Summary of Sept 12, 2012 Mountain House Board Meeting

September 13, 2012

The following is a summary of what took place at the Mountain House Board of Directors September 2012 Meeting. It is a summary and does not include every detail for sake of time and space. The board meeting can be watched on the MHCSD website and the agenda can be found there as well.

1.-3. Call to Order, Moment of Silence, Pledge of Allegiance

The meeting opened with the usual format of roll call, a moment of silence, and the Pledge of Allegiance. All board members were present. Mimi Duzenski sat in as acting General Manager.

4. Approval of Agenda

The first item Dir Tingle brought up was the approval of the agenda. Dir Farron asked to pull something from the agenda. Dir. Tingle said she would like to postpone agenda item 9.3 to the December meeting when the newly elected board is seated. Dir Farron 2nd motion. Dir. Lamb wanted to discuss. Then Dr. Tingle went to a vote but Dir. Lamb said he could make the comment quickly but would discuss when it was on the agenda. There was confusion as to when the members could discuss or whether or not to remove the agenda. Mr. Schroeder was deferred to for help. There was a lot of back and forth and confusion but in the end, the motion to remove 9.3 was withdrawn and the agenda was approved 5-0.

5. Public Comments

Three residents made public comments. First was Corey Strock, candidate for the recall seat, who gave a short campaign speech. Next was candidate Josh Anderson for the recall seat who also gave a short campaign speech. The final comment was made by Steve Guiterrez, the third candidate for the recall seat who also gave a campaign speech.

6. Youth Action Committee Report

The Youth Action Committee President gave a report which included the successful movie in park night, the Sept. meeting, new members, tutoring in the library, selling their candy, implementing a YAC dream project in the near future and upcoming YAC elections. The academics tutoring program at the library has been successful and they always welcome new members to join. They offer free tutoring in the library from 5-7pm every Tuesday. YAC announced they are going to be sell their remaining candy and refreshments at the Sept 22nd Music in the Park. At their next meeting, Oct. 3rd they will be holding election for the next term.

7. Recognition, Announcements, or Presentations

7.1 The Youth Action Committee also gave a certificate of appreciation to Morgan Grover for his help with YAC events. Dir. Farron asked how much the YAC raised at movie in the park.

7.2 Elizabeth Blanchard was invited to speak by Dir. Tingle. Before Ms. Blanchard spoke, Mr. Schroeder asked if she was making a campaign speech. Ms. Blanchard said no. Elizabeth Blanchard started by saying she wears two hats as Chairman of the Stockton Port and a candidate for the Delta College Trustee, Area 2. Mr. Schroeder asked if she was speaking on the Port of Stockton or on Delta. Ms. Blanchard stated she was invited by President Tingle to share her vision for Delta College. However, Mr. Schroeder informed the board that Ms. Blanchard was not allowed to speak because she is a candidate, not a current trustee but that she was

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welcome to come back later as a trustee or to share about the Stockton Port.

8. Consent Calendar Items

The consent calendar for June 22nd 2012 was unanimously approved.

Item 9.1 Discussion and Direction Regarding Vacancy of the Following Position: General Manager

