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Central Basin Board Irate as Department Heads Propose $2.7 Million Increase

BY BRIAN HEWS • July 28, 2020

The Central Basin 2020-’21 operating budget was included in yesterday’s board meeting but by the time the meeting addressed the item on the agenda, which was item 6, only thirty minutes into the meeting, Central Basin Director Bob Apodaca had inexplicably left the meeting.

Absent from the meeting was Director John Oskoui, his second missed meeting in as many days.

All remaining board members, and the many people waiting for the public comment portion of the meeting, were extremely angry after Apodaca left.

A closer inspection of the budget revealed why President Vasquez, VP Art Chacon and Directors Phil Hawkins and Martha Camacho-Rodruguez were so angry at Oskoui and Apodaca for leaving the meeting.

Buried inside the budget was evidence that all Central Basin Directors were taking advantage of possible receivership, proposing huge increases in their expenses in a time of a global pandemic and declining sales.

An examination of the  schedule reveals a $2.7 million increase proposed by the directors, all of whom are assisting Oskoui, Apodaca, and by extension Asm. Garcia to throw the agency into receivership.

 

 

The expense schedule included in the budget.

 

 

 

Administration and Board Services Director Cecilia Pulido proposed a massive $1.767 million increase, or $34,000 per week.

Engineering Director Jacquiline Kootz, in the midst of declining water sales, is asking for an additional $595,000 or over $11,000 per week.

Human Resource Director Naja Braddock wants an additional $220,000 to run her department, or over $4,200 per week.

Finance Director Andrew Hamilton, who is leading the rogue group, proposed a $75,000 annual increase for his department.

Grant Writing, which has no designated director, proposed a $62,000 annual increase.

The $2.7 million represents 90% of the deficit that Finance Director Hamilton claims Central Basin will incur during the year.

In addition, Hamilton arbitrarily raised legal fees $530,000 “due to upcoming litigation,” another dubious number.

Central Basin is embroiled in three lawsuits, one the fault of Bob Apodaca – Bielke vs Central Basin – and one where Director John Oskuoi’s employer, the city of Downey, is part of a lawsuit – Signal Hill vs. Central Basin.

The other was filed by former GM Kevin Hunt, which was recently dismissed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s note: the story originally referenced the numbers as salaries, we should have said the numbers were total expenses.

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