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Frivolous lawsuit against Water
District; Temporary Restraining Order denied
Superior Court Judge Raymond M. Cadei
denied the application
for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against The Rio Linda/Elverta
Water District on Friday, March 7. Gene and Charlea Moore, who
the TRO, are suing the Water District to overturn a wage increase for
of the District. The TRO, if granted by Judge Cadei, would have
the increase that was effective December 1, 2002.
The Moore's claim that they will "suffer irreparable harm" if the
Order was not issued. Charlea Moore, under penalty of perjury, claimed
her statement to the Judge "...the Water District is in financial
and the payment of these higher salaries, without voter approval may
in disruption of water service." Moore did not include justification
her claim that the District is in financial distress and did not
how payment of higher salaries without voter approval could result in
of water service.
In their application for the Temporary Restraining Order, the Moore's claim,
through John M. Lattini, their Attorney, that they are "voters...who
water delivered through the [Water District's] system". The Moore's
water service customers and do not pay Water Fees, according to Water
General Manager Dave Andres. "How any hypothetical disruption in
could impact them is a mystery", said the Water District in its filing
the court opposing the Moore's.
The Moore's action claims that they presented a "Referendum Petition"
the Water District, later certified by the Sacramento County Registrar
Voters, verifying the validity of the Petition and its signatures. The
contend that the Water District should then have suspended the raises,
the resolution that detailed the raises or put the issue to a public
The Water District, however, responded that the referendum as
was incomplete, not meeting the requirements of the Election Code, and
the wage-setting action is not subject to referendum. The Water
further responded that the Registrar of Voters certified only the
not the validity of the petition itself.
In it's statement to the court, the Water District says "...cutting the
salaries back to their former levels creates a serious risk to the
that it will lose those employees. Losing what little staff it has is
more likely to disrupt water service than the minuscule financial
of the salary increase..."
The salary increases the Moore's would have stopped are for five
"In the three months since the salary increase took effect, it has cost
District only about $5580, or $1860 per month...defending this
lawsuit will cost the District far more than that", stated Stacey
the District's legal counsel.
The Water District's annual operating budget is $1.1 Million.
Charlea Moore recently won a seat on the Rio Linda/Elverta Recreation
and Park District Board of Directors.