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Westlake Revelations' charter is to disseminate factual information about issues. Specifically, to explain topics without stating opinions so that the citizens can deal in fact ... instead of fiction ... and then make up their own minds based on real information.

: Call-time pass-by-reference has been deprecated; If you would like to pass it by reference, modify the declaration of module_invoke_all(). If you would like to enable call-time pass-by-reference, you can set allow_call_time_pass_reference to true in your INI file in /home/wlrev/public_html/modules/fuzzysearch/fuzzysearch.module on line 324.

LVMWD to Begin Video Recording Meetings

Approximately a year after originally requested, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District voted tonight to start video taping all board meetings and making them available on the web for the public to see. LVMWD is the last local public organization to make video recordings of regular meetings available (Westlake Village started seven years ago, and Las Virgenes Unified School District began eight years ago). [Ed. Note: City of Westlake Village began video recording and broadcasting on TV in the mid-1990's.

Cost of New EPA Regulations Estimated at $4200 per LVMWD Customer

Synopsis

You may have recently heard that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to put in place new regulations that directly and significantly impacts Las Virgenes Municipal Water District customers. In short, the EPA wants LVMWD to clean water that is considered dirty and may impact wildlife where the water ultimately ends up.

If it happens, the proposed EPA regulations are projected to cost each water district customer about $4200 (more for larger customers). If paid through bi-monthly bills, the average resident will pay $41 more on each bill for 30 years. Read on to understand, and to find out how you can give feedback.

Donate Coats at Event in Three Springs Sat; Play in the Snow

This weekend, on Saturday, January 19 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm (rain or shine), the "3rd Annual Winter Wonderland Charity Event" at Three Springs Park in Westlake Village. Those attending are encouraged to bring gently used children or adult coats to benefit CASA Pacifica in Camarillo. This is a family event with winter crafts, games, coffee and smoothies -- and this year, event organizers are again bringing back snow.

LVMWD Board Announces David W. Pedersen as new General Manager

Synopsis

Las Virgenes Municipal Water District has just announced the District's new general manager, replacing John Mundy after he retired last month. David Pedersen starts on January 14th. See the full announcement from the water district below.

2013 Citizen and Youth of the Year Nominations

Synopsis

The City of Westlake Village has opened nominations for the the annual Citizen and Youth of the Year awards. Nominations are made by the community. Youth receive a $500 scholarship. Adult recipients will see a $500 donation made to a charity they select.

The form to nominate adults or youth, as well as the guidelines, are at http://www.wlv.org/index.aspx?NID=249

City Elects New Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem

Synopsis

Last night, the City of Westlake Village held its annual reorganization of the City Council, and election and swearing in of the new Mayor for Westlake Village. Robert Slavin nominated Philippa Klessig as Mayor, and she was elected by the City Council. Ned Davis nominated Robert Slavin as Mayor Pro Tem and he was elected. The city council elected both positions unanimously.

Both have served in these position in the past. Judge Larry Mira swore in the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Judge Lawrence J. Mira has honored the city in this role for the past 25+ years.

LVMWD Votes on Tank and Rate Increase

The LVMWD Board of Directors tonight moved forward with a Board of Directors vote approving both the half million dollar contract to design the water storage tank, and the rate increases. Several speakers and other comments by board members were made asking the Board to not build the tank, delay the tank project, and the same for the rate increases -- outside of LVMWD, no speakers were in support of the tank nor rate increase.

LVMWD Board to Vote on Tank Contract, and 40% Rate Increases

LVMWD has placed two items on next week's agenda (just released) which impact all of its customers in all five districts. These items will be voted on by the current Board -- as new Board member Len Polan doesn't take office until January (after the vote is certified, and the current term expires).

There are two major items on the agenda.

1) Vote to approve a contract for up to $497,777 to design the water storage tank. This is the first major expenditure in the $7 million project. AECOM was one of three companies responding to the request for proposal (Civiltec at $621,395, HDR at $437,100 and AECOM at $497,777). AECOM participated in the District's "public outreach workshops" and has historical knowledge of the Las Virgenes Reservoir, Westlake Filtration Plant and related piping systems.

2) Vote to approve a variety of changes to rate structure and charges which reportedly amount to over 40% increases to customers in the next few years (even more when rate increases are compounded). This includes rate increases from LVMWD, as well as "pass through" wholesale increases from MWD (which are actually not pass through since the increase applies to the entire bill, not just the wholesale water portion). Sewer charges reportedly will fluctuate as well.

At least one Board member (Director Steinhardt), and incoming Board member (Mr. Polan), have proposed that the tank is not built at all, and instead, the $7 million used to offset rate increases for the next several years. Director Bowman, and District staff believe that the tank is necessary for the District to provide reliable water supply, although an array of questions from the public still remain unanswered.

Those who would like to voice support or opposition for the tank project and/or the rate increases should attend the the LVMWD Board Meeting on Tuesday, November 13, beginning at 5pm. Even if you don't speak, attendance is a form of interest, support or opposition. 4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302. (Just North of LVUSD's District Office, but on the East side of Las Virgenes Road.)

