Courtney Caron, RLECWD President
News Water District

Truth Be Told, Uncovering Facts From Fiction

Special from Courtney Caron, RLECWD board president.

Special to RioLindaOnline from Courtney Caron, RLECWD board president.

Courtney Caron, RLECWD President

I am always surprised when people call themselves journalist, or writers, but insist on publishing articles that they have done absolutely no fact checking or research for, prior to publishing.  I am also very surprised when folks use their publishing rights and privileges to purposely create a “stir” or to attempt to damage the lives of others.

After reading a few select sections of the March 2011 edition of the North Country News, I felt compelled to write my own publication.  I call it, Truth Be Told, Uncovering Facts from Fiction.  Below, please find several quotes from the NCN, and the facts that should have been researched and published.

Excerpts from Ricochet Rabbits (page 6 and 9)
Under the article titled Ricochet Rabbits, Director Vivien Johnson outlines her short lived experience with participating on the committee to search for a new General Manager.

Director Johnson and Director Smith- GM Search Committee #1
Quote: “Martin got his nose bent out of shape and did not follow through.  Nothing was posted concerning the job opening, He did not even return my call.”

The Truth: What Director Johnson fails to state, is that she published lies regarding Director Smith in the February 2011 edition of NCN and made distasteful comments alluding to inappropriate behavior by Director Smith’s wife in relationship to her employment.  The real disappointing part is that I believe she took pleasure in publishing these items.  Did she think that this would make for a positive working relationship between her and Director Smith?  Were these actions by Director Johnson truly in the best interest of the district or the GM search committee? Clearly not.  Any level headed person would have set their personal ideals and opinions aside in order to foster a good working relationship, especially when the committee consisted of only two people.  Had Director Johnson acted with character and respect, Director Smith would not have had to ask to be removed from the committee.  No person, whether public figure or otherwise, should be forced to work with a person who publicly attempts to humiliate them or their loved ones.  I for one, would not have returned her phone calls either after the utter disrespect that was shown.

Director Hood and Director Caron- GM Search Committee #2
Quote: “Courtney, appointing herself as chair, and Cathy Hood form a new committee to find a general manager.  So far our search for a District Manager has been posted on Craigslist.”

The Truth: Let’s back track for a moment as to how Director Hood and I were appointed to the GM search committee.  First, Director Johnson offends Director Smith to a point where he is no longer willing to work on the committee with her.  Secondly, both Director Smith and Director Johnson also sit on the finance committee together.  Clearly this was also going to have to change for the above mentioned reasons.  In an effort to have everyone involved on a committee, and due to the conflict between Director Smith and Director Johnson, I removed Director Johnson from the finance committee but allowed her to remain on the GM search committee.  Director Johnson was removed from finance and Director Smith allowed to remain because Director Smith has training in finance.  Director Johnson was given the opportunity to remain on the GM Search Committee.  She turned down the opportunity.  I then offer it to Director Hood who accepted the opportunity and has been very valuable in the search.

The GM Search
While it is true that the GM posting was advertised on, what Director Johnson failed to mention is that it was also posted on,, and at the SAME time as  The worst part is that Director Johnson was AWARE that job had been posted on multiple sites as she was sent an email on February 1, 2011, as were all the directors, stating that the job was posted on all the above mentioned sites.  Despite these facts, Director Johnson elected to print in the NCN, language to insinuate that the committee was not doing their job, was unorganized, and was not taking the search seriously.  Why else would she leave out all of the important websites and state “So far our search for a District manger has been posted on Craigslist?”  Why not state the truth which was “So far our search for a District manager has been posted on Craigslist, Waterjobs, AWWA, ACWA and CAJPA?”  If Director Johnson had felt she could do a better job, she should have accepted the challenge.  But as stated above, she turned down that opportunity for unknown reasons.

Director Johnson also failed to include the fact that Director Hood and I have not only placed the job posting on multiple websites, including our own, but we have also created a panel of qualified persons (as recommended by LAFCO) to assist in the interview process, which will begin March 10, 2011.  We have 8 qualified, first round candidates to interview.  Behind those 8, there are several others, who we can interview should one of the top 8 currently in the pool, not fit our district’s needs.  The truth be told, Director Johnson had not reviewed any of the resumes submitted for the GM position as of Monday February 28, 2011, as she refused to check her district email, where all resumes were being rooted.  It is beyond me, how she was even aware that “Tom, Dick & Harry” were applying or “carpenters, plumbers, etc.” since she had not even reviewed the resumes.

Meeting Schedules
Quote:  “Our next regular meeting should be February 21 but Courtney says she is busy on Tuesday and the 14th is Valentine’s Day so the Regular meeting is put off until February 28th. (I assume Director Johnson by referencing Tuesday is speaking of Tuesday February 22, 2011.)

The Truth: First and foremost, I did indeed ask that our February 21, 2011 meeting be moved because it was a Federal Holiday.  For many persons who work full time, this is one holiday that you have off from your employer.  The Federal Holiday January 17, 2011 was also a regularly scheduled board meeting.  It is only fair that every once in a while, when a meeting is held on a holiday, that Board members have an opportunity to enjoy it as well.  It is also true that I was busy Tuesday February 22, 2011.  I was taking the California Bar Exam.  I was not on vacation, I was not frolicking about, I was not on a hot date, hence blowing off the board meeting.  I was taking Day 1 of the 3 day exam.  Further, it was not me who requested we not have a meeting on February 14, 2011.  We actually have other board members who wanted to spend the evening with their spouses.  As with most of the articles in the NCN many other parts of this discussion were left out.  When attempting to schedule the replacement meeting, many other days were mentioned as possible meeting dates for the February regular meeting.  Unfortunately multiple persons including Director Johnson had obligations on one day or another.  We even had a person who was going to be out of the state for several days. So, let the truth be told, the difficulty in scheduling the meeting was neither because of me alone nor my personal/social calendar but rather scheduled at a time that was suiting for ALL of the directors needs.  Let it be known that the regularly scheduled meeting was originally February 21, 2011.  Our general meeting occurred February 28, 2011, only one week later.

