The 2010-11 San Joaquin County Grand Jury released its report on the Woodbridge Sanitary District on June 8, and was subsequently covered by both the Lodi News-Sentinel and Stockton Record. Channel 13 KOVR also did a segment entitled “On the Money” on July 12. The phrase “Something Smells in Woodbridge” was created by the Channel 13 producer, Mike Luery, to lead off the segment.
The media reports summarized the findings of the grand jury, which included: payroll fraud and fiscal mismanagement, falsifying State Water Resources Control Board records, nepotism/favoritism and lack of employee training.
On Wednesday, July 13, the WSD Board held its second meeting subsequent to the grand jury report. What should have been a packed house of concerned citizens of Woodbridge was in fact only the usual two concerned citizens plus one member of the grand jury. Ironically, the Grand Jury report and any proposed action to remedy identified deficiencies were omitted from the agenda.
Without public input, the WSD board will in all likelihood continue to operate without accountability much the same as they have since I moved here seven years ago. For instance, it took four years of cajoling to install a time clock.
If the smell created by WSD is ever to be removed, it can only be accomplished through your voice — be it at board meetings and/or the ballot box. If the time comes when more than two ratepayers voice their concerns at WSD board meeting “we will see change.”
Charles F. Stocker