The Kern County Grand Jury not only put forth twenty three findings against the Rosamond Community Services District, but also, provided a path (a roadmap, if you will) to recovery.
Before any roadmap can be of use, one must first admit he or she is lost and in need of direction. As of this writing the RCSD, led by Ed MacKay has failed to recognize their current condition and has emitted only disdain for the Kern County Grand Jury.
So in an attempt to lay it out in a manner that even this trio can understand, I came up with a grid to depict the problem areas that should be worked with urgency. See below:
The Finding Index numbers are laid out across the top of the matrix and the Recommendation Index numbers run down the right side of the matrix. Where any the Findings number intersects a Recommendation number, I placed an “X”. The total number of “X’s per Recommendation is total on the left side of the matrix. I suggest to you, that this matrix can be used to identify which recommendations should be addressed first in order to achieve the maximum impact upon clearing out the report findings. Again, this matrix is worthless, unless the RCSD Board Members are willing to listen.
Here are my suggested priorities:
Priority 1: R7. Before taking any action on sewer rates, the Board should approve a new sewer rate study which takes into account unoccupied residences rates. (Findings 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 20) (Remarks) Consider conducting Sewer Rate Studies every 12 months. Allows “pulse assessment” on corrective measures, waiting five years is too long to wait to fix problems.
Priority 2: R8. The sewer fund should generate funding sufficient to cover costs and maintain the proper reserve. (Findings 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 20)
Priority 3: R3. The Board should approve meeting minutes in a timely manner. (Findings 3, 5, 6, and 7)
Priority 4: R4. Directors should be educated on agendized items in order to have focused discussion and prevent excessive tabling. (Findings 3 and 4)
Priority 5: R5. Director votes should be by roll call and audible to all in attendance. (Findings 10 and 11)
Priority 6: R11. The Directors should do research prior to further action regarding parks and recreation. (Findings 19 and 20) (Remarks) A little “market research” in this area could go a long way in healing the community rift. Let the people have a say in what’s important to them, then considered prioritizing projects based upon customer impact and exposure.
Priority 7: R 1. The Board should comply with the Brown Act at all times. (Finding 1)
Priority 8: R2. Individual Directors should meet with staff prior to Board meetings to be better informed regarding District business. (Finding 4) (Remarks) Documented meetings and a “scorecard”, would alleviate this issue.
Priority 9: R6. The street lighting fund should generate funding sufficient to cover costs and build a reserve. (Finding 13)
Priority 10: R9. The District should conduct a water rate study before proposing new water rates. (Finding 21) (Remarks) See action for Priority 1. Water and Sewer go “hand in hand”.
Priority 11: R10. The Directors should educate themselves on the differences and consequences between flat and tiered water rates. (Finding 19) (Remarks) Create a path to properly assessing the factors in determining actual water delivery costs and verify that tiered water rates are incompliance with state guidance or scrap tiered water rates altogether and set a fixed cost that is adjusted annually as a result of an annual Water and Sewer Rate Survey.
Priority 12: R12. The Board of Directors and District staff should work to improve their interactions. (Finding 22)
To read the next section click here: The Midnight Writings: After the Kern County Grand Jury Report