Letter to the Editor About Garberville Waterboard Meeting

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Letter to the editor[To the Community,]Its time again for another GSD board meeting. As usual items not on the agenda will not be discussed, though they could be if the board so desired. Issues brought up, in most board situations would be placed on the next scheduled board meeting agenda, but the GSD seems to put them off until they feel like they have time. Not very conducive to public participation! Or the issue is run through the subjective crucible of the General Manager, who decides whether he wants to put it on the agenda. Since most issues have to do with his actions, or wishful actions, many do not make the cut. Or he may inadequately discuss the issue in his GM report which really isn’t the same as putting it on the agenda.

Coming up this week –

1/ Pot growing ordinance. If you grow weed in your yard the board might make the water use special, more expensive! And the GM will come to your place and see if he approves of your setup! Sort of code enforcement by GSD. Not really their mission.

2/ Ordinance Changes & residual (out of date) sections not being addressed.

According to Assembly Bill 2299 that came into effect January 1, 2017, changes to buildings, plumbing, etc. on your property are not in the purview of the GSD at all. Its between you and the building department. No GSD. The District is being asked to ignore this law. The GM wants to inspect every thing. If you build a bathroom for granny and you don’t inform him, the GM wants you financially liable for inspection costs etc. What would you need a licensed plumber/builder for if you have the GM? More and more power over your property is what seems to be the agenda of your public water district.

These and other issues that are important will be discussed! Or maybe they won’t.


July 25th at the District Office, in Garberville – Members of the public/ratepayers needed to let the board know how you feel.

Charlie Butterworth



  • Valid points to consider.

  • Really hard to care about Goobsterdam.

    • Folks who write off entire areas might be missing something.

      • Thank you, Kym, for being an antidote to the negativity of some comments/commenters.

      • Been there, worked there, saw it, left.

        Great farmers mkt tho…

        Hoopa has more class & culture.

        • Hoopa’s culture is beautiful but so is SoHum’s.

          • Victor G. Flashman

            SoHum has a culture. Thought we were speaking about Goobsterdam! Hoopa also has a great health care facility, which Garberville lacks. OH and some trees! The goobies cut all theirs down!

            I do like the health food store and the farmer’s market! Would not go there for anything else… My daughters LOVE all the the creepy-guys! Can’t wait till the trimsients arrive!

            Yes, Goobsterdam is a commode. And not in a nice way!

            • Things I love about Redway/Garberville: The Farmer’s Market, Blue Moon, the Garden of Beadin, stories told by Ernie Branscomb, the fire departments, Tranquility Lane, the Local artist’s gallery, the small town parades, the Woodrose, Cecil’s, Anything involving Lorraine Carolyn, Eel River Cafe, The Hemp Connection, The clock, Feet First Dancers, Signature Coffee, Chautauqua, the old theater sign, the garden and rockwork around the old Grotto, the Community Credit Union, Amelia’s, The churches, the way Vern and Billy at Redway Tire stay late to fix a flat and then won’t charge you, the Mateel created by local craftspeople which hosts everything from quilt retrospectives, to punk rock to cannabis festivals. Damn I better stop talking about what I love and get to work.

              • Victor G. Flashman

                AND: I do think if you grow dope in your yard, you should pay a LOT more for your water. In Redway there are meters, and Redwaynians pay a VERY high rate indeed!
                Most of them DO raise pot inside those tall wooden fences!

                I grow no weed, invite no trimsients to my parties, but I do love being at my home in SoHum. I use my water to grow a lawn, and some regular flowers! But then I don’t have to grow psychoactive plants to pay MY bills!

                • I am a little confused. How is thinking that those engaged in business should have to pay industrial water rates related to hating Redway/Garberville?

                • Victor G. Flashman

                  I hardly have the energy, or the desire, to hate anything, and barely enough time left on this planet to assign affect of this sort. AND I am busy making an honest living working within an actual business.

                  Semantics may allow you to accord some status to whatever you call a business, but in my opinion, growing dope in your yard does not qualify as such.

