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Everyone shares in the blame for failures of the water district

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Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:27 am, Sat Jun 30, 2012.

This is regarding the Record article on June 23 concerning the San Joaquin County Grand Jury Report on the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District being on the "brink of failure" because of its former leadership.

Exactly what former management do you mean? The NSJWCD has been in existence for over 50 years, and during that time has seen its share of dereliction and neglect, political manipulation and conflicts of interest.

It is disingenuous and wrong to try and lay the blame for the district's long-term woes on Bryan Pilkington, Hugh Scanlon and Marden Wilbur. There have been many contributors to NSJWCD's ills over the years — selfish agendas, political manipulation and self-aggrandizement by some, and certainly public apathy and citizen neglect to boot.

There is plenty of blame to go around and plenty of places to lay it and a lot of finger pointing. But when we are pointing our fingers at the other guy, there are always three more fingers pointing back at us.

There is a side of this story that isn't being told by the Grand Jury Report and Record article, and it's the side of long-term sins of "commission and omission," and we are all guilty for the good we didn't do.

William Van Amber Fields


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1 comment:

  • Josh Morgan posted at 6:54 am on Sat, Jun 30, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 529

    William, it's called the 2011-12 Grand Jury Report, not the 1960- 2012 Report or the LNS Report. Here is the conclusion of the report:


    "This Board has been dysfunctional and has not conducted the public's business according to theDistrict's Policy and the Ralph M. Brown Act. Minutes of each meeting as well as a current, balanced financial report should be available at the subsequent Board meeting for review and approval.

    The Board's behavior has placed the financial future and even the ability to survive as a District in jeopardy. The turmoil has cost the District thousands of dollars in legal and process fees. The District's inability to create effective solutions, to raise much needed revenue, and maintain its water rights remains unresolved.

    The Board Presidenthas since resigned. Due to a change of leadership, the overall conduct of the District has shown improvement. The current Board is attempting to follow District policies and regulations.

    The State of Califomia Fair Political Practice Commission is currently conducting an investigationof the alleged conflict of interest."

    You may be correct that there have been issues in the previous 49 years but this report addressed one year. And to my knowledge there had not been complaints filed with the Grand Jury the previous 49 years.

    Here is the link to the full Grand Jury Report:



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