Critics Corner – You are Invited to View the Board Meeting Videos for yourself!

I am behind on my blog for multiple reasons – life has a way of doing that. While I ponder how to best describe my experiences over the last three months, I decided to post the video and/or audio files of the board meetings each month.

This way, you the public and my constituents, can determine for yourself what you think. You can also see for yourself the resistance I am experiencing when asking even the simplest question regarding finances (by March the Board had effectively shut me down from asking questions) and the refusal of the board to do any actual work. The board is on record as saying they will not do committees. I have received no responses to my questions regarding finances since February.

I also am receiving no email at all since April due to changes in NYWD email and the refusal of the General Manager to use my director email address: dirdiv4nywd@yahoo.com. To this day, General Manager Jeff Maupin, refuses to publish my correct email address on the NYWD website and has also ordered NYWD office staff not to use any email address for me other than gflohr@nywd.org, despite the fact that he is well aware that the email address does not work and that I do not receive any emails sent to that address.

Perhaps I will do a blog page chronicling the email debacle…stay tuned. For now please sit back, get your popcorn and catch up on what NYWD has been doing.

“๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Œ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ, ๐ข๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐…๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐ญ. ๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ? ” The above statement is a direct quote from the latest propaganda missive from NYWD. In this most recent “newsletter”, the NYWD GM and Four Previously Incumbent Directors targeted and defamed members of the public, as well as the isolated Fifth Director (me) for exercising their First Amendment Rights. In this propagandist missive, the GM and Four Previously Incumbent Directors accuse the public of wasting NYWD (i.e. Public’s) monies in the public’s search for information about the agency which the public created (Brown Act).

๐™”๐™š๐™ฉ – ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™จ๐™–๐™ข๐™š ๐™œ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฅ ๐™๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™๐™๐™š๐™ก๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ง๐™ช๐™˜๐™ž๐™–๐™ก ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง๐™ข๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง ๐™จ๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™๐™จ. ๐™‰๐™”๐™’๐˜ฟ ๐™™๐™ž๐™™ ๐—ก๐—ข๐—ง ๐™ง๐™š๐™˜๐™š๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ง๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ช๐™š๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ 2018 ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐—ก๐—ข๐—ง ๐™ง๐™š๐™˜๐™š๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š any ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ง๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ช๐™š๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ 2019.

In 2017, NYWD received $1.39M in revenues and in 2016, NYWD received $2.21M in revenues. The NYWD GM and Four Previously Incumbent Directors WITHHELD this information regarding the massive reduction in income – from the public as well as the Fifth Director – even as they irresponsibly passed a $1.7 M budget in July 2019.

๐˜ผ๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ “๐™—๐™ช๐™™๐™œ๐™š๐™ฉ” (๐™ง๐™š๐™ซ๐™ž๐™š๐™ฌ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ซ๐™–๐™ก ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ค๐™  ๐™ก๐™š๐™จ๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฃ 20 ๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™š๐™จ!) ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฃ๐™ค ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ง๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ช๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™™๐™ž๐™™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™ช๐™—๐™ก๐™ž๐™˜๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ.

Without power revenues, NYWD receives monies only from a single water sale, domestic and irrigation ratepayers, tax monies, and a $709,000 payment from South Feather Water and Power Agency (which is only supposed to be spent on maintaining the Forbestown Ditch – our mutual water conveyance system). The total income NYWD can assuredly receive annually is approximately $1.1M, and yet their 2019-2020 budget included almost $1M in salaries and benefits alone!

Please Note: In the video, Director Nielson incorrectly states that NYWD cannot even count on the $709,000 – that statement is inaccurate – it has been verified through a review of the 2005 contract and discussion with South Feather WPA – that the $709,000 is guaranteed.

However, IF Director Neilson was correct – that would mean that NYWD is only assured of approximately $500,000 in income – so why did The GM and Four Previously Incumbent Directors approve a $1.7M budget?? Multiple people including myself had repeatedly asked the GM where the revenues from SFWPA were beginning mid-summer 2019 – and we never received a response.

