News Water District

Vivien Spicer-Johnson is right.

Yep. I said it. Vivien is right.

No that it’ll surprise anyone, but the November North Country News is out almost a week early, and just in time for the elections on November 2nd. You can get your copy here or better yet, run out and pick up a copy on the newsstand. Remember, you can take up to 25 before it’s a crime (see footnotes).

In the latest issue of the Trout-wrap Tribune, Vivien attempts to dispute the information in the Sacramento Bee editorial “Who Can Come to  the Rescue for Rio Linda?” published on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010.

And I’m here to tell you she’s got it right. She writes:

Here are at least sixteen (16) things the Board has completed since the election of 2008:

The district is operating within their income resources.

Great! Good to hear. Unfortunately for the customers of the district, the income resources don’t come close to covering the debt service on a loan to cover the cost of building three new wells. With a negative debt-to-income ratio, NOBODY in this economy is going to loan them money.

As of December 2008 the district was within a hair of being totally bankrupt! The board pulled things together and ended the fiscal year 2008/2009 with a small unspent balance.

Sure. Nice work. See above.

Salary and benefit packages have been adjusted to match like districts and businesses with the same number of employees.

On the face if it, this is a reasonable measure to take. The reality is that of two consequences. First, the board has so driven the reputation of the district down to the spinning iron core of the earth, that it’s impossible to hire new, qualified talent. Secondly, new workers that get hired and trained, quickly take thier show on the road to some other area district and get paid comparitive to other districts in th area, not “like districts”. They’re using the wrong metric to comparatively adjust salaries and benefits.

The 2010/2011 fiscal year began with a balanced budget and reduced expenditures. a surcharge was established to repay the capital improvement projects necessary to meet the State’s Compliance order.

A rate increase for a group that campaigned in 2008 on a platform of no rate increases? What’s worse is that the “surcharge” isn’t nearly big enough to cover the expenditures that the district, and the CDPH expect.

The fire hydrant replacement project was completed and paid for.

Nice work, but wow… talk about putting the cart in front of the horse… THERE’S NO WATER PRESSURE TO FIGHT FIRES WITH! Why are you replacing fire hydrants if you don’t have any water???!?! Remember, it’s Metro Fire’s policy now to send a tanker to EVERY fire call in Rio Linda and Elverta. It’s so bad, that the fire department can’t trust the fire hydrants!

But hey! New fire hydrants. Woot!

Oh… and you’re paying more for your homeowner’s insurance because of the failure of the district to provide adequate pressure. Just thought you should know. Go ahead… look at your policy. I’ll wait.

Environmental documents were filed for three wells.

Get out ahead on that paperwork. Smart thinking. Yet, there’s still no holes in the ground.

The 2008/2009 audit was completed.

Sweet. This happened in 2010. Better late than never.

Property for wells #16 and #17 have been optioned and purchase is almost completed.

Great! Wait… almost? Since when did almost become an accomplishment? “Good work doctor… you almost saved him. That’s a real feather in your cap.”

The project bid for well #15 was issued and accepted.

That’s AWESOME. So, well #15 is pumping clean, fresh, life-sustaining Rio Linda water into our homes and yards now? No? NO?  This must be another of those “almost” accomplishments. Besides, even if there’s a hole in the ground, lined and screened and gurgling gorgeously, you’ll never get a drop out without the electrical portion, and that part of the project hasn’t been put to bid yet. Don’t kid yourself… well #15 is AT LEAST a year away from production.

Distribution system leaks have been repaired.

By whom? Must have been the repair company you hired, instead of RLECWD employees. Nothing like putting the community’s money in someone else’s pocket.

Mold repairs and related inspections for the district office have been completed.

Nice! No really… nice work.

Upgrades have been made to the SCADA system.

Upgrades, sure. Upgrades that will not alleviate the problems you were having when you had the system upgraded.

Engineering documentation has been submitted to CDPH for wells 15, 16 and 17.

Good work. That’s make it so much easier for the state designated receiver company to get started on those wells right  away.

Monthly meetings have been held with CDPH and have progressed throughout the year.

Monthly meetings that ground to a screeching halt when this board gave Ravi Mehta a contract that he’ll be able to retire on. No kidding… the CDPH was ready to give our district the loan to get tarted on well #15, but once they saw that Mehta would get 30% of the money, they called it off. Smartly, I  might add.

Service equipment has been repaired.

To service… what, exactly? Those new fire hydrants?

The CDPH monitoring plans are being completed.

“Are being completed”… another “almost” accomplishment.

So, sure… they’ve accomplished a couple of things. That mold thing should help us get the water out of the ground. Mostly, they’ve “almost” accomplished things, and in general have been focusing on the wrong issues when they should be focused on getting pumps up and running.

And maybe that’s been my whole issue with this board… focus. They’re not focused on getting the wells done, they’re not focused at board meetings, and they’re working way too hard of things that don’t suck water.

Footnote: From

Three states have laws against the theft of free newspapers. Maryland passed such a law in 1994. In 2004, Colorado made stealing free newspapers a misdemeanor, punishable with fines up to $5,000. California’s new law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2007, and will punish offenders for taking more than 25 copies of a free newspaper. The penalty is $250 for the first offense and can reach $500 and jail time for repeat offenses.