Affinity Consulting Contract
Quote “…the agenda is packed with…hiring a district engineer for $10,000.00 per month…”

The Truth: Jim Carson and Affinity Engineering are NOT being paid a salary of 10k per month as Director Johnson implies in her statement.  A contract was entered into with Affinity Engineering with a cap on services totaling $10,000.00, monthly.  This does not mean that Affinity will be receiving a guaranteed $10,000.00 every month.  The contract ensures that services will not exceed this amount without prior approval by the Board.

Per Diem for GM Search Committee Members
Quote: “…request for payment of $100 per diem to committee members to interview GM applicants” and “She even wants to be paid to interview GM applicants when that is the job of the full board and part of their duties.”

The Facts: In our policy guide section 2.20.120 states “Compensation for attendance at District-related Functions- Each Director shall receive compensation in accordance with Section 2.01.050 of the Administration and Personnel Policy for each day’s attendance at approved conferences, meetings and seminars subject to the policies and limitations contained in Chapter 2.20. Such compensation shall not include travel days, unless the Director was in attendance at the approved function on the day of travel.”  The request for compensation was in compliance with the policy guide.  As the committee meeting is a “district related function,” the request was appropriate. Regardless of the pay, I am still “doing my job.”  The vote did not pass, who cares, moving on.  Nothing like making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Secret Meetings
Quote: “Add in all the meetings that the three “RR” attend without the full board being included…”

The Truth: To this statement I am thoroughly confused.  Director Smith has not attended any meetings outside of board meetings that I have been made aware.  Director F. Caron and myself attended a meeting with Peter Brundage, at his request, on the morning of January 17, 2011.  That evening, at the board meeting, during open session, I personally disclosed the discussions between Peter and myself from that morning.  Regardless of my report at the meeting on February 17, at our February 28, 2011 meeting, on record, Vivian suggested that no report was given and eluded that secret meetings were being held.  Really, what occurred is Director Johnson was tuned out at the January 17, 2011 meeting, and did not listen to the full report given, regarding the meeting with Peter Brundage.   There was nothing to hide from this meeting, which is why it was fully disclosed, despite Director Johnson’s public comments at the February 28, 2011 meeting and her rant in the March 2011 NCN.

Emails from the President of the Board
Quote:  “From Courtney, Board President beginning her emails to certain board member with “Listen Up…”

The Truth: There are certain board members who for the first 4 weeks continued to send to me disrespectful emails.  I replied with an email to ALL board members, not certain board members, but ALL board members.  It started with “Everyone, I am going to say this one time and one time only.  I will no longer be responding to any of your emails that are not directly on point with an agenda item, or board business. I have had enough of the emails blaming one or more people, calling people a liar, accusing persons of different things, so I will no longer respond.”  This was necessary after all the ridiculous emails I was receiving that were counterproductive and completely unnecessary from board members.  If I am a board member, I get to choose what I will and will not tolerate.  That is my right.  I will not tolerate anyone wasting my time.  Period.

San Francisco and the Election
Quote: “hopping from here to the Bay area…I would wager to say that she never even heard of the RLECWD until “Daddy Frank” talked her into running for the board.  She never even voted in this district prior to running for the election, does not own property in the district, does not work in the area and spends most of her time out of the district.”

The Truth: First things first.  We all know by now that I attended and graduated from Law School in 2007.  “Daddy Frank” was calling me long before this years election, dating back as far as my early law school years, to discuss the RLECWD board meetings. He often would ask me to research and send him law related to different topics.  So my question to Director Johnson is “How much was that wager?”  Secondly, “Daddy Frank” did not have to “talk” me into running. In late July a few community members approached “Daddy Frank” to ask him to consider running for the water board.  Director Smith was also approached by these citizens.  I attended the informal gathering in relationship to the interest in these two potential candidates to take notes for “Daddy Frank.”  He was a tad nervous, and because he trusts my abilities, Frank wanted me to be there to support him.  There was another female potential candidate there, who was unable to run in the end.  Thereafter, I left for a few days to Indiana to say goodbye to my grandmother, who was dying of cancer.  The deadline to register for the election occurred while I was away.  Upon returning, “Daddy Frank” handed me a notification that stated the registration had been extended.  The following day I traveled to the office and registered, all by myself.  That’s right, at 29 years of age, I was able to make a grown up decision, travel to the office and register without “Daddy Frank” holding my hand.  Shocking.

This segment of the NCN did have two truthful statements.  First, it is true, prior to moving to Elverta in June of 2010, I had never voted in this district.  Ummmm, how could I have voted in the district? I did not live in the Sacramento area, let alone the district until June 2010.  The last time I checked, a person is supposed to register to vote in the area where they are a resident. Once they move, guess what folks…they register in their new area!  That means they are a brand new voter in their new area!  This was my first opportunity to vote in the area, obviously. I also am unaware of any rules or codes or law that state a person running in the election must “own property” or “work” in the district.  Now why is that?…oh yes, because it is NOT a rule, law or code that you own property or work in the area.  The rule is that you RESIDE in the area.  Director Johnson is not even a rate payer for crying out loud.