Now we all know – there are none and the GM and Four Previously Incumbent Directors knew it and passed an unsustainable and irresponsible budget anyway. I voted NO.
๐—œ๐—ง’๐—ฆ ๐—ฌ๐—ข๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐— ๐—ข๐—ก๐—˜๐—ฌ – ๐—œ๐—ง’๐—ฆ ๐—ฌ๐—ข๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐—™๐—จ๐—ง๐—จ๐—ฅ๐—˜. ๐—›๐—ข๐—ช ๐——๐—ข๐—˜๐—ฆ ๐—œ๐—ง ๐— ๐—”๐—ž๐—˜ ๐—ฌ๐—ข๐—จ ๐—™๐—˜๐—˜๐—Ÿ????? “๐ˆ๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Œ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ, ๐ข๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐…๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐œ๐ญ. ๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฆ๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ? That, ironically, is a direct quote from the latest propagandist “newsletter” put out by the Gm and Four Directors in January 2020.
Eight members of the Grand Jury attended this board meeting. “Highlights” of this meeting consisted of the Four Male Directors magically pulling $40K out of a hat to award to the PR firm Smart Marketing. Smart Marketing has a conflict of interest and should not be considered as a potential candidate to provide services to NYWD as it provides these same services to incumbent directors who are running for office on the very agency that NYWD is seeking multiple, vast grants and loans from.

Further, there was no accounting for this huge sum of money in the budget passed June 27, 2019.

In addition, the GM and Four Culpable Directors voted to NOT have another board meeting until January 23, 2019 – which is three months from now. I voted against it saying that of course we can find time somewhere in that time frame to have a board meeting.

What are the GM and Four Culpable Directors planning to do during those three months? Is it possible that they will be meeting secretly? Is it possible that serial meetings might occur during those three months? What do you think?

Six members of the Grand Jury attended this meeting. Was it merely a coincidence that for the first time in his employment (eight years), GM Maupin was not at the meeting? Oddly, neither was the Financial Manager. Their latest move – conducted in front of the six members of the Grand Jury – was to approve a resolution to restrict directors’ discussion, questions and answers to three minutes for all agenda items. These Four Male directors are not making decisions in the best interest of the customers and are not representing the wishes of their public.

Hard to believe, but it is true- ANOTHER “Special Meeting”! Does the GM think that NYWD is really that special? Or is everything urgent to him? This absolutely could have waited for the regular board meeting which is a mere two weeks away. Northstar, the engineering firm hired to create the Forbestown Ditch plans, was on hand to give a summary of the engineering plans, which were finally provided to the board. The upshot is that a 42″ pipe is planned, made of corrugated high density polyethylene (e.g. plastic) and it will only carry 24 cfs as it needs head room at the top to prevent the pipe becoming pressurized. The upper portion is apparently going to be laid in the existing ditch on concrete blocks and then moved back in place when it gets off-kilter due to soil creep down the hill. The lower ditch is planned to be buried. Much more to come on all of this, in the meantime – enjoy the video.
An organization called Aero Pines came to the meeting asking for a hookup for drinking water. Aero Pines is not annexed. NYWD has 1,500 annexed “customers” who have been waiting decades to receive water and have been paying taxes. They still have no water. Now this organization comes in and wants to jump to the head of the line without being annexed. It also takes water away from paying irrigation customers, some of whose livelihoods depend on the water. I asked to see the numbers (i.e. how much water they would be taking (in cfs) and a plan for annexation. I also asked why the invitation from SFWPA hadn’t been put on the agenda and had never been discussed? Why aren’t we meeting with SFWPA? Shame on the Four Directors for ignoring this invitation from our business partners. What are they up to?
The GM was caught out going behind the backs of the public and the board. GM Maupin asked Yuba Water Agency for yet another almost quarter of a million dollars to pay for the Forbestown Ditch engineering plans. In his rush to cover his behind, he self-authored yet another resolution (his third since January) giving himself total authority to pursue whatever he likes without telling the board or the public. He then called a “Special Meeting” on Tuesday August 13 to have the Board pass it. Of course they did. My remarks were cut off at three minutes by Terry Brown and Eric Hansard. Apparently they will do whatever they need to do to put a muzzle on me. There is no legal authority for them to do this to a duly elected board director.

