Cy Mann will not be taking his iPad home. When a public record
request revealed in April that Sahib
Mann purchased an $829 64GB iPad on the taxpayer’s dime as part
of a yearly stipend for each director, it was just one on a list of
questionable decisions made by Mann during his tenure on the Santa
Clara Valley Water District board of directors.
Cy Mann will not be taking his iPad home.
When a public record request revealed in April that Sahib “Cy” Mann purchased an $829 64GB iPad on the taxpayer’s dime as part of a yearly stipend for each director, it was just one on a list of questionable decisions made by Mann during his tenure on the Santa Clara Valley Water District board of directors.
Although the 43-year-old real estate investor, who for the first time in nine years paid his SCVWD bill on time for his Morgan Hill property, put in the initial request for the iPad, the technology will remain with the district after Mann leaves office in the fall.
The at-large director recently decided to pull himself out of the running for a spot on the water board in order to join the county school board race with Julia Hover-Smoot, Morgan Hill Unified School District trustee, and Adam Escoto, assistant superintendent for the Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto.
There was some speculation regarding whether Mann would take the iPad with him, but according to water board spokesman Marty Grimes, the technology is water district property.
“The iPad or anything else that anyone uses while working at the district is left behind when they leave,” said Grimes, who could not comment about the manner in which the iPad was purchased, but claimed the district would utilize the iPad in the future. “It’s standard procedure.”
Mann did not return phone calls Monday.
After obtaining the incriminating e-mail exchange in April that exposed Mann for purchasing the iPad with a water district company credit card, The Dispatch reported “each of the seven directors at the water district are allocated $2,500 a year in discretionary funds or $17,500 total.” The money is intended for business expenses and is separate from the $260 each director is paid per meeting that they attend, travel and mileage.
In response to accusations of overspending with taxpayer’s money, Mann attempted to justify his purchase by claiming an iPad would allow for more efficient and environmental-friendly business at the district. He cited new technology as a good way to spend the money allotted to him, and with an iPad he would be able to turn all of his paperwork into PDFs. Mann opted for the 64GB iPad instead of the $499 16GB version that has a storage capacity of around 16,000 PDFs.
Since being appointed to the water district – a department already challenged by civil grand jury reports that claim the district has misused its budget and board member’s intentions have been clouded by special interests – Mann has butted heads with District 1 Supervisor Donald Gage and has been accused of politically motivated gerrymandering with electoral boundaries.
But when asked to comment on Mann’s iPad purchase, Gage was reluctant to point fingers. “We all need tools, but I don’t know how much he needed it,” said Gage. “If the water district purchased it for him, he needs to leave it with them. Just as the board purchased the furniture in my office, I don’t get to take that home.”