Mr. Schroeder made a report about ML Gordon. The following is his report: “Effective March 12th of 2012 you began an employment relationship with Mr. ML Gordon who by contract was to serve as your General Manager. However, Mr Gordon has been on medical leave continuously since the beginning of June. Both the District and Mr. Gordon in their contract in article 3 provided that if Mr. Gordon was incapable of performing the essential functions of the General Manager for a period exceeding the leave available under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act which is a maximum 12 weeks, or exceeding his accrued sick time, whichever is greater, then he would be deemed under the terms of the contract to be disabled and further went on to agree with the District that he would be termed disabled because granting a longer time of leave would be an undue hardship on the District. Parties further agreed in article 7 subsection d that various occurrences would trigger a termination of the agreement. One was Mr. Gordon’s disability as defined by article 3. The affect of Mr. Gordon’s absence has triggered the automatic provisions under article 7 subpart d of the contract. What’s important to understand and so everybody understands is that the Board did not take action to terminate Mr. Gordon’s contract but rather it was his absence that triggered the provisions in the contract which Mr. Gordon and the District had agreed to. Under Government code section 61050, the District is required by law to have a General Manager. Mr. Gordon’s relationship ended on August 24th when the time provisions set forth in article 3 for disability occurred. So as a result, technically you do not have a General Manager. You have an acting General Manager which has been Ms. Duzenski who was acting as General Manger during his absence. The purpose of this agenda item is due to the vacancy that staff needs direction on how the Board wants to proceed to fill that vacancy. There are no rules or laws that say you have to follow to any particular method. It’s up to the discretion of the Board of Directors on how to fill that position. I have provided in the report and I”d like to tell you again no w that you do have one option that is available to you now in addition to all the others that’s important. You have retained the recruiting firm Peckham and McKenney to do your search for the General Manager that result in the hiring of Mr. Gordon. Under that contract in the event the position became vacant for several reasons, then they would come back and conduct another recruitment with no additional fee other than to cover their costs, the mailings etc. which is a small portion of that. That is an additional option that you have. In addition, depending on what you decide, you will need to consider proceeding with an interim General Manager; an acting is one who fills in for the vacancy of somebody who is out sick, you would need an interim. It’s my understanding that Ms. Duzenski, should you wish, would be willing to consider to continue in that position. Also we have contacted Mr. Sensibaugh to see if he would be interested in stepping in as an interim. He confirmed that he would. Also, the firm of Pechkam and McKenney also provides a service where they find people, typically retired city managers and general managers, to come in quickly and fill in a temporary role. So with that I’m happy to answer any of your questions.”

Opened for Clarifications by the Board: Notable clarifications made: 1. No deadline to hire a new GM. 2. Notice to ML Gordon of the termination is provided under the contract. 3. Under the terms of the contract, termination was an automatic event and no action was necessary by the Board. 4. Mr. Gordon did not ask for more time.

The Board then opened to public comments regarding 9.1 Summary of Public comments:

Steve Guiterrez: noted the situation with ML Gordon was not transparent and mentioned the need for a public information communication regarding Mr. Gordon’s status, cautioned the Board that we need a good vetting process and leadership for future GM’s and mentioned that Ms. Duzenski is doing an excellent job.

John McDonald: asked Mr. Schroeder what day did Mr. Gordon’s sick leave start. Mr. Schroeder did not know off the top of his head but thought it was in the first week of June. John also asked if that was the first day he was out. Mr. Schroeder asked on medical leave. John said no, the first day he didn’t show up to work. Mr. Schroeder answered “his medical leave began in June. I just don’t have the first date.” John also asked how many contracts are reviewed with clauses that are not met and mentioned it unusual that if clauses are not met, then it’s unusual to automatically terminate without the Board input. He also pointed out that in private companies, if anyone is fired for any reason from the VP level up, the Board is very aware. Mr. Schroeder said he could not answer based on attorney client privilege and reiterated the automatic trigger under the contract.

Arjun: Question asked was why did the Board not act to stop or act before the termination of Mr. Gordon’s position. Dir. Farron reiterated that the Board did not act because it was an automatic trigger.

Opened to Board discussion. There were a few comments made then Dir. Farron moved to engage contractual services from Peckham and McKinney to seek out GM. Dir. Lamb seconded. Dir. Su jumped in with a question so back to discussion. The discussion covered several topics including the contract with Mr. Gordon, an interim GM, a permanent GM, and other options for finding a GM even though the motion was about contracted service with Peckham and McKenney for a permanent GM. From the discussion we learned the following:

Dir. Farron was in favor of using the services of Peckham and McKenney to find a permanent GM and was in favor of using Mr. Sensibaugh as the interim GM. Dir. Farron asked Ms. Duzenski how she was holding up as acting GM, and Ms. Duzenski indicated she was doing ok but was afraid something would fall through the cracks, expressed her willingness to do whatever the BOD asked and said her preference was to bring Mr. Sensibaugh back as an interim GM.