The real issues that NYWD should be focused on: getting water to its customers and caring about its customers. The GM unilaterally and without involvement of the NYWD board, reduced the top three irrigation water users to half of their allotment. This cut out the first step of asking for voluntary cutbacks. If there was to have been a special meeting – it should have been about this. Doug Neilson and Terry Brown raced from the room when it was apparent that this customer was upset. Gary Hawthorne can be heard here stubbornly insisting that this is the policy and stubbornly refusing to listen and care about this customer. Doesn’t the board create the policy? Shouldn’t the board create policy for the benefit of the customers? by listening to the customers? A later drive by of the NYWD offices showed Eric Hansard and Doug Neilson closeted with GM Maupin in his office – a regular occurrence.
Watching this video requires only 10 minutes. The exact amount of time it took for a Board to review and approve a budget of $1.7M dollars; of which $965,000.00 (57%) is for salaries and benefits for a staff of five full time employees and two part time employees.
Fifth Board Meeting. At this meeting the GM had placed the annual budget on the agenda – there had been no previous discussion about this. I urged the board to postpone voting on the budget as we had not had time to go over the budget, and the public had not had the opportunity to review it and ask their questions. I was not allowed to ask questions and the Four Incumbents, steamrolled over me and passed the budget without a single question asked.

The June 27, 2019 NYWD Board Meeting is a lesson in how to evaluate and pass a $2M budget in less than 10 minutes. It is also an outstanding example of fiduciary irresponsibility and four incumbent directors who refuse to do the job for which they were elected. The disregard and disrespect shown to the public is inexcusable and heinous in the extreme. There had been zero previous discussion about the budget and having a budget show up on the agenda was a surprise. This had not been agendized previously.

The only reason any members of the public were allowed to see the budget is because I enlarged the budget into 11 X 17 pages, printed them out and handed them out to members of the public who attended the Board meeting – of course, they had no time to look at it as it was literally right before the meeting.

Jeff Maupin has ignored my requests to put the board packet on the website and to provide complete board packets to the public who attend meetings – to be placed near the door. Only the agenda is made available through the website. If a member of the public wants a board packet, they must call the NYWD office, order a copy, and then come in in person and pay for it. With something as important as $2M budget, the public should have been able to view it.

The May 2019 was scheduled and board packets sent out. At approximately 2:00 pm the day of the meeting, the meeting was abruptly cancelled. The only reason, I (a director) found out is because a member of the public called me. Apparently an email had once again been sent to the bogus and nonworking gflohr@nywd.org, thus ensuring I would not be notified. The reason given when I called the NYWD office was that “there wasn’t a quorum” of directors. So apparently three of the four incumbents was out ill?

Fourth Board Meeting for Director Flohr. At this meeting the Four Incumbents voted to restrict Board members to three minutes during Director’s Input, prohibited the dissemination of written materials to the public and other board members, and again refused to allow me to ask questions. Congratulations – NYWD has managed to get Board meetings back to the desired 27 minute average, wherein virtually nothing is done, and the public is ignored.
During this meeting I was shut down from trying to attempt any level of transparency and accountability.
At the end of the second board meeting, I was treated to a 45-minute mansplaining lecture by Director Doug Nielsen on how busy the GM was and to “be patient” and he would eventually provide me with all the information and documents I need to do the job I was elected to do. Documents that I had been asking for since I was elected in November 2018. This meeting lasted 3.5 hours and the video cut off after 2.5 hours. An audio tape caught most of the missing last hour. During this meeting a senior citizen was almost thrown out of the room for daring to ask a question.
The video for the February 2019 meeting cut off at approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. the meeting actually lasted 3.5 hours. At approximately 2:20 I begin talking making a number of suggestions and requesting that the GM use my donated NYWD director salary to print out and provide board packets for the public at each meeting. (They have never acted on my request – but happily retain my $1,800 salary). I also brought up my concerns about being denied the engineering plans for the Forbestown Ditch by the GM and asked for the Board’s support in requesting copies of the plans for our review. What followed (starting at about 2:45 was a lecture from Director Doug Neilsen that went on for approximately 45 minutes.
First Official Board Meeting for Newly-elected Director Flohr. I came prepared and I had questions. I received no answers and was told that the GM and Financial Officer would have to research the answer to virtually every question I had – even when the question was a simple “Was does this term mean?” The Board President and Director Terry Brown suggested I should make an appointment rather than waste everyone’s time, despite the fact that there were members of the public present who also wanted answers to the same questions. I was also informed that NYWD does not “do” committees leading one to wonder – how does any work actually get done.
November 2018 – Last Meeting for NYWD President Donald Forguson who gives the newly-elected Director Flohr a warm welcome and the Board gives her a standing ovation. Just kidding. Was this a portent of what was to come? You be the judge. The final seven minutes speak volumes.

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