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Ironhouse Should Eliminate Stipends for City Council Meetings

For those of you who are unaware, every time an Ironhouse Sanitary District Director attends an Oakley City Council Meeting, they are paid $170 per meeting.  This is not appropriate to spend ratepayer money like this and going forward this should be amended and stopped immediately.

In reviewing time sheets, I found City Council Candidate and Ironhouse Director Doug Hardcastle had claimed 101 of these meetings during his tenure ($170 x 101 = $17,179) . To make matters more confusing, the City Council from time to time has a liaison who attends Ironhouse meetings which most recently was  Councilman Randy Pope who ultimately withdrew from the position in May and now we have Oakley resident  Susan Morgan donating her time to fill the position.

If Pope and Morgan are supposed to be attending Ironhouse and City Council Meetings,  then why is a Director still claiming the stipend? It makes little logical sense other than to put it bluntly to fluff a paycheck. The truth is,  there is the meeting agenda which is by far more detailed than the actual meeting along with the minutes.

The caveat in this, however, is unless Ironhouse is on the City Council Agenda then it may be appropriate to accept a stipend and it will be up to the director to claim it or not–if elected, I for one would not because I consider that part of the job as a Director to inform your council of Ironhouse matters. I would hope others elected would feel the same way.

One solution is put the liaison for the City Council in a duel role (upon negotiations with Ironhouse and the Council) to report to both the Council and Ironhouse and save ratepayers the $170 per meeting. The other route is find a “volunteer” to fill the role Susan Morgan has done but reverse the role to attend City Council meetings and report back–but the Council already puts out minutes.  The point is, this doesn’t have to cost ratepayers anything if they get creative.

Of course, this is just one of many meeting stipends that need to be reformed and better defined as to what stipends can be claimed or not claimed. But this one is the first that should be eliminated from future claims followed by check signings with no questions asked.

The next issue is whether or not the Directors with these claims should have to repay the ratepayers. While I believe that may be the appropriate thing to do, that is up to legal to decide.

Its time for the Board to become more responsible in their stipend claims and eliminating the council and check signing stipend claims would be a good start.


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19 Responses »

  1. Hey Burk, did these directors who showed up to the Harvest Festival last weekend receive a stipend? That is another one that should be stopped. Community events that has nothing to do with Ironhouse!

  2. You are such a hypocrite Mr. Burkholder. Why do you get to decide what meetings should include a stipend and what should not? Who are you? If it was a problem, the papers would have already picked up on it. You are just another idiot running for office. You are the worst candidate of all.

  3. You say that if you are elected you will not accept stipends for attending City Council Meetings because you consider it part of the job as an ISD Director to inform the Council of ISD matters.

    In other words, “don’t accept stipends for things that are part of the job”. To be clear, that doesn’t make any sense to me, but it’s your position and I will respect it.

    However, you must also believe that attending ISD meetings is part of the job of an ISD Director, right? You’re a logical guy; which means you will apply your same criteria (don’t accept stipends for things that are part of the job) and refuse stipends for ISD meetings.

    But you don’t look at that way, do you? Is that hypocrisy, illogical inconsistency, or cheap political attempts to make your opponents look bad? Whichever it is, you should explain it. You are the person who made this a big issue. Show the community that you can step up and explain yourself. If you can’t come clean on this you shouldn’t be elected.

    • Hey Bert, can you not read? This opinion was specifically on City Council Meetings and nothing else. What he said was if Ironhouse is not on the agenda, there should be no payday, if they are on the agenda it’s up to the Director to claim it. It’s really not that confusing and a fair statement on his part because a Director should not be able to attend a meeting and college a stipend just to sit and observe.

      I am sick of you people who are attacking Burk for making these stipends and issue when it’s a serious abuse problem. You people should be thankful he is calling for stipend reform because no one else is. What has the current board done? Oh that’s right, accept them left and right and you want to go after Burk because you want something for nothing when he is trying save the District money. Elected people should get compensation and are not slaves like you want them to be. And another thing, Burk is the only one to call on eliminating benefits. Be thankful you little punk!

      It’s not cheap political attempt, it’s all documented in Time Sheets and other Documents that have been posted on his website or did you miss that? Your playing on words and you make me sick you little kook. Don’t you have a few friends in Discovery Bay you can call to plan your next attack on public officials?

      You people on this free elected offiical kick need to find a new topic beause its really insane!

    • Are you for real? That is a serious question! I would re-read this post because Burk was very clear on what he meant and you are taking it to a completley different place. The focus is on City Council, not sure how you can get that mixed up. Short attention span maybe? Why don’t you go annoy the other candidates and leave Burk to saving ratepayers money.

