Sunday, November 18, 2018

THE DOGS AND THE HIDES

THE DOGS AND THE HIDES

      SOME hungry Dogs saw a number of hides at the bottom of a stream where the Tanner had put them to soak. A fine hide makes an excellent meal for a hungry Dog, but the water was deep and the Dogs could not reach the hides from the bank. So they held a council and decided that the very best thing to do was to drink up the river.

All fell to lapping up the water as fast as they could. But though they drank and drank until, one after another, all of them had burst with drinking, still, for all their effort, the water in the river remained as high as ever.

Do not try to do impossible things.


[Illustration]

Ponti Fire Trail Conversion to Mountain Bike track and multiuse trail. Wil




Marinwood CSD is giving an easement to Marin County Open Space to remove/replace the Ponti Fire Trail that runs on Marinwood CSD land above Blackstone Drive in the North East section of Marinwood. A vital fire break may be removed in the process. We urge the Marinwood CSD to grant access under the provision that the Firebreak will be maintained by Marin County . Also, since the trail will be narrowed from 15' to 5' , residents are concerned about collusions with speeding cyclists. We urge that pedestrian bypass trails are built at blind corners and jumps for safety. Unfortunately, none of the Marinwood CSD directors seemed to be concerned and voted to grant full easement without conditions. Eric Dreikosen is charged with negotiating the final details.

We note the irony of the Marinwood CSD in the deference to the 10 mountain bike enthusiasts who attended. Their voice is significant while the 200 residents who petitioned the board for a hearing on Bill Hansells "Maintenence Facility Compound" have been attacked as "irrelevant".

Legitimate concerns about fire safety and trail safety are ignored. The Marinwood CSD should be ashamed.

Hansell Meltdown lecture with the full Public Response



Marinwood CSD Architect and former board member Bill Hansell berates the public for presenting a petition and implores the Marinwood CSD to ignore the public.  This is a clear violation of the Brown Act and the public civil rights.  Here is the uninterrupted  exchange

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Marinwood CSD censors public response to Attack



Marinwood CSD President, Leah Green squelches John Boro after Bill Hansell, Marinwood CSD Architect mercilessly attacks the public for presenting a petition of 200 members of the public for six and a half minutes.  Once again Leah Green violates the Brown Act and the civil rights of the citizens.  

Architect Bill Hansell attacks the Public at the Marinwood CSD 11/13/2018




Marinwood CSD architect Bill Hansell, a former board member, implores the Marinwood CSD to ignore public commentary criticizing the Maintenance Shed project. He misquotes the Brown Act and public meeting laws and goes so far as to imply that no one can voice an opinion of CSD business except the elected officials. A large group of residents object to the massive Marinwood Maintenance Shed project and have gathered 200 signatures. Hansell claims this is illegitimate public speech even while at the very same meeting, a large group of mountain bicyclists gather to provide support for the conversion of the Ponti Fire road to a mountain bike/hiking trail. Apparently, some groups merit more attention than others.

Not a single Marinwood CSD board member spoke in defense of the Public's Right to Speak.

Is there a right to participate in public meetings? Marinwood may be violating the law.

Open letter to Marinwood CSD board members 11/14/2018:


Last night, Bill Hansell,former CSD board member and current architectural consultant addressed the Marinwood CSD Board claiming the public can only speak at open time and action items.  This is clearly not the California law.  The public can comment on each specific agenda item as it is taken up by the body.
 
Please be advised that restricting the public's right to participate in our government is a civil rights violation.  We urge the Marinwood CSD reconsider any policy that is in violation of the law. Mr. Hansell is not an attorney and the CSD would be wise to consult the law before taking his advice.

https://www.rcfp.org/california-open-government-guide/v-asserting-right-comment/there-right-participate-public-meetings

