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Throw the Rascals Out

Digger - January 28, 2010

At the Borrego Water District board meeting on 26 January 2010, the board again circled the wagons and hunkered down to avoid the slings and arrows of outraged ratepayers. The agenda listed a half-dozen items concerning the sweet deal the board has handed to General Manager Rich Williamson, including his exorbitant salary, three-day work week, the fact that he is not a resident of Borrego, etc. The board, however, stubbornly refused to make any changes to his current conditions of employment and stone-walled demands that they do so. Only Director Rita Anderson stood up for the interests of ratepayers for which she is to be commended.

The majority of the board thus demonstrated once again that they are, in some combination, intellectually, temperamentally, and ethically unfit to hold positions of public trust - as if more proof were necessary.

Coincidentally, Lane Sharman, founder of the Borrego Water Exchange, made a brief presentation at the beginning of the meeting alleging essentially the same thing. Lane called for election of a new board that would, at long last, address the deteriorating groundwater situation in the valley and take effective action to correct it. He encouraged residents of the valley to recruit and elect a board in November that will finally and in fact take this responsibility seriously and actually do something about the overdraft instead of offering flimsy excuses for doing nothing. Finally, he asked that all of the current board members resign to facilitate election of an able, responsible, and ethical board that can and will do what needs to be done to prevent an otherwise inevitable hydrologic disaster with catastrophic economic and financial consequences for the community.

Judging by the open-mouthed disbelief with which board members greeted Lane's exhortations, they are unlikely to resign en masse, but that may not be necessary or even desirable. Three of the five seats on the board will be open in the November election; and three seats are enough to control the board and thus the BWD. If it is possible to elect three right thinking, capable, and assertive directors, it will also be possible to begin long overdue efforts to preserve Borrego's existing and only assured water supply and correct the results of slipshod, inept, and ineffective attempts to manage the water district and the aquifer that Borregans have had to suffer during the past couple of years.

If you are interested in running for a seat on the board or know of others who may have an interest and a mind-set conducive to solving the water district's many serious problems, please contact us. It's time to stop the craziness. Thanks -

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