In a surprise move, Richard Green resigned from the Cameron Park Community Services District Board of Directors at the board’s meeting on Wednesday, May 18.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, and before the board adopted the evening’s agenda Green said he would like to say something. He then stood up and read a prepared statement, “An open letter to the community of Cameron Park,” then left the meeting.
At the end of his statement, Green said, “Effective immediately, May 18, I am resigning my position on the Cameron Park Community Services District Board of Directors.”
Although his resignation was not anticipated, Green had made no secret of his frustration with fellow board members Scott McNeil, Alan Clarke and Greg Stanton. He publicly referred to the three as a “troika,” and said they ignored his contributions.
In his resignation statement, Green explained: “I have worked hard during my tenure and have tried my best to work in a direction where the Board of Directors works for the people of the community and not for their own self-interest. I have been advocating ‘transparency’ and openness to the public we serve. I believe that I have demonstrated a high level of competency and attempted to bring positive changes and direction to the CSD. Most of these changes were either voted down by the board or pushed to a committee where they were deliberately never reviewed.”
Although he expressed appreciation for CSD Interim General Manager Rusty Dupray, saying he “has brought some stability to the current board and, for now, even a sense of harmony,” he went on to say, “The board is still fractured and deep wounds exist because of individual conflict between board members. I have no confidence that this group of elected officials will ever work for the best interests of the people they serve, except for director (Shiva) Frentzen.”
Frentzen said, “I sensed he was discouraged and disappointed with the direction the board was taking. His leaving is a tremendous loss for the board and the community. He did a great job and will be missed dearly.
Green was elected to the CSD board in November 2008, winning the highest number of votes in a four-person race, 2,905 or 30.65 percent. In 2009 he served as vice president.
Green and his family moved to Cameron Park in 1991 and his children went to local schools. He retired from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in 2006 after 33 years of service. At the time, he was assistant deputy director of Fire Protection.
Chair Scott McNeil, who was elected to the board last November, said he was taken by surprise. “I didn’t expect that,” he said. “I don’t agree with everything Rich said, but he brought a lot of experience to the board, both professionally and politically. I’ll miss that.”
Dupray said Thursday, “I’m sorry to see Rich leave. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Dupray said the district will follow board policy in replacing Green. Green’s term runs through 2012. The district will publish an invitation to members of the community to apply for the vacant seat. Applicants need to reside in the CSD district. The board will go through an interview process and select a new director.
As he left the CSD board, Green said, “I appreciate all of the public support I received during my tenure. For now I will enjoy just being a regular citizen of Cameron Park.”
In a telephone interview with Green on May 19, he said serving on the CSD board is a big commitment and he had to consider other important things in his life: family, friends, health and happiness. “I made the right choice,” he said. “I’ve had a ton of emails and telephone calls supportive of my decision.
The day after the board meeting, Green was in Massachusetts with his wife, Gabriella, and son, Patrick, visiting the University of Massachusetts at Amherst campus, where Patrick has been accepted in the PhD in Biomechanics program. He is a graduate of Ponderosa High School and earned his BS degree in Biology at UCLA.
Having left the board, Green said, “Personally, I feel relieved, but I’m also feeling anxious for the district. I’m torn that way. I hope the people in Cameron Park continue to hold the board accountable and transparent as best they can. I’m still very committed to the community. I’d like to use my talents somewhere.”