Dir. Singh was in favor of considering the option of bringing Mr. Gordon back on as GM as he believed he is good for Mountain House. Dir. Singh believed the best way to proceed is to open up communication with Mr. Gordon and then the BOD would have information as to Mr. Gordon’s situation and the BOD could then make an informed decision about reinstating a contract with Mr. Gordon. Dir. Singh pointed out that Mr. Gordon has a house in Mountain House and a vested interest. He also discussed that good will is often used in the corporate world when an employee is out for sick leave and open communication between the BOD and employee is normal and considered ethical employment practices. He mentioned that the BOD is blocked from communication with Mr. Gordon and we don’t know what’s happening behind the curtain.

Director Tingle was in favor of using the services of Peckham and McKenney for a permanent GM and was in favor of having Mr. Sensibaugh as the interim GM. She also stated she heard Ms. Duzenski loud and clear and that she would like help.

Director Lamb was in favor of using the services of Peckham and McKenney to find an interim GM as well as a permanent GM. He also pointed out that going forward with Peckham and McKenney does not exclude Mr. Gordon and the Board does have the authority to reengage his contract as an option.

Director Su questioned Director Singh as to whether or not bringing back Mr. Gordon was an option considering that Mr. Gordon was terminated. He also asked Director Singh if he had signed and read Mr. Gordon’s contract (which he had).

There was an interesting exchange between Directors Tingle, Singh and Su:

Director Tingle: “First of all, I’ve always been a propondent of if you have a policy, it’s important to stick to the policy and there’s purity (?I think that’s the word used 56:07) across the board. If we have a signed contract with anyone and we start making deviations in that contract, then going forward we’ve made ourselves liable that we can change anything. There’s other things and I’m hearing strongly which I agree with when Mr. Gordon went out on medical leave initially it was for a period of time that has been extended. We have no way of knowing when Mr. Gordon will return and that being we are not medical dr.’s and for sake of HIPPA, it is not our business, we just wish him well. It is beyond that time frame. But yet there are other options. If Mr. Gordon is… as far as I’m concerned I heard counsel loud and clear. That’s why we pay counsel the big bucks to follow protocol to keep us from being sued and liable for many things. But even in that, Mr. Gordon would still have an option if he becomes well to put in for his job again. I did hear loud and clear that the contract was terminated because of the clause of disability on August the 24th so he is no longer engaged in our employ. I don’t see any problem. We haven’t heard from him and I believe we you don’t communicate or talk with employees if they’re automatically and the dr. has instructed not to. That is not… that is outside the scope of our responsibilities and what we should be doing.”

Dir Singh: “I want to see that note which says that Dr. has instructed none of the Board of Director or anybody can talk to him. That note I want to see. How somebody can convince me there was a Dr. note which says that he should not be contacted, he should not be (58:09) ? or any business should not be discussed with him. If that note was not there, how should we confirm it? That is the bottom line.”

Dir. Tingle: “I think that the note was given to counsel and…”

Dir Singh: “And we like to see that medical note where the Dr. is giving the instructions that you cannot talk MHCSD business with ML Gordon until he recovers. That note we want to see. And the Board of Directors haven’t seen that note.”

Fast forward a few comments…

Dir Su: “I would like Director Singh to clarify his comment. Is he saying that the note given to our attorney which the attorney told us about, is he saying that our…”

Mr. Schroeder: “I would like to interject. You’re getting extremely close to compromising the attorney client relationship with my discussions with you so I would ask that you go no further.”

After much discussion, the BOD went to vote with for retaining Peckham and McKenney to start the GM Recruitment process which passed with a 4-1 vote. Director Singh voted no.

