Water board playing politics
Editor’s note: Director Kisenger wrote this commentary before the Aug. 27 meeting. At the meeting, the board opted not to ask for Kesinger’s resignation. See related news article titled “Water board leaves Division II seat as is.”
By Kit Kesinger
In the Ramona Municipal Water District Board agenda for Aug. 27, the board considers a letter requesting that I voluntarily resign as a board member. To get straight to the point, I won’t voluntarily resign.
As a matter of fact, I haven’t voluntarily missed the past several board meetings. Darrell Beck, Joe Zenovic and members who are no longer on the board changed board meeting times to 2 p.m. so that I would not be able to attend meetings. They were so successful with that effort, now they are trying to force me off the board because I can’t attend.
It’s worth asking what would Darrell Beck and Joe Zenovic achieve by my resignation? As long as I can’t attend meetings at 2 p.m., what would change if I resigned? There would be only one significant result — they would be able to appoint the next RMWD Board member instead of a new member being elected by the voters.
These directors are reaching for more power over the RMWD Board by appointing a member who represents their interests rather than the interests of the voters and the Ramona community.
By changing the RMWD Board meeting times to 2 p.m. they have already stacked the deck in favor of board members who represent their interests instead of the public interest. What working person would be able to run for an office that interrupts his or her ability to earn a living and support a family? Darrell and Joe have come up with a system that virtually assures the Ramona business community and the retired “Old Boys” will be over-represented on the RMWD Board.
There’s nothing wrong with the business community or retired people, but giving them an advantage over working people for election to public office is not consistent with American values, and not good for Ramona.
I suggest that the issue of board meeting times be put into a ballot initiative for the next general election. I know many people who are displeased with the RMWD Board, including the decision to meet at 2 p.m. If the RMWD Board is not truly representing the people, the people can and should take back the decision-making process by ballot initiatives.
I also want to point out that the letter being considered by the RMWD Board is full of factual errors and innuendo. Innuendo includes “Potentially violating the Brown Act” and “…may have been reprimanded by the State Fair Political Practices Commission for not filing the appropriate campaign disclosures.” Both of these attempts at character assassination are false, or at least I haven’t heard of any trial that found me guilty of violating the Brown Act nor of the suggested reprimand by the state. The board censure in 2012 contains the same false statements that are repeated in the current letter. “… purporting to speak on behalf of the board without authority, (and) misrepresenting the board’s position” are so ridiculous that they can only be described as blatant lies intended to damage my reputation.
I’ve been on the board for several terms, and it’s very clear to me that I do not represent the board. I make that situation clear in any discussion about board policy.
The letter now before the board is a political maneuver begun by Darrell Beck, Joe Zenovic and others. I believe the two new board members are unfamiliar with the political games being played, and are being strongly influenced by Beck and Zenovic because they are new to board politics. I hope that good sense prevails and the board letter is rejected.
Kit Kesinger represents Division 2 on the RMWD Board.
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