2012-2013 MCCGJA Board
Per President Chernock, these are the Board members as of this writing:
Photos and some backgrounds are available on the Our Board and Officers page of this Website.
- President: Mike Chernock
- Vice President: James Murad
- Treasurer: Linda Glasscock
- Secretary: John Carapiet
- Directors at Large: Judy Chapman, Steve Gach
- Emeritus Advisors to the Board: Betty Mattea and Lowell Smith
President Mike Chernock, reports:
This month I will call my report, "THE UNSUNG HEROES OF THE MCCGJA."
sure it comes as no surprise that most, if not all grand jurors’
association chapters in the State, are in a never ending struggle to
entice membership. Chapter Boards constantly scramble to balance the
services offered by a Chapter against the number of members who are
both willing and able to deliver those services. And yet, no matter
what the head count or energy level of our individual Chapters in any
given year, the work somehow (seemingly miraculously) manages to get
done… and done well! Marin is no exception to that rule and, even
though I'm an odds-on favorite to embarrass myself and miss someone
noteworthy, I'm going to have to risk it to highlight this year's
unsung heroes of the MCCGJA.
Since everyone's contribution is
equally appreciated (and I'm a coward), I will list Chapter heroes in
alphabetical order rather than in level of support:
- Al Lozano
- comes to virtually every meeting and keeps me honest on every detail.
(No, that's a good thing - REALLY!). One of the first things I scan for
at our membership meetings is that beret!
- Ann Marie Melanephy
- "Social Annie" as her e-mail states, is the go-to gal for setting up
Chapter (and MCCGJA Regional) meetings - especially if they are to be
held at McInnis Park. You might errantly conclude that the process to
set up meetings takes little more than a phone call or two but you
would be massively mistaken. The details to pull off a good event are
legion. If you don't think so, just come over and review my e-mail
ramp-up just prior to every meeting.
- Betty Mattea
- Board mentor and official (and unofficial) advisor. There isn't much
about the workings of the Chapter (or the GCJA for that matter) that
she doesn't know. I could expound for pages regarding the quality of
her solicited and advisory support but I think our e-mail salutations
say it all: I have taken to addressing my e-mails to Betty as "Dear
Sensei" and signing them "Grasshopper."
- Brad Breithaupt
- the Political Editor of the Independent Journal has been an amazing
cheerleader for the Civil Grand Jury. By my count, the IJ has printed
over 45 articles concerning the reports generated by the 2011-2012
Civil Grand Jury alone. Talking to other civil grand juries, it is
clear that we have a real leg up by having that kind of full support
from the local media. I thought long and hard before I mentioned Brad -
not wanting to compromise or bias his position in any way - but then I
realized that his support is strongly for the Grand Jury System but not
necessarily for all our reports. When he disagrees, his support of the
system does not inhibit his blasting us and pointing out the errors of
our ways. And that's the way it should be! He plays the role of our
conscience as well as he plays the role of cheerleader - and we need
and appreciate both roles.
- Brant Miller
- the best "nit-picker" I know. That may seem like a degrading
characterization until you realize that, because of the nitty-gritty
nature of his finance investigation during his seated Jury year, he was
the obvious go to person to head the Chapter's annual financial review.
Even when I offered to personally pay the errant $5.00 on our books
that took so long to find, he opted to stick with it until he found the
error - because that's the way he rolls! And, oh yes, he DID find the
- Catherine McKown
- Has anyone not been taught Grand Jury orientation concepts by
Catherine? No one I have talked to can remember when she has not been
our mentor. Catherine is still here this year and has already corralled
a team to orient the 2013-2014 Marin Civil Grand Jury. In spite of all
her experience, she is still open to tweaking the curriculum and this
year several innovations will be tried and evaluated (such as carrying
a single theoretical topic from start to completion to show the new
jurors the complete genesis of an investigation). Catherine is also one
of the spark plugs of the recruiting process and was able to teach even
me how to interview for potentially successful new jurors.
- James Murad
- If I were surrounded in a gun fight, Jim is the kind of guy know I
would turn around and find that he was there covering my back. As a
lawyer he has made himself interpreter of the policies and guidelines
and as such, keeps me honest. He has also done a number of other
generous things that make me admire him greatly, but he would be very
upset if I outed his generosity.
- John Carapiet
- As secretary and advisor, John has been on the Board much longer than
most of us. John is versatile and always willing to take on new tasks.
Next year it is likely that he and Linda Glasscock will be exchanging
the Treasurer and Secretary positions.
- Judy Chapman
– Directors-at-large tend to be non-descript jobs but not for Judy. As
one of the spark plugs representing the Civil Grand Jury at the annual
Senior Faire, her efforts always garner a significant number of jury
candidates for the upcoming year. There is so much more that I could
add but I don't have nearly enough column space to do her justice.
- Karin Hern
- Karin not only has a long Civil Grand Jury CV in Marin but she is
also very active representing Marin's interests on the Board of the
California Civil Grand Jurors' Association.
