Tim Shaw is the GM of the Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District. He’s recently become aware of the petition circulating in protest of the (supposedly) proposed RLECWD office at the site of the corner baseball diamond on 7th and M Streets. Today he reached out and sent an open letter to the community to clarify the situation:
I am the General Manager for Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District (RLECWD). I would like to clarify some inaccurate/misleading information currently being circulated throughout our community. The misinformation implies that RLECWD Board of Directors has formally proposed to construct a new office facility at 7th and M Street, the current site of a ball field. I’ve even seen a petition seeking to oppose such in a local business establishment.
The RLECWD has NOT proposed to construct a new office facility at the ball field at 7th and M Street. The only thing that has been done is the RLECWD Board Chair has established an ad hoc committee to explore the options for a new RLECWD office facility. The RLECWD Facilities Ad Hoc Committee requested and attended a meeting with the Twin Rivers Unified School District on April 17, 2018. At this meeting, TRUSD representatives advised RLECWD attendees that the TRUSD Board has NOT declared the ball field to be surplus property. More pointedly, the TRUSD undertook the process to declare some Rio Linda property to be surplus, but did NOT declare the ball field to be surplus out of consideration for community preferences and objectives.
Both RLECWD and TRUSD are public agencies. Accordingly, both agencies must conduct business in a deliberate, transparent prescribed manor. Both agencies hold their responsibility to conduct their business in the harsh light of day very seriously. Public participation in the process is paramount. RLECWD has a five member elected Board. It takes at least three affirmative votes to take action. No action can be considered unless the item is properly noticed on a publicly posted agenda for at least 72-hours in advance of a meeting.
With the information provided at the April 17th meeting with TRUSD representatives, RLECWD is nowhere close to identifying a site to consider for a new office. The next step for RLECWD is to have the Facilities Ad Hoc Committee report their findings at the next RLECWD Board meeting (May 21st) at seek direction. Regardless, the ball field site is not available.
On a personal note, I really do enjoy the aspect of my job which places me in such accountable, accessible relationships with the community served. For me, it’s representative democracy in its purest form. Accordingly, I welcome the opportunity to engage the public and to offer up any clarification they may seek.
Timothy R. Shaw
Rio Linda / Elverta Community Water District
I understand this location has been pressed quite hard by the board president, Mary Harris. The fact of the matter is that this site was the district’s initial inquiry, and it’s been made clear now that the RLECWD will not continue to pursue this site.
To say that the RLECWD office is antiquated would be doing it a kindness. The current office is much too small and much too old to suit the needs of a community that is growing as ours seems to be. The water district is going to have to find a new office location, and as it is with all things, not everybody is going to be happy with the choice.
The other side of this coin is that 7th and M is not the only ballpark in town. Off the top of my head, I recall Westside, 10th and U, Hayer Park, and the high school as four other locations. Having a centrally located water district office in a brand new building wouldn’t be the end of the world. NIMBYs and Nostalgists take note.
We have bigger fish to fry. Let’s focus on getting the law enforcement protection we deserve, and the streets paved, and look toward the future with economic growth in our downtown area.
It’s not going to happen. Let’s all relax now and enjoy our summer.