The second true statement is that I “hop” (cute use of the word Director Johnson) between San Francisco and Elverta.  If you consider a daily commute to San Francisco and home to Elverta “hopping” then that is what I do!  I have worked for the same law firm since 2008.  I was once a resident of San Francisco.  I lived there from September 2008 until May 2010.  Finding a good apartment in SF is pretty challenging when you have three Chihuahuas, trust me.  In May of 2010 I was notified that I did not pass the CA Bar Exam.  On my prior attempts, I had worked full time while trying to study 40 hours a week for the exam.  I realized that maintaining this schedule was not going to help me pass this difficult exam.  In an effort to set myself up to pass versus fail, I called up “Daddy Frank” and asked him, when my lease expired in the end of May, if I could move home to his house.  This would allow me the time to study, not have to pay outrageous rent, and have the love and support that is necessary to accomplish this type of goal.  He agreed to take me in.  End of May I loaded my studio of belongings into a storage unit in San Francisco and moved home.

I am not sure how sharp Director Johnson’s mathematical skills are, but she states that she believes that I spend “most of my time” in the bay area.  Well for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that “most” means majority which is 12 hours of each day or 84 hours a week.  Director Johnson, here, would yet again be incorrect.  I work 8 hours in San Francisco each day and have a commute to and from, 5 days a week.  At most, that is 60 hours.  My weekends, I do not spend in the bay area.  I am really happy to just stay in town after spending so much time on the road each week.  So no, “most” of my time is not spent in the bay area.  I also would like to point out that MANY people commute to the bay area for work, daily.  There, in fact, is a whole system called the casual carpool system, devoted to persons like myself, who commute.  I ride DAILY with two other Sacramento area persons, who actually work in my office.  It is a well known fact that a person can earn a higher salary working in the bay area.  Thank you, but I prefer the higher salary while I pay off my school debt, not to mention, my firm is full of awesome individuals.

My questions to Director Johnson are: 1) Are you aware of the cost of a law school education? 2) Are you aware of the fact that not all children have parent’s who can pay for their education? 3) Do you know how difficult it is to pay back school loan costs when you are trying to start a career? 4) Are you aware that MANY graduates move back in with their parents to assist with debt control and to help kick start their careers that they just worked years towards?  If you did know these answers, you would realize that a law graduate, moving back home to her father’s, quite possibly is because she wants to be debts free and perhaps not because she wants to hold a political office.  I moved back with “Daddy Frank” prior to him even being solicited to run in the election.  Get your facts straight.

For the record, I really appreciate the “adopt a pet portion” of the NCN.  How about all the sections filled with fiction and false statements be dedicated instead to adopting homeless pets.  Seems like a much more valuable use of this publication.


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  • Great picture of Courtney! No doubt about it, she IS the best looking board member!

  • Outstanding article Courtney!

    It is truly a sad day when there are people in our community who will read and listen to
    I truly hope an email of this article was sent to the Sacramento Bee.

  • I have always enjoyed the truth of conversations. My Grandmother always stated that the truth will set you free. Unfortunatey, that was never discussed in all of the households with young children growing up. The other she said was “if you have nothing intelligent to say then keep your mouth shut unless you are using it to defend yourself or a loved one. And yes, sad to say you are better looking than your father, my friend. Thanks Courtney for defending yourself. I have my fingers crossed for you.

  • Good Monday Morning reading over coffee…

    What is sad is that you had to defend yourself against this fellow Board Member who prints outright lies and insults Courtney. Now that we all know exactly what Courtney does with her time. where she goes, etc., maybe she can have a little privacy to live her life and not be degraded in a publication that is used solely for that purpose. People like Vivien have a special place and I’m sorry to say…it’s not in Heaven!

    • No one has the right to judge but god himself, who are you to place that judgment saying it’s not Heaven. Are you all holier the thou?

  • The community should be very thankful the water board finally has honest, hard working members who are focused on making swift progress by eliminating the dissention and mistrust that have long plagued the District. It is very easy to discredit others with false and/or misleading allegations, but it is quite another thing for neighbors to stand TOGETHER, in support of one another, to create a strong and united front.

    It is truly the ONLY thing the regualtory agencies have been asking for and what your water board is committed to deliver for the betterment of all.

    Just imagine how many other PRODUCTIVE water District matters the president could have worked on if she didn’t have to spend it defending her private life. There is a huge difference between fighting for what is right and just fighting for the sake of fighting… only to make inflamitory headlines for the purpose of selling more news.

    Also imagine if the dismantling and degrading news tactics wouldn’t have been tolerated in the first place; how successful the District could have been to remain in compliance as a properly managed water district without additional state scrutiny and loss of productivity. Had that been the case, the 3 new wells would have been built and operational a long time ago!

    Perhaps the president’s rebuttal to the March NCN claims will reap even bigger rewards that the community will not only see, but finally trust for a change.

    Thanks for setting it straight this time, Courtney!

  • I think Vivien’s refusal to use email is very indicative of her manipulative ways. In this day and age forcing people to print something and hand deliver it, when she could simply check her email is an obnoxious tactic.

    It’s a little pathetic also. She’s said many times how technically illiterate and how incapable of understanding how email works.

    It’s a sad woman who’s so manipulative that she chooses not to grow with technology. I wonder if she know how to use a television? Cars are embedded with computers now… does she drive, or does she prefer to stick to her broom?

  • Honestly, I have not been following everything going on with the water departments, but after reading this it sounds like a case of rivalry between the two, and its a shame that they have to bring it publicly. It just sounds like a bunch of kids. Obviously if others are telling lies, be the grown up and ignore it, and focus your energies on your job it stead of stressing on what others say. They way this article was written it seems like a he said she said war. Don’t bring everyone else into it.

