Mountain House board sets long-term goals
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Oct 18, 2012 | 2661 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Directors of the Mountain House Community Services District took their first steps Oct. 10 toward developing a three-year strategic plan.

The board voted 4-1, with Director Celeste Farron dissenting, to approve three goals that will be pursued by Mountain House government and staff.

The goals were to improve customer service; to achieve and maintain long-term financial stability; and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the board and overall organization.

Staff now has direction for the initial process to developing a strategic plan, the outcome of a planning retreat in late June.

According to interim General Manager Mimi Duzenski, staff members will next come up with a plan to achieve the three goals that the board initiated, including compiling data to determine if the community services district is meeting the new goals.

Though Farron was the only one to vote in opposition Wednesday, she was not the only board member to criticize the proposal.

Director Andy Su said he favored surveys and stressed that staff needed to send one to residents to measure the community’s opinion of the government and create a matrix so they could define benchmarks to track improvements.

“I support the goals, but I don’t support the initiatives under the goals,” Su said. “The objectives are subjective, not measurable. We have no idea where the problem is.”

The board unanimously approved Su’s subsequent motion to create a survey; eliminate the objectives that were originally listed with each goal to provide staff with starting points to accomplish each goal; and seek a 20 percent improvement in the community’s satisfaction with customer service within three years.

Director Jass Singh said the board and staff should take action as soon as weaknesses are identified. He suggested the district should strive for a quarterly or annual 20 percent improvement in customer service, which he described as similar to the goal of a corporation.

But Su told Singh a 20 percent annual improvement rate was unachievable.

After the goals were approved, Lamb motioned to put some of the objectives Su’s motion stripped back into place for staff consideration.

Under customer service, Lamb said it was critical to “reinitiate the objectives” so the board can make utility services more user-friendly, establish a procedure to obtain feedback about utility billing services, and have staff present alternatives to improve the CSD’s ability to respond to reports of violations.

Lamb also moved to reinstate financial stability objectives to establish a capital improvement plan and identify grants available to the district. He also moved to list board policies on the city website and provide orientation for new board members.

The board voted in favor of Lamb’s suggestions by a 3-2 vote, with Farron and Su in opposition.

Duzenski said she would report back to the board in a month on a proposed plan to achieve the strategic initiatives.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

At a glance

• WHAT: Mountain House Community Services District board of directors regular meeting

• WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10

• WHERE: Michael Forbes McGrew Boardroom, 230 S. Sterling Drive

• DETAILS: President Bernice King Tingle, Vice President Jim Lamb and directors Celeste Farron, Jass Singh and Andy Su were present.
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