Freedom of Information Act/California Public Records Act

Records Requests

11.30.15 City response to records request re. Miranda's Rescue and calls for service involving dogs. Be sure to watch the 1/19/16 City Council Meeting - Public Comments where Shannon Miranda spoke about the complete lack of response from the city to address the ongoing problem of what to do with strays picked up by the police. Miranda's Rescue has been refusing to take any animals from Rio Dell due to the lack of an agreement and financial support by the city.

5.19.15 City responds to records request - agreement with Bartle Wells for water rate study as first step to significant rate increases was put on hold by former city manager until they could get residents to vote for sales tax increase and fire assessment increase. Council had voted 5-0 in June 2014 to approve up to $25,000 for the water rate study but had forgotten all about it by May 2015. Email from Jim Stretch to Bartle Wells says "Please note that the public hearing/Prop 218 phase of this study must not occur until after the city's General Revenue Sales Tax Measure is determined on the November 4, 2014 ballot" (emphasis added). Would voters have approved both the sales tax increase and the fire assessment increase if they had just gotten their water rates jacked up? Who knows but it was a cold political calculation to keep the rate increase from becoming public knowledge until after the other tax increases had been approved.

5.9.15 Public Record Request re. water rate study - the city voted on approving $25,000 for a Bartle Wells water rate study on June 3, 2014 which starts the Prop 218 process for raising rates. At the May 3, 2015 meeting, the city stated they never entered into an agreement for a water rate study despite it having been mentioned many times by council members and former city manager Jim Stretch in the past. The council minutes for June 3rd that are posted by the city are missing every other page so the outcome of the vote is not included. The was not in attendance at that meeting.

6.20.14 City provides utiliity billing information in response to record request - additional records are expected - no attempt at reimbursement for all of the tax payer money documented in the Public Works investigation, city employees received subsidized water through 2011 (the rest of us got a rate increase in 2006), and more...

6.11.14 Public Record Request re. rate payer subsidies for "free" water to city facilities and others. Residents are paying higher rates in order to cover the costs of "free" water for others. Prop 218 prohibits this and numerous lawsuits over the past 17 years has also found it illegal. In a related matter, the city is taking initial steps to increase water rates for the rest of us. PRA also requests info. on any recovery efforts for the huge amounts of public funds and resources that were identified in the Public Works investigation report that went to select cronies at the expense of everyone else. Has anyone been asked to repay the illegal gifting of public money?

Investigation Report re. Former Public Works Director Jim Hale (finally!)

Wolff v. City of Rio Dell - Public Works Investigation Report finally released! "felony-level offense embezzlement of property entrusted to Hale by the city" and much much more! Court Order compelling the release This is a lot bigger than one person and most of the others detailed in the report (names redacted by the city) remain and are presumably still getting taxpayer funded special favors. **City settles record request lawsuit for $15,000 towards attorney fees. Attorney billing statements received show $20,054.86 spent by the city to try and prevent the release of public records related to the Public Works Investigation Report. Combined with settlement for attorney fees brings the total cost to taxpayers at $35,054.86 spent by the city to try and bury the report.

Timeline of events surrounding the Hale investigation - court order for release

$15,000 settlement agreement for attorney fees paid by Rio Dell

statement by attorney Paul Nicholas Boylan

First set of attorney billing records requested (partial records, redacted) 36 pages

Second set of attorney billing records requested 198 pages

Summary of attorney billing records received to date totals

3.19.11 Initial FOIA request 3.29.11 Response from city
4.10.11 Second FOIA request 4.22.11 Extension request
  5.5.11 Second denial letter

Former City Manager Nancy Flemming employement agreement

Former Public Works Director Jim Hale employment agreement

5.8.11 Third FOIA request 5.27.11 Rejection letter #3
7.7.11 Response to third rejection letter 8.1.11 Rejection letter #4
8.9.11 Response to fourth rejection letter 8.19.11 Letter confirming receipt of request
8.25.11 Letter extending time to respond
  8.31.11 Response with select settlement agreements
9.12.11 Request for additional records 9.19.11 Letter confirming receipt of request
  10.6.11 Response letter from Martinek
1.8.12 Renewal of records request to new attorneys 1.20.12 Response letter from Russell Gans
1.23.12 Response to request for more information 2.3.12 Response letter from Russell Gans (confirming release of Flemming settlement docs)
  2.9.12 Letter from Russell Gans delaying release of settlement docs

2.17.12 Response with Nancy Flemming settlement agreement

*Original employment agreement

Wolff v. City of Rio Dell CV120162

5.1.12 Council confirms stated intention to notify "involved parties" of the pending release of public records after consultation with yet another legal counsel.

Stay Tuned!

Earlier request also denied
6.7.09 Records request and response  


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