  • I worked for the District’s insurance agency for 10 years (ACWA/JPIA), lived in Rio Linda for many years, lost my brother on Cherry Lane in a car accident and had the unfortunate fact of having Elizabeth Myers as my step-mother for 17 years. I have never seen such a self-serving President of any Board. In, ten years, I saw alot and Courtney takes the cake. For Courtney to write such a long (and quite snippy) article only shows her obvious immaturity. So what, you went to law school…anybody can go to school. IS she a lawyer – NO. Additionally, being a former bathing suit model in my 20’s, Courtney is not winning any beauty contests. Her pointy nose reminds me of her obvious corresponding personality. She does not want her personal life and where she lives to be questioned? Really? She chose to represent this BOD (that’s Board of Directors in case you didn’t know Courtney)…again I stress the word CHOSE. A public position comes pubic scrutiny. They must not have taught her that in law school. One question I have as I stood and listened at the last Board Meeting, has she ever heard of the Brown Act? Having the District’s lawyer act as a interim GM is not only a conflict of interest (hence, double-dipping if you will) but is possibly a violation of the Brown Act. Additionally, I saw a Resolution passed to the Director(s) after the meeting began. Tisk, tisk Ms. Courtney…as President of the Board it is YOUR responsibility to ensure compliance, at a least, to protect the public you are representing. Heavy fines ensue public agencies not in compliance. That being said, if you are as smart as you claim to be (your actions persuant to this article alone indicate otherwise), you had better be worrying about this issue rather than a pathetic attempt to show how vain you are. The facts speak for themselves now dont they? You are living at home with Daddy, failed the BAR and are about to get the District in more trouble than it is already in…

      • Not just fines John, but crminal and civil penalties. I will copy and paste excerpts from the Act:

        This is just a snippet of information. Ms. Courtney has no clue what she is doing….see below.

        Legislative bodies of local agencies must conduct their business in meetings open to the public.
        Law addresses the following questions:
        What is a meeting?
        What are the exceptions to the open meeting requirement?
        What are the notice requirements?
        What are the procedural requirements?
        What are the penalties for a violation?

        What is a Meeting?
        Broad definition:
        Any congregation of a majority of a local body at the same time and place, to hear, discuss, or deliberate upon any item within the body’s subject matter jurisdiction is a “meeting” for purposes of the Brown Act. (§ 54952.2.)
        Does not apply if a “quorum” of the body is not present.

        So, it’s not a meeting unless we’re all in the same place at the same time, right?
        The “Serial Meeting” trap:
        A “serial meeting” is a series of communications through direct communication, writings, personal intermediaries, e-mail or other technological devices to develop a “collective concurrence” as to a proposed action or decision. (§ 54952.2 (b).)
        Serial meeting test:
        1. Was there a series of communications between members?
        2. Were these communications used to develop a concurrence as to action to be taken?

        E-Mail and Other Member Communications
        Members can receive one-way communications from members of the public and from staff, including e-mail, on agenda matters.
        Board staff can communicate separately with board members regarding a matter if staff does not communicate to members the comments or position of any other member of the board. (Section 54952.2 (b))
        As a general rule, two-way communications, including replies to e-mail, give rise to “serial meeting” questions.
        “Reply All” is a no-no. (Courtney take special note based on your own statememnts in your “article”)

        WHAT’S PUBLIC?
        E-mail and other written communications are usually public records under the California Public Records Act.
        If one-way communications or documents are to be considered by a member in deliberations on an agenda item, they should be made available to the public.
        E-mails/texts from private e-mail accounts/phones? Addresses?

        The following actions and activities do not constitute “meetings” as long as the members do not discuss the body’s business among themselves:
        Individual contacts with non-agency members;
        Attendance at community meetings;
        Attendance at meetings of other local bodies;
        Attendance at social gatherings;
        Attendance at meetings of standing committees; or
        Attendance at public conferences. (§ 54952.2 (c).)

        “Closed sessions” are meetings conducted in private without the attendance of the public or press.
        “Partial,” or semi-closed meetings are not authorized.
        Attendance at closed session meetings is limited to persons necessary to the issue under discussion.

        Closed sessions must take place as an agenda item of a scheduled public meeting.
        Closed session items must include specific citation to statutory authority under which closed session is being held.
        Only items on the closed session agenda may be discussed in closed session even if no action is taken.
        Discussion of a item not on the agenda in closed session is an unlawful meeting.

        Closed sessions are forbidden by the Brown Act unless they are expressly authorized under the Act.
        The Act’s provisions authorizing closed sessions are construed narrowly by courts due to Proposition 59, passed by the voters in November, 2004.

        A member of a covered body who attends a meeting where action is taken in violation of the Brown Act is guilty of a misdemeanor if the member intends to deprive the public of information to which the member knows or has reason to know the public is entitled. (§ 54959.)

        Remedies available in such legal proceedings include:
        Judicial declaration that action by body is void; and
        Injunction preventing body from taking future or prospective action in violation of the Act.
        A prevailing plaintiff may be entitled to costs of litigation and attorneys’ fees.
        Public body must first be provided written notice of alleged violation and provided 30 days to cure or correct.


        Administrative fines and penalties for violation. Up to $5000 per violation.

        District Attorney/State Attorney General:
        May prosecute as civil or criminal matters.
        Violators may be removed from office.