As we look toward 2023, your generous support empowers us to make a difference in your life and community, from investigative reporting that holds people accountable to human interest stories that connect major events to the impact felt throughout our communities. It only takes a minute to support RLM and help keep our public service accessible to all.

Click here to Support the Rio Linda Messenger today. 


Click here to post a comment
  • John, John, John, you have some of the best articles…I love reading this! It helps people that dont know what is really going on to at least get the TRUE side of the story! Thank you again for setting “Vivien and the Do Whops” straight! I appreciate you taking your time, as I appreciate all who have helped getting the TRUTH out to our community!

    Everyone have a great day and count them…6 more days till November 2nd!

  • Thanks to both of you.

    I typed it up very quickly last night, Christine, so I’ll go back through and fix the errors at lunchtime. Thanks again!

  • I figured that…just wanted to tell you before you got attacked….the net responses are just unbelievable. Always so much negativity. Just wish all RL residents knew what was really going on here.

    Keep up the good work.

    • John, It may be hard to get a copy of The North Country News before the districts employees Barbara and Renita get a hold of them. Sandy at the barber shop has them on video taking the stacks of papers that Vivien just dropped off. Then at the water district Barbara was giving out copies that she just printed off the districts copier. Why not just ask Viv for a few more?
      By the way I think you have done a good job with this web-site. Nice job!

    • John, Vivien is not. The districts employees are. I have been opening the mail in the office since the GM left. The employees refuse to open it. That is why I knew about the copies, I was there going thru bills. I might have to clean the toilets today:)
      Can’t wait for the election!

  • That’s foolish. Vivien should bring enough copies instead of asking the employees to print them at the office.

    Sorry about your insurrection. If this were a gardening blog I might say something about reaping what you’ve sown.

    The election certainly won’t give everyone the relief they’re seeking on both sides of the aisle, but one thing’s for sure… it’s all going to come to a head very soon, one way or t’other.

    • John, Vivien did not ask the employees to copy her paper. And the election….Can’t wait. No matter what the outcome we still have a job to do.

    • Todd, usually the Water District received approximately 25 to 30 copies if not more of Ms. Johnson’s paper the first day it is out. At 4:00 p.m. Friday she had not yet delivered her grag to the District Office.

  • Is this where I ask for more papers? Hey Viv, I need more papers, time to clean my windows again! Really? I don’t read that crap anyway, I read the REAL news, the long lasting and trusted “Rio Linda News”, and of course, “Rio Linda Online”. I like to hear the news in all it’s truth. It is not a good paper, I always wonder why it’s even here? I myself have not heard of too many people happy with this paper so why would anyone care to get so many copies; unless they have rodent cages to line…

  • This is a response to Cathy Nelson-Hood who states district employees REFUSE to open the mail. Cathy, you were there when Ravi explained why the employees were not to open the mail. They are not to open mail addressed to the general manager, because you and your cronies and your crooked attorney do not want the employees to see actual bills from Mehta or anyone else for that matter.

    I cannot imagine why YOU would have to clean the toilets. Did the board refuse to continue the janitorial service? You do know you cannot expect the employees to clean the toilets. Buy yourself a nice brush and plenty of Vanish and you should have NO trouble maintaining those toilets. Scrub a dub dub!


  • Maybe they are gathering enough copies to give to all of the members of the Grand Jury, LAFCo, District Attorney, Attorney General, Former RLECWD Attorney’s, Former Interim General Managers, Rush Limbaugh, Phyllis Diller/Dody Goodman Look Alike Club, Guinness “World Book Record of Lies” and Ripley’s “Believe it or Not!”

  • Cathy
    Out of the 139 findings how many were in the last 6 years on Mary Harris and Belindia Paine board stent and also in the last 2 years on the golden girls watch? Why did you let Vivian publish closed session items in her paper and why didn’t the board respond when several rate payers asked who was going to fill in for Mike all of you knew the plan! What are you afraid of that Vivian will stop making your hands and feet move?You are the one that is is supposed to be in control of the board members do something about it even if she does let your strings go!!
    Remember when you go to clean the toilet take a bucket of water with you, you will need it with the flushing process due to the lack of pressure and flow.

  • Finally got rid of that over paid office manager Liz Woods(aka liz myers) Woods is her real name, check the records.Maybe the district is now on the right road.

  • How does that help the district build 3 wells? How does Liz’s dismissal help the district come into compliance with the CDPH?

    If the road to ruin is the right road, you’re absolutely right.

  • John, when did you write this article? I come to this site “almost” on a regular basis and today 01/10/12 is the very first time I saw this article!

    Oh, wait, you posted it on 10/26/10???? Wow, that makes my “almost”
    on a regular basis statement sound questionable!

    Well, anyway, my sides started to hurt from laughing so much as I read the article! It was very funny!

    Goodness knows… when it comes to discussing the water district, a certain amount of humor is in very good order!

    Kathryn Santos-Reed

AdBlocker Message

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.