    • Burk, don’t mind this troll. He is looking to argue for the hell of it because he can’t read. I agree with the other comments, this was about the City Council, how he takes it to other meetings is bogus. What is there to come clean about anyway? He already has called on reform on stipends and benefits? Shouldn’t that be good enough you idiot?

      What Bert and other trolls don’t get is the current Board has abused ratepayers, Burk can’t do a damn thing if he isn’t elected and at that point, its back to business as usual. You people have stupid written all over you!

    • Bert,

      What is your dysfunction? You sound exactly like Don Flint, Jeff Barber. My guess is that you are one or the other, but more likely Don Flint. Whatever the case, YOU sir, are in deep denial regarding YOUR own shortcomings and therefore YOU choose to deflect them on to those that are working to make a difference.

      “Hypocrisy, illogical inconsistency and cheap political attempts” describe your traits and what YOUR post is all about. We can all see it, but can YOU? Were you dropped on your head as a child?

      Burk has been very clear about his intentions, so I ask you, what is YOUR motive?

      I think it is YOU that has some explaining to do.

    • @ Bert Flint,

      YOU wrote; “…it’s your position and I will respect it”. But then YOU went on to post nothing but disrespect for Mr. Burkholder’s position. Talk about illogical and hypocritical! You come across with about as much sense as Grover.

      What’s wrong Bert? Big Bird got your tongue?

  4. Bert, it is a big issue and it is a problem Anti-Berk and hs has stepped up over and over again.

  5. Well done Burk, glad someone is untangling the web at ironhouse. Not sure I really want you elected because you can do more good by calling out the BS everywhere! with that said, you do have my vote. I think Oakley and Bethel Island really have an easy choice here, All incumbants need to go on Ironhouse.

  6. Mr. M. Burk,

    Do you think the stipend abusers should be prosecuted? If so, why or why not?
    I still think you are a phony but I could change my mind. Here is your chance to be open and honest. Tell your readers what you think should happen now that you have brought out this problem.


    • If they weren’t so greedy they wouldn’t have split hairs like they have. Probably can’t ask for it back and there is no policy in place to prevent it anyway. Change the policy is the answer.
      No different than the county etc. workers who pad their sick leave and vacation to up their retirement. Just smaller fish getting larger by the minute. Wonder how Hardcastle would react to any employee doing the same thing to an expense account?

      • @ Julio-Antioch, I think you stated it perfectly. Besides little old fictitious “Millie” is just trying to find an angle in an attempt to trip up Burk. She is nothing but a phony.

        I think we can all see he is the only candidate suggesting reform.

        Sorry Millie but you are as transparent as a pane of glass. Drop the act.

    • Prosecuted for what? They haven’t been charged with anything nor has their even been an audit. While I have my opinions, its up to the DA to make that determination to prosecute. Since 2000, I’ve been the first one to raise the question on stipends, so obviously they thought they were doing nothing wrong. This isn’t about going after blood, its about pointing out a flaw and fixing it going forward with a policy change. If its determined money should be paid back, then once they pay it back, that should be the end of it and thank them for their service. They were elected to do a job and they did it while Its now up to the voters to decide on the quality of service they received.

      By the way Millie, are you even in my District to cast a vote?

  7. Mr. Burk,
    I love when I ask a question you answer with a question. This show you are a true politician. I did not call you a DA too. I just asked if you would prosecute this type of thing. That would be only if its illegal as some suggest. Do you ask the B-wood dummy if he or she is from your district. I have stated before I am from Bethel Island. You already know this from previous comments. If you were not so defensive in everything you do I could consider voting for you. I am still on the fence because you do have some good traits.You should tell B-wood about medication too.


    • Millie,

      I answered your question. I said its up to the DA and what I am looking for is after an audit the Directors pay back the ratepayers if that is what is found. What is so hard to comprehend? If you want business as usual with higher rates and director pay&benefits, that is your call, vote for them. You get what you deserve since its worked out so well for the last 10 years.

      For the record, all of your posts have come from outside of the Island. your not fooling anyone on your identity, I know exactly who you are so please use your real name going forward. It’s pretty hypocritical to come at me using bogus name and location of residents.

    • Millie,

      Either you are stupid or just trying to pick a fight. Having followed your annoying posts the last week or so on the stipend issue, all you do is play on words and take things way out into outer space knowing full well he answered your questions. There is a five letter word that I should use to describe you that begins with the letter “b” and ends with a “h”.

      If your really so concerned about Ironhouse, you would be pulling this crap with the other candidates—oh wait, none of them have actually opened their mouths on what they want to accomplish in the next four years or stated their positions on Burks claims. Get a clue lady!

  8. Millie=Troll

    (Please don’t feed the troll).

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