- Linda Glasscock
- Linda took on the Treasurer's job as a favor when we lost our first
treasurer to illness and has done a yeo"wo"mens job maintaining our
finances. It's not that we have a lot of money, mind you, but we do
have a lot of rules about spending what little we have. She has taken
the steep learning curve in stride and has totally clean books to prove
- Owen Haxton - It is
hard to forget that Owen is not on the Board. He quit his
position on the CGJA to focus completely on Chairing the recruiting
efforts for the MCCGJA. Owen works on the principle of "personal touch"
and it is not unusual for me to get 60+ FYI copies of individually
addressed, personalized e mails to members and potential members. Owen
has also mastered the art of advising me on issues while leaving me
with the impression that I actually thought up the solution myself.
- Patti Church Baseheart
- Once again, when comparing Marin to other counties, our
Administrative Aide to the Civil Grand Jury stands out as another
shining reason why we are a flagship Chapter (and flagship Civil Grand
Jury). Patti has an amazing knack for keeping the jury at arm's length
while simultaneously being there for the foreperson and jury - many
times even before they know they need help. As a juror, foreperson and
Chapter President, I can't remember making a request for help or
counsel that wasn't met with a competent and immediate "yes."
- Rich Treadgold
- After many discussions around the state and locally, it became
crystal clear to me that a most important factor that makes or breaks
the Chapter's ability to support the seated Civil Grand Jury is the
relationship the Chapter creates with the current foreperson. As this
year's foreperson, Rich quickly recognized the potential "win" for his
Grand Jury that could come from a good creative relationship with the
local Chapter. In addition, Rich skillfully walked the necessary line
between separation from and integration with the seated jury and local
Chapter. In our case the relationship quickly generated into a mutual
personal trust - something which allowed us to be honest and to express
our true opinions on all interactions as well as add productive
innovations. Of course he did threaten to subpoena me from time to time
but that is a story for another time!
- Sterling Harwell et al -
Sterling is the current chair of the Communications Technology
Committee, responsible for maintaining our Website, which was created
by Gene Dyer, Irwin Taranto, and Dennis Brown over 10 years ago. He has
a dedicated group of members who do everything they can to keep the
Chapter transparent and the members completely informed of all issues.
Sterling has been around for a long time and is not afraid to speak his
mind. That is as it should be. Dedicated people like Sterling and his
committee keep us grounded and aware of our rich heritage - especially
those of us new to the Chapter.
- Beate Boultinghouse, Dan Mufson
- Although I've taken a little heat for spending too much time talking
to folks outside the Marin Chapter, I would be remiss if I didn't at
least respond with how much I've learned from the time I've spent with
other Chapters. Foremost among my outside mentors would, hands down, be
Beate and Dan. Beate resides in San Francisco and Dan in Napa. Their
support of me personally and the Marin Chapter in general was legion
this year. On a personal note, they built me up when I was down and
beat me down when I got too big for my britches. They took on the
Implementation Review Project (a topic near to the hearts of many of
Marin's ex jurors) and helped bring State IR guidelines to fruition.
Dan taught me that if I write a complaint, I almost automatically get
put on a CGJA committee to fix the problem. Beate taught me how
incredibly valuable it is to have a third-party sounding board when you
need to work through an issue. For those of you who haven't thought
about it lately, when it comes to Civil Grand Jury service the lifetime
friendships you make are, in and of themselves, worth the price of
- General Members of the MCCGJA -
And last, but by no means least, I must recognize the general
membership of unsung heroes. If I've learned anything in these three
years it's that there are no wimps on Civil Grand Juries. As a rule,
for every ten MCCGJA members we question we will elicit ten different
ideas about how things should be done. That is the fodder that makes
for graying the hair of Chapter presidents (if they had any to start
with) but it's also the principle that makes us strong! The Civil Grand
Jury may have been around since the Magna Carta but it is still a
tenuous democratic institution that is under attack from every source
that loathes oversight. It is only through the creative commitment of
our citizens that we maintain the right to sustain this institution. So
it is with Chapters. Membership in the MCCGJA cost each of us one or
more years of our lives. The chapter will only survive when our
year-long commitment continues in service into succeeding years. We
need everyone with the passion to help.
2012-2013 MCCGJA President
published May 8, 2013
Upcoming Board and Membership Meetings
Chapter's Annual Meeting is scheduled for May 10, 2013. Officers and Directors will be elected. Our main
speaker will be Paul S. Branson, Community Mobility Manager - Marin
Transit, who will discuss transportation issues in Marin.
Grand Jury Report
Foreperson Rich Treadgold reports:
[This space reserved for Marin County Civil Grand Jury reports]published May 8, 2013
Reports remain posted until replaced by an update
Bylaws & Policies and Procedures Committee
Board Liaison and Chair, James
[This space reserved for Bylaws & Policies and Procedures
The other member of the committee is Sterling Harwell.published March 10, 2013
Communications Technology Committee
committee met in April to discuss the current status of our Website and
some of our other activities. Some of the key issues discussed were:
- Need for new committee members to backstop and/or replace current ones
to address the growing storage space required by our Website and it's
growing cost to the Chapter. We hope this will be addressed by the
Board and committees in the next term.
