Saturday, November 19, 2016

Updated May 2017

"Never try to best an idiot.  He'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience..."  

Howdy folks and welcome to the journal.
A seemingly non-ending and senseless saga, a contest pitting Dumb against Dumber for the title of all around Dumbest or maybe it's simply my journey chronicling an almost Viet Nam flashback-like bad trip into the land of  "you can't fix stupid..." Well, if I can't fix it, the next best thing is to make is go far away, which by the way, I found out isn't that easy to accomplish either. This journal is an accurate account of a mostly unreal but sadly true struggle between doing the right thing and the wrong thing and whether caring to know the difference even matters.

Some Things you Never See Coming
I reside in Old Shasta. The town is served-well there are those who feel "ruled" is a more accurate description, by an entity - Shasta Community Services District. Although referred to as a Community Service to perhaps give you a feeling of being part of a community and being served at the same time, their true nature is more like a utility company in that if you fall behind on paying for a service they provide, it won't be long before the service is taken away from you until such time as you pay your bill up to and including sizable and non-debatable drought fines as may be applicable.

I mention the utility thing for those of you who for some weird reason might be sentimentally attached and say (fanning your southern-like Shasta faces) - "oh that Shasta CSDwhereva would we be without them...?" Please, if being provided services that you pay for then you have yourself a utility. Just ask folks in the big city where utility relationships can and do run a bit colder.

To expand a little further, if you reside in an unincorporated area or town chances are you are located too far out to receive city services, supposedly, the folklore is that folks within your little berg can get together, elect board members, mass a few workers, get a building with a door large enough to accommodate the SHASTA COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT sign and presto-chango, you have your self a Community Service District. 

Districts can provide an assortment of services including water, sanitation, fire etc. The Shasta CSD provides water and Fire service in and around our little town. Station 56 is our Shasta CSD representation of all things emergency. A small notation that as you will see, will grow to a size that might rival an elephants ass...

Battalion Chief - You're joking, right?
Unbeknownst to me but not really surprising, some of the Shasta CSD employees and even board members reside in and around our little town. Not unlike Alcatraz where way back when, in the day, a lot of their employees lived in the immediate Alcatraz community. Now, imagine you have an Shasta CSD employee in the capacity of oh let's say - Battalion Chief of our Fire Dept/emergency services as your neighbor. Feeling pretty safe are ya? Like living next door to a cop right?  In this case you would sadly - be wrong.

First I should ask - How many of you even know what a Battalion Chief's responsibilities/duties are? It would seem to me that our town is so small (1200-1400 residents?) a battalion of anything would be overkill. Now don't be so quick to dismiss the question. If you're not aware, yours and my taxes primarily pay for a Community Service District ops.For those of you not in the know the Shasta CSD Water Dept 2016-2017 expenses is $568,399 and the Shasta Fire Dept is $235,055.  Somewhere in that $235,000 is a Battalion Chief's salary and I for one, don't even know where Shasta CSD keeps our battalion. if you look at the crew photo near the bottom of the page, is this our battalion? They're all dressed in the same uniform but sorry, I'm just not feeling the battalion thing. 

Some shit you just can't make up
Soooo, back to the neighbor, the Battalion Chief. Let's cut to the chase.  You live in Shasta, you pay Shasta Community Services District for water and fire services and THEIR Battalion Chief/employee lives next door to you. One last thing-  You discover that the Battalion Chief/neighbor who/whom you assumed would possess the kind of moral character and training required to lead men in the saving of life and property acts and behaves more like the village idiot. Or a modern day Attila the Hun with village idiot tendencies. 

You also assumed that if things got perilous on your property or in your neighborhood he was your man for the job. You assumed all this because you also assumed that as a public servant/employee, he signed on to do just that. Last assumption - and you would assume that his employer, Shasta CSD would take some ownership/responsibilty and step in if Battalion Chief "Hun" got to acting a bit too "hunny"...Not so. Instead, in all your many years of living in many neighborhoods, you find yourself in a worst case scenario which is living next door to (drum roll please) -the Shasta Community Services District employee/Battalion Chief -NEIGHBOR FROM HELL...And ironically, that same community emergency services you pay for, refuses to save you...

~ we don't need no stinking culverts ~
(or stupid is as stupid does)

Massive drainage ditch excavated by Battalion Chief Mark Pereira - DANGER! DANGER!!

Remember when I said "you can't fix stupid..."? My journey begins here (above photo)- Miners Gulch Rd. An old, barely holding it's own, utility easement road local residents rely on to get back and forth from their properties to the nearest main road - Rock Creek Rd. During heavy rain storms, Miners Gulch Rd receives a tremendous amount of surface water. The ditch is Shasta CSD employee/Battalion Chief Mark Pereira's idea of how to manage surface runoff. "Gee Batt Chief, drop in a culvert, cover it over and you're a hero, not a mega-dumbass as the photo ummm proves?

