Community Advisory Committee Progress Report: February 26, 2014
PROGRESS REPORT OF THE COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
TO THE FALLEN LEAF LAKE COMMUNITY SERVICE DISTRICT BOARD
February 26, 2014
Since the last Board meeting the CAC has continued its attempts to move our community's voting legislation through the California Legislature by working with Assemblyman Frank Bigelow's office. Our efforts in that regard are set forth below.
1. On January 10, 2014, the committee received a communication from Katie Masingale, Assemblyman Bigelow's Legislative Director. She apologized, and explained the delays and lack of communication with us. She also stated that if they were going to introduce legislation it would be extremely narrow and specific to Fall Leaf Lake. She indicated that additional work needed to be done, including checking on the history of CSD’s throughout California, speaking with consultants and jumping thru many hoops.
2. January 15, 2014 received a communication from Kirk Kimmelshue, Assemblyman Bigelow's Chief of Staff advising that Bigelow wouldn't be able to move forward on our bill.
3. January 17, 2014, David, Franz, Ray and I had a conference call with Kirk to discover the reasons behind that decision, and to see if there was some opposition to the bill about which we were unaware. According to Kimmelshue the decision was based on Bigelow’s workload. Given his other commitments, he could not commit to this one. Kirk stated that there was no opposition to the bill of which he was aware. The caveat is that the staff person, Katie Masingale, who had done the work of contacting the stakeholders was ill, and not available to advise if she sensed any opposition among the stakeholders.
4. Efforts to get specifics as to which stakeholders had been contacted, aside from the California Association of CSD Districts, proved unsuccessful. Although promised, the list was not delivered. David was able to locate the person at the California CSD Assoc. with whom Masingale had spoken. David got the impression that the Association’s input was not positive, and was based largely on an incorrect understanding of the situation at Fallen Leaf. For example, when David indicated that the proposed legislation had broad support at Fallen Leaf, that Association person stated words to the effect of, “Except among the directors who would lose their job.” When David pointed out that the Board had expressed unanimous support for the bill, the Association person seemed surprised. David discussed other aspects of our problem and the person seemed impressed. We had hoped to get Bigelow’s staff to contact that person again, and perhaps get more positive input, but with no success.
5. January 26, 2014 There was a committee meeting to discuss an upcoming meeting with Supervisor Norma Santiago in Placerville on January 27.
6. David and Ben drove to Placerville to meet Norma Santiago and her assistant Judy McCallum. Santiago was of the opinion that if Bigelow was not going to carry our bill, it was too late to introduce anything this year. Norma Santiago indicated that Senator Gains is extraordinarily deliberative in determining if he will support legislation. Our bill would not receive his attention for this year. The meeting ended with Supervisor Santiago stating that she would make some inquiries. She asked for a draft of a proposed bill, and a letter setting forth our need and the reasons for legislation.
7. In response to Supervisor Santiago’s request, and with committee input, David wrote a preliminary draft of a statute and a short letter setting the forth the necessity for it. That was provided to Norma Santiago's office. A copy is attached.
8. Sadly, the deadline for introducing legislation has passed for this year. Accordingly, our goal is going to be next year. To date we haven't heard how Supervisor Santiago’s inquiries are going. However, we believe it is best to wait until the result of her efforts are known. Since we are past the legislative deadline, further delay is not a problem. Should her efforts prove unsuccessful, we have two avenues between which we must choose.
9. First, have the Committee attempt to work with Senator Gains, or any other legislator willing to provide assistance. We have been told by several people that it substantially reduces our chances of success if our bill is not sponsored by a local legislator. However, if there is someone on the lake with a close relationship with their legislator, and they can persuade that person to help us, that may be the best alternative.
10. Second, we can take up a collection around the lake to hire a professional lobbyist, and turn the task over to that person.