    • Step up go to law school, Take the California Bar and pass, then you may have the right to talk about something you know nothing about.
      There is a procedure you can follow if you think there was a violation of the Brown Act, it is explained in thew body of the document. Read it, file it, and we will review it and make the change if there was a violation. That is your right.
      You should not point a finger at other people because 3 always point back at you. Look in a mirror and see if your life is able to be held above others before you comment on theirs. Yours has many dark spots.

      • Awwww how cute, Daddy is defending his little girl. Frank, give your daughter this advice, not me. My education is in Insurance. Your daughter failed the BAR, not me. I know alot about the Brown Act, you are quite mis-informed. You and your daughter could learn, even a monkey can surf the web. This is an interesting comment coming from a man with such high ethical standards as to go around town and steal newspapers??? WOW! The apple does not fall far from the tree I see. Look in the mirror you say? Hmmm, you act as though you know me, which would lead me to only one conclusion, you talked to your friend Elizabeth Myers. Get something straight, I (thankfully) have not been around Liz since I was 13. My dad made the mistake of staying married to her. I have NO skeletons in my closet, unlike Liz. Nor do I have anything to hide. 90% of what comes out of Liz Myers mouth is a lie. This woman will tell you a blue sky is black and make you believe it. I can remember her telling people she had a degree among many other things. You will never meet a bigger liarm this is a promise. I have no dark spots Mr. Frank, so I suggest you keep you get your facts straight before making such comments. Besides embezzling public funds, Liz is under investigation along with her husband, for SO many other false business transactions. And I am not talking about writing bad checks, I am talking about millions of dollars from investors for phony businesses. She even sued the maker of her fake boobs and got a large settlement (years ago). Oh I could go on and on about what a liar this woman is but I think we have provided enough entertainment this Monday evening. But come on Frank, if you don’t keep meddling in your daughter’s issues, she will never grow up and pass the BAR. Now, GO AND DO THE RIGHT THING!

  • Perhaps Mindy has a clue as to how often there are fines levied in conjunction to the Brown Act. She will be disappointed.

    • Fines, penalities, and/or prosecution cannot occur unless and until it is brought to the attention of regulating authorities. I’ve seen (and Courtney unknowingly admitted violation in her article) gross violations in the short time I have followed the disgraces happening at this District.

  • The point is, Mindy, that Brown Act violations have been reported many times over the past 8-10 years. Nothing ever happens. It’s a law that’s on the books to keep people in line, but budget cuts and larger cases take priority.

    It’ll never get enforced in Rio Linda.

    Good luck though!

    • never say never John…when the Federal Government gets involved over (past) employee’s actions, it is a LARGE case…usually takes what is happening at this District and the attention it is getting to get this law enforced…

      Have you seen tonights agenda? Seriously, some folks should be emberassed.

  • Mindy,

    Thank you for exercising your freedom of speech in such an appropriate way. Please remember we have General Counsel to handle the Brown Act. I ask him, email, him, text him and refer to him constantly on compliance with the Brown Act. He is the one to approve the agenda, and as acting GM he is the one to create the agenda using district staff. He also is the one to guide the meetings. Despite your narrow understanding of the Board of Directors and their function, especially the President, the GC is the person to ensure that everything is running, legally, as it should. Not the President.

    BTW you made it a point to say that I chose this position and therefore chose the scruitny that comes with it. Why Mindy, you are right! But I also chose to defend myself from other Board Members incorrect statements, and lies. My First Amendment rights give me that right. I am sorry if you do not agree.

    • Coiurtney:

      Quote directly from your article above: “If I am a board member, I get to choose what I will and will not tolerate. That is my right. I will not tolerate anyone wasting my time. Period.”

      Your interpretation of someone wasting your time is just that…interpretation. As a public servant, your activities must be transparent. Remember that, you are in this position to SERVE, not dictate.

      Since we are on the topic of the Brown Act, I witnessed you requiring anyone that wanted to speak to fill out a piece of paper to “sign in’ if you will. This is a violation. Look it up or have your attorney do it.

      With regard to tonight’s meeting, any member of the public is allowed to record or videotape the meeting, whether the Board wants to or not has nothing to do with the fact that a member of the public can. Also, with regard to closed session, the following is a fact:


      Personnel — Only to discuss the appointment, employment, performance evaluation, discipline, complaints about or dismissal of a specific employee or potential employee (§ 54957). The employee may request a public meeting on any charges or complaints.

      But closed sessions are NOT ALLOWED for discussing:
      general employment
      independent contractors not functioning as employees
      the performance of any elected official, or member of the board
      the local agency’s available funds
      funding priorities or budget
      Pending Litigation — Only if open discussion “would prejudice the position of the agency in the litigation.” The litigation must be named on the posted agenda or announced in open session unless doing so would jeopardize the board’s ability to service process on an unserved party or conclude existing settlement negotioations to its advantage. (§ 54956.9).


      Also note to John: the courts DO ACTIVELY pursue violations of the Brown Act. Reference a recent case handed down on March 16, 2010 to the Capistrano Board of Education for violating the Brown Act ‘s Open Meeting Law.

      Sorry for jumping around but your meeting in January Courtney was also a violation. The Brown Act is based on First Amendment Rights. If I were you, I’d be more concerned about fulfilling my role as a public servant, doing the right thing, and watching my emotional reactions to other Board Members that brought up very valid points. By the way, do you in fact live with Daddy in Elverta. I have been told you own a home in Sacramento County. Of course I have not verified this but can you produce mail with an address in Elverta? If not, your position creates an immediate vacancy (according to the Brown Act of course).

      For someone who aspires to be an attorney, I am surprised at your lack of knowledge. Well…after seeing you in action and reading your article…I’m not.

