Do not force a water district on Paso Robles

February 10, 2014

vineyardOPINION By CAROL ROWLAND

The formation of the proposed PR Basin Groundwater District would be by votes based on acreage. There are 4,906 landowners. It would only take an estimated 30 to 50 large landowners to establish it, 30 to 50 people should not be able to force this district on the rest of us. The vote should be one person one vote.

Then there will be an election for a nine member Board of Directors for this Water District. Three members to be voted on by registered voters. The remaining six members will be by landowners divided into three groups based on acreage. Within each group, the votes will still be based on acreage. Confused?

The election of the Board of Directors should be based on one person one vote. Period. Simple. We all need a voice. A water district needs to provide representation for all of us who depend on the Paso Robles Basin, not a water district created and controlled by the very people who have been heedlessly depleting the aquifer. Based on what these people have done so far, I shudder to think what placing this power in their hands would mean.

Come to the SLO Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday Feb.11th. See what’s happening. Make your voice heard.

 


24 Comments

  1. Pelican1 says:

    It’s long past time to STOP creating MORE bureaucracy! That’s what’s wrong with this county, state, and country…TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

    • obispan says:

      Hey Tea Party Einstein; yer gettin’ yer guv’mnt, take yer pick, legislation or litigation. What you should be worried about is the quasi-government monopolistic plutocracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutocracy) that will take your rights away and force you to buy their water or sell them your land. These are the type of people who actually conceived and funded the Tea Party movement and made you think that a bunch of good old boys fed up with guv’mnt just got together and rose up. Be it the Resnicks or the Koch brothers or GE building $4billion submarines the Navy does not want, these guys LOVE you.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  2. kayaknut says:

    Just what we need, another governmental body, siphoning more tax dollars. Don’t we already have elected and/or hired people who could handle this along with the current duties and not increase the bloated monster that is government?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  3. standup says:

    Does anyone really think that fat water pigs like the Resnicks really give a rats ass about the little property owners? All I know is that when people like them ruin our basin for the sole purpose of making a recreational drug, we know how to find them. Water for wine should get zero votes in any district because it is something we can live without.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 2

  4. despicableme says:

    Amen

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1

  5. NCGuy says:

    The landowners in the LARGEST acreage seats can be elected for the smallest acreage seats thereby allowing all 6 landowner seats to be held by the largest landowners who are forcing us into this district. Once the Board is dominated by the largest landowners those landowners will “vote” to have us all pay for the infrastructure required to be able to “exchange” and “transfer” our groundwater to those OUTSIDE the basin who need it – this is the REAL reason that the only SOLUTION that anyone has come up with to solve our problems is a water district. It has NOTHING to do with helping us whatsoever. There are a few landowners here who will PROFIT off this. The reason our County is allowing this is because Paavo Ogren wants to be able to provide our Basin water in “exchange” for SWP that he will then have shipped to South County & to Santa Barbara County to solve ALL their water problems. We do not have a problem that we cannot solve – WE do not NEED a water district. We just need to conserve, reuse & recycle. That is ALL we need. WE also need to STOP THIS WATER DISTRICT FROM FORMING or we will REALLY have a problem. Total scam.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 4

  6. fullsail says:

    The vote for formation of the District will not hinge on the up/down acreage-based vote only. The voters also much vote in the board and vote to fund the District. If any one of those votes fails, the District will not be formed.

    Furthermore, the Board cannot be controlled by any one person or any group of people. Three board members will be voted for based on one-person-one-vote by registered voters in the basin. Two board members will be voted on by people owning over 400 acres – and yes, a small number of landowners could decide to push the vote towards the two candidates they prefer. But that is still only 2 of 9 board members. Same for the medium group (40 to 400 acres), but that is still only 2 of 9 board members. So the small landowner group (1 to under 40 acres) is really the swing vote and since the majority of landowners in this group own under 20 acres, there’s your controlling group as they would most likely vote similarly and have the preponderance of voters in the registered voter category. That means 5 of 9 board members.

    There WILL be a District governing the basin whether one organized by the State (which it has said it would do), the County Flood Control District (the Board of Supervisors have said they do NOT want to do this), one put into place as a result of adjudication, or a locally developed and governed district. I think I’d prefer to have people I know on the Board. While one-person-one-vote sounds fair, it entirely disenfranchises the large landholders WHO MAY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IRRIGATED AG, but who by virtue of their size, may bear more of the burden of cost than smaller landholders. Is that fair?

    I think the proposed structure is a compromise that is taking the interests of everyone overlying the basin into account – no one is happy about the compromise, but that signifies that everyone had to give and no one got all they wanted.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 38

    • NCGuy says:

      Full Sail type in “water district corruption” into Google for a preview. Notice that the districts that pop up are NOT PRIVATE they are PUBLIC and they have serious problems. You are probably a good person trying to do the right thing. This is our real problem, people like you cannot fathom what money will make people do. You are way out of your league and leading us – in order to be a good leader you have to know all the facts. Have you read the code section PRAAGS is petitioning for a “California Water District”. Water C. 34000? The “:powers” are enumerated beginning at 35400 – then look at “exchanges” – your limited mind cannot imagine that this board will be controlled by interests – but once it is the board will have the ability to use their “powers” to assess and tax us. That includes you. Do you know how much the equipment & labor & engineering is to make something like “exchanges” happen? I didn’t think so. You are harming us as well as yourself by promoting this district. You have been led to believe you are doing the right thing – take some time and educate yourself this is so much more than a 9 member board.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

    • debbieisout says:

      You must be drinking too much wine!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Hmm put the Fox in charge of the hen house? Yea I don’t see a problem with that. Should all work out fine.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 0

    • obispan says:

      “Nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Resnick and the plutocracy live by this and unless you’re willing to stand up just shut up watch it happen. In the current Tea Party climate I say party on, it’s a DONE DEAL.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14

  8. willnose says:

    Its called democracy over plutocracy – demand it or lose it once again!
    Thought we fought for this in our War of Independence (1775 and 1789) to get away from such rule by the top. (http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/a_us_history/am_rev_timeline.htm)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

    • jrstone says:

      No, not anymore, and maybe not even from the beginning….

