He further states that it would take an agenda item getting a majority of the board’s positive votes to overturn that policy.

At approximately 16:20 into the recording Director Beck concludes his comments. Legal counsel would later state that directors are limited to three minutes. Unless Beck approves of course.

At approximately 16:25 into the recording Director Zenovic starts his attack on me. Zenovic states I said I did not know the rules of the president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer in the previous board meeting. No such statements were made. I wanted them clarified because, as seen, unless you have some special permissions, you have no authority or privilege as a board member.

At approximately 17:00 into the recording Zenovic states my medication issue. For what reason other than another attack, for which is his privilege. Read the Grand Jury Reports about attacks on other directors. Also, find in an audio recording where I talk, repetitively, about being on medications. I believe he is simply making statements to degrade me and support his position in violation of both San Diego County Grand Jury Reports.

At approximately 18:45 into the recording Zenovic starts his very juvenile “remedial training program.”

At approximately 20:20 into the recording Zenovic completes his comments. It will later be stated that directors are limited to three minutes.

At approximately 21:00 into the recording I start my rebuttal. I state that I have five phone calls from the general manager stating that he accepts direction only from Beck – his phrase was usually “BECK,” not president of the board as I recall. I ask numerous questions in my rebuttal. I have NEVER received an answer to most of them.

At approximately 23:00 into the recording I conclude my remarks.

At approximately 23:15 into the recording Beck states he does not like running the RMWD board meetings by a certain set of rules.

At approximately 24:00 into the recording Beck states that he believes my letter is a direct violation of the RMWD legislative codes. (And his controlling the agenda and prohibiting other directors’ submissions are not?)

At approximately 24:45 into the recording Beck claims my letter is a secret even though everyone has it. He continues to then put a proposal asking for an opinion by legal counsel about my actions. The response from legal counsel is “privileged information” not available for public dissemination. Other than stating RMWD board and staff have issues, it is very interesting. In my opinion, it never really says “Director Schildhouse screwed up.” Remember, legal counsel from BBK would later resign from providing any services to RMWD board – see the July 28, 2014, special board meeting and listen to Director Zenovic’s attach on Mr. Jim Gilpin. Legal counsel at this board meeting was Mr. Ron Bell, from BBK.

At approximately 26:00 into the recording I leave the meeting.

At approximately 27:00 into the recording the agenda item is evening meetings. Mr. Tim Clement as the human resources manager, is brought in. You can read his submission about the evening board meeting later on this page. INTERESTING.

At approximately 27:25 into the recording Mr. Clement states that this item was brought forward at my request. Yes, I requested it. ALONG WITH NUMEROUS OTHER ITEMS. This board decides in secret, what will and will not appear on the agenda. How come this one appears and the others were denied? Hmmmm. Secret committee did not want them on the agenda?

At approximately 28:00 into the recording Mr. Clements compares RMWD to other districts and their meeting times. My response, for which I would most likely be ruled out of order, is If you want to live by ZQB Water District rules, move to ZQB Water District. He continues to say that staff does not even know of room available and costs. One phone call to the scheduler for the Ramona Community Center, owned by RMWD ratepayers and taxpayers, would answer that question. Could it be that members of the board and staff do not want the answer known? And staff has not calculated cost. So make a guess based on unknowns and consider it politically correct. Mr. Clement states that RMWD has not heard any opposition to afternoon meetings. This is false. A former director submitted an earlier letter of opposition to afternoon meetings or letter in support of evening meetings.

At approximately 29:00 into the recording Director Foote starts his statement. He states that he believes ratepayers and taxpayers would with a “No” or “Resounding heck no” to cost increases due to evening meetings.

At approximately 32:10 into the recording Director Beck states over the years there was a lot of turmoil at evening board meetings. Not a problem. The San Diego County Grand Jury reports confirm these were actions of the board members, not the public. So, preclude the public from attending evening meetings so the board does not misbehave. Great logic.

At approximately 33:00 into the recording another attack on me be Zenovic in directors’ comments.

At approximately 34:40 into the recording Beck states he is sorry to see me rush out of the meeting based on anything he or the board did.

At approximately 35:00 into the recording Beck states that he would love to run these meeting like the British Parliament where someone gives a speech and then people get up and hoot and howl and he always liked that idea. WHAT? Then he states he has to run the meeting by the rules. Interesting.

RMWD Board Meeting of Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The estimated cost of holding evening board meetings, partially presented on July 8, 2014.

Click on this link to download the estimated cost of holding evening board meetings report.

The first two pages of this document were the only two pages initially provided by RMWD staff to the board. I wanted specifics and it took a bit of a fight. I made my hand written comments when I finally received it.

This report was prepared by Mr. Clement, the RMWD human resources manager, and submitted to the board by Mr. Barnum, the general manager, therefore he, Mr. Barnum, approved the report and the subsequent value release.

This document and its values, provided later, include some very misleading information. On Monday, June 23, 2014, not Monday, June 23, 2011, RMWD held a budget meeting commencing at 7:00 PM. It was posted in the RMWD district office, the Ramona Community Center, and the Ramona Public Library most likely on Friday, June 20, 2014. As a board member, I received a letter in the mail on Monday, June 23, 2014, informing me of the meeting. You would have to ask RMWD staff if every ratepayer and taxpayer also received a letter announcing the meeting - remember, RMWD considers ratepayers and taxpayers as two distinctly separate groups. I do not think letters went out the the ratepayers and taxpayers of RMWD.

