San Miguel official resigns, calls out colleagues
January 22, 2015
A longtime San Miguel Community Services District director has resigned his seat on the board, stating he can no longer work with elected officials who break the law.
Richard Harrison had served the San Miguel CSD board since the district was created in February 2000. Harrison vacated his seat Tuesday and submitted a letter of resignation accusing fellow board member of abuses ranging from personal attacks to misappropriating district funds to provide themselves phones and laptops.
“I cannot and will not be part of these violations of law,” Harrison wrote.
In the resignation letter, Harrison said that a few board members are threatening major budget cut that include firing district employees or cutting their pay. The board majority would do so in order to pay themselves stipends and provide themselves laptops and phones at the expense of the district, he said.
Harrison also accused the directors of improperly holding private meetings before regular board meetings to make decisions on district business. California’s open meeting law, the Brown Act, forbids such action.
Last August, the board fired district manager Dan Gilmore during a meeting that had no agenda or public noticing. Board members Gib Buckman, John Green and Anthony Kalvans decided at the end of a regular meeting to reopen a special meeting that had concluded earlier that day.
Buckman, Green and Anthony then voted to fire Gilmore without cause. Prior to the vote, Harrison questioned the meeting’s legality and decided to leave.
Harrison called the three board members “maverick musketeers” and said the primary reason for Gilmore’s termination was a personality conflict between the directors and him.
Aside from Gilmore’s firing, the San Miguel CSD has recently been plagued by legal grievances filed between staff and board members and arguments over the legality of changing out water meters at a director’s property. An employee was also prosecuted for embezzlement.
Harrison concluded his resignation letter by saying he wishes San Miguel the best.
“As I’ve always said, “what goes around; come around,” Harrison wrote.