RMWD director’s meeting absence draws board criticism
By Karen Brainard
For the sixth consecutive meeting, the elected director of Ramona Municipal Water District’s Division II has been absent and Board Chair Darrell Beck, citing government code, said it’s time to be addressed.
At the July 23 RMWD board meeting, Beck asked that the issue be placed on the Aug. 13 agenda.
“It appears that he’s abandoned his seat and his obligation to the people that elected him,” Beck said of Director Kit Kesinger. Division II covers the west side of town, roughly from Pine Street, Sawday, Keyser and Oak Valley, reaches north of Haverford Road, and includes the Mussey Grade Road area.
“It’s important that directors make meetings a priority,” said Board Vice President and Division IV Director Joe Zenovic. “Not showing up or even picking up agenda packages for months on end is just not acceptable. No communication from the director in Division No. 2 in the last six meetings is not acceptable.”
Zenovic pointed out that it’s been 90 days since Kesinger attended a meeting and said he either needs to come prepared or let someone else take his seat.
But Kesinger, in an emailed response to the Sentinel, said Zenovic and Beck voted to change the meeting time to 2 p.m. so that he would not be able to attend.
The board meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month and in July 2012 agreed to switch its meeting time from 4:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. — a change that Kesinger, who works out of town, opposed.
The time “prevents citizens who have a typical (9 to 5) work day outside of Ramona from attending,” Kesinger said.
“Citizens who have business with the board must take time off work, which results in loss of income, disruption of their work day and risks losing their job.
“Meeting times at 2 p.m. discourage working people from trying to get elected to the board. This results in a board that’s dominated by the Ramona business community and retirees. There’s nothing wrong with Ramona’s business community and retirees, but I don’t believe in an extra burden on people working outside of Ramona who want to represent their community,” said Kesinger.
Beck referred to California Government Code 1770 (g), which states that an office becomes vacant before the expiration of a term if the officer ceases “to discharge the duties of his or her office for the period of three consecutive months, except when prevented by sickness, or when absent from the state with the permission required by law.”
Kesinger said attending meetings is not the only way a director discharges his duties and that he does so in other ways but he did not go into detail. He noted that he receives board correspondence from staff.
As to the meeting time, Zenovic pointed out that since the meeting was moved to 2 p.m., public attendance has ranged from three to 21 people.
“The move to 2 seems to be accessible,” he said.
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