North Country News in Review, June 2012

This past week saw the monthly assassination of the facts known as the North Country News hit the grocery stores. It did not disappoint.

Barely coherent and definitely incompetent RLECWD director Vivien Spicer-Johnson continues to print her pseudofacts, doublethink and propaganda under the guise of her First Amendment protection.

In the current issue (June 2012) Johnson states:

In these last eighteen months (2011 & 2012) the district’s legal fees have tip the scales at over $500k and we still have 6 months to go for 2012!!! …  Three suits specifically name these three directors.

Where have the bulk of the lawsuits come from? Look no further than serial litigator and former district GM Joe Sherrill. Take a look at the lawsuits pending right now:

  • Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill. Sac. Superior Court Case # 34-2011-0010-3481.
  • Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill. Sac. Superior Court Case # 34-2012-8000-1095.
  • Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill. Sac. Superior Court Case # 34-2012-8000-1108.
  • Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill. Sac. Superior Court Case # 34-2012-8000-1135.
  • Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill, Unemployment Insurance Hearing Case # 4194600.
  • Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill, Unemployment Insurance Hearing Case #4194601.
Keep this in mind… In November 2010 Vivien Johnson and Cathy Nelson-Hood were the president and VP of the Board of Directors. The meeting minutes state:

Director Nelson-Hood stated that she and Director Spicer-Johnson had interviewed … Joe Sherrill and he is a Rio Linda resident.

Director Nelson-Hood stated that Joe Sherrill was offered a three year contract, starting at $78,000 a year and if terminated in the first year he has an 18 month buyout.

Also keep in mind that Johnson, Nelson-Hood, and Sherrill have been spotted conspiring at McDonalds after they walked out of a board meeting. District legal counsel was nowhere in sight. Sitting board members meeting clandestinely with someone who has multiple active lawsuits against the district… The mind boggles! What possible purpose could they have to meet with Sherrill in this manner?

In addition, if Johnson and Company wouldn’t have given Ravi Mehta the insane contract they did, legal fees could be much, much lower.

Let’s recap… Accomplishments of the 2008-2010 board (Johnson, Nelson-Hood, Paine, Harris, Suela):

  • Fired GM Mychael Cardenas (Whom LAFCo requested be re-hired)
  • Hired General Counsel Ravi Mehta (Who is now costing the district over $400,000 per year)
  • Hired GM Joe Sherrill (Who currentlyhas 6 active lawsuits against the district)
  • Did not drill a well, did not get the construction moratorium lifted… didn’t do anything useful, really.


Johnson states:

With these three directors, Caron, Caron & Trautman, causing so many lawsuits to be filed it is no wonder the district’s insurance carrier will no longer cover any suits filed by employees, current or prior.

Hold on here… Let’s review these cases from the most recent board packet:

1.) Not a lawsuit.


3.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill. Sac. Superior Court Case # 34-2011-00103481

4.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill. Sac. Superior Court Case # 34-2012-8000-1095

5.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill. Sac. Superior Court Case # 34-2012-8000-1108

6.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – Pending/Potential Litigation. Cal OSHA v. RLECWD – Docket #R2D1-2288 to 2290

7.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – Pending Litigation – Liz Myers – Fair Employment and Housing Matter

8.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – Pending Litigation – Liz Myers – Federal Case CIV S-11-02671 EFB

9.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – Pending Litigation – Joseph Sherrill, Unemployment Insurance Hearing Case #’s 4194600 and 4194601

10.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – Potential Litigation – Michael Phelan

So, out of the 9 potential lawsuits, we have three cases having to do with the illegal dismissal of Elizabeth Myers, four cases brought by Joe Sherrill, one from Cal Osha and one from former GM Michael Phelan. The Myers case was the result of the 2008 board hiring Joe Sherrill to clean house. The 2010 board has nothing to do with the Phelan case.

All the employee-related cases that have been filed against the 2010 board have come from Johnson and Nelson-Hood’s hit-man – Joe Sherrill.


Johnson states:

In the past, only items changing district policy could be addressed and adopted at the regular Board meeting by resolutions or ordinances. The three, Caron, Caron & Trautman voted to eliminate this safe guard by changing the policy to allow for any item to be adopted at any meeting.

This HAD to be done in order to do the business of the district. This had to be done because Johnson and Nelson-Hood walk out of meetings when things aren’t going their way, or there’s a vote they want to avoid. In order for anything to get done in a timely manner this had to change.

And it’s all as a result of Johnson’s petulant, immature and irrational behavior.

Johnson states:

Something very important to the  community could just be slipped  by the public by three unscrupulous board members and it would be legal.

Listen… Among Mary Nelson, Stephanie Suela, Belinda Paine, Joe Sherrill, Doug Nelson, Mary Harris people, name one meeting in the last ten years where at least one of them hasn’t been present. Ain’t nothin’ gettin’ past anyone, Vivien. Don’t be so dramatic about it… it’s not helping you and it’s certainly not helping the district.

Not that Johnson or Nelson-Hood have ever wanted to help the district. They want to bankrupt the district, remember?


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  • Really, this truth staggers your mind when you realize all the damage done to the district is the direct doings of this mortley crew. They should be personally held responsible for these losses we have had,as a result of their ignorance. Getting voted out isnt the answer,it will halt the damage,but it will be so painfull[no relation to Belinda]. Its the fault of the people who believed Vivians rag,and didnt check the facts in 2008.Dont let this happen again,as this bunch will run again{after all there is still some life at the RLECWD. B0b Blanchard

  • Out of frusteration, I quit contributing my writing skills to the NC News. As a freelance writer, real estate broker and horse owner, the old saying, “The cheese slid off the cracker” more than applies to certain media outlets in the Rio Linda/Elverta area.

  • Hi John. I just wanted to clarify that several steps still must be taken in order to pass new policy. First the item is agendized. Discussion between the board members and public comment contribute. A vote is taken to establish what the policy should read. The policy is NOT made new at that first meeting. Once the direction has been given to Mary and Ravi, it is taken back and drafted. THEN at the next meeting, the item is re-agendized, the policy provided and it is voted on. So there is still a two step process. The only thing that has been cut out is sending policy to a policy committee. It seems to have been proven that at least with the policy committee I assigned tasks to, that nothing was ever accomplished. Be that because schedules were busy, or whatever, it was never done. So this eliminates a policy committee and leaves it to the board and public, in two meetings, to create policy.

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