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Your hometown weekly newspaper

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  • Natio

    nalAwardWinning Newspapers

    Your Hometown Web Site www.thepress.net

    Vol. 10, No. 46 YOUR HOMETOWN WEEKLY NEWSPAPER November 12, 2010

    This Week

    FOR MOVIE TIMES SEE PAGE 5A

    Not uptight over uprights

    The rosters of Freedom and Antioch are graced by athletes who find the pressure of their positions a real kick. Page 4B

    Plus: Business .............................20ACalendar ............................ 19BClassifieds ......................... 14BCop Logs ............................17AEntertainment ................. 10BHealth & Beauty ................ 8BMilestones .......................... 9BOpinion ..............................16AOutdoors ...........................19ASports ................................... 1B

    Auditor cites flaws in fund accounting

    A report by the Contra Costa County auditor-controller stating that the policies, procedures and accounting of the Keller-Canyon Mitigation Fund (KCMF) are inadequate is drawing fi re from county supervisors who say the report is incomplete.

    As a result of this examina-tion we determined that there are suffi cient defi ciencies in following the policies, procedures, account-ing and allocation of the process to warrant a closer look, said County Auditor-Controller Steve Ybarra of the 49-page report re-leased Nov. 5.

    The fi ve-month examination of the funds transactions was

    prompted by complaints by four Discovery Bay residents Mark Doran, Carol Jackson, Don Flint and William Richardson who al-leged that the KCMF is being used as a personal political slush fund for District V Supervisor Federal Glover, whose offi ce oversees the fund, and District III Supervisor and Discovery Bay resident Mary Piepho. Doran, Jackson, Flint and Richardson all refused to com-ment for this story.

    I met with them (Doran, Jackson, Flint and Richardson) and requested that they submit in

    writing their specifi c allegations and that we would take a look at them and see if it was something we would look into further, said Ybarra. I said to myself that hopefully at the end (of the exam-ination) we would fi nd that most of the accusations are unfounded. Unfortunately, I found it to be just opposite.

    The KCMF, which has dis-bursed $14.3 million over the past decade, was established to help those communities most affected by the location of the Keller Can-yon Landfi ll off of Bailey Road in

    Pittsburg. In recent years, recipi-ents of the fund have expanded to include special community servic-es districts as Discovery Bay and Knightsen.

    Throughout the years, KCMF has been used to offset the cost of a variety of community programs and services, including the East County Boys & Girls Club, the Delta Science Center and the First Baptist Church. Ybarras report said too much money had been paid out.

    There has been a defi cit in the fund balance for the last four years the report states. Ex-penditures occurred each year without specifi c KCMF allocation Board approval. The report iden-

    by Ruth RobertsStaff Writer

    see Auditor page 22A

    The release of the report has drawn sharp criticism from both Piepho and Glover, who contend the report is less than complete.

    Freedom Players Austin Perry (21) and Nico Davila (88) get a healthy helping of tri-tip Monday from members of the Oakley and Brentwood Kiwanis clubs, part of the activities surrounding the annual Bell Game gridiron tilt between the Falcons and their lunch-mates for the day, the Liberty Lions. The two squads clash pads at the Bell Game this weekend.

    Lunch Bell

    Photo by Richard Wisdom

    New school site dismissed

    A school might one day be built at the corner of Sellers Av-enue and Delta Road, but it wont be the comprehensive high school that the Liberty Union High School District Board fi rst envi-sioned fi ve years ago.

    The LUHSD Board of Trust-ees voted Oct. 27 to look elsewhere for a place to build its fourth school, and return 38 acres to John and Jerilee Geddes. The site has been at the center of a legal dispute between the board and the Geddeses since April. The family originally agreed to a $3 million price for the 38-acre parcel, but af-ter switching legal representation prior to signing over the land, was informed that the land was worth an estimated $13 million. The Geddeses upped the asking price and fi led suit against the district.

    Narrow country roads and

    lack of other infrastructure at the site has also been a problem. The school was expected to host about 2,200 students and open in 2012, but the economic slowdown has chilled growth and the need for a new school is not as imminent.

    When we fi rst proposed the site, we got a big reaction from the county and the cities of Brentwood and Oakley because they were concerned about pub-lic safety and traffi c issues, said LUHSD Superintendednt Jerry Glenn. As the board reviewed the EIR for fi nalization in August, it became very clear that Site 4 isnt the best place for a comprehensive high school like we had originally hoped. Since the site doesnt seem like a viable option, there was no point in continuing with the (Ged-des) lawsuit.

    Frank Spinelli, who lives near the Delta-Sellers intersection, was

    see School page 22A

    by Samie HartleyStaff Writer

    Perfection of presence

    A principal has challenged his students to achieve the unthinkable. Page 10A

    Back in business Our local fire protection district recently reopened a rural station. Page 4A

    Online Now!

    www.thepress.netYour Hometown Web Site

    A display of daring derrieres takes place on the waters of Bethel Island.

    Glacial glutesgo to news/WebExtras!

    A local sanitation district won a national award for its excellence in procurement.

    Super sanitarygo to news/press releases

    Locals gave the 235th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps a hearty hooah!

    Corps lorego to multimedia/videos

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    Fire district reopens Sunshine station

    The East Contra Costa Fire Pro-tection District has reopened one of three fire stations recently closed due to budget woes.

    On Monday, firefighters reported back to work at the Marsh Creek/Morgan Territory area station known as the Sunshine Station. Staffed by Cal Fire crews during the fire season, the station had historically been kept open from Nov. 15 to May 15 by means of $366,000 paid by the ECCFPD.

    In June, however, the ECCFPD board voted to discontinue the Cal Fire contract, as well as close stations in Discovery Bay and Byron, as a way to cope with inadequate funding. De-spite the closures, the district might still run out of money by 2012.

    Residents in the Sunshine Sta-tions coverage area organized and came to the Nov. 1 ECCFPD meeting to plead their case. As a result of the stations closure, insurance rates had skyrocketed and some homeowners even faced foreclosure because their homes were uninsurable.

    Its fair to say we werent fully informed of some of the insurance implications (and) the foreclosure risk, said ECCFPD Chairman Erick Stonebarger. We also had an orga-

    nized group that came and communi-cated their position, which we didnt have in June.

    Stonebarger said he did not ex-pect additional information to come forward that might affect the status of the other two shuttered stations. The effort to provide service at levels the public wants will continue to be a struggle until more money is forth-coming, most likely from a tax in-

    crease.The funding structure of this

    district doesnt work, Stonebarger said. The district in general will real-ize that very quickly as we run out of cash in 2012.

    The only way to save the district from even more dire circumstances, he said