A. Is there a right to participate in public meetings?

Yes, during a regular or special meeting, but not during a closed meeting. Under both Acts, a body must provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address each agenda item under consideration by the body either before or during the body’s discussion. Cal. Gov't Code §§ 11125.7(a) (Bagley-Keene Act); 54954.3(a) (Brown Act). Additionally, under the Brown Act, during a regular session but not during a special session, the public has a right to comment “on any item of interest to the public, before or during the legislative body’s consideration of the item, that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body ….”  Cal. Gov’t Code § 54954.3(a). This right has been construed to mean that there must be a period of time provided for general public comment on any matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body, as well as an opportunity for public comment on each specific agenda item as it is taken up by the body.  Galbiso v. Orosi Public Utility Dist., 167 Cal. App. 4th 1063, 1080, 84 Cal. Rptr. 3d 788 (2008); see also Chaffee v. San Francisco Library Commission, 115 Cal. App. 4th 461, 468-69, 9 Cal. Rptr. 3d 336 (2004).  Under the Brown Act, the right to comment includes the right to comment on matters to be considered by the body in closed session.  Galbiso, 167 Cal. App. 4th at 1080; see alsoLeventhal v. Vista Unified School Dist., 149 Cal. App. 4th 11424, 1437-39, 57 Cal. Rptr. 3d 885 (2007).
Under both Acts, the right to comment on agenda items does not apply if the agenda item has already been considered by a committee composed exclusively of members of the body at a public meeting where the public had the opportunity to address the committee on the item, before or during the committee's consideration of the item, unless the item has been substantially changed since the committee heard the item, as determined by the body. Cal. Gov't Code §§ 11125.7(a) (Bagley-Keene Act); 54954.3(a) (Brown Act).
The Bagley-Keene Act further provides that public testimony may be taken at a regular or special meeting if the state body takes no action at the same meeting on matters not on the notice and agenda that are brought before the body by the public. Cal. Gov't Code § 11125.7(a).
Under both Acts, the state body or the legislative body of a local agency may not prohibit public criticism of the policies, procedures, programs or services of the body, or the acts or omissions of the body. Cal. Gov't Code §§ 11125.7(c) (Bagley-Keene Act); 54954.3(c) (Brown Act).

Friday, November 16, 2018

Marinwood CSD Architect Intimidates and Bullies Senior Citizen



Linda Barnello asks a routine question about late billing at the November 13, 2018 Marinwood CSD meeting and is rudely attacked by Architect Bill Hansell.  Hansell is a former Marinwood CSD board director who was hired secretly in February 2018 for the "all inclusive cost estimate" of $12,000 by Eric Dreikosen on a "time and materials" contract.   By May of 2018, HansellDesign  billed $11,931.73  and has continued to work for an additional six months without submitting bills.  Each month,  Linda has asked for the billing cost or at the very least time estimates so that the total cost of the project can be tracked.  The Board refuses to answer the public's reasonable request.

Hansell says he did not submit billing for six months because he had a baby.   

The Marinwood CSD Board President , Leah Green refuses to censor the outburst and later lets the architect rant about "the public interference in Marinwood CSD affairs" .

Linda Barnello is an involved citizen and has served on the Parks and Recreation Committee and is a major benefactor of the Marinwood Fire Department.   Her attention to budget matters is greatly appreciated by those who want the Marinwood CSD to remain financially healthy.

Why is Marinwood CSD hiding the cost of HansellDesign services?   Clearly there is a conflict of interest with the secret appointment of a former CSD Director who hired the current Marinwood CSD manager, Eric Dreikosen.  The Marinwood CSD board is hiding financial details of the project and has violated government contracting rules.  They are also allowing the violation of Linda Barnello's civil rights at a public forum.

The Marinwood CSD needs serious reform.  It is time for an outside authority to review the business practices of the Marinwood CSD and hold them accountable.

Should Architect Bill Hansell be allowed to intimidate citizens and hide his billing from the public?


Not a single Marinwood CSD board member said a word to defend a senior citizen under attack.

The Meeting of CASA to build a compact split $4 Billion Dollars a year for Housing



This is a very informative meeting of the CASA committee as they try to hash out the details of a massive new housing funding program.  The audience is nearly 100% industry insiders and NO elected officials.  Who are these people who want to take $4 billion a year from Bay Area citizens?

Finally some of the housing equity advocates are beginning to understand that this plan is about profits.

Full meeting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How Marinwood CSD can have a winning Maintenance Shed project and have money left for a BEAUTIFUL PROJECT

McInnis Park built this 1200 square foot office and garage in 2017 to serve six staff members and to service the park's 450 acres.  McInnis Park is 32 TIMES the size of Marinwood Park but manage with a shed that is 1/3 of the proposed Marinwood Park White Elephant compound? 

How Marinwood CSD can have a winning Maintenance Shed project and have money left over...