  • Also Mindy, a “reply all” email that is simply for INFORMATION purposes, is not a violation of the Brown Act. YOU are wrong. I often send reply all emails to the board members to UPDATE them on what is happening with a committee, with a date that needs to be finalized, with meetings I attend etc. That is CLEARLY what I was referencing above. That in no way, shape or form is “A communications used to develop a concurrence as to action to be taken.” Information is information. Action is action. Providing information in the form of an update, which is what is described above, is not an action. Thank you.

    • There’s always the California First Amendment Coalition. They work quite well with the DA’s office when it comes to upholding the Brown Act.

      You and Daddy having a meeting with Peter Brundage (no matter who requested it) was a gross violation. Let’s pretend it wasn’t. Ethically, it’s pretty disgusting. I do not know you or anyone else on the Board personally. I call it as I see it. You not only attacked another Board Member publicly, you attacked her personally. The reference to her math skills was just not necessary, along with many other statements. What comes around, goes around.

      BTW – only 2 more comments – my apologies for my misspellings in my replies (emberassing). I should proof before hitting the send button, but I am tired of this…

      And…my knowledge of the Board and its role is far from narrow. It’s what I did for 10 years and dealt both personally and professionally with Boards all over California. As mentioned, I’ve never seen a more self-serving President that is more worried about emotional reactions than just doing her job! I sure don’t envy what you have ahead of you. Ugghh.

      • Mindy,
        Once I have a moment to review your incorrect statements related to the Brown Act above I will respond accordingly. What I am going to say here, is please explain how a meeting with Peter was a gross violation. I hate to inform you, but it most certainly was not. I am the President of the Board and Frank is the LAFCO representative. That qualifies both persons to attend the meeting. Not only that, but a full report of the meeting was disclosed to the public and the board at the very next meeting. Secondly, if you are trying to imply it was a violation because there were two board members, how do you justify the former board and their going in groups of two the the Department on Health and meeting with Kim Wilhelm on NUMEROUS occasions? You appear to be a person who thinks it is appropriate for a Board member to have a news paper, rip everyone apart, but do not think an opportunity to defend oneself is warranted. That to me is just incomprehensible. Have you even taken a moment to read the article that I was responding to? Did you not see the many many many personal attacks taken on ALL of the other board members? Yet you sit here and lecture me? Please. You have not attended the meetings I am quite sure, but if you had, you would see the same board member attack all of the board members, in public, at a meeting. Yet you say nothing about that either? I am quite tired of the double standard going on here. I also do not really care what your interpretation of my “emotions” is. I am doing a fine job as President. For the first time in many years, the meetings are under control. For the first time in years, we are working with other districts to make our district better. For the first time in years, a panel was set up to hire a QUALIFIED GM using sources with more experience than what we as a collective group have. As far as I can tell, I am doing everything that I should, PLUS more. I also think that a person should not criticize another person, unless they have a pretty clean slate, and by that I mean perfect. From what I know, you are not perfect either. SO you probably should not criticize so much. It is very unbecoming. As I have said before, I will continue to defend myself, this board, and the actions we are taking. Many of us are working well beyond the scope of our duties.

      • Courtney:

        What is unbecoming is your continued misuse and reporting of facts and your violations of the Brown Act. You are quite tired of the double standard going on here? YOU chose to accept the position of President of the Board, thereby you are held to a higher standard, whether real or perceived, than the regular members of the Board. Get used to it or resign. Simple. YOU are self-serving and do not have the members of the public’s best interest at heart. This is CLEARLY evidenced by the books you continue to write regarding your fellow Board Member and to me. Maybe if you spent less time defending your actions and/or beliefs, you would have time to study for that ever elusive BAR exam. YOU obviously need daddy to run to your defense as evidenced is his erroneous post directed at me. I mean seriously, who needs to move home for daddy’s love and support (your words, not mine) to have time to study for the BAR? Again, I stress Courtney you are the one representing the public, not me. YOU know NOTHING about me whatsoever. And neither does your embezzling buddy Liz Myers. I can criticize whoever I want…AGAIN because I didn’t choose your position. Remember Courtney, you were the one that brought up your First Amendment rights in regard to your snotty article. I draw my conclusions of you based on seeing you in action at a recent Board Meeting, what I have heard through the ever-expanding grapevine (if you will) and your continued responses. Grow up. Seriously. If you do not care what my interpretations are, stop commenting about them and spend your time doing something valuable. You seem pretty quick to criticize me and your fellow Board Member, does that mean YOU are PERFECT (per your comment above)??? NO, it does not. You are far from it. I don’t claim to be perfect, never have, never will. Now, to the facts…it does not matter whether you made the contents of your meeting with Peter available to the Board. This, under definition of the Brown Act, was a serial meeting and therefore prohibited. Convenient that daddy is the LAFCO rep. That does not mean two shits either (pardon my french). LAFCO was agenda item #5 at yesterday’s meeting in case you forgot, making your little secret meeting with Peter a serial meeting AND THEREFORE PROHIBITED AND A VIOLATION.

        A “serial meeting” is a series of communications through direct communication, writings, personal intermediaries, e-mail or other technological devices to develop a “collective concurrence” as to a proposed action or decision. (§ 54952.2 (b).)

        For you to even mention what the Board did in the past just shows your level of maturity or lack thereof. Who cares at this point. It is your responsibility to make sure you are in compliance, not point a finger at the Board for past meeting attendance “in groups of two”. But since you mentioned it, that’s exactly what you and daddy did. I mean Frank.

        Courtney, you are wasting my time at this point. Focus on doing your job since you want to take so much credit that it is so much better than it was before. For the record, you are not defending the Board, you are defending and looking out for numero uno…and that’s it.

