If first you don't succeed ...

Lydia Miller, President
San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center
P.O. Box 778
Merced, CA 95341

Steve Burke
Protect Our Water
3105 Yorkshire Lane
Modesto CA 95350

County of Merced
2222 “M” Street
Merced, CA 95340
(209) 385-7654
(209) 726-1710 Fax

Dee Tatum
Chief Administrative Officer

Robert Lewis
Director of Planning and Economic Development

Ruben Castillo
County Counsel

Merced Co. Board of Supervisors
dist1@co.merced.ca.us etc.

John LeVan

Re: Public documents about the Hostetler/Livingston pipeline project

Date: March 21, 2006

Dear Merced County Public Officials,

On Feb. 27, 2006, County Counsel Ruben Castillo responded to our two requests under the state Public Records Act for all information concerning the Ranchwood/Livingston pipeline through county land by mailing us two documents: 1) A revenue sharing agreement between the County of Merced and the City of Livingston; and 2) A copy of the agreement between the City of Livingston and Ranchwood Homes.

First, we requested to view all documents.

Mr. Castillo claims these are the only two documents in county possession.

Planning Director Robert Lewis' claim on March 11 that "Ranchwood homes was issued a stop work order. Based on findings".

Pursuant to public rights under the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.) and the California Constitution, as amended by passage of Prop 59 on November 3, 2004, we are writing to request to review all documents in County possession pertaining to the Ranchwood/Livingston pipeline including but not limited to:

(1) meetings
(2) emails
(3) correspondence
(4) phone logs
(5) memos
(6) inspections
(7) stop orders
(8) findings
(9) agreements.
(10) staff reports

We would like to review these records at a time and place to be arranged, prior to any copying taking place. As provided by the Public Records Act, you have ten days to determine whether you have records subject to the Act. We look forward to hearing from you regarding this arrangement. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. Thank you for your time and courtesy.

If you determine that any or all or the information is exempt from disclosure, we ask that you reconsider that determination in view of Prop 59, which has amended the state Constitution to require that all exemptions be “narrowly construed.” Prop 59 may modify or overturn authorities on which you have relied in the past.

If you nonetheless determine that the requested records are subject to a still-valid exemption, we would further request that: (1) you exercise your discretion to disclose some or all of the records notwithstanding the exemption; and (2) that, with respect to records containing both exempt and non-exempt content, you redact the exempt content and disclose the rest.

Finally, should you deny part or all of this request, you are required to provide a written response describing the legal authority or authorities on which you rely. Please also address the question whether Prop 59 requires disclosure even though authorities predating Prop 59 may appear to support your exemption claim.

If we can provide any clarification that will help expedite your attention to this request, please contact us at (209) 723-9283.

We renew our request to meet with CEO Dee Tatum and department heads regarding this project.


Lydia M. Miller Steve Burke

Bruce Owdom, Esq.
Interested parties