Burglary Alert from LA County Sheriff and TO Police

The LA County Sheriff, and the City of Thousand Oaks, have both issued a city wide alerts about burglary groups targeting the area -- specifically, Westlake Village (both LA and Ventura County sides) and Calabasas have already seen incidents. And, they've been taking place throughout West Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, and the San Gabriel Valley for the past several months.

See the two releases below from each department.

Local Election Results

Overnight, Westlake Revelations readers checked the election results page thousands of times at:
http://www.westlakerevelations.com/special/2012-11-Election-Results-Watc...

The results are near 100% counted, but as of 5am, November 7, all votes are close enough to know the winners. Here are those results.

In order of most local scope:

Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Board of Directors, Division 4
Winner: Leonard Polan, 2,556 votes for 58.53%
Joseph Bowman, 1,811 votes for 41.47%

U.S. House of Representatives District 26
Winner: Julia Brownley, 51.7%
Tony Strickland, 48.3%

State Senate District 27
Winner: Fran Pavley, 52.6%
Todd Zink, 47.4%

Statewide Propositions
Y : 30 Temporary Taxes to Fund Education, 54.0% Yes / 46.0% No

Westlake Revelations Live Election Results Watch

Westlake Revelations readers interested in the State, County and Local elections can see the results as they are reported by the State and Los Angeles County on this page which aggregates all the relevant results:

http://www.westlakerevelations.com/special/2012-11-Election-Results-Watc...

On election night, the first results should come in at 8pm. Those will be absentee ballots. The County will not likely update results again until 10pm. After that, approximately every 30 minutes will have an udpate until all the ballots are counted (estimated around 4am on November 7th).

Once you've vote, we'll give you free...

Fatal Traffic Accident on Westlake Blvd.

Synopsis

As many Westlake Revelations readers reported, police were investigating for several hours a major traffic accident on Westlake Blvd, South of Triunfo on Saturday afternoon. Specifically, Christian Eitelbach's motorcycle collided with the passenger door of Cindy Nah's car as she was turning left onto Bay Drive. Shortly after arrival at the hospital, Eitelbach was pronounced deceased due to injuries he sustained during the collision. Nah was treated for minor injuries.

The police would like to talk to anyone who witnessed the accident take place. More information below.

Election Reality Check: "Attacked citizens", Unwilling to answer

This article is in a series of "Election Reality Check" pieces about the election for Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. The statements chosen are based on comments made to Westlake Revelations from the candidates (about what the other candidate has said), as well as reader questions.
________________________________________

Polan says Bowman "Attacked citizens verbally", and is "unwilling to answer questions"
Reality Check: Attacked citizens? True. Unwilling to answer questions? Effectively, yes.

In a recent Westlake Revelations interview, Candidate Len Polan said that the "the current board has verbally attacked citizens by name who have questioned the water districts unwillingness to answer questions and request more disclosure." Furthermore, Director Joe Bowman says that the District has spent $200,000 answering questions.

Disclosure: Since LVMWD doesn't record most of its meetings, and has only summary minutes, this answer is based on the author's direct experience, and observation by Westlake Revelations and other reliable sources.

It's true that the current board, on multiple occasions at board meetings, and from the dais, has called out residents specifically by name and tried to dispute what they said, discredit them, or even take public comments out of context. That we know of, this has been done by at least Directors Bowman (multiple times) and Caspary (once). We're unclear about whether any other directors have also done so (again, they don't record meetings).

The comments typically come at a part of the meeting where the member of the public cannot respond to defend themselves. Furthermore, comments have been made both when a citizen is present, or in their absence (and reported by others). And, even when the Board members knows why a citizen can't be present for good reason, they criticize their absence. For these reasons, multiple citizens have cited this as the reason to not "bother attending" water board meetings.

In one case, there was a report that Director Joe Bowman attempted to have the summary minutes restate what was said by a resident to "clarify" it (and change the meaning of it), but was told by other board members that he couldn't change the meaning of what the resident said in the summary minutes. He obliged his fellow board members.

Now, as for "unwillingness to answer" -- it's unclear if this is the right description for what's happened to date. It's definitely true that many questions from the public have gone unanswered even when asked repeatedly.

Despite many attempts to do so, Director Bowman has not answered questions directly to him and the Board about the tank project. That's indisputable. That said, Director Bowman has repeatedly said he believes that all the questions have been answered. Since this is incongruous with the public's direct experience both verbally and in writing, Director Bowman is either:

- unwilling to answer, or
- truly believes that they have been answered, but doesn't understand the question, or
- he doesn't understand that the answer has not addressed the public's question.

Election Reality Check: Well Water

This article is in a series of "Election Reality Check" pieces about the election for Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. The statements chosen are based on comments the candidates have made to Westlake Revelations about the other candidate, as well as reader questions.
________________________________________

Polan says we should use well water as part of conservation efforts.
Reality Check: Possible, but very minimal in reality.