Next was figuring out who would be in the interim GM.

Dir Farron made a motion to enter into contract with Paul Sensibaugh. Dir. Tingle seconded the motion. There wasn’t much discussion as it had been discussed earlier.

The motion to contract with Mr. Sensibaugh as interim GM failed 2-3 with Directors Farron and Tingle for, and Directors Singh, Lamb, and Su against.

Next the options for a interim GM were discussed. From this discussion we learned:

Options discussed: utilize people currently on staff, authorize more resources for Ms. Duzenski

Director Lamb expressed his desire to have the BOD meet privately as those being considered for interim GM deserve privacy.

Discussion continued on the process of going to a closed meeting and choosing a date.

Director Su did not agree with going to a closed session. He expressed his opinion that Ms. Duzenski should be the interim GM.

Vote for closed session: 3-1 (voting was interrupted with more discussion so not all votes were taken and considering they had three, it was passed).

Dir. Su pointed out that for the price or Mr. Sensibuagh, we could hire three other assistant for Ms. Duzenski. He also said for $180 per hour we could have other assistants and we could hire some temporary staff and save the district some $.

More discussion about timing and resources. Ms. Duzenski mentioned her upcoming marriage and vacation and she’s already made arrangements for when she is out and was willing to delay the decision until October.

The vote for the closed meeting was amended at Mr. Schroeder’s suggestion to say that Ms. Duzenski would continue to serve in the position of interim General Manager and that a special meeting be scheduled as soon as practical subject to Mr. McKenney’s availability.

More discussion before the amended motion was seconded. There were a lot of comments that were similar as the previous discussion. New information:

Dir. Su: pointed out that when Mr. Sensibuagh went on vacation in the past, others on staff stepped up to be GM while he was out and the board does not need to tell Ms. Duzenski how to do her job.

Dir. Singh also pointed out that Mr. Sensibaugh is engaged by a $25,000 contract with MHCSD to provide part time service until the end of December that can help Ms. Duzenski.

After much discussion there was confusion as to where the Board was in the voting process so Mr. Schroeder reminded them.

Dir. Su seconded the amended motion. The amended motion passed 4-1 with Dir. Farron voting no.

More confusion by Dir Tingle about setting a time and date. Mr. Schroeder clarified and then requested a 5 min break.

Break

9.2 Appropriation to Address Feral Cats Issue in Mountain House

Staff Report on Feral Cats in Mountain House by Ms. Duzenski. A summary of the report: Animal services does not regulate feral cats. The CSD has the authority and jurisdiction to address and abate feral cats under the powers given. It’s come to attention that there is a growing population of feral cats. Options: staff trap the cats and transport to animal services, enter contract with another entity to provide abatement, enter into contract another entity for the commonly used trap/neuter/release method, the Board could provide or an appropriation of direct funds to a low cost veterinary for the neutering and spaying process and with a group that catches and release, another option is to grant permission to a local rescue group to access public property for the entire process. Cost would be approximately $5000 appropriation as a starting point. CSD met with a local group and using this group is an option. Recommends dealing with sooner rather than later.

A clarification discussion followed.

Open to public commnets.

Bryan Harrison commented on the work of the Mountain House Feral Cat Rescue Group in that includes the human method of trap/neuter/release on private property, feeding the cats and adopting kittens out to forever homes.

Open to Board Discussion.

Summary of Discussion: Discussion was about keeping the option open of taking trapped feral cats on CSD property to the shelter if there are too many, allowing the MH Feral Cat Rescue Group to use the newsletter, how to fund the group, concern regarding the group being overwhelmed with the work, concern about the feral cats affecting the ecosystem, a debate between Dir. Su and Dir. Lamb about whether to have the CSD manage the problem or telling the CSD how to manage the problem and the wording of the motion, concern that CSD could be paying for spaying/neutering of cats with owners.