The below photo illustrates a 200 yard long, 30 percent downhill grade which because of the steep incline, rapidly feeds massive amounts of runoff to Pereira's ditch 300 yards further down the hill. If Batt Chief Pereira had consulted with the technical folks on the water side of his employer Shasta CSD, they would have told him that water, given an ample distance to run with above average volume and speed both being supplied or generated by a steep hill side, would render his ditch in serious need of a...culvert.

   A 200 yard, 30 percent incline which rapidly feeds massive amounts of runoff to Pereira's ditch 300 yards below

With no realistic water management methods or devices such as properly constructed rock-lined drainage ditches or strategically installed culverts in place, an entire mountainside of runoff pretty much goes wherever gravity takes it and as seen in the below photos, it usually does.

Pereira's ditch after October rains - Apprx 2.5 feet wide now

Oh, too late.  Looking at above and below photos, I would think it's time for more stable minds to say to the Chief - "Put the pick and shovel down dude and back away.  In fact, just go home...Hard to believe this guy is certified to drive a big red with flashing lights and siren.

Severe road surface damage done by Mr Pereira's ditch

Again, the above and below photos illustrate the cause and effect results of the surface run-off management technique (ditch) our obviously delusional Fire Station 56 Battalion Chief came up with. Actually, judging by all the photos, I suspect delusional is just scratching the surface. His ditch attempts to divert an entire mountainside of water into a 12 inch culvert that was installed in the 1980's to handle only brief but extreme periods of runoff accumulation. Whatever does not go through the pipe runs freely down and across the road way.                  

More damage caused by Batt Chief Pereira's careless actions - Adjacent property flooding

As the above photo shows, a tremendous amount of water now flows through the pipe for long periods of time causing obvious damage to a neighbors property.  In pointing this out to Chief Pereira, his reaction is - "Oh well, sucks to be you..."  Now from the above photos you might draw the simple conclusion that the Chief is just being stupid and or thoughtless and you would be partly correct. The ditch is indeed stupid and thoughtless but the simple reality is it is also an intentional act of vandalism being inflicted on our neighborhood.  In the end and even more important, the ditch is a very dangerous road hazard. But the story doesn't end here. It doesn't even begin here.

The Beginning -The photos beg the question -WHY? Why would a fellow property owner, a supposedly educated person, a public service employee, and finally and most important- a BATTALION FIRE CHIEF who serves our community  and should be committed to at the very least, an awareness of overall public safety and goodwill, commit such a despicable and dangerous act towards his own community and the general public as well and that incidentally, no other resident would even begin to consider simply because of fear of being held personally libel or at the very least, be given the title of community moron?  The answer is two-fold. Payback and power. Put more bluntly, "I WILL cut off my nose to spite your face..." I also suspect there is a Napoleon height complex issue at work also but I'll let that go for now. 

The PAYBACK - There was a time, a committed neighbor using his own equipment and without any charge to residents, maintained Miners Gulch Rd. With the road being about two football fields long, this was not a quick nor easy task. Equipment fuel and maintenance not withstanding. Each grading required several hours but the result was a very nice looking neighborhood road with no drainage problems. If drainage problems did occur, they were taken care of by the resident and his tractor. 

But Battalion Chief Pereira and family members, having no regard, recognition or appreciation for this free but vital community service, would "blast" racing quads up and down the road as they had been doing for years- spinning do-nuts, creating berms and generally destroying our road. This offensive behavior also included disrupting the quiet serenity of our neighborhood because the racing style quads have no mufflers. When told the road maintenance would cease if the quad destruction continued, the Battalion Chief felt his right to disrupt and destroy our neighborhood was more important than resident concerns and thus he continued, unabated. The maintenance was halted and the very next winter, voila, we now have a ridiculous and worthless ditch that now serves no purpose at all but to continue to aid in deteriorating Miners Gulch Rd to an all time shameful condition.

The POWER - While in the midst of digging the ditch, Battalion Chief Pereira was immediately and verbally confronted with the first obvious conclusion which was - his ditch was incredibly offensive to the neighborhood. Descriptions of stupid and ill-conceived were followed by pointing out the ditch could be highly dangerous road hazard to not only vehicles but to foot traffic as well. When confronted with the overall incredible ridiculousness of his ditch- the destruction of our neighborhood and the dangerous hazard, Battalion Chief Pereria merely laughed and said if the ditch does cause an accident, "I have good homeowners insurance..." I laughed also as I tried to imagine his insurance agent selling him the best road ditch insurance available....