                  Enjoy beautiful Goobsterdam, if you are inclined. Pay your water bill!

                • Taurus Ballzhoff

                  AND – If you have an ACTUAL licensed taxpaying business, you have many advantages – you can write off many expenses, you can borrow money and go bankrupt to escape paying your creditors (what is more American than that, Mr Trump?), you can have an Accountant to dodge taxes, a CEO to continuously lie to everyone, a lot of employees to exploit, and, wow, starting to sound like a description of, SHCHD!

                  You can be corrupt as hell, in your business, or you can grow pot and be a pirate! Not much difference… In my opinion…

  • Any development on a property within a municipal district that could impac or change water use or septic output is absolutely up to the approval of the GM and board.The county can allow you to build or change whatever but without the approval of the board on these changes to their system you may not be provided the service.When doing something within a district you are subject to the approval of the board,no different then anyone else Charlie.In the future you should consider getting building permits before constructing,might save you some problems.I fail to see what the GM is doing wrong,guess your not used to someone stepping up and running things the right way,there’s a process to follow when doing things,getting mad and trying to drag the community into your self created problem is similar to a young child’s tantrum when they don’t get their way.Follow the due process like everyone else.

    • At first, I was relieved to be reading an explanation of how things work. Everyone knows that rules are not written for the average joe to understand, but for the average joe to be fined for not understanding.
      The last part of your post, though, left me scratching my head. Why bully and shame a concerned citizen for not understanding the confusing and ever changing rules?
      I do hope the shaming and blaming, aka bullying, stops so that the citizens will gain a sense of trust and understanding as they seek answers to their questions.
      Every question is a valid question.

    • Valid point about getting permits in the future, but the reality is that the county has been aware of my situation for years and it is a direct result of that General Plan being sidelined for 7 years. I constructed no new buildings or caused any impact to the water or sewer system that wasn’t already there. The GM has nothing but speculation to stand on for any of his allegations about what is happening. Facts and reasonable solutions, and no attempted bullying of ratepayers (who he really works for) would be greatly appreciated by all involved.
      The water district is in the business of providing water and should stick to that. Instead it seems to be enabling the GM to stick his nose in other aspects of community development that invariably cost the ratepayers more money to receive water, which is a necessity. Every property owner has the right use his property, which they pay taxes on and maintain as they want as long as no health or safety is at issue. The Water District is not the Building/Planning Department! The GM should stick to the pipes and pumps!

  • Phoney Baloney, greedy, greedy, greedy utility workers. The GM is not a king, and the board are not princes. They have no divine right above any other Garberville resident. Nor should GSD pay, benefits, and retirement exceed the median pay, benefits, or retirement of GSD ratepayers. It’s really a microcosm of all greedy controlling interests, that “appreciate your comments” as long as we can still do whatever we want.

    [W]e disrupted the Supreme Court: to warn that the public was losing faith in the fairness and integrity of its government…[T]here’s a growing, almost irreversible, feeling in this country that government is not responsive to the will of the people, only to a wealthy donor class…My friends and I broke the law because we couldn’t afford to influence the government legally…Of course, I understand that the government’s objection is not to what we said, but the manner in which we said it, and the timing. But this is always the establishment’s response to civil disobedience: We don’t object to what you say, but can you please do it where we can’t hear it? We support your right to protest, but can you do it in a manner that can be ignored completely?

  • PS to my above post. Yeah, it was about me when I first found the need to attend a Water District Board meeting but after a couple of meetings I realized that there was a problem with the function of our water board.
    They are community members serving with no pay and I totally respect that, but the GM, who is very slick and persuasive, is leading them down paths that are not in the ratepayers interests. He serially attempts to change the district ordinances to find creative ways to squeeze the captive ratepayer/citizens of our community for more revenue. The rates are already a big burden. Some pay over double for each unit of water they use just because they are commercial or live in an multi-apartment. Is that right?


