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Separating Sheep from Goats

Digger - October 2, 2010,

An editorial in the 30 September 2010 issue of the Borrego Sun cautions that "Voters should base their decisions on more than a haphazard flier... or simple name recognition." There is, however, considerably less likelihood that Borrego voters will be influenced by information or disinformation about the candidates, whatever the source, than that they will simply scan the ballot for names they recognize and reflexively vote for the first three they see with no regard for the candidates' goals or platform, if any. That is exactly how the BWD got into such a mess.

In the same issue as the editorial, the Borrego Sun asked each candidate "what their specific objectives would be... and how they plan to achieve them." Their answers were, at best, a mixed bag, but nonetheless revealing.

Five of the nine candidates, i.e., Delahay, L. Brecht, M. Brecht, Hart, and McKee produced statements that were thoughtful, responsive, specific, and had much in common. All emphasized the pressing need to impose fiscal responsibility on the water District and most specifically pledged to end costly benefits for Directors. All but Delahay have been active in the affairs of the District for considerable periods of time. All but McKee specifically acknowledged the critical need to put a majority of "like-minded" directors on the board to accomplish anything. Most acknowledged the need to protect and preserve our aquifer. Cogan touched on many of the same things, but missed the absolute necessity of electing a right thinking majority to the board. That is likely a reflection of the fact that she has attended few if any board meetings and has not previously been involved with water issues in the valley.

The remaining three candidates said essentially nothing. Kathy King's rambling, vacuous effort offered only a generous helping of mush and exaggerated claims that the present board, of which she has been a member for four years, has made great progress. In fact, they have actually accomplished virtually nothing but did manage to burn through most of the District's once substantial reserves.

Abby King's discursive statement offers only vague, glittering generalities without committing to anything specific for which she may be held accountable. She ignores the desperate need to enforce fiscal discipline on the District - and no wonder: She was one of only three people who defended General Manager Rich Williamson's outrageous contract demands and would likely do so again. That, apparently, was enough to ingratiate her with the worthies at the water district and win an appointment to the board in July so she could run as an "incumbent."

Finally, although she claims 30 years experience in the "water industry," Tamara Ray betrays little knowledge of it in her banal, generic declaration and has not participated in the affairs of the District. Moreover, as a member of the valley's agri-business cabal by marriage, a fact she has been careful not to disclose in her statement, she undoubtedly seeks election to represent their interests and frustrate meaningful efforts to deal with the overdraft.

All things considered, Brecht, Brecht, and Hart are clearly the best choices. All three have substantial experience with the District, know what needs to be done to set the District right, have agreed to work together to do it, and have the knowledge, experience, and commitment to turn the District around before it is too late. If you care at all about this valley that we are privileged to share, please vote for the Three Who Agree and encourage anyone else you know to do the same. They may be Borrego's last, best hope. Thanks.


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