      It’s never been a true democracy but rather what I would consider a Constitutional Republic. We vote people into positions who in turn appoint others into positions, and both promise to uphold the Constitution while serving the best interests of the people. This means at times going against the majority (it almost seems more times than not anymore). These elected and appointed representatives are suppose act on our behalf, in the best interests of “We The People” while sticking to the Constitution. They are not there to do what is popular because the majority of people think so, and if we haven’t learned that by now we need to open our eyes and ears just a little wider.

      Where the definition gets really blurry is when you start mixing in corporations and special interest groups that are most represented by lobbying groups and deemed more important because of almost unrestricted capital and unfettered access to our representatives. Our interests, the “We The People” interests, are trumped more times that not by money!

      Now it appears that this is what can transpire if the PR Basin Groundwater District is enacted in the manner in which it set up now. There won’t be a body of people there to equally represent everyone concerned, a majority with special interest(s) (acreage owners) will have the upper hand. Not Fair! Not even close to being fair!!

      Just Sayin’…

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3

    • obispan says:

      And you’ve been asleep since 1980?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

      • jrstone says:

        No, very much awake… Reagan woke a lot of people up, some probably should have been left to sleep though!

        Just Sayin’…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  9. 1inthemiddle says:

    Well I have my questions too, especially about the possibility of water banking but I don’t think a lot of effort has gone into balancing the needs of the diverse stakeholders.
    Don’t you think someone who owns a large track of land has a right to more water than a single home owner? One can argue to what degree that may be but some additional rights based upon land ownership must exist otherwise all the power would lay with the small parcel owners.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 23

    • jrstone says:

      Water should be used first by those who use it in their homes, second by those who use it to grow edible crops (including watering and feeding livestock) and the rest for purposes deemed most important by those who would represent the rest.

      How in the hell have we come to a point where anyone can argue that anything but human consumption is more important? Sure, regulate new construction as not to further the burden but don’t let the rest of us suffer because someones Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc is threatened. How the hell did we got so far down this road I’ll never understand.

      No wonder government steps in; where common sense gives way to greed we need someone regulating it…

      Just Sayin’…

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 34 Thumb down 4

      • 1inthemiddle says:

        I don’t think that is what I said or implied. Lots of water if we let the grapes die so it’s not an issue of denying human consumption for AG use. It’s an issue of balance and where that lies. I suggested there are a variety of right in play here.
        Your overstated reactionary response does nothing to advance the discussion

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 19

        • jrstone says:

          Overstated AND reactionary? Wow! And both in the same sentence and used in conjunction? You’re good!

          How is something overstated when it goes right to the heart of the matter? And my reactionary response does nothing to further the discussion? Well, only for those who are closed minded enough to not consider the basic root of the problem, not putting people first, and wanting the discussion to end there.

          The “balance” of water rights should always be in the favor of human consumption as it is one of the main components of life. And if you don’t believe that, just look at how this “balance” you speak of has been tipped in favor of just about anything else!

          I’d rather be “overstating” and “reactionary” then suffer the consequences of what has been the obvious “complacent” and “say nothing” attitude that has gotten us to this point in the first place.

          The only right that should be in place is the one that serves the people first and if that means the Paso’s Sauvignon Blanc becomes a little more scarce? Oh well, wine collectors might like that a bit anyway…

          Just Sayin’…

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

      • obispan says:

        “Just Sayin’” you are an Obama communist. There is absolutely no way your comments can be interpreted in any other way by a God-fearing, Debbie-voting, North County Tea Party patriot.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 15

        • jrstone says:

          I know, I know… and to think I once went to a Tea Party event in Lake Havasu, Arizona and had the nerve to bring a close friend of mine who’s American African (that’s how he describes himself)! Whew!!! Thought I’d lost my right to EXIST that day….

          Just Sayin’…

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

          • HorseNutz says:

            First off, why are you so off topic.

            Secondly, what do you expect in a state that has not celebrated MLK Day? If your American African didn’t have a Mullet, which I assume would be tough for him/her, it would not be hard to see why he/she did not fit in in Lake Havasu.

            Just bein’ real..

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        • Slowerfaster says:

          Nice irony there.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    • obispan says:

      You are the perfect stooge. Of course the large land owner needs and gets more water, but in a basin in overdraft the large landowner gets ALL the water (go deep or stay home, that is if you still have one), destroys the value of the small landowners property, buys it up cheap, and gets to use and irrigate it while you move to an apartment in town as the invisible hand of Adam Smith has predestined. I don’t have a dog in this fight, and will be dead before my standard of living is affected. Can you say the same? Keep voting for Debbie and Frank :) xoxoxo.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 12

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