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Supervisor Desmond's Message

(The following is the text of a letter from Gary Haldeman, BWD Ratepayer Representative to the Borrego Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Advisory Committee that appeared in the Borrego Sun of 16 May, 2019 concerning remarks made by District Five San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond when was in Borrego Springs on 7 May to institute a new County program called Borrego Springs Revitalization Committee.)

So, a couple of quick thoughts about this "Make Borrego Great Again" meeting. Guess the clearest way to sum it up would be to quote a friend, new resident of BS, and regular attendee to the ratepayer gatherings: "I felt that I was in my living room listening to my parents. They told me that if I did not do what they wanted me to, I'd be punished."

This was a well-orchestrated meeting whose outcomes were set out and known before it even started.  Now, if water were not an issue in Borrego, if it were not the single most important issue that will define what or if our town will be, this meeting would have seemed like an opportunity; there were many good ideas that were brought up by thoughtful and caring Borregans: public transportation for post-secondary studies, urgent health care, improving code enforcement, quicker road repairs, high speed internet, retraining programs for displaced workers, and other important concerns, even how to get your propane tank placed in town.

But to state that water would not be discussed, to choose to be completely blind to the elephant in the room, to not acknowledge the many letters his office received from ratepayers, to not even hold to the rules of his own game - the colored dots - was a clear sign that Supervisor Desmond had no intention of letting his shirtsleeve, quick humored setup deviate from the orchestrated program.

And, back to the beginning. Jim Bennett, who I have the greatest respect for and who has done a fine job under difficult circumstances, misstated the cozy relationships built over these last two years, a relationship Supervisor Desmond capitalized on by stating that if we did not get along and happened to stray into some contentious legal grounds, he would abandon us.

The relationships in town seem to be as follows:

When the rubber hits the road - after May 21 - we will see how united we all are.

Supervisor Desmond may think he can jump ship when the proverbial poop hits the windmill . the County has been intimately involved in the SGMA process and final product. There is not court of law anywhere that will give them a pass if they try to dodge their responsibility.

Which brings me back to the beginning again. Are we being threatened, chastised, chided by this new supervisor? It sure sounded this way.

Gary Haldeman
BWD Ratepayer Representative
Borrego Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Advisory Committee

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