Water board leaves Division II seat as is

By Karen Brainard

The fate of Director Christopher “Kit” Kesinger’s Division II seat on the Ramona Municipal Water District Board is in the hands of his constituents, say board members.

With Kesinger absent for his eighth consecutive meeting Aug. 27, the other four directors steered away, by a 4-0 vote,

Director Kit Kesinger’s Division II seat, between directors Rex Schildhouse, right, and George Foote, has been empty for the past eight meetings of the Ramona Municipal Water District Board. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

from sending him a letter asking for his voluntary resignation after he indicated he would not do so. Kesinger requested he be allowed to vote on meeting items either remotely or by proxy.

That request was not granted at the Aug. 27 meeting as voting by proxy is not allowed under the Municipal Water Code and, although teleconferencing is permitted under the Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law, Director Rex Schildhouse said it would open the door to excessive requirements and costs.

Requirements under the Brown Act for teleconferencing from a remote location include posting an agenda at that location and making the spot accessible to the public for participation.

“I don’t think this is something we should even consider,” said Director George Foote.

The water board meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 2 p.m., a time that Kesinger, who works as a quality manager for Decco Castings in El Cajon, said is difficult for him to attend. Meetings were held at 4:30 p.m. when Kesinger was elected in November 2010, but in June 2012 the majority of the board voted to change the time to 2 p.m. In January, Kesinger said he had only been able to attend about 50 percent of the meetings due to the time change. Directors are paid $100 per meeting but only if they attend.

Director Kit Kesinger, center, stands with Directors Rex Schildhouse, left, and George Foote at the last Ramona Municipal Water District Board meeting he attended on April 23. Sentinel file photo

The board began discussing Kesinger’s meeting absence July 23 when he had not shown up in three months. On Aug. 13 the board directed President Darrell Beck to draft a letter asking for Kesinger’s resignation and place it on the Aug. 27 agenda for review.

“To me it appeared he abandoned his seat,” said Beck.

“Looking at the letter we have here is a moot point. We already have his answer,” he said, adding that the board can’t force Kesinger to resign or to attend meetings so the seat will be empty.

“I think this is a constituency problem,” said Zenovic, noting the public could recall him.

Zenovic said Kesinger’s election goals included recycled water and the board is moving down that path without him.

“If Division II wants to be represented, then Division II knows what it has to do,” he said.

Schildhouse asked Legal Counsel Brooke Miller with Best Best & Krieger about declaring his seat vacant. Miller said that can be done if Kesinger is not performing his duties but he could legally challenge it, which could become expensive for the district.

“I think we ought to have someone sitting here,” Schildhouse said.

“We’ve been doing fine with four members. I agree five would be nice,” responded Zenovic.

Schildhouse, who told the Sentinel that he is a fan of what and how Kesinger thinks, added during directors’ comments: “My goal is to get representation by the entire district. I think Division II should be represented by someone active.”

Related posts:

  1. Water board elects 2013 officers, retains 2 p.m. meeting time
  2. 2 votes separate Hager, Boetcher for water district’s Division 5 board seat
  3. Board changes meeting time to 2 p.m.
  4. Redistricting proposal receives initial nod from water board
  5. RMWD director’s meeting absence draws board criticism

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Aug 31 2013. Filed under Featured Story, Government, News, Ramona. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

10 Comments for “Water board leaves Division II seat as is”

  1. Joe Cahak

    Seems funny that Mr Beck is so adamant about tyranny in government, yet took the step or forcing Kit to not attend to keep his job, by forcing the afternoon meeting time of 2 PM. Seems if My Beck was so interested in representative government and Kit's attendance, he could have compromised to say a 4 or 4:30 meeting, so us working folks can be involved. Oh I forget, Mr Beck wishes to control the water board and run it their way. Good job of actions meeting words Darrell. Different face, same tyranny as always. Thanks for showing you true concerns RMWD BOD.

  2. Jane Tanaka MD

    Water Board, Please clarify "Excessive requirements and costs."
    Skype costs nothing. One laptop there and one laptop here.
    Public and board in Ramona. Kesinger at his desk at work.
    Agenda posted online, via email ahead of time, per requirements
    of the Brown Act. I know others are wondering too. Thank you.

