Monday Aug 29 2011
Editor's View: Readers try to clear the air
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
After my column in last week’s El Dorado Hills Telegraph, some residents sounded off online or on the phone. One woman, whose name I neglected to jot down in my caffeine-deprived haze, said she personally knows Tracey Lynn Lowry, the El Dorado Hills CSD human resources director at the center of the John Skeel fiasco. “I think a lot of this stems from the unions,” she said. “It’s very frustrating. I don’t believe she (Lowry) has that much power. She’s a paper pusher. (The CSD board is) not going to give one little (human resources) person all this power. There have been a lot of problems at the CSD.” The caller said Lowry is “tasked with protecting the district. She wouldn’t do anything to cause problems for the district. … She can’t defend herself (because) of confidentiality laws. … That place is like Peyton Place.” Another caller, Greg, said my column was dead on. “If (Lowry) is at the center of all this, something needs to be looked at,” he said in his voicemail message. As we reported, Lowry was involved with the Cameron Park CSD’s recruitment of a general manager, only to see him get the ax a year later. Skeel was with the El Dorado Hills CSD for less than six months. Going by BillSmythe on EDHTelegraph.com, one reader wrote, “Great (column), though I think you don’t go far enough. As a 12-year resident of EDH, I’ve seen the growth and the growing pains of this community. I’ve never attended a CSD meeting until (Aug. 23). What I saw horrified me. I’ve never seen a Board of Directors — and… their legal counsel — act so unprofessionally. “The entire audience of EDH (residents) were in overwhelming support of (John) Skeel and loud disapproval of the CSD board. Though … (the board) remained defiant and arrogant in the face of their constituents. Basically, to make a long story short, it’s a power struggle between the board and the new employee (the general manager) they hired. The board refuses to let the GM do the job they hired him to do. They want to do the job themselves. And this is after they vetted (Skeel) out of 70 candidates for the job. This is very disturbing.” The reader goes on to write, “The lawsuits are rolling in against the CSD. Is this in the best interest of the community? … Tracey Lynn Lowry must be fired. John Skeel must be reinstated.” Someone by the online handle paulyoung wrote, “Clearly, Tracey Lynn Lowry, the HR manager, is the source of the problems at CSD. ... Now that employees are not afraid to come forward so much more will come out about Tracey Lynn Lowry’s activities during her tenure at CSD. The meeting I was at ... was encouraging. The residents of EDH are fed up with an incompetent CSD board and are determined to right the ship. Remember ... more to come on Tracey Lynn.” By the time this paper hit the streets, the Skeel issue should have been resolved. But there are obviously deeper issues within the battered district that should be examined and we’ll strive to do so. Don Chaddock is the managing editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (916) 351-3753.