At the Ross Valley Sanitary District meeting on Feb 18th, residents gathered to voice concern over the closed door negotiation for a settlement that will adversely impact the ratepayers of Ross Valley Sanitary District and open the possibility of San Quentin becoming the multi billion dollar "mini-Manhattan" Priority Development Area that Supervisor Kinsey has long sought.
Two of the RVSD commissioners, Frank Egger and Pam Meigs were excluded from the discussions of the proposed settlement that was to be voted upon. The RVSD chairperson Tom Gaffney has business ties with the Sanitary Districts and many feel that he should recuse himself due to conflicts of interest.
The crowd was clearly displeased with the proceeding and demanded openness. The attorneys for the districts asked for the public to leave for closed session. One resident said, "We are not leaving" .
A man offered to "call the police". A tense stand off for twenty minutes ensued while the crowd of middle aged and seniors refused to budge in an act of spontaneous civil disobedience. Flustered attorneys and staff cited the state law about closed sessions to the defiant crowd.
No police batons were wielded or tear gas sprayed. Eventually the crowd drifted away after it was clear to the board that the Citizens demand accountability from their representatives and will not allow "the old boy network" do business as usual.
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