    • Guest

      How can he give his full attention to work or to BOD if on lap top during work hours? Why not just attend the meeting? Makes no sense! Also agenda is posted online on district website and has been for years. I'm not advocating for the board but I don't see how he should be paid at work while doing a board meeting on the computer during his work hours.

      • Jane Tanaka MD

        He would have to have permission from his employer as special time off, dedicated to attending the meeting via skype, instead of taking time off also for communiting back to Ramona for the meeting.If such accomodation is not granted by employer, it should be stated so in writing and submitted to the board, proving that board member cannnot attend in person or leave at 2pm . This would then put it back in the board’s court, to move it back to a time that working board member could attend, as previously requested.

  3. Bob Loblaw

    Good Ol' Boys at work. It's 2013 gentlemen, not 1913. If the meetings were held any later than 2 pm, the board members would all need a nap. Would love for someone who knows their stuff to analyze the RMWD budget and the staff and board benefits.

    • Jane Tanaka MD

      Bob , are you hinting that perhaps just as the Ramona Parents Coalition (RPC) is the public's advocacy group with the School District, there should be a group of politically /economically savvy folks in our community form the DRIPS (Dedicated Ramonans Investigating Political Somethingorother.) ?

      $400 per meeting to the current participating board members to decide what to do about the 5th board member… how many bimonthly meetings will be spent on this?
      Participation regularly by Kesinger via SKYPE meetings or resign…clear cut. No excuses, no tantrums, no whining. Giving an acting out member further audience is fueling the problem.

  4. Bob Loblaw

    You bet I am Jane, and I'm not hinting. The RMWD has become a self-serving middleman who keeps taking a bigger and bigger cut. They advocate water conservation (which everyone should practice), then when the ratepayers use less water, they raise the rates and we pay more. They charge six figure fees for a new business to put in a new sink or drain, so the business goes elsewhere. Whenever a real world infrastructure decision needs to be made, they commission a "study" that costs thousands of dollars, yet we pay the Dept. head close to 200K per year. For what exactly? I may be ignorant, but I'm not stupid. What we are all paying for are gold plated pensions and benefits for the Good Ol' Boys. If everything is above board at the RMWD, they should welcome the scrutiny.

  5. guest

    I am really curious why, all of a sudden, they dont have enough recycled water to sell to the San Vicente Golf course. The golf course is now buying potable water to spray on all the grass! Did everyone stop pouring water down the drain? Maybe because the members of the RMWD and SDCEA are in cahoots to change the contract? There is a lot of good ol boy crap in this town.

  6. Joe Cahak

    Bob is right Jane. We've seen nothing but drama from the RMWD and legal actions against the board majority over the years. Different folks but same actions. This action by the board (read Darrell and Joe) is a deliberate effort to remove Kit from the board and nothing else. Kit will not let them appoint another Stooge of theirs into the position. This 2pm meeting time prevents any of us working folks from attending and playing any part in RMWD decisions. That is as they want it.

    As Darrell writes about tyranny of our present government, he provides the same to our water board. Darrell is a hypocrite in his words, as well as a dictator in his actions. He embodies the tyranny he so eloquently rants and rages against. As far as things the public could look into, I am hearing there are things to be disclosed we won't like hearing. Let start withI though they gave up their pay. What happened with that. I sounded good publically when they announced it. Well never happened. They still take their meeting money they promised to forgo. Pulled a good one over us guys.

  7. Sandi Farrel

    Boooo! Mr. Kesinger.

    We as Ramonans deserve better than someone who chooses not to fulfill their duties. We elected you and you do not want to be inconvenienced by a meeting at 2:00 twice a month. When does SD, the County and every other governement hold their meetings? I work and have been to more RMWD meetings than you have!

    Your employeer gives you plenty of vacation and personal time. You choose not to reschedule your lunch hour or take a couple of personal hours to do your job.

    Did Washington, FDR or Ronald Reagan stop going to work because the meeting time was inconvenient?

    Booooo Mr Kesinger!

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