To Board of Commissioners, North Beach Water District:

Please accept this written testimony into your formal meeting minutes under public comment.

I was very disturbed by a Letter to the Editor penned by RD Williams appearing in the Oct. 16, edition of the Chinook Observer. In his letter RD represented himself as “North Beach Water Commissioner #3,” not as a candidate for the position as he had the option of doing, but as the person currently holding the position. There were several misrepresentations of facts in this letter, which I would like to address with you now.

First, he stated “When our community leaders learned our proposed elementary school remodel was denied water for fire suppression by Ocean Park Water Company, we sat down at the table in 2002 to find a solution for water resources within our community.” This was not the case. Ocean Park Water Company did not deny water for fire suppression to the Ocean Beach School District at any time.

Second, he stated in his letter “We had no financial resources, and when we presented a solution to the school board, they looked upon our efforts with skepticism.” He does not state when this presentation was made or what his solution was. OBSD meeting minutes from April 12, 2004, reflect a presentation from Tom Downer asking the board to participate with the Ocean Park Community in an elevated water tower, which could serve the school. The minutes further reflect that the “Board of Directors and the Superintendent felt this would possibly be a good thing if it would save on expenses.” They stated they “would check into this issue with the attorney regarding the language of the last bond passing and report back at a later board meeting.” OBSD meeting minutes from Aug. 30, 2004, reflect Motion No. 210-2003-2004 which states, “Marilyn Sheldon moved to have the board of directors formally instruct BJSS and CSG to articulate with Ocean Park on accessing their water system and to articulate with the contractor the potential change order in accessing the potential city water system. Motion Carried 5-0” OBSD meeting minutes from Oct. 25, 2004, reflect the following presentation: “R.D. Williams, North Peninsula Improvement Association, asked for a participant from the Board of Directors to attend their meetings. This is in regards to the Ocean Park Water Tower, which would supply the school, as well as homes and businesses in the Ocean Park area with fire suppression water flow in the event of such an occurrence. The plan is to build a 200,000-gallon water tank. Cheri Jones was asked to be the representative from the Board to participate on the North Peninsula Improvement Association and she agreed.” None of these items reflect anything but an enthusiasm and a genuine effort to work with the newly forming group in order to reach a common goal.

Third, he stated in his letter “In early 2004 we had all of the pieces in place and North Beach Water became a reality.” The minutes of the first North Beach Public Development Authority meeting are dated November 4, 2004. I would further like to point out that the recording secretary was Cheri Jones, confirming her participation and commitment to the process. A Sept. 7, 2007, audit of the North Beach Public Development Authority states the following “The North Beach Public Development Authority, doing business as North Beach Water, was formed in October 2004 by the authority of Pacific County. The purpose of the Public Development Authority was to acquire two private water companies in the north beach area. The Public Development Authority acquired the two private water companies and began water operations during 2006.” I do not consider November 2004 to qualify as “... early 2004”. Furthermore, NBPDA Resolutions No. 03-2005 and No. 04-2005 dated Oct. 31, 2005, executed the purchases of Ocean Park Water Company and Pacific Water Company. The reason these dates and documents are significant is that mobilization of RB&G at Ocean Park Elementary began in September 2004 with the fire suppression system being completed between January 2005 and March 2005, a full seven months before the NBPDA executed the purchase agreements. I am under the impression that RD believes that if the school district had put the amount of bond money that it spent on the water tank, pumps, etc. towards the purchase of the water systems that it could have happened in a timelier manner. Unfortunately, this would have been illegal. As I recall the district would have been more than happy to invest the amount of money it spent on the water tank into the water mains, piping, pumps, etc. that it would have taken to get the current water delivery system up to the fire flow standards required by the state. However, NBPDA did not even have control of the systems until October 2005; one month AFTER the newly-remodeled Ocean Park Elementary School was open.

Marilyn Sheldon


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.