Directors called ‘pinheads’ before adopting budget
The Cameron Park Community Services District Board of Directors adopted a 2012-13 budget at its meeting June 20 but not before directors got an earful from a resident questioning their sanity.
Resident Bill Carey placed a sign in front of the podium that read, “McNiel, are you of sound mind tonite?” while David Gelbert chastised board member Scott McNeil for the way he treated Board President Shiva Frentzen at an earlier budget workshop.
Carey said he made the sign in response to McNeil asking Frentzen if she was in her right mind during the June 18 workshop. “I felt she had been insulted and in effect he was saying that she was crazy,” Carey explained.
Board members requested that Carey remove the sign and voted 4-1 that he do so; Frentzen voted no.
“Welcome to the people’s republic of Cameron Park,” Carey said.
When Carey didn’t remove the sign the directors left the room with their legal counsel. CPCSD General Manager Mary Cahill then tried to remove the sign but was blocked.
The directors returned 10 minutes later and Frentzen asked Carey to remove the sign and keep it next to him. Carey did so and then went to the podium to accuse the rest of the board of not supporting Frentzen. “At the Monday meeting McNeil said Shiva was out of her mind. But none of you pinheads did anything. You’re a bunch of nutless wonders.”
Back to business, the board voted 4-1 to accept a budget that has a projected deficit of $113,265, which will be covered by using contingency funds. The new budget anticipates revenues of $4,875,334 and expenses of $4,988,599. Frentzen cast the lone “no” vote.
The district projects it will end this fiscal year with a $201,380 deficit, which will be covered primarily by fire department contract savings.
Residents urged the board not to adopt the proposed budget.
“I want to remind you of what you’re doing,” said Vicky Neibauer. “If you pass this budget it has a huge hole in it. The district has gone from negative net assets in 2010 of $109,500 to negative assets now of $365,000. It’s likely you’re going to see more deterioration of your budget position. You plan to add two staff positions even though you’re facing an operational shortfall. You have the opportunity to truly balance the budget by pulling these two positions. You should make the decision to live within your means and then in September re-evaluate the budget. I urge you to do the responsible thing.”
Other residents echoed Neibauer’s comments. Gelbert asked, “When will the board realize that government at every level is contracting? Why do you think you can expand the staff here? You want two full-time fully benefited staff and have no way to pay for these positions. Why go down that road? Use a temp agency.”
Frentzen offered a motion to cut park and community center expenses by 10 percent in the new budget as well as other changes to the proposed budget. The motion failed for lack of a second.
Cahill reminded the board that the position of recreation coordinator was already a budgeted position and a new person had been hired and was expected to start July 1. She also said a permanent employee was needed at the front counter because of all the turnover experienced when they hired temp employees.
Board member Greg Stanton responded to the comments from the public by saying that the community center has no revenue stream other than from activities held there. “Cameron Park is built out unless we annex more property so we will see no additional revenue from property taxes. We are raising revenue by doing a better job of marketing the center and holding more events here,” he said. “Come September, if the money is not there, we will make the cuts needed.”
In a related action, the board also adopted new waste disposal rates after a presentation by Sue VanDelinder of El Dorado Disposal. Residential rates will rise 2.65 percent. Those receiving the senior rate will not see an increase. Commercial rates will rise 9 percent. The new rates took effect July 1 and were unanimously adopted by the board.