Thursday, May 19, 2011
All Jan Shriner wanted were financial specifics on the Monterey Bay Regional Desalination Project – not an unreasonable request, she figured, given that she’s on the Marina Coast Water District Board, a key partner in the project.
But what she got at the May 10 meeting was an accusation from MCWD General Manager Jim Heitzman.
“I was accused of creating a hostile work environment,” says Shriner, who won a board seat last November. Heitzman’s harsh words left her “stunned, wondering if I’d heard correctly.”
She had, says fellow board member Dan Burns. “It’s not the first time Jim’s made this claim,” he adds. Burns chalks the tensions up to Shriner’s direct style and lack of experience on the board.
But Shriner says the larger issue is the district’s stonewalling. She filed a public records request with Heitzman’s office May 8.
Heitzman did not respond to the Weekly’s multiple requests for comment.
LandWatch Executive Director Amy White says her organization shares Shriner’s concerns. “We’ve got a board of directors who will not authorize spending money to get their meetings broadcast,” she says. (The board’s meetings are sporadically filmed by volunteers for local public access station AMP.)
During the May 10 meeting board Director Ken Nishi called the push to film public meetings a “coordinated attack on the integrity of the board.”