  • Mindy,

    Now to respond to your other comments.

    I do not have to read and respond to emails from board members, that do not address a topic related to the board, a request to an agenda item, or district business. Had you read my statement, rather than take it out of context, as you seem to be doing often, you would have read that I have been receiving emails from Board members that are not in relation to the items above, but rather personal emails, which are wasting my time. I am sorry to tell you but I do not have to answer anything that is not related to being a board member. If it is a personal attack, or gossip, I have a choice. Sorry, that is the way it goes. I will dictate how I am going to respond to emails that I receive. That is my right. Not yours, not the publics, not anyone else. District business, I have always and will continue to respond to immediately and accurately. SO before you go quoting my article, be sure to keep it in context.

    Public Comment Slips-
    Please take a moment to read BA 54954.3 (b). I have quoted it here for you. “(b) The legislative body of a local agency may adopt reasonable regulations to ensure that the intent of subdivision (a) is carried out, including, but not limited to, regulations limiting the total amount of time allocated for public testimony on particular issues and for each individual speaker.” We as a legislative board have adopted a reasonable regulation to ensure that section (a) is carried out. That reasonable regulation is requiring a slip to be filled out so we can keep order and track of who speaks. Incase you are not sure what the purpose of section (a) is, it covers “Every agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body.” So I am sorry but having them sign a paper is not a violation. It is a reasonable regulation, which as clearly stated above is within the Brown Act. BTW this was not my creation. This has been used for many many meetings, before my time.

    Admitting Brown Act Violations-
    Clearly you are again taking items out of context. I assume here, you are inferring that I admitted to a Brown Act violation because I have used the “Reply All” function. As I stated in your email chain to the directors, and again here there is NOTHING in the Act that says Board Members cannot use the Reply All function. Reply all can most certainly be used when a person is passing information.  In every email I send, I state the same thing in the beginning.  I always say the email is for information ONLY and not discussion. To this day, the Board has respected this and not a single one has engaged in conversation or discussion. An update, as was sent here, including the resumes of the potential candidates, was sent to ALL board members, using a Reply All function. I had received an email asking for them with all the board members emails, and I hit reply all and attached them. The Brown Act prohibits this type of communication where the purpose is to “draw conclusions.” Thankfully, keeping the board informed as to important areas, neither creates a discussion nor draws a conclusion, but simply passes information. Again, no violation of the Brown Act, here, as you have indicated above.

    Closed Session Meetings/Items-
    I am not sure what the heck you are talking about in relationship to the closed session items being inappropriate. We have four items on the agenda. Each closed session item quotes the applicable code that allows it. You are reading the same Brown Act as everyone else right?Incase you are not or just are not understanding it, I have placed the applicable code beneath the closed session item, so you may see them side by side.
    They are:

    1.) PUBLIC EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE/DISMISSAL/RELEASE – The Board of Directors will meet in closed session pursuant to “Government Code § 54957(b)(1).
    “54957(b) (1) Subject to paragraph (2), nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the legislative body of a local agency from holding closed sessions during a regular or special meeting to consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, discipline, or dismissal of a public employee or to hear complaints or charges brought against the employee by another person or employee unless the employee requests a public session.

    Well sheesh, it says RIGHT HERE that nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the legislative body of a local agency from holding closed session for the very reason that we stated. We can check this one as accurate and in compliance with the Brown Act.

    2.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – The Board of Directors will meet in closed session pursuant to Government Code § 54957.6 – Update and discussion on Labor Negotiations.
    “Closed Session: Consultation on Employee Compensation
54957.6. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a legislative body of a local agency may hold closed sessions with the local agency’s designated representatives regarding the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits of its represented and unrepresented employees, and, for represented employees, any other matter within the statutorily provided scope of representation. However, prior to the closed session, the legislative body of the local agency shall hold an open and public session in which it identifies its designated representatives.
Closed sessions of a legislative body of a local agency, as permitted in this section, shall be for the purpose of reviewing its position and instructing the local agency’s designated representatives.”

    Well, Mindy, this too looks like it is id direct compliance with the Brown Act. No violation here. I have only quoted a small section of this section of the code. If you continue reading it outlines even more clearly how this item is in direct compliance.

    3.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – The Board of Directors will meet in closed session pursuant to Government Code § 54957 – General Manager selection.
    “54957 (b) (1) Subject to paragraph (2), nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the legislative body of a local agency from holding closed sessions during a regular or special meeting to consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, discipline, or dismissal of a public employee or to hear complaints or charges brought against the employee by another person or employee unless the employee requests a public session.”

    Mindy, The GM position is appointed. This agenda items clearly states that the BOD will meet to discuss the GM selection. Please see (b) above as it clearly identifies how this item is in compliance with the Brown Act.

    4.) CONFERENCE WITH GENERAL COUNSEL – The Board of Directors will meet in closed session pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9(c) – Potential litigation.
    “54956.9 Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a legislative body of a local agency, based on advice of its legal counsel, from holding a closed session to confer with, or receive advice from, its legal counsel regarding pending litigation when discussion in open session concerning those matters would prejudice the position of the local agency in the litigation.
    (C) The receipt of a claim pursuant to the Tort Claims Act or some other written communication from a potential plaintiff threatening litigation, which claim or communication shall be available for public inspection pursuant to Section 54957.5.”

    Again, this item is directly related to the code that is cited right next to it.

