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2004 Year in Review

2004 was a year of continued growth by the Saddle Creek Community Services District.  It was also a year of substantial growth in our community.  The sight of sold signs on so many lots and houses and the number of new homes being built is encouraging to all of us as Board Members and as residents. Castle & Cooke’s plans to start Copper Village shortly are also exciting.  We wish Castle & Cooke continued success in developing the area.

Policies
During this last year, under the capable oversight of Charlie Martin, our CSD General Manager, we made strides that will help our operations run smoothly for years to come.  Charlie possesses an understanding of municipal law and the inner workings of county and municipal governments, city infrastructure and maintenance, and wetlands management. His experience managing people, developing working relationships with governmental agencies and developers, and hands-on experience developed in his 10 years as city manager in Los Banos has already proved invaluable.

As promised at the end of 2003, the CSD set up policies for the operations of the Privacy Gates so that the Privacy Guards operate in a more professional manner. We thank Castle & Cooke for providing uniforms to the gate staff so their appearance to the public has been enhanced.

Because of the rapid growth of Saddle Creek during 2004, we set up operational rules and policies for CSD employees and set up policies for CSD business operations.  By implementing this structure now, we ensure the CSD’s ability to operate under legally valid guidelines into the future.

Growth
As your neighborhoods are growing, so is your CSD. In fact, we have outgrown the confines of the cramped Saddle Creek Gatehouse and have moved into a trailer (graciously provided by Castle & Cooke). The new office is located to the left and down the gravel road by the green on Hole #2 next to the Castle & Cooke Administration building.

2004 saw our District Clerk Ruth Foy leave for a new life in Arizona, to be replaced by Sue Russ. We again thank Ruth for all her efforts and wish her luck. Sue has jumped right in and will have the fun of organizing the District records in our new office.

On-Site Staff
Greg Hebard and his crew continue to make sure that Saddle Creek CSD property looks its best.  Their hard work makes the Board Members proud because everyone in Saddle Creek benefits.  Greg and his crew have been provided uniforms so that the CSD’s presence is more visible.

Greg has been appointed to the Mosquito Abatement Regional Control Board. This is a great accomplishment for Greg personally, and for the CSD. The CSD Board has established the only Mosquito Abatement District in Calaveras County. This major benefit to our residents is a vital step to our growth as a community.

Fire
Of course, no 2004 summary would be complete without mention of the Copper fire which started on Friday, August 6th, and burned for several days eventually burning over 3500 acres. Although told to prepare to evacuate, Saddle Creek residents were thankful the fire was contained before having to do so.

The fire burned long into the night, keeping engines, bulldozers and hand crews busy, and causing more than a few residents some anxious moments.  However to the efforts of the California Department of Forestry (CDF), Copper’s Volunteer Fire Department, and members of our community, Saddle Creek was spared any serious damage.

The CSD again extends its sincere gratitude to Copper Fire District Chief Dennis Powers and CDF Captain Mario Fernandez and their respective teams for their tireless efforts.  Additionally, we ask that you all join us in praising Greg Hebard, CSD’s Onsite Manager, and Castle & Cooke employees Les and Tina Stanton, Eddie Gouzenne, Ken Kelly and “Azzo” Azzopardi for going above and beyond the call of duty to save our lovely valley.  Additionally our thanks to Calaveras Telephone for providing additional water trucks.

Images courtesy of Dennis Merrill.