County receives new applications for LMUD vacancies
Applications must be turned into the county clerk’s office at the Lassen County Courthouse by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21.
The vacancies were created by the Oct. 26 resignations of Ward 2 LMUD Director George Sargent and Ward 5 Director Nancy Cardenas and the Dec. 3 resignation of Ward 4 Director Darrell Wood.
The board of supervisors will interview all applicants or pick the top candidates to interview during the Dec. 27 meeting. Applicants must be registered voters and live in LMUD Wards 2, 4 or 5 to apply for a seat.
The state Public Utilities Code gives the board of supervisors the authority to fill all three vacant positions, according to a memo by County Counsel Craig Settlemire. The memo said the board has 90 days to fill the vacancies by appointment or order LMUD to call a special election. If the supervisors don’t fill the vacancies, the law requires a special election.
General contractor John Kegg, who is also a Ward 4 resident and LMUD ratepayer, applied to fill the vacancy created by Wood’s resignation. Also a member of the Eagle Lake Regional Preservation Coalition, which opposes placement in Lassen County of wind turbines to generate electricity, Kegg cited several advantages to appointing him to the board, including his experience working with and around electrical power.
“As a director with prior working knowledge of electrical fundamentals, I am confident I will come up to speed very quickly regarding all board functions and regular business,” his application stated.
As a successful general contractor, Kegg has also worked with LMUD employees on many projects and “established a good rapport with many of the linemen and management professionals within LMUD,” he wrote.
The application also cited his leadership skills gained as a contractor.
“I must make tough decisions regarding who is and is not hired, and dismiss those who fail to perform to standards,” Kegg wrote. “I must ensure projects are completed in a timely fashion and within budget.”
The application stated Kegg has learned to use diplomacy in dealing with difficult suppliers, subcontractors and customers.
“For several months, I have been closely watching LMUD’s Board of Directors and management dilemmas grow. From an external vantage point, it appears that leadership and integrity is sorely missing from the board.
“In that leadership vacuum, additional problems have arisen which have been neglected and ignored. As a result, LMUD employees and ratepayers have expressed a wide variety of complaints, which have also been ignored.”
Saying strong leadership needs to be a prerequisite for appointees, Kegg said he intends to “properly, carefully and thoroughly evaluate the issues plaguing the board of directors and LMUD management.” He will then act quickly to resolve the problems and make LMUD a rewarding place to work for the utility’s employees.
Correctional officer Maurice R. Goni applied to fill the vacancy created by Cardenas’ resignation.
“As a past member of the Lassen County Planning Commission, I understand fully that a board is entrusted with the responsibility to make sensible and sound decisions based on policy and procedure,” Goni wrote.
His application stated Goni would act with the board in a cohesive manner to improve the district’s infrastructure and build a better LMUD.
Goni, who is also on the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, also identifies himself as an LMUD ratepayer. His application stated Goni has the qualities necessary to make “solid, sane and sensible decisions” that will build a solid future for the utility.
The application particularly mentioned upgrading equipment, seeking power at reasonable rates and hiring qualified personnel.
Saying she was born and raised in Lassen County, Ward 5 hopeful Nancy McClure’s application letter called human resources the number one issue that needs immediate attention at LMUD.
McClure’s letter stated her experiences as a state employee prepared her to help guide and lead the utility. She cited her 35 years of experience with the California Department of Corrections in jobs ranging from secretary, officer and counselor, to lieutenant, program captain and conflict management instructor .
“Not only have I managed and operated large numbers of employees and inmates, I have also been provided with extensive training in conflict management/negotiations, union negotiations and budgeting,” McClure wrote.
As a program captain she “participated in budget planning, ongoing policy making and assumed responsibility of the associate warden during his/her absence.” McClure also “participated in committee actions on major and minor capital outlay and special repair projects on short- and long-range projects,” she wrote.
In the private sector, her experience includes working as a legal secretary and in the home mortgage lending and home appraisal business.
“For over 10 years, my husband and I have owned and operated a roping cattle business at our residence in Standish,” McClure wrote.
Since she is retired, McClure’s application letter said she has “the time and training to contribute back to my community.”
Frank P. Turner, of Turner Drilling, applied on Dec 10 to fill the Ward 5 vacancy. A 50-year resident of Lassen County, Turner attended Shaffer Elementary School and graduated from Lassen High School in 1972. He is also a former equipment operator for the Lassen County Road Department and Packway Materials, in Burney. Saying he has built a business with a reputation for honesty and integrity, Turner wrote he can bring solid work ethics, diligence, reliability, unbiased opinions, fresh ideas “and, most importantly, no agenda” to the LMUD board.
Other Ward 5 applicants include Ron Andrew Beauchman, who attended Herlong High School, worked as a correctional officer from 1986-2000 and ran against Nancy Cardenas in 2002; and Richard E. Parker, who formerly served on the LMUD board for one year until he was recalled in March 2002. Parker is the owner of Integrate Insurance and worked as a consultant for Invenergy Wind North America, a company seeking to develop a wind generation facility in Lassen County.
Ward 2 applicants include Phil Bertanzoni, who is retired and serves as the current chairman of the Lassen Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; H.W. “Bud” Bowden, a Susanville realtor and former correctional sergeant and correctional lieutenant for the California Department of Corrections, and the vice president of the Lassen County Humane Society; Robert Feller, who said he would get rid of jobs that are not needed and get things donated so rates would go down; Stephen Pezzullo, a self-employed certified public accountant who also served on the Lassen Community College District Board of Trustees; and William D. “Rudy” Valentine, the owner of the Iron Horse Gym, which he opened in 1993. Valentine was also the former head wrestling coach at Lassen High School from 1994-2003.
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