A motion was made by Dir. Su to allocate $5,000 for fiscal year for feral cat TNR and CSD staff come op with an MOU with the MH Feral Cat Rescue Group, a contract wiht local vet to authorize payment for spay/neuter, all MH Feral Cat Rescue group to use the newsletter for purposes of foster care. Motion seconded.

An amendment was made and seconded to include in the contract with the local veterinary that spay/neuter would only be done on cats trapped on CSD property.

The motion passed with a 5-0 vote.

9.3 Appointment of Board Member to Attend Board Meetings of the Lammersville Unified School District and San Joaquin Delta College and Report Back to the MHCSD Board of Directors on Matters Affecting the MHCSD

Opened to Board Comments: Asked for staff to report on anything of interest in the Lammersville School District and San Joaquin Delta College until a Board member is appointed.

Open to public comments. (none) Opened to clarifications. (none)

Moved and seconded to delay the appointment of a director to the Lammersville Unified School district meetings and Delta College until December, but in the interim if something comes up related to CSD that staff would bring it to attention of the board. The motion passed 5-0

9.4 Proposed Procedure for Communicating Requests for Agenda Items to the Board President

Staff report summary: A process to formalize the procedure of clearly conveying and communicating the request to put an item on the agenda for board meetings

Opened to Clarification: Some clarification

Opened to public comment (none)

Opened to Board Discussion: Discussion of the process, keeping clear records, adequate language, adequate form, estimate of agenda time, whether or not board members have copies of agenda items that are taken off the agenda and a paper trail, and micromanaging.

A motion was made and seconded to adopt the form for the request for agenda items.

The motion passed with a 5-0 vote.

10. – 13.

Nothing to discuss, no written communications, no information items, no committee reports.

14. Future Agenda Items

The next agenda setting review Sept 18th for varied reasons. Deadline for turning in the new forms will be Sept 17th.

Items in Queue from Ms. Duzenski and suggestions from Board Members:

-Recommendations of public saftely committee

-Procurement policies

-Parks and Recreation Special Events Committee

-Discussion with regard to MHCSD employee compensation

-Redo survey with the purpose to educate residents on what CSD is supposed to do and get the residents response

-Getting policies online and identifying all of them (approved by Board, not yet done due to timeline and man hours required)

– Review of Strategic Priorities

15. Board Comments

Dir. Farron: Thanks to Bryan Harrison for MHMatters. Very pleased with the issue. Thanks to the 31 residents who stepped up to participate in CERT. Mention for the people who live in Questa; a man at a door presented himself as an MH representative asking for info and selling water treatment so please tell him we have a state of the art treatment plant in Mountain House. Warned to ask anyone who comes to the door to ask for their business card or license.

Dir. Su: Disappointed that after 3 1/2 years on the job, there aren’t more metrics to guide us as the Board to provide quality service. Looking for a way to measure how the board is doing. An example of this came up with the landscaping issue. What is a terrible job and what is a good job? Need to continue to look for metrics to guide us.

Dir. Tingle concurred with Dir. Su and reiterated the need.In keeping with the code of conduct, we should adhere to it in all aspects, when making comments to public, to the newspapers, should adhere to the board, and only makes statements of consensus of board.

Dir Singh: Concur with Dr. Su regarding metrics.

Dir Farron: Music in the park on Sept 22nd

Acting GM Ms. Duzenkski: Attended and enjoyed music in park. Community meeting coming up at Bethany School, starts at 6:30 pm. Mentioned upcoming week long vacation.

Meeting adjourned

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Responses to Summary of Sept 12, 2012 Mountain House Board Meeting

  1. mhresident@ymail.com on September 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    MHCSD Meeting
    “Dir Su: “I would like Director Singh to clarify his comment. Is he saying that the note given to our attorney which the attorney told us about, is he saying that our…”
    Mr. Schroeder: “I would like to interject. You’re getting extremely close to compromising the attorney client relationship with my discussions with you so I would ask that you go no further.””
    *****
    Oh, There is some secret that many BODs knows and is still kept away from one of the directors. I smell something? Even after Dri Singh asked for it, he is not given the information. Really there is something going on!

