Ratepayer sums up district's problems
Urionaguena said the situation at LMUD is a mess.
“Two board members have resigned, whether in frustration or fear of the litigation that’s pending,” he said. “We tend to get a little complacent around here when we don’t think things are going badly. And until it’s a complete boondoggle, we don’t say anything. And then it may be a little late, but we’ve got to do something.”
Urionaguena added the LMUD board didn’t seem to stand up for what the public wanted.
“We have a manager who feels he doesn’t answer to anyone,” he said at the supervisors’ Tuesday, Dec. 12 meeting. “We have a board who allows this.”
As Cady rode roughshod over them, the board members closed ranks with Cady instead of reigning him in, Urionaguena said.
“They’ve had ample opportunity to do the right thing and they’ve neglected to do it.”
He urged the board of supervisors not to appoint just one LMUD board member, which LMUD Board President Wayne Langston and General Manager Frank Cady requested in a letter to the supervisors dated Dec. 4. The letter asked the county board to appoint within 10 days one of the seven people who applied for the positions vacated by the resignations of Cardenas and Sargent.
“I understand they’ve asked you to appoint just one board member and then they can go on about appointing the other two, which I believe, and not just speaking for myself but speaking for everyone I’ve spoken to, this would be a huge mistake. Allowing them to retain a majority, swing the votes their way and keep building their empire.”
Saying the LMUD board didn’t seem to be interested in public input, Urionaguena said, “I don’t believe they care.”
He urged the supervisors to appoint three members to the LMUD board or allow a special election.
Saying a special election would be costly “and I don’t think anybody would like it,” Urionaguena added, “It may be less costly than the pending litigation and the troubles that we’re facing.”
The utility district faces a lawsuit by former electrical superintendent and operations manager Steve Trevino, who claims Cady fired him after a dispute over an honorary green fee at the Diamond Mountain Golf Club in March.
Trevino filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court Eastern District of California on Oct. 5 alleging violation of his due-process rights, conspiracy to deprive due-process rights, libel, breach of express and implied contract for continued employment, infliction of emotional distress and interference of contractual rights.
LMUD also faces an employee grievance filed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, Local Union 1245, which asked the LMUD Board of Directors in a certified letter sent in November, to protect its members who work at the LMUD from alleged sexual harassment and wrongful behavior by a a high-ranking LMUD manager.
LMUD employee Sonya Hubbard read a letter at the utility board’s Nov. 27 meeting calling for the removal of Cady as LMUD general manager. Hubbard said the letter was composed by “nearly all of the 38 employees of the district.”
Urionaguena said most people he’s talked to “feel the only possible thing that’s going to work is to remove the manager and basically start over.”
He urged the members of the board of supervisors to get some input from their constituents and “get it right.”
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