In a recent Westlake Revelations interview, Candidate Len Polan said "Conservation can take the form of using well water where feasible."

There are some properties that have some well water, that can be used in relatively small amounts, but it's not a widespread solution.

Election Reality Check: Tank Causing Rate Increases

This article is in a series of "Election Reality Check" pieces about the election for Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. The statements chosen are based on comments made to Westlake Revelations from the candidates (about what the other candidate has said), as well as reader questions.
________________________________________

Bowman says "Funds in the bank" for the tank AND it's not the reason for rate increases.
Reality Check: Technically true. In reality, it's misleading and false to say that it isn't related to rate increases.

In a recent Westlake Revelations interview, Director Joe Bowman said "Funds are 'in the bank' for the tank, already reserved for this capital improvement as required by state law. It is NOT the reason why the district is now considering the level of potable water rate increases beginning in 2013."

It is true that the funds are in the bank. Those funds have been saved up over time from what the District has charged rate payers (i.e., reserves come from the difference between what is charged, and what the costs are.)

It's misleading at best, and technically false to say that it isn't related to rate increases.

Election Reality Check: "Don't call me"

This article is in a series of "Election Reality Check" pieces about the election for Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. The statements chosen are based on comments made to Westlake Revelations from the candidates (about what the other candidate has said), as well as reader questions.
________________________________________

Polan says Bowman said "Don't call me": Did Bowman really say this?
Reality Check: At best, paraphrased. In reality, possibly incomplete.

In a recent Westlake Revelations interview, Candidate Len Polan said that Incumbent Joe Bowman said "Dont' call me" when a constituents have questions.

This one is tricky.

During a meeting at the Westlake Reservoir in July 2011 about the construction of the water storage tank, then Mayor Ned Davis was invited by LVMWD to make some comments. Davis went over a long list of issues he was concerned about, and at the end, he suggested that residents reach out to their Director with any questions they had (most people in attendance would be in Director Bowman's district where the tank is to be built).

After Davis finished his comments, Director Bowman took the mic and said:

"I appreciate the Mayor suggesting you call the Directors. Please do not."

At that moment, there was an audible gasp and murmuring through much if not most of the audience. Some people at the front of the room, laughed. Once the audience settled, Director Bowman continued:

"If you have any questions that you think is appropriate for the District, please call our district offices.
818-251-2100. If you call *me*, I just in turn will be calling the District. You will get a *much* quicker
response if you call the District directly."

Election Reality Check: Tank Committed or Proposed?

This article is in a series of "Election Reality Check" pieces about the election for Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. The statements chosen are based on comments the candidates have made to Westlake Revelations about the other candidate, as well as reader questions.
________________________________________

Bowman uses the phrase "Proposed tank": Is it really proposed? or committed?
Reality Check: Technically true. In reality, it's misleading because it's both.

When Las Virgenes Municipal Water District board members voted earlier this year to move forward with the 5 million gallon water storage tank in Three Springs, the vote was technically on whether to proceed with design. In a project like this, there are several votes that the Board will need to do before completion. For example, they may include votes on design, awarding of contract, and signing off of contract.

LVMWD's Board voted already to proceed with the design.

The night of the vote, Director Joe Bowman was asked if the tank could be stopped. He correctly answered that the tank can be stopped at any stage along the process, but went on to explain that it would be unheard of for the current Board to stop a project after it went to design.

The next evening, Bowman presented to the Westlake Village council, and made a point of continually referring to the project as "The proposed tank" and "If the project is built" which are both technically accurate, but contradicted the clear indications he made from the LVMWD dais the night before.

The LVMWD Board of Directors has the ability to stop the tank project at any time. It would take three board members to vote to do so, and at least one board member (Director Steinhardt) is already against the tank proceeding. In all likelihood, it would require either a change in circumstances, base facts, or Board member make up for the Board to collectively change it's mind and stop the tank.

Sheriff Advisory on Halloween

The following are Halloween safety tips from Captain Joseph H. Stephen Jr. and the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station:

Election Reality Check: Bowman's Meeting Times

This year's national election is full of fact or reality checks from a variety of news outlets. Westlake Revelations is doing the same locally. This article is in a series of "Election Reality Check" pieces about the election for Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. The statements chosen are based on comments the candidates have made to Westlake Revelations about the other candidate, as well as reader questions. The most relevant and frequently asked questions have priority.
________________________________________

Polan says Bowman "held the meetings even earlier, making them even more inaccessible"
Reality Check: At best, incomplete. In reality, somewhat misleading.

In a recent Westlake Revelations interview, Candidate Len Polan said about Incumbent Joe Bowman: "Currently, the meetings are held at 5pm on work days that make attendance inaccessible for many. The current representative for Westlake Village held the meetings even earlier, making them even more inaccessible."

This is technically true, but at best, it's incomplete and somewhat misleading.