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Monday, June 25, 2012

Dear Mr. Baugh






Mr. Les Baugh
Chairman-- Shasta LAFCO
1450 Court St. Suite 308B
Redding, Ca. 96001-1680

June 25, 2012

Dear Mr. Baugh:

I apologize for sending your LAFCO mail to your Supervisor address, but I have lost the faith that Shasta LAFCO has the ability to forward mail to its intended recipient.

Secondly, I have recently been informed that you are totally without knowledge of the deteriorating relationship between your LAFCO Director, Amy Mickelson, and the Fall River Mills CSD manager and Board.  Nevermind the repeated warnings, posted in Redding.com were leveled against you for ignoring her history, inexcusable behavior, inexplicable hiring and total waste of taxpayer money in the first place. Let me explain.

Ms Mickelson’s career history is well documented on the Internet, from Mendocino to Del Norte, to Lassen, to Modoc, etc., etc.. So it remains a curious mystery why this person was ever installed as the LAFCO Director at Shasta County, especially when at least two of these positions were terminated under extremely serious charges. Perhaps the person responsible for her hiring chose to look no further than her FaceBook page for qualifications.

Next, her behavior at Shasta LAFCO has been less than the model of cordiality, understanding and efficiency. To FRVCSD, she has been abusive, obnoxious, condescending and woefully shortcoming in her duties.

Her MSR and SOI for our Community Services District is now over 6 years delinquent under “STATE LAW“. Notwithstanding that Kathy Howard, former director, was ill for some time before Ms. Mickelson came on board.

So in the absence of the State mandated MSR and SOIs or the required routine reviews of same, the new manager for our CSD has been diligently requesting completion of both documents, pursuant to expansion of services in our valley. To that end, the FRVCSD contracted with an independent consultant to prepare an ‘internal’ Comprehensive Municipal Services Review Study/a 20 year Plan, a 101 page document, to comply with auditors demands. (This is available on the FRVCSD website) Which was given to Ms. Mickelson last October, which she promptly refused because, "it was not in proper format", which she had NOT specified, so it was resubmitted in her requested format.

Meanwhile, the Director has interjected herself into at least one CSD Board meeting, by attending a ‘special meeting’ uninvited, and without being listed on the agenda, attempted to go into a lengthy diatribe on how LAFCO works. She was gaveled down as out of order and invited back, when she would be under the Brown Act. It was most likely the last civil act she attempted with the CSD and it was illegal.

Since then, rather than completing her mandates, the Director has instead either continued to request more and more documents (some exceeding those requested of other CSDs), or as in a recent moment at the last LAFCO budget meeting, refused documents being handed to her....again. 

This moment went to a head in the foyer outside the Supervisor’s chambers, when some of us from Fall River Mills confronted LAFCO counsel to ask WHY the Director refused the documents she had demanded. His response was: “They weren’t in the proper format”. Mr. Chairman, I submit to you that the final documents demanded were check registers. Perhaps you could enlighten me exactly what “format” you would want them in!  Beyond the fact that you were witnessed running away from this moment,  if you intend to claim further ignorance of this situation, you need to take it up with your Counsel for failing to notice you.

Additionally, on more than one occasion, some of us have noticed that your Director has funneled copies of correspondence directly to the local newspaper, BEFORE it was received at our CSD, as it was featured in our local newspaper in an untimely fashion.

And not to nitpick, but our local publisher has been in tandem with your Director in bashing our CSD, either in a questionable, unethical or quite possibly illegal communications, since last year. Basically, she lies, he prints it. (We can document it)

And what confuses me is while you profess to know nothing about the relationship dissolving between the Director and our CSD, your co-Board members, Dave Kehoe and Patrick Jones have both been advised and still no resolution has been put forth. We even suggested that an ‘independent’ consultant be retained to finish the MSR and SOI, with the Board reviewing and approving the report. However, no one has moved to consider this.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, this Director has cost the ratepayers and taxpayers of the Shasta County Community Services and Special Districts over $200k per year, for the last 6 years, or well over $1.2 million dollars. Absent a finalization of the Mountain Gate CSD MSR, because the Director failed to complete the submitted document, this is the abysmal batting average of your Director:

 

According to the Shasta LAFCO minutes from 2005 through 2011, during Amy Mickelson’s tenure, the following MSR studies have been formally finalized and adopted by Shasta LAFCO:


Happy Valley FPD Final 02/02/200
Centerville CSD Final 02/15/200

Cottonwood FPD Final 05/03/2007

Burney FPD Final 06/14/2007 (a new Mello-Roos District subsequently rescinded, but MSR not revised as approval indicated would be required)
City of Shasta Lake Final 02/11/2009 and 06/11/2009 (?)
Shasta Lake FPD Final 04/02/2009
Anderson FPD Final 10/01/2009
City of Anderson Final 03/03/2011
Not exactly a ringing example of efficiency and austerity in these hard times. I have been advised that an outsourced MSR can be completed for less than $10,000, mostly because they are updating a template. Much like the 16 pages of double spacing, representing the Mountain Gate example. However, if I do some 8th grade math, our Director has cost tax and ratepayers over $133, 333 dollar for each of the 9 documents completed. And there are 26 Districts left to go.

 

Mr. Baugh, you can now consider yourself ‘Noticed‘. I apologize in advance for your not being aware of this situation. However, if something is not done to resolve this dilemma soon, I am more than happy to forward it to the Shasta County Grand Jury, the California Attorney General and all other interested parties for their reaction.

Sincerely,

 








 

1 comment:

Michelle Bonnewell said...

To be completely fair, this LAFCO fiasco also merits attention by the Society of Professioal Journalists.  Our local Mountain Echo owner, editor, reporter (who never asks a question) Walt Caldwell, has obviously taken this issue to heart.  It is both unethical and illeagal for Amy Mickelson and Walt Caldwell to work together in an attempt to influence public opinion, yet there it is.  The Mountain Echo is archived on-line as is Ms. Mickelson's history at other LAFCOs.  They present "their" version of reality that is convenient for themselves at the moment, but is not consistent with the facts.  Bullies are like that.  Amy has used many names in the last 10 years: Amy Jones, Amy Beauchane, Amy Mickelson, Amy Mickelson-Beadle so research must be done carefully.  On April 2, 2004, she was hired as Executive Director of Shasta LAFCO.  I can not imagine this appointment being made without a thorough background check, even all those years ago!  

To attend a Shasta LAFCO meeting is not convenient but well worth the effort as it's just not the same in the minutes version.  Amy is quite accomplished in the art of manipulative double talk and it's really pretty impressive and, of course, charming for those unenlighted.  Put names with faces by going to  www.shasta.lafco.ca.gov and select "commission-and-staff.  At Amy's last performance, June 7, her review for salary increase was barely voted a NO by the Shasta LAFCO board; here are the results:  Farr-YES! Give her more money!! Mathena-YES, Morgan-YES, Haynes-NO, Kehoe-NO, Jones-NO, Baugh-NO.  I could almost congratulate Les Baugh for this step in the right direction if not for his, oh so lavish praise heaped upon Ms. Mickelson for.....WHAT?  The next Shasta LAFCO meeting is August 2, 2012, 9-10:00, City of Anderson.  Truth = reality; confront bully behavior!