September 30, 2013 - After counting and recounting, we have fallen short of our goal of 4,388 signatures to force a Special Election Recall of Keith M. Grueneberg by 718 signatures. Unfortunately, we had to discount approximately 500 signatures as the signers did not live within the Nevada County Consolidated Fire District. While we were not able to recall Grueneberg this year, we will be refocusing our efforts to make sure he, as well as other select board members, are not re-elected in November 2014, should they decide to run as incumbents.
While Grueneberg might feel that we failed, we see our efforts as a win. Below are many (though certainly not all) of the known truths, along with the 2013 Grand Jury Report, we have proudly brought to light regarding Grueneberg and his good-old-boys.
Grueneberg has and continues to:
*KNOWINGLY chose to ignore provisions of the Brown Act, NCCFD by-laws, rules. regulations and ordinances IN ORDER TO AFFECT PUBLIC OPINION DURING THE SPECIAL TAX ELECTION. 90% of the people who signed the petition, asked us when we would have a petition to repeal the 2012 Special Tax. This is something we will consider. It only takes approx. 2300 petition signatures to force an election to repeal the Special Tax. Maybe it should be repealed, then NCCFD can go out and be honest about where they intend to spend the money and see if the voters will pass it. The 2012 Special Tax passed at 68%, only 1.6% over the 66.66% required...a very slim margin. Another sticking point is there is no Sunset Clause and the Board can increase it up to 3% per year.
*Undermine the authority of the Fire Chief as the Chief Executive Officer; Lacks executive leadership, micromanages...created and continues to foster an unhealthy working environment for administrative staff, leading to hostility and mistrust.
*Lacks fiduciary responsibility by entering into employee collective bargaining agreements leading to EXCESSIVE and UNEXPECTED EXPENDITURES; Has a close and personal relationship with Wyatt Howell, the President of the Local 3800 Firefighter Union, placing into question his credibility during collective bargaining with the Local 3800 Firefighter Union after the passing of the 2012 Special Tax.
* After receiving a racially offensive email from a retired NCSO and now current Board member, Grueneberg forwarded the racially offensive email to Wyatt Howell, the President of the Local 3800 Firefighter Union, who then forwarded it to a NCCFD Battalion Chief who chose not to report it, all in direct violation of NCCFD's personnel code.
*Has fallen short in his role and responsibilities as a member of the Board of a public agency.
* And....We forced the entire the Board of NCCFD to comply with Government Codes pertaining to its Special Tax (formation of Citizen's Oversight Committee (COC), setting up a special accounting for revenues to be deposited and insisting on the required annual report of what the Special Tax dollars were spent on).
*And ...We have recently (9/19/13) forced the Board of NCCFD to rescind an illegal board member appointment as they violated the California Government Code relating to appointments.
*And...we will continue to be the NCCFD watchdog, until this board (or a newly elected one) proves that they can abide by the provisions of the Brown Act, NCCFD by-laws, rules, regulations, ordinances and the California Government Codes.
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