    It seems to me that what you are doing, is reading the general section of the Brown Act or cliff notes, rather then looking to the long form, actual Brown Act. If you take a moment and do this, you will find the actual statutory language rather than abbreviated sections of it. It is important when reading the law to read the actual statutory language, in order, as it is written.

    Not that I care one iota about your opinion of me passing the bar exam, but please check out the bar pass rates for CA. Make sure you take a look at Summer and Winter. You will see that rarely are they above 60% in the Summer, and rarely above 50% in the Winter. These percentages are actually quite high. Then go ahead and look up all the strong leaders in our Nation that have struggled with the bar exam and taken it multiple times. Most of these leaders failed exams in other states. CA has the hardest bar exam in the Nation. While you are at it, look up the number of persons who are not admitted to law school each year and of those who are, those who do not even make it through their first year. I am VERY proud of the fact that I completed college, then law school and even sat for the bar exam, pass or fail. Such a small percent of persons in this Country will even have that opportunity. I will pass the bar exam when the time is right.

    Lastly, please do not be confused with my understanding of the Brown Act. I have had and always have a copy right there with me. I refer to it quite often. Just because I do not quote it at meetings, trying to micromanage the attorney, as you are suggesting, does not mean that I am not aware of the act and its importance and interpretation.

    • OMG you are just a waste of time! I am not going to give you the satisfaction of reading everything you cut and pasted above. I’ll defer this to the people who enforce it. Oh, if you have such vast knowledge of the Brown Act, why did you send me a personal email asking for a code section? In case you forgot, here it is verbatim:

      Hello Mindy,
      Below here, you say “Yes it does say that.” You then say, of course it does not prohibit the use of “reply all.” My comment in my email was, that the Brown Act does not say that you cannot use Reply All. If you are aware of a prohibition of using reply all, for information updates, that are not agenda items, nor up for discussion with a pending decision to be made, please forward me the section of the Brown Act as I will make sure that our practice is in compliance. All I see so far that you have attached, is someone’s interpretation of the Brown Act, not the actual statutory language itself, and as I stated previously, a recommendation is being made, not to use reply all, but the code is not prohibiting the use of reply all, in given situations, like the one addressed above.

      Thank you,

      Again if you do not care one iota about my opinion of you not passing the bar exam, why address it? I asked in my very first post about your article to Vivien if you could even produce mail with your address being in Elverta since you own a home in Sacramento. Why not respond to that? Because if you can’t, and you are not in the District, your position would become vacant IMMEDIATELY pursuant to the Brown Act. You seem to only respond to snippets or what serves YOU. Additionally, I noticed in your posts and emails to me you went from using verbiage to defend yourself (on a first person basis) to using verbiage relating to the Board (yourself included). Interesting. I am not questioning anyone but YOU so you should respond on behalf of you and you only. Secondly, I have NOT taken anything you said out of context. Rather you seem to change the context of your responses. Typical attorney tactic. I don’t know if you have noticed Courtney but becoming a lawyer used to be a respected position, such as a doctor. Now, mostly they are considered ambulance chasers and manipulators of the law. Fact! It must be quite humbling to admit you are below the 50% and 60% of people that DO pass.

      Again, you are here to serve the public. You easily lose sight of that. Sheesh no wonder you have 3 chihauaus (sp) and not a man, dogs cant talk back.


      • Mindy, I do not own a home in Sacramento, what are you talking about? I have never purchased a home in any location at all yet. I do not know where you are getting your information. Clearly it is not reliable.

        I asked you to quote the section to prove that it DOES NOT EXIST

  • For some reason you are paraphrasing the Act without providing the citation. That is why I asked. Generally when people are trying to prove a point, they support it with facts and accurate law, which you are not at all, hence why I asked you to provide it. It has nothing to do with my lack of knowledge and everything to do with yours.

    Mindy as stated above, it is not humbling at all to admit I am below the people who pass. You are really an unbelievable person. As stated before, I am proud of myself, and even more so proud of the hard work I have put in to my legal education.

    I would encourage you to read back in your first email where you spoke about personal attacks. You have done nothing but sit here and send personal attacks. My education, my appearance, my dating life, etc. Funny that none of those things relate to the Brown Act which should be your focus since you are not only misquoting it, but cannot even locate the citations you claim exist.

    I encourage you to respond however you wish, but I will no longer take any time responding to your personal attacks are they are unfounded and lack real merit. From what I understand there could be a whole blog dedicated to your personal life, yet no one has done that yet, to save you the embarassment.

    If you have valid concerns relating to the Brown Act, with actual Brown Act citations to follow, have done your research, and would like to discuss them in a “grown up” fashion, once you have taken the time to analyze them appropriately, I would be happy to partake. I welcome all concerns, as I have stated above, and will provide the correct citations to follow.

    Have a wonderful week.

    • I missed one of your questions, and would not want to do that, for chance of being accused of evading a question. The reason I switch from first person, to speaking on behalf of the board, is that you have put the blame in two parts here. The first is blaming me for violating the Brown Act for sending information update emails to all of the board members in one email. You then blame the board for producing closed session items that you do not deel are within the Brown Act. That is two separate issues. My alleged violation of sending non-discussion emails, and the board using an agenda. Hence the discussion would be related to your allegations against me, then me speaking on behalf of the board, as the agenda is created by the entire board, with all of their suggestions. I do not prepare the agenda. General Counsel and Staff prepare the agenda using the requests from the board members. You will see a board members name next to each item on the last agenda.

      So do not mistake my “use of tense” in responding. You have present two very different allegations. One against me personally and one against the board and the use of what you feel is an “illegal” agenda. You can throw the use of the “request to speak slip” in also with the accusations against the board, since this also is a board implemented policy and not my own.

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