The following was published as a Letter to the Editor in the Borrego Sun, and appears here by permission of the author.
January 24, 2009
The BWD is entering a period of declining revenues and increased expenses. It's looking for multiple sources to fund these and hired a professional firm to establish its fee structure. However, it appears the Board has no intention of following the advice it's paying for.
In its initial presentation, the "professionals" stated repeatedly that for the Board to be successful in its ambitious efforts to create a sustainable water supply for the valley, it MUST win the public's confidence and trust, demonstrating it will act in the best interest of ratepayers. The Board's action in granting themselves medical benefits inspired neither; instead, it provoked a RECALL sign at the Post Office.
On January 21, after a large number of constituents requested they reconsider their action, the Board had a profound opportunity to reestablish trust. Instead, it stonewalled its public refusing to explain or reverse its actions, offering only self serving justifications through District Manager Williamson. The facts are: it's fiscally irresponsible in these economic times to earmark $64000 to the benefit of 5 members when it should be used to benefit ratepayers; no other elected officials or Board members in Borrego receive medical benefits; they are the first BWD Board to ask for benefits even though they've been available since 2003; they've deeply offended their constituents with their entitlement attitude - elected public servants demanding the public serve them.
We urge the Board to reconsider its actions and follow the advice of the professionals they've hired: Win the confidence and trust of ratepayers by demonstrating you put the needs of the District above your own.
Steve and Beth Hart
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