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A call for reform

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This is a plea for any reform-minded citizens to run for the open seats on the Marin Municipal Water District board currently held by Larry Russell, District 5 (Corte Madera, Tiburon, Belvedere) and Armando Quintero, District 2 (San Rafael). We need someone new who will look out for the best interests of the ratepayers.

For years now the Board has turned a blind eye to the corruption at MMWD. The district suffers from excessive management salaries, nepotism and cronyism, financial mismanagement, inefficiency and incompetence. Both Russell and Quintero have approved salary and pension spiking. Russell rarely attends meetings in person. Quintero basically lives and works in Merced. Each one gets $200 per meeting and paid medical insurance.

Here is just one of many examples of corruption at MMWD: Their former general counsel, Mary Casey, whose 2018 total compensation was $376,742, used $35,000 in ratepayer funds to fly out a psychiatrist named Robert Weisman from Rochester, NY. Among Mr. Weisman’s many expenses: $9,468 for travel time; $206 for taxis; $773 for hotels; $56 for parking and $217 for meals. But the most glaring example of corruption is his $2,347 airfare. An online search will show that a roundtrip from Rochester to San Francisco is only $600. It’s no wonder that we pay some of the highest water rates in the country.

So, why didn’t Mary Casey just hire a local doctor and save us all a few thousand dollars? It’s because Mr. Weisman is a friend of one of the members of Mary Casey’s goon squad, Bobbi Lambert, who runs a company called “Confidante” from her home in Novato. Ms. Lambert pulled in nearly $30,000 on this same scam. This is an absolute abuse of power and a waste of ratepayer resources.

If Russell and Quintero succeed in staying in power you can be sure that right after the November election our water rates will go up again so they can continue to finance their wasteful spending. Let’s show both of them the door so we can have a water district that serves the people instead of self-serving bureaucrats.

Eric Morey lives in Woodacre.

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