Mesa Water Vs. the Media: 13 Possible Reasons Why

Mesa Water Vs. the Media: 13 Possible Reasons Why

14 May 2013

On March 14, 2013, Mesa Water District’s board of directors passed 5 – 0 a press credentialing policy. That policy is designed to tightly control media access to public functions, like the recent VIP private $50,000 party that the agency threw for itself at ratepayers’ expense. In my public speech to the board on that evening, I speculated as to the reasons for Mesa Water’s new obsession with creating a draconian press control policy. To supplement my views expressed that night, I offer the following 13 additional, specific, possible reasons for that obsession.

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Posted in Headlines, Mesa, Video, Water Boarding0 Comments

New Mesa Water Press Credential Policy Weeds Out Journalists and Terrorists

New Mesa Water Press Credential Policy Weeds Out Journalists and Terrorists

12 May 2013

Mesa Water District's new anti-terrorism program falls under Mesa Water’s new press credentialing policy, which was approved unanimously by the board but had already gone through a dry run at the VIP event.It requires that journalists who cover Mesa Water’s various outreach activities, like the VIP event, be accredited by the agency first. The standards are strict, carefully designed to maximize media control and the amount of favorable media coverage for the district’s policies and projects.

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Posted in Headlines, Mesa, Water Boarding4 Comments

Mesa Water District: Vanity Leads to Questionable Media Consulting Fees at Ratepayers’ Expense

Mesa Water District: Vanity Leads to Questionable Media Consulting Fees at Ratepayers’ Expense

06 May 2013

The invoices are only four from a total of 30 received by Mesa Water from the consulting firm of Laer Pearce Associates between October, 2008 and December, 2012 for “branding” and general public relations and marketing assistance. But they help show the District’s obsession with its public image ever since Paul Shoenberger became its general manager in 2009 and hired Stacy Taylor as its communications manager in 2010. That obsession became a costly exercise in vanity paid for by Mesa Water’s ratepayers.

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Posted in Headlines, Mesa, Water, Water Boarding1 Comment

Mesa Water District: ‘Plz Don’t Circulate this Story!’ And Director Fisler Gets Even

Mesa Water District: ‘Plz Don’t Circulate this Story!’ And Director Fisler Gets Even

06 May 2013

Spontaneous interviews with Mesa Water staff or members of the board of directors are discouraged whenever possible by Communications Manager, Stacy Taylor. Potentially tough or touchy media questions must be submitted to her in advance so that she can provide public answers that fit Mesa Water’s “unified voice” template. Emails acquired under the Public Records Act later would reveal how cynically manipulative Shoenberger, Taylor and LPA had been and that Mesa Water officials are motivated more by vanity than a desire to objectively inform the ratepayers.

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Posted in Headlines, Mesa, MWD, MWDOC, Poseidon, Water Boarding1 Comment

Huntington Beach Mayor Proposes Coastal Commission Reject of Poseidon Desalination Permit

Huntington Beach Mayor Proposes Coastal Commission Reject of Poseidon Desalination Permit

02 May 2013

Mayor Connie Boardman’s proposed letter to the California Coastal Commission, below, will be before the Huntington Beach City Council on Monday, May 6, 2013. Public comments will be heard at the start of the city council meeting. Her proposed letter is based on findings made previously by Coastal Commission (here). A debate on the pros […]

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Posted in Environment, Headlines, Poseidon3 Comments

A REBUTTAL TO  POSEIDON RESOURCES’  ‘FACT vs. FICTION’ FLYER

A REBUTTAL TO POSEIDON RESOURCES’ ‘FACT vs. FICTION’ FLYER

02 May 2013

Editor’s Note: Opponents of an ocean desalination plant (Nowaterdeal) proposed for Huntington Beach, California, recently launched a major campaign to block the project (here). Poseidon Resources created a response to some of those claims and is circulating it publicly. The Voice republished it here. NoWaterDeal issued the counter rebuttal to Poseidon recently. On Monday, May […]

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Posted in Headlines, Poseidon3 Comments

Rebuttal to Poseidon Critics from Poseidon Resources, Inc: Huntington Beach Desalination Project

Rebuttal to Poseidon Critics from Poseidon Resources, Inc: Huntington Beach Desalination Project

02 May 2013

Editor’s Note: Opponents of an ocean desalination plant (Nowaterdeal) proposed for Huntington Beach, California, recently launched a major campaign to block the project (here). Poseidon Resources created a response to some of those claims and is circulating it publicly. The Voice republishes it below. NoWaterDeal’s counter rebuttal can be read here. On Monday, May 6, […]

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Posted in Headlines, Poseidon2 Comments

Bad Branding: Mesa Water District’s Marketing Scheme Backfires

Bad Branding: Mesa Water District’s Marketing Scheme Backfires

29 April 2013

Lately, the people who act like they own the Mesa Water District, namely its five-member board of directors, general manager, and communications manager, have been learning a hard lesson in democracy; that, no matter how much of the ratepayers’ money they spend to make themselves look good or how cleverly they spin their “unified message” to shield themselves from transparency by the water agency’s real owners (the ratepayers) their days of reckoning will come.

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Posted in Headlines, Mesa, Water Boarding3 Comments

Retraction and Correction: Mesa Water Spent Public Money on Private Event, But GM Did Not Exceed His Authority

Retraction and Correction: Mesa Water Spent Public Money on Private Event, But GM Did Not Exceed His Authority

12 March 2013

My story published yesterday (Mesa Water’s Celebration: Misuse of Public Funds?), about Mesa Water’s plan for a private celebration utilizing public money, contained one very important error: it strongly implied that the Mesa Water board had not approved of $49,650 in labor and materials costs for the event. In fact, the event was listed is listed in the official minutes of the Nov. 27 board meeting as a “VIP event” and the board did vote to fund it 3-1-1, with Director James Atkinson voting no and Director Trudy Ohlig-Hall absent.

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Posted in Headlines, Water, Water Boarding2 Comments

Mesa Water’s Celebration: Misuse of Public Funds? Ratepayers Pay Thousands for ‘Private’ Event

Mesa Water’s Celebration: Misuse of Public Funds? Ratepayers Pay Thousands for ‘Private’ Event

12 March 2013

The Mesa Water District Board of Directors will throw a $49,650 VIPs (and selected press) only “private ceremony” to celebrate the completion of two years of renovations on its Colored Water Treatment Facility, according to an official announcement tucked deep within the district’s official website and a purchase order obtained by the Voice. But the closed event suggests that either the board has trouble controlling its general manager, Paul Shoenberger—who is the everyday boss of the district but is supposed to follow board policies—or in complying with California laws that prohibit using public funds for personal purposes, or both.

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Posted in Headlines, Water Boarding4 Comments

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