Did You Know?
You can access the Chapter's rules and guidelines of governance on our Website. Just click on Bylaws, Policies & Procedures in the menu panel, and you will have immediate access to:
Both documents are searchable from their Tables of Contents.
- Chapter Bylaws
- Members' Handbook of Policies and Procedures
* * * * *
We remind all Marin County Civil Grand Jurors and Chapter Members that we are available to
coach you in digital skills: computer, photography, scanners, etc.
And don't forget our TechTips are posted on our Website. Just go to the TechTips button in the Members Area.
The other members of the committee are Dennis Brown, Gene Dyer, and Frank
published May 8, 2013
Mike Chernock is Board Liaison.
Continuity Committee[This space reserved for Continuity
published August 13, 2012
Excellence in Reporting Committee[This space reserved for Excellence in Reporting
published March 10, 2013
Financial Review CommitteeThe
Financial Review Committee only functions once a year to provide an
annual independent review of the Chapter's financial records. Their
report was posted last month and is available through the News Archive
page of our Website.
published May 8, 2013
Chair, Owen Haxton reports:
Annual Reunion/Membership Meeting was a resounding success. Almost all
of the more active Chapter members were there. In addition there was
one Grand Juror from the 1981 Jury and two from the 1995 Jury (now that
is dedication!). There were also five CGJA members from four nearby
counties in attendance.
But it is time to get into the present
and look forward to next year. Chapter leadership has laid out an
ambitious program to 1) address responses to reports of the Grand Jury
and 2) to develop an approach or process if you prefer, that will
enable Chapter members of past Grand Juries to address public issues of
their choosing without impacting in any way upon the currently sitting
Regular Grand Jury’s areas of responsibility or interest. This may be
relatively easy but will require a very delicate approach to the
subjects selected. To this end your help is needed. Assuming you are
interested in continuing to have an impact on local government, join
the Chapter and come on aboard.
The Membership also approved a
revision of membership policy that enables you to choose a
multiple-year commitment at a reduced cost than if you renew each
year. Many of those who came before have renewed one year at a time for
more than ten years. Well perhaps some. Chapter annual dues remain at
$20 per year. This year however, if you choose to join for multiple
years, it is $15 per year. A salesman would tell you this represents a
saving of 25%. In addition the Membership has established the “Forever”
member category with one time dues of $150. Yes that is a lot more than
$20. You will be telling yourself that each year as you write a check
for $20 assuming the Membership does not find it necessary to raise
dues at some point in the future. If $150 does not break the budget, it
is a good long term decision. And again the Marin Chapter is leading
You can find a membership application by clicking here.
Or, you can wait and you will be receiving an application via email
sometime this month.
Remember if you have questions feel free to email me at email@example.com or call 415 883 3275.
Other members of the committee are Linda
Classcock, Board Liaison, and Sterling Harwell.published May 14, 2013
Nominations & Election Committee
Board Liaison and Chair, James Murad reports:
[This space reserved for Nomination & Election
Other members of the committee are Linda Glasscock and Betty Mattea, Advisor.published May 8, 2013
Orientation & Training Committee
Chair Catherine McKown reports:
[This space reserved for Orientation & Training Committee reports]
published May 8, 2013
Public Issues Committee
[This space reserved for Public Issues
published August 13, 2012
Public Outreach Committee
[This space reserved for Public Outreach Committee reports]
published April 11, 2013
Marie Melanephy reports:
[This space reserved for Social
Committee reports]published March 10, 2013
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Grand Jury Reports IssuedThe 2012-2013 Marin County Civil Grand Jury has now issued the following reports:
The Community Service Funds: A Revisit After 12 Years Issued January 7, 2013
A Sobering Center In Marin - One Small Step In Solving A Big Problem Issued February 28, 2013
Marin on Fire Redux Issued March 25, 2013
Senior Transportation: On the Road Again Issued April 24, 2013
Libraries Aren't Just for Books Anymore Issued May 3, 2013
To see news articles published about these and other Grand Jury reports, go to the Marin Grand Jury In the News page of this Web site.
To see the reports themselves click here to go to the Marin County Civil Grand Jury Website
articles remain posted for six weeks
Betty Mattea reports:
Kudos to Roberta Robinson
At the recent Tuesday Board of Supervisors' meeting, Roberta
Robinson was honored as one of two "outstanding volunteers of the
year" for work with the Financial Abuse of Seniors Team (FAST) part of the
Health and Human Services Dept., Department on Aging. Roberta, a Grand Jury
alum, said that her work with elders, helping them to avoid financial abuse has
been very gratifying - right up there with her year as Foreperson of the
2007-2008 Grand Jury.
Gail and I went to one of Roberta’s presentations and concur with
the Supervisors that they are a great public service.
published May 8, 2013
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