We saw quite a bit of citizen activity at the July 20 IWD meeting. Investigative reporting since then revealed more info on an issue raised at that meeting: the Water Operator Grade II Certification exams GM Tom Lynch attempted.
As said previously in this column, what’s important is not whether Lynch ever manages to get certification — the board initiated that requirement, and it can waive it if it so desires. What’s important is Lynch lied to the TC, and therefore the public, about his certification attempts.
But was he up front with his own board even?
Director Billman said Lynch currently was “awaiting results.” (That hasn’t been true since last December.) Director Cook said Lynch was making “satisfactory progress” toward his certification. (Progress? Three failures?) Director Frietas said he thought Lynch had taken the exam only once. (He took it three times.) From where did they get their erroneous information were it not from Lynch? And yet these three directors appear publicly to still support Lynch.
When Director Rockwell asked Lynch during a recent meeting about his certification, he refused to answer in public saying it was a “personnel matter.” But under the Government Code, not all personnel matters qualify for closed sessions and exemption from the California Public Records Act. Certifications are public matters, which is why the SWRCB could respond by disclosing that info to the TC.
Now some citizens have erected signs around town calling for Billman’s, Cook’s and Freitas’ resignations. Whether you believe the three must have been duped by Lynch and should be forgiven, or whether you believe they should resign, this direct, personal involvement of the citizenry is understandable.
-Becky Clark, Editor