It was pointed out that if he (the Chief) would have just stopped tearing up the road, the maintenance would not have been halted and his ditch would not be necessary. It was also pointed out that he, Battalion Chief Pereira was in fact, vandalizing a public road. Finally, he was more or less shamed by pointing out the fact that he WAS a Battalion Chief and he should just know better. The above photos shows Chief Pereira's reaction which was quite the opposite - shame and knowing better be damned.

The Plot Thickens (the ditch deepens)
If you reside in the town of Shasta, water and fire services are provided by Shasta Community Services District. Within the Shasta CSD is a Water Department Staff and a Fire Department Staff. Both are managed by the Water Department General Manager.  So in essence, the General Manager of the Water Department is the boss of the Fire  Department.  The Fire Department Staff consists of a Fire Chief and just below him, a Battalion Chief. The Fire Chief is the boss of the Battalion Chief.

I tell you all that so I can tell you this - When all attempts to reason with our neighbor, Battalion Chief Pereira failed, the decision was made to contact his boss, the Shasta CSD  Station 56 Fire Chief Mark Todd in hopes that perhaps he (the Fire Chief) could appeal to Pereira's professional side as a public service employee and somehow explain to Pereira that his negative attitude and destructive behavior towards his neighbors and neighborhood needed to cease immediately.  Simply stated, the Fire Chief said what Battalion Chief Pereira did on his own time was his own business. End of conversation. Well Mr. Fire Chief, not exactly.

The Fire Chief's boss, the Shasta CSD General Manager Chris Koeper was then contacted. The entire situation was explained but this time, instead of approaching the problem as Battalion Chief Pereira acting like the war monger of Miners Gulch Rd on "his own time", the case was made - "You hired this guy. He does not set a good example as a Community Services District employee, in fact he sets a terrible example.  He (Pereira) doesn't care which must mean that Shasta CSD must not care either. A sort of lead-by-example thing..." 

Setting the record straight
First, it is a Shasta CSD obligation, responsibility and duty, not as a private enterprise but as a Community Service District to put forth the most qualified employees in the Fire Department Services as well as within ANY emergency services department. That said, these same employees, as public servants, should also be expected to be held to at least a  respectable level of personal moral standards in their own community as an example to others. The simple result of failing to do so transcends into a lack of faith and respect for that public service individual not only in his or hers neighborhood but in the workplace as well. Such is the case we have here within the Shasta Community Service District personnel structure.

On Oct 29, 2016 a lengthy dialogue took place with Chris Koeper, Shasta CSD Manager and overseer of Station 65 and its employees. Mr Koeper, in my opinion held the same point of view as Fire Chief Todd. No apologies, no reasoning and no attempt at recognizing or admitting a possible problem with the apparently beloved and protected Battalion Chief. Or maybe Mr Koeper was just doing the CYA thing. They do that a lot in little towns where they think nobody is paying attention.  

When push comes to shove
Left with no choice, I did two things. I first informed him (Mr Koeper) that due to Battalion Chief Pereira's objectionable and unacceptable behavior as a neighbor in addition to his poor attitude towards our neighborhood in general, if Mr Koeper did not find a solution, Battalion Chief Pereira would not be allowed on my property in any Shasta CSD capacity emergency and if necessary, a restraining order would be put in place against Mr Pereira to insure this demand. 

I saw no reason why I should recognize, respect or allow his presence and or services when he has little or no regards for others and he himself is a flaming idiot. The simple question arises- If he gives me no reason to trust or have faith in him as a decent human being when it comes to basic character, why should I put my life and or property in his hands?  If trust is truly earned, at this point Mr Pereira is not deserving to any degree and I intend to hold his employer, Shasta CSD responsible. 

I also made it clear that I would hold Shasta CSD responsible for still providing me and my property the fire and emergency services my taxpayer dollars were paying for, just without Pereira's presence. Mr Koeper's only response was to inform me he would run the possible banning of an emergency services employee from my property by the Shasta CSD in house lawyers as to whether it could be done. It didn't seem to occur to him, the negative message that the demand would send either way. 

The second thing I did was to create this blog. I want all to know that if you live in a Community Services District, you do not have to settle for less than you deserve in regard to services. You do not have to endure bullying, intimidation and disrespect or stupidity simply because that neighbor happens to work for your community services. It is my intention to see that Battalion Chief Pereira as well as Shasta CSD are both brought to much higher standards.

