Tag Archive | "Paul Shoenberger"

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


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

The Mesa Water District spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars preparing its general manager and communications manager for a thirty minute interview with this reporter and researching my background, according to invoices obtained by the Surf City Voice under the Public Records Act.

The invoices are only four from a total of 30 received by Mesa Water from the consulting firm of Laer Pearce Associates<

Posted in Headlines, Mesa, Water, Water BoardingComments (1)

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


 

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Editor’s note: See related story, here.

Getting thirty-minutes of interview time in January 2012 with the Mesa Water District’s general manager, Paul Shoenberger, wasn’t easy.

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

Posted in Headlines, Mesa, MWD, MWDOC, Poseidon, Water BoardingComments (1)

Bad Branding: Mesa Water District’s Marketing Scheme Backfires


By John Earl
Surf City Voice
Analysis and commentary

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.

Since late 2008, Mesa Water has spent over $290,000 on

Posted in Headlines, Mesa, Water BoardingComments (3)

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


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

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.

The implication drawn from that incorrect assertion was that General Manager Paul Shoenberger had exceeded his authority in funding the event. In fact, he was carrying out the

Posted in Headlines, Water, Water BoardingComments (2)

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


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Editor’s note: Part of this story has been retracted and corrected. Please see that retraction and correction (here) before reading this story. Thank you.

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

Posted in Headlines, Water BoardingComments (4)

Commentary: Mesa Water Drops Fiduciary Duties as Ratepayers Pick Up the Tab


By Debbie Cook
Special to the Surf City Voice

(Editor’s note: This story has been republished below to correct a typo that could not be removed from the http link)

Over the past several months I have been trying to get to the truth behind Mesa Water District’s obsession with Poseidon Inc.’s proposal to build an ocean desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

Since 2009, the water agency has gone from a typical local water provider to become the State’s biggest booster of ocean desalination, spending tens

Posted in Environment, Headlines, Poseidon, Water BoardingComments (1)

Election Sob Story: Mesa Water Directors Plot to Remove Trudy Ohlig-Hall from Office


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Mesa Consolidated Water District board members Shawn Dewane and James Fisler are hoping for a knock-out punch against fellow board member Trudy Ohlig-Hall in tomorrow’s election (Nov. 6) on behalf of her challenger, Ethan Temianka, who they have both endorsed.

Onlig-Hall represents Division Three of Mesa Water’s service area, which includes parts of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. She is up for reelection having served since 1987 on the five-member board, three terms as its president.

The punch was officially thrown at the Oct. 23 Mesa

Posted in Headlines, Water BoardingComments (4)

Special Meeting:Away from public view, Mesa Water GM investigates director over alleged employee abuse


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

It seems that the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Mesa Consolidated Water District, whose members, along with General Manager Paul Shoenberger, like to brag about their dedication to transparency, tried but failed to pull a fast one today – to hide from public view two public meetings at which possible disciplinary action, including censure, against another board member will be considered, the Voice has learned.

Earlier today, this reporter was informed by sources that the first meeting would be held today at 3:30 p.m.

Posted in Headlines, Water, Water BoardingComments (4)

Interview with Mesa Water’s Paul Shoenberger on CalDesal


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

In January, I sat down for 30 minutes with Paul Shoenberger, the general manager for the Mesa Consolidated Water District in Costa Mesa, California, to talk about CalDesal a non-profit organization whose 70 or so members, according to April, 2011 stats (neither Mesa nor CalDesal will release up to date figures), are about evenly divided between public water agencies and private water-related companies.

CalDesal lobbies for the construction of ocean and groundwater water desalination (although the emphasis is mostly on ocean desalination) and

Posted in Environment, Headlines, Poseidon, Water, Water BoardingComments (6)


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