    What are they trying to cover up? If they don’t tell the voters, let us tell no to them in the next election

    They maintained this secrecy during the RFP too.

    For RFP they did the same secret: There is something going on what is that?
    They have something to hide. Don’t elect the one hide something from us taxpayer.

  2. mhresident@ymail.com on September 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    MHCSD Meeting
    Dir Su: Disappointed that after 3 1/2 years on the job, there aren’t more metrics to guide us as the Board to provide quality service.

    ********

    This is what we the voters were telling you. It is horrible director, as you realized now. You are just making a statement because the election is so close?

  3. mhresident@ymail.com on September 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    TINKLE TINKLE LITTLE STAR HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU REALLY IS *******MHCSD Board Meeting

    7.2 Elizabeth Blanchard was invited to speak by Dir. Tingle. Before Ms. Blanchard spoke, Mr. Schroeder asked if she was making a campaign speech. Ms. Blanchard said no. Elizabeth Blanchard started by saying she wears two hats as Chairman of the Stockton Port and a candidate for the Delta College Trustee, Area 2. Mr. Schroeder asked if she was speaking on the Port of Stockton or on Delta. Ms. Blanchard stated she was invited by President Tingle to share her vision for Delta College. However, Mr. Schroeder informed the board that Ms. Blanchard was not allowed to speak because she is a candidate, not a current trustee but that she was welcome to come back later as a trustee or to share about the Stockton Port.

    *********

    Dir Tinkle, Do you want to make the MHCSD board a campaign stage?

    Can these candidate give MHCSD some of their campaign fund so that we can get out of our millions of deficit you made through your actions and inaction?

  4. mhresident@ymail.com on September 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    President. Why there is not discussion about the library?

    you are delaying as much as possible so that you can find an excuse to pay exorbitant price to ****** for the new lease. I know this will be without RFP. Ah, good tactics Stage the drama for “No RFP”

  5. mhresident@ymail.com on September 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    MHCSDD Board Meeting

    Three residents made public comments. First was Corey Strock, candidate for the recall seat, who gave a short campaign speech. Next was candidate Josh Anderson for the recall seat who also gave a short campaign speech. The final comment was made by Steve Guiterrez, the third candidate for the recall seat who also gave a campaign speech.

    **************************
    PRESIDENT,
    WHO ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN?

    IT IS NOT RIGHT TO GIVE THE BOD MEETING AS A STAGE FOR CAMPAIGN SPEECH.
    WE HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS LIKE LIBRARY LEASE. YOU HAVE POSTPONED IT ENOUGH. ERIC IS WAITING FOR YOUR RESPONSE.

  6. mhresident@ymail.com on September 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    MHCSD Meeting
    “Dir Singh: “I want to see that note which says that Dr. has instructed none of the Board of Director or anybody can talk to him. That note I want to see. How somebody can convince me there was a Dr. note which says that he should not be contacted, he should not be (58:09) ? or any business should not be discussed with him. If that note was not there, how should we confirm it? That is the bottom line.””

    ************

    Dir, Singh, Do you think you will be able to get the truth. “THEY HAVE THINGS TO HIDE”

    “WE NEED A TRANSPARENT BOD”

    They hide the real truth that could reveal their ugly doings.

    I am not calling any name for this act, if I do Mhreporter remove the comment saying they need more proof.

  7. Arjun on September 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    “Dir. Farron: …. Mention for the people who live in Questa; a man at a door presented himself as an MH representative asking for info and selling water treatment “so please tell him we have a state of the art treatment plant in Mountain House”.
    Yes tell him that if you use water in Mountain House you will be scratching his back and he will be scratching your back… Lot of people recently started scratching their heads why after paying hefty taxes I am scratching my body….
    Oops You’re fired you sick man…

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