The Quality Of A Business Is Reflected By Its Employees And Vice-Versa
It is my suspicion that Battalion Chief Pereira's negative and often times bizarre behavior towards his neighbors and neighborhood may not all be his fault.  In that I mean, after looking into the Shasta CSD operation quality standards and an evident propensity to either not bother with important details or even to look the other way on others, Shasta CSD seems to share Pereira's attitude of "do as I say, not as I do. Though not of the destructive and disdainful nature that Battalion Chief Pereira exhibits, the lack of concern Shasta CSD holds for its employees attitudes and behavior is similar to Mr Pereira's

Will that be for here or to go?
On that note, the below 2 photos illustrate that Batt Chief Pereira is apparently allowed by his employer Shasta CSD to drive our BIG emergency trucks home...for lunch. Yes, that's right. Apparently, in order to put required "time" on these emergency vehicles, he drives these huge bastards approx 2 miles from the station to his home. Here's the biggest problem - What if the multiple personnel/crew vehicle he chose to drive home on that particular day was needed in an EMERGENCY while parked in Batt Chief Pereira's yard?  Would Bat Chief Pereira A) Waste PRECIOUS time and double back to the station to pick up a crew? B) Call the station crew and say " Hey fellas, call a cab, I'll meet you out there? Or C) Does the seemingly egotistical and short-sighted Chief just show up at the emergency, all by himself in a truck meant to carry a VITALLY NECESSARY crew? 

Let's just imagine a turned over big rig up on the 299W grade, the driver is trapped and the rig is leaking fuel. Does the Chief really have time to go back to the station to pick up a crew and does protocol really say it's prudent for him to show up in one of the above trucks all by himself? If I'm the big rig driver and I survive, I'm coming after Shasta CSD for seriously flawed policy. At that point I would have to also question whether Station 56 and Shasta CSD is really taking their emergency response responsibilities seriously. Personally I find this Shasta CSD policy impossible to fathom.

Whew!  Dodged A Bullet - This Time  There you have it. The "what if" almost became an "it was bound to happen and one day it did" scenario for the good Chief and his employer, Shasta Community Services District. Well, at least for the SCSD. I doubt seriously if Periera with his shining lack of moral judgement/character would have cared one way or the other.  Fortunately for the SCSD,  the accident happened in late afternoon. If the accident had happened just a mere 5 hours earlier and on a day when the Chief chose to cruise home for lunch in our half million dollar piece of emergency equipment such as he has chosen to do on at least 3 occasions the same month as this terrible accident- May,2017 and if the SCSD Emergency Response Team were actually needed, I do believe the SCSD would have been up to their collective necks in "Where the hell is our emergency crew truck...?"  What is the point of Shasta residents paying for emergency equipment, personnel and services if those in charge are not taking the services seriously begin with?  I'm sure, God forbid, eventually a Highway 299 accident victim's attorney as well as the local Shasta County Grand Jury Investigative T
eam may be asking the same question(s)...

 Apparently it is Shasta CSD policy to allow Pereira to drive OUR emergency vehicle home for lunch

Again, Shasta CSD policy allows taking OUR emergency crew trucks home for lunch 

To Station 56 and other public service emergency personnel who put it all on the line everyday - As a Viet Nam era veteran, I have nothing but admiration and respect for the risks you fellas take. But you have to know that valor and reliability at work is not enough. When you go home to your neighborhood do your neighbors like you? Respect you? Trust you? Do they feel safe in knowing they can rely on you?  If none of this applies to you or it's something you do not care about, sorry man. What you do at work means nothing to me. You're just another Battalion Chief Pereira ; Someone who thinks the only way to get respect is by using their position as a public servant to carry out mindless acts of neighborhood terrorism. Pure and simple.

 Shasta CSD Station 56 - It is my opinion Pereira doesn't deserve to be in this photo with these good men let alone hold the position of a Battalion Chief who is supposed to be a leader off men. No offense or disrespect meant to the other good men of Station 56.

We're Not Done ~

Notes along the way... 

Apparently, Shasta CSD allows "arrested but not convicted" family members of upper-echelon personnel especially if your family.  Yes, Chief Pereira's son is now part of OUR Shasta Community Services District emergency response team and fire department which, according to SCSD management, they weren't actually aware the son had gotten himself into trouble. Hopefully he (the son) will be more successful than his father in understanding and exhibiting the required behavior of what it takes and what it means to be a public servant in our community and why being a simple decent neighbor is directly connected.

Here's something - 
Hey Pereira - There's an opening for a Battalion Chief in Chico.  Your chance to be a REAL Chief.  Hell, I'll even drive you to the interview.  Of course, you may not be allowed to drive home for lunch every day and I certainly don't think Chico residents would let you park the big fire trucks in from of your house while you have your daily P & B lunch nooner. This is assuming you relocate from the Miner's Gulch neighbor you currently terrorize. You would be moving wouldn't you...? 

Second thought, after listening and discovering your narcissistic — "I'm better and more important the God" BS claims, I'm sure they Chico big league fire depth would say "Beat it dude, we really have no use for idiots here..."