Use common sense. How often has RMWD held a meeting or met outside of the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 2:00 PM? How often have you gone to the RMWD district office to see if a special RMWD meeting is going to be held? How often have you stopped at the Ramona Community Center to see if a special RMWD meeting was going to be held? How often have you stopped at the Ramona Library to see if a special RMWD meeting was going to be held? And you wonder why it only had dismal attendance?

Mr Clement, RMWD human resources manager, itemizes $907.67 for the cost of this evening meeting and this value was used by the board to justify retaining its afternoon board meetings. Logical? LOGICAL? After all, twenty-three annual meetings would have approximately ($907.67 x 23 meetings) $20,876.41 in costs. How much of these costs are incurred regardless of the meeting time? Undisclosed. Hidden for a reason? Mr. Clement indicates that General Manager Barnum received $271.17 in overtime salary for this meeting, the financial services director received $206.76 in overtime salaries, while he, himself, received $184.35 in overtime salaries. THESE THREE INDIVIDUALS ARE EXEMPT EMPLOYEES ON SALARY!!!! We are paying EXEMPT employees overtime!!!! This is financial mismanagement within RMWD. The majority of the board accepted these values because of ?????? They want to ensure that the ratepayer and taxpayer are inconvenienced rather than the board and staff - who are PUBLIC SERVENTS?

Why cannot staff prepare the meeting room during regular work hours before the meeting and take it down the next day during regular hours? Interesting question? Cannot / will not be answered by RMWD board or staff. When the OVERTIME SALARIES of ($271.17 + $206.76 + $184.35) $662.28 are removed, the cost of this evening budget meeting is only $245.39. And that is with financial and personnel mismanagement of resources.

Remember, it is not about participation, it is about ACCESS to the board and the board and staff continue to state that if the ratepayer or taxpayer, continuously identified as two distinctly separate groups, wants to attend or address the board, it should not be at the inconvenience of the board or staff.

Note: No one in the State of California cares about this "magic math" which is continued to be used as a tool to preclude evening meetings allowing greater access to the board.

The issue is ACCESS, not participation.

Estimated Costs of Evening Board Meetings-001

Estimated Costs of Evening Board Meetings-002

Estimated Costs of Evening Board Meetings-003

Special board meeting of the RMWD board on Monday, July 28, 2014.

In this audio which lasts about twelve minutes director zenovic attacks legal counsel and legal counsel resigns himself and his firm affective at the conclusion of this meeting. Turns out not to be the facts. Also, director beck states he

At approximately 2:12 into the recording – reconsider the motion –

Roll call vote at approximately 3:15

Beck, Zenovic, and Foote vote to reconsider

At approximately 3:50 into the recording Beck states he did not intend to vote the way he voted in the regular meeting of July 22, 2014.

At approximately 4:30 into the recording Zenovic wants to know why so much material was blacked out.

At approximately 5:20 into the recording Zenovic states he picked up the e-mail at the district office.

At approximately 6:30 into the recording Zenovic starts his attack on legal counsel.

At approximately 7:50 into the recording legal counsel confirms that Zenovic actually brought the full, non-redacted, e-mail to the board meeting on Tuesday, July 22, 2015, and provided it to Director Foote.

At approximately 8:20 into the recording legal counsel confirms that Zenovic has a habit of attacking legal counsel.

At approximately 8:55 into the recording legal counsel begins the resignation of himself and his firm as of the end of this meeting.

At approximately 9:05 into the recording Zenovic accepts legal counsel’s resignation with “very good.”

The conversation continues to confirm at legal counsel is resigning both himself and his firm as of the conclusion of this special board meeting – based on the repetitive attacks by Zenovic. Note that “Schildhouse” is not even mentioned in this exchange. I was later told that legal counsel resigned because of my actions and statements.

At approximately 9:40 into the recording legal counsel states there was no negligence in the actions and services of legal counsel. Zenovic responds with “That will be determined in a court of law.”

At approximately 10:00 into the recording Beck states that the board had no responsibility over employee matters. Hmmm. The board cannot hold the general manager or other staff members accountable for their actions in violation of RMWD legislative codes or for the generation of false and / or misleading documents? See the “cost” of the evening budget meeting. It appears that RMWD paid overtime to salaried / exempt employees.

Vote to adjourn was taken at approximately 12:50 into the recording and the meeting ended. By law, nothing can occur after this point.

At approximately 13:10 into the recording Foote invites me to discuss things “across the street.” This could be construed as conducting board business out of a public venue.

There is no item or discussion in this meeting to continue the services of legal counsel. Legal counsel serves at the pleasure of the board and legal counsel resigned both himself and his firm as of the conclusion of this special board meeting. Legal counsel would show up at the next several months of board meetings by an “arrangement of transitional services.” There is no documentation of where, when, who or what directors were at the meeting in which transitional services by legal counsel were approved. It appears that one or more members of the board conducted board business without documenting the actions in public view.

From the governor of California down, this apparent violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act is acceptable because the action was taken by members of the RMWD board and / or staff.

RMWD Special Board Meeting of Monday, July 28, 2014.

Gary Hurst Reform