  • The rates are high due to a bad loan the board was talked into before the new general manager came aboard, he has sworn not to raise the rates while he’s in charge.They do have the right to inspect any new or improvements to a property inside the district if it has any form of impact on the system.They are not required to provide you with water or sewer,it is an an apon aproval deal.Any changes after are subject to approval also if you want to be serviced by the district.PG&E provide power,they will not do so if your sight is not approved or permitted,changes can halt service until proper approval is obtained and there are several categories of usage that a customer falls into that decides the rate.all people are not charged the same due to what they are doing with it.This is just a simple everyday example, in that light I dont see the merit for your complaint,simple enough if your going to use a districts services you will have to comply to be approved

    • No new hookups needed for my situation. Had water there since water came to town. Check out Assembly Bill 2299 which came into effect January 1st, 2017. What its intent is and what it allows.

    • Reality~

      Its only been since 2006, since GSD purchased the Garberville Water Company (GWC) and been in the metered public drinking water business, before that they were only waste water and sewer treament.

      GSD purchased GWC with baggage. Not only failing infastructure problems, but compliance issues with State Health Department, Water Quality Control and storage issues. GSD paid $320k for GWC (that was $133,285 over book value)


      This was during the same time GSD had its own problems with their waste treament plant and was ordered to fix the problem.


      So as improvments are concerned, GSD took loans for over $3.5 million on improvements to their waste treatment plant, over $5.5 million on their new water treatment plant and its unclear how much was spent or loaned for the Kimtu Subdivision Waterline Extention and new Alderpoint Road water tank project.

      You can read about everything here: http://humboldtlafco.org/wp-content/uploads/Adopted-MSR-SOI_03-20-2013.pdf

      For example; the only reason GSD built their new water treatment plant down next to the Park was for development, private development. The Park, Dazey and McKee were all going to be connected to GSD for metered water service and all they had to pay for was the meter. That new water treatment plant would have cost allot less, if it was built and located in Garberville, not down next to the Park, on what is now McKee’s property. It also would have cost allot less to operate if they would have used solar, as was suggested many times by the public. It fact, County records show, as far back as 2007/2008, Dazey told the County his property, along with McKee and the Park was going to have metered water connections from GSD when the Kimtu Waterline and new water treatment plant are completed. Funny the public was not told about this until late 2010. But once we did find out, the rest is history.

      On the McKee property, where the new GSD water treatment plant is now located, they got a sweet deal (no pun intended), that is, GSD paid them $25,000 and gave them four new metered 3/4″ connections for future residental useage on that 80 acre parcel, paid for that parcel to be included in the GSD service boundary and making improvments to the road and gate to the property and the Park.

      GSD also spent between $40k to $60k; funding the Parks request to be included in the GSD servce boundary, however it was all for not, because the Park didn’t like the deal and was left out of the process.

      There is so much history around GSD and private development, it would make your head spin. And its all been since 2010 that we knew about it. Even though GSD is a public agency, they will suck the river dry before letting you know what they are doing and who they are doing it with.

      Sure, GSD is only serving their ratepayers in Garberville, but they are effecting everyone down stream. And by everyone, I mean all species, not just humans.

      Bottom line, GSD doesn’t have enough water for new development, water/sewer connections, fire or “farming”. Just ask them at their next meeting…

  • What I don’t understand is : if you turn OFF your water,summer houses not used in the winter months as an example they want a 8,000 dollar Reconnect few. This may Not be true, But this is what the people in thier office told me a week ago.
    Also one other thing , I’ve lived here for 25 years and did not recognize any of the four (yes four) people in the office,Strange no?

  • So if they said you could turn it into a business you don’t think the phone company would charge you more for your existing line?PG&E wouldn’t reclassify your power bill and charge you differently?I read the bill, it says you can convert, it doesn’t guerentee locked in prices

    • No you would get charged for the power, gas, and water you use at the same rate as before. Why would the cost of those utilities change?

  • Youve obviously never had a phone line turned on to a business then or added internet vs the cost at your home, regardless I won’t pester you anymore,good luck with all that lol

  • Any updates?

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