Saturday, May 23, 2020

Non Essential Marinwood CSD staff threaten to BANKRUPT us during the COVID 19 Crisis

Eric Dreikosen, Marinwood CSD manager was hired in 2015 by Bill Hansell, then CSD politician

Just when you thought it could not get worse at Marinwood CSD, the district is facing its largest financial crisis in history due to COVID 19. At the helm is the controversial director, Eric Dreikosen, who lacked the managerial skills to navigate the district during this difficult time.  He has literally done nothing, while the district's finances are being drained by overhead of cancelled programs.

Marinwood CSD has an overabundance of office staff that in good years no one noticed due to the success of its recreation and summer camp programs.  These programs bring in roughly one third of the district budget or $2,000,000.  Now all of these programs have been cancelled due to health concerns from COVID19

The Marinwood CSD was warned by Marin County and the public that a terrible financial crisis was about to unfold at the March 8, 2020 meeting.  The warnings were ignored and all of the Marinwood CSD Boardmembers hoped it would be a "normal year".   It was naive and frankly revealed the lack of business judgement of not only Eric Dreikosen but the entire Marinwood CSD board.  (Jeff Naylor. Izabela Perry and Leah Green hoped to be re-elected in November 2020. Be sure to voice your displeasure at the ballot box).

Understandably they did not want to layoff staff needlessly but it has long been clear that both the pool and the Summer Camps will at the very least be money losing propositions in 2020 and staff adjustments are needed.  No contingency plans have been made.

For the last three months there has been almost no regular maintenance or office work done.  The entire staff appears to be idle, save for emptying trash cans in the park. (They did not want to do this either but were ordered to by the Marin County Health Department).  Marin County Parks and Recreation staff has been working for weeks in their parks.  County employees who have not been able to return to their normal jobs have been providing extra help for social service needs of the county, getting food and outreach to people in need. Why didn't Marinwood CSD help our community in similar ways?

Marinwood CSD staff has been idle but being paid a full salary, benefits without interruption. A simple request that Marinwood CSD coordinate community volunteers was turned down by Eric Dreikosen,  because "they did not have the budget" so the staff has done nothing to help the community.

The Marinwood CSD Community Pool needs major repairs which will require the shut down of the pool for months. It will disrupt a pool season.  This year is the IDEAL year to make pool repairs because the disruption is already happening.   The Marinwood CSD CANCELLED pool repairs to allow them to have cash for the Bill Hansell designed Maintenance Shed Compound at an astronomical cost.

The Maintenance Shed Project is TEN TIMES the cost of the initial estimates and former Marinwood CSD politician Bill Hansell is the architect.   He has been paid $50k just for initial drawings.  The original project, a simplified structure suitable for a landscaping operation could have been built for $50k and installed by now.  But Bill Hansell could not have made money that way.  He increased the size of the project up to include unneeded work areas and a shower for our employees.  Hansell, a part time architect, is using the project to restart his troubled architecture practice.  Foolishly the Marinwood CSD Board agreed to fund this white elephant with YOUR tax dollars.  Instead of an appropriate utilitian structure, Hansell has created an over the top project with expensive unnecessary details like custom steel work, glass and surfaces normally found in multi million dollar custom homes. 

But Bill Hansell is not the only former Marinwood CSD politician to benefit.  Another former Marinwood CSD politician Irv Schwartz is doing the engineering with his firm ILS Associates.  Other locals are involved landscaping and consulting and legal work.  These are NO BID contracts given to political insiders and smell to high hell. It reeks of cronyism, and political corruption.

Why should you care?

The Marinwood CSD will be asking for more taxes in the Fall.  I expect they will try to vote on a bond issue to make pool repairs.  Marinwood CSD citizens have never been watchful of their politicians which has allowed corruption to run rampant.  Eric Dreikosen, Marinwood CSD politician was hired to look the other way while the corruption continues.  He had no previous government or general management experience.  He was allowed to hire an assistant to help with the bookkeeping. ( He now has TWO full time administrative assistants).  

The Marinwood CSD will soon be bankrupt unless an outside agency puts an end to this fiasco.  If Marinwood CSD goes belly up, Marin County will need to bail them out.  A very sad end to the most beautiful neighborhood CSD in Marin.

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