1.) Scrap the current "drive through" maintenance compound design.  It is too big but also constrains movement of vehicles and equipment.   Save the Hansell design for a meeting room at the south end of the Community Center where it will face Lucas Valley Rd and enjoy high visibility.

2.) Design a new shed based on the Option #3 proposal first offered by well known engineer and developer Irv Schwartz in 2017.  Irv has had a hand in major projects throughout Marin including the Upper Lucas Valley Subdivision and the Buck Institute.  

In this case, I believe it is possible to build a simple side access garage with workshop and contain the footprint of the facility on North side of the access road.  The modular office can remain to save costs or can be incorporated into the new garage. The garage can be built with conventional or modular construction to save money.

3.) Option #3 will reduce the height/mass of the facility, will not impede foot traffic. stays outside the stream conservation area and will allow a new desirable location next to the creek to return to recreational use as a picnic area and nature playground or simply left open for nature enjoyment. The horse shoe pit can remain in its current location. 
In short, Option #3 addresses most every environment and community concern with the project. Since everyone agrees that we must build a new facility, I believe a design could find rapid acceptance and sail through planning and construction in record time at a lower cost than ever imagined. 

Everyone wins.  We will have money left to improve the park for projects that really matter for accessibility, a new performance stage, shade structures or a new community room which can generate revenue.

A costly conflict can be avoided if we act cooperatively.






Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A White Elephant Stampede for a Maintenance Compound at the Marinwood CSD

A White Elephant Stampede for a Maintenance Compound at the Marinwood CSD

The Marinwood Maintenance Facility has a few "problems"



I get tired of fighting for the right of an honest government process.   The Marinwood Maintenance Shed project has been everything but honest.  

Fortunately, the CSD antics have caught the eye of the Community Development and they will require public review of the project.  It may be our only chance at being heard. 

We have a lot to say.

1. The project is too big.   Heck you can literally drive a truck through it!  As those of us who have examined the plans in detail realize,  it is grossly over scaled for our 14 acre park.   McInnis Park is 450 acres yet their six person staff is quite content with 1200 square feet of office and garage space.  Our three workers are outside 90% of the time and don't need exclusive indoor workshops with showers etc.

2. The project is too expensive.  In February, Eric Dreikosen announced that he was in talks with a mysterious architect  that would cost $12,000 for the ENTIRE PROJECT.  Two months later Hansell Design billed $11,931.73  by May 2018.  He hasn't billed or submitted time sheets since that date but we expect his total billing to exceed $42,000 BEFORE Plan Approval.   Despite, this the Marinwood CSD board and staff are unconcerned and WILL NOT REVEAL PROJECT COSTS.

3. The project has severe legal implications for Marinwood CSD. Why did Eric Dreikosen forget to mention the architect he hired was Bill Hansell, the former CSD director who hired him in 2016? This is clearly a violation multiple codes of government contracting rules, open meeting laws and conflict of interest.  Severe fines and even felony charges could be levied.

4. The project is too close to Miller Creek and violates the Marin County General Plan of 2007.  The project is a mere 40 feet from the top of stream bank.  Because the architect chose a drive through design, the 4400 square foot compound is much larger than it needs to be.  A conventional side access garage as built in virtually every other landscaping department in Marin requires only a third of the space.   In addition, the Marinwood "White Elephant"  will require additional outside storage of vehicles, materials, equipment and landscaping debris.

5. Marinwood CSD is violating the purpose of Measure A funds to enhance the beauty of the parks, recreation, accessibility and restoring natural areas.  They are using it for a capital project which should have been part of the long term strategic plan.  Improvements for park shade structure, safety handrails, playground equipment are being ignored over protest from the public.

6. Ironically, a sensible maintenance garage alternative was identified by Irv Schwartz, CSD Board Member and well known Engineer/Developer in 2017 in a project known as Option #3 .  It is a long side access garage that is largely outside the stream conservation area and can be built for a fraction of the cost using conventional construction or prefab units.  The public enthusiastically endorses this alternative and it could be approved immediately.
Maintenance Shed Option 3.PNG

Marinwood CSD needs to get this project back on track immediately with a full review of its government contracting process, public disclosure, accounting and environmental process.  If it willfully violates the law, then all parties responsible should be held to account.

Let's replace the maintenance garage instead.

Sign the Petition HERE

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