Dove went first, offering an explanation for his e-mail circulation last summer of an internal board document from the town’s attorney to two members of the community – one of whom was in litigation with the town at the time. The e-mail was in reference to Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) policies and how they apply to Discovery Bay.
“I want to clarify a memo from our lawyer,” said Dove. “I received this e-mail, but it was not marked ‘confidential.’ In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have sent it, but it was for research that some individuals were doing at the time … it did look bad, and in the future this will not happen again from me.”
Piepho took much the same tack in discussing a CSD subcommittee’s violation of the open meetings laws, or Brown Act. The subcommittee, which Piepho was a member of, was formed at the suggestion of CSD attorney John Stovall as a way to provide input to the county on the MAC restructuring issue.
The subcommittee was comprised of Piepho, General Manager Virgil Koehne, Stovall and Shannon Murphy-Teixiera, who at the time was president of the CSD. The meeting was held in September of 2008 at Supervisor Mary Piepho’s Danville office, and was attended by Stovall, Koehne and Piepho via telephone.
Because the meeting included three staff members of the CSD, it comprised a quorum and should have, under the Brown Act, been publicly posted and agendized. Stovall and Koehne have since been removed from the subcommittee, thereby eliminating the challenge of a quorum.
While Stovall has apologized twice during regular CSD meetings for the formation of the group, this was the first time Piepho had spoken publicly about the meeting. “I’m sorry that the situation developed the way it did,” he said. “It probably should not have been put together as an ad-hoc committee the way we did. We have taken steps to prevent that from happening again. I did contact the assistant DA (district attorney) and he said it was all handled very appropriately. He also commented that the issue should be put to rest.”
In other CSD news, the board unanimously approved the purchase of a new vector sewer truck for the town. Koehne told the board he had researched and found a demo truck for approximately $250,000. The town’s current truck was purchased in 1988 and no longer meets the state’s air quality emissions standards.
“I like to think of it (the truck) as a large vacuum on wheels,” said Koehne. “We could modify the truck we have, but we have other issues with it as well, so we’ve been researching new and used trucks and have found this demo truck.”
All but approximately $6,000 of the money for the truck will come out of the capital projects fund, said Koehne. The remainder will most likely be taken out of reserves and paid back over time.
CSD meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month and are open to the public. The CSD meets at 7 p.m. at the town offices, 1800 Willow Lake Road.