In reviewing the time sheets submitted by Directors Doug Hardcastle, Michael Painter and David Contreras, the Ironhouse Sanitary District may have overpaid some of its Directors and certainly reimbursements to the ratepayers may be required while resignations may be in order.
According to Section 3.3 of the Bylaws, each member of the Board of Directors may receive compensation in an amount not to exceed $170 per day for each day’s attendance at meetings of the Board or for each day’s service rendered as a Director at request of the board, not exceeding a total of six days in any calendar month, together with any expenses incident thereto.
Either Directors Hardcastle or Painter do not know how to fill out a time card properly or they are pulling a fast one over on the ratepayers by charging multiple meetings for the same day and getting paid as they left off dates or simply list the month.
In reviewing the time sheets, had you or I been submitting them to our boss in the fashion Ironhouse has accepted them one of two things would have occurred. First, a correction would have been requested immediately before payment. Or, you would be fired after the second or third time you made the same error.
Here is a couple of samples I pulled from the nearly 300+ pages of time sheets (all PDF’s are below).
First up is Doug Hardcastle who is running to be your next Oakley City Councilman.
Here is a sample of Hardcastle’s August 2012 time card. Under the date 8/14 – he has listed City Council Meeting. Underneath it, he has no date but it says Check Signings. This likely occurred on the same day as the City Council meeting which would make it ineligible for payment. Meaning he should pay back the $170 for the check signing.
A month earlier, Hardcastle did the same thing where he had a date, with two more listed below it without dates–again, I assume these three events occurred on the same day. Hardcastle should have to pay back $340 from July 2012.
Throughout his time cards, he simply list the month of an Oakley City Council meeting and not the date (I know what you are thinking, why is he getting paid to attend a City Council meeting). He should be including the date–therefore, should forfeit that pay as well or issue corrections.
You can review all of Mr. Hardcastles time cards by opening the PDF at the very bottom.
Moving on, we now have Michael Painter who is up for re-election where the same thing occurred. Under a check signing, its date is left blank so its unclear if this occurred on the same day as a budget workshop or if occurred on a different day–that $170 should be reimbursed to Ironhouse and the ratepayers.
In December of 2011, same thing as there is no date or verification unless you go back and look at the dates of when the checks were signed.
In November of 2011, you have three items that may have accrued on the same day. This would require $340 be paid back to the ratepayers.
Again, in July 2011, another $340 that may need to be paid back to the ratepayers.
In reviewing Director Contreras, I found no errors and none of the meeting dates charged to the District occurred on the same day. Kudos to him for being able to fill out a time card properly.
While $170 or $340 here and there may not seem like much, it adds up pretty quickly when you have five directors and its over a period of service in some cases dating back further than 2000.
Keep in mind, I only pulled time sheets from three directors. I’ve not seen Directors David Huerta or Chris Lauritzen.
While I am sure Ironhouse will respond with a financial error or lack of oversight, this is pretty unacceptable for a District to make payments without much quality assurance. It’s our money and the ratepayers deserve better. We also deserve to have directors who will not take advantage of us just because few people are checking their time sheets from the pubic.
In any other organization, had this error been found out, people would be fired. Knock yourself out and see just what these three Directors are charging you over the years, some of it will simply make you want to shake your head.
PDF’s of Director Time Cards
Request 1 D hardcastle time sheets
Request 1 M painter time sheets
Request 1 D contreras time sheets
Below is a sample of just how these Special Districts operate as a Director even admits to scheduling meetings on different days. Why? You guessed it, to be able to charge it to the ratepayers and the District for their “time”.
Santa Clara Valley Water District
NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit exposes a water district board member charging to serve on volunteer boards that appear unrelated to district issues.
Santa Clara Valley Water District Director Richard Santos wears a lot of hats.
He’s a board member of several organizations in the South Bay community. Many of them are on a volunteer basis.
However, the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit uncovered that Santos has found a way to get paid by taxpayers for this service by billing the water district for activities related to other boards.
We found he charged Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) $6474.08 in less than two years to attend meetings and events for three other organizations, which appears to violate district policy.
Here is the video link
East Palo Alto Sanitary Board
Board directors were in “criminal jeopardy due to the illegal overpayment of public funds,” Scherzer said, which is why he pushed to find out how much had been overpaid and rectify the error as soon as possible. According to a memo given to the directors last month, the current board had been overpaid a total of $4,518.
Here is a response of a Director at their meeting:
Director Savage questioned the amount of overpayments shown for her; she advised that she has been adamant about not having two meetings in one day and would reschedule a Committee meeting if it were to be on the same day as a Regular Board Meeting. She asked that staff look at the blue forms that were filled out by the Directors.