Water district bill vote process altered

June 24, 2014


A controversial proposal to form a managing water district for the Paso Robles groundwater basin passed a Senate committee Tuesday with significant amendments.

Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo) agreed to the changes to his bill, AB 2453, including one that will require both the petition and formation vote to be based on one landowner, one vote. The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee then passed the bill 8-0.

Amendments include removing the landownership requirement for the three at-large seats; requiring that the petition and formation vote be based on one landowner, one vote; incorporating additional clarifying language to ensure the SLO LAFCO has the ability to review powers and authorities granted by AB 3030; and including various technical amendments gleaned from the Senate Governance and Finance Committee last week.

Achadjian issued a tepid comment following the vote: “Today’s committee vote shows that the Legislature recognizes the need for proper groundwater management in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin,” he said. “I am pleased that the bill brought to me by the Board of Supervisors continues to move through the legislative process.”

The bill goes to the Senate Floor, probably in August, then back to the Assembly for concurrence in Senate amendments by Aug. 31, the session deadline.

Fifth District Supervisor Debbie Arnold spoke at the Sacramento hearing, and told CalCoastNews following the vote that she is “very pleased by the committee’s action.”

Arnold has been an outspoken advocate of a district formation and management process that allows small landowners to have a vote equal in strength to that of large landowners.

“This bill might be going in the right direction,” Arnold said.



  1. Kevin Rice says:

    It’s the “technical” amendments that worry me the most.

    (13) 15 Total Votes - 14 up - 1 down
    • SLOthinker says:

      Any idea what the technical amendments were? A Google search came up empty.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
      • The ‘technical’ amendments are being written by legislative staff as we type, and the entire bill analysis will be ready in about a week. We will report.

        (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
        • SLOthinker says:

          Dan, thanks.

          Between your great reporting and Debbie Arnold’s spine, North County has a good chance of not getting run over by this train wreck.

          (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Black_Copter_Pilot says:

    Score a win for the little guy on this decision.

    (25) 29 Total Votes - 27 up - 2 down
    • hijinks says:

      Hooray. A win as long as the “little guy” is a landowner. Looks like we’re going back to the 18th century, when voting was a right for a white male landowner, and nobody else. Not quite there yet, but heading in that direction.

      (-18) 28 Total Votes - 5 up - 23 down
      • OnTheOtherHand says:

        When the voting is solely and directly about issues related to property, it is not unreasonable to restrict it to property owners. If tenants/renters are to be taxed to support such a water district, then they should be represented too but I don’t see that as being the case here.

        (15) 23 Total Votes - 19 up - 4 down
      • Kevin Rice says:

        Please supply a compelling argument that landowners aren’t the people overwhelmingly affected. And remember the requirement is only for the formation vote.

        (-6) 22 Total Votes - 8 up - 14 down
        • kayaknut says:

          What is a “landowner”, who owns and rents a house on his property, going to do if his costs for water increase??? The most likely option is to raise the rent he charges and thus the renter is affected. Our elections were never supposed to based on voting weighted to those deemed to be affected most, is was to be one person one vote. Just because a rich person can afford to buy a yacht and would end up paying more sales tax doesn’t make his vote to increase the sales tax rate more important than someone living paycheck to paycheck and only able to the basic necessities and thus would pay less sales tax.

          Where are you from??

          (5) 11 Total Votes - 8 up - 3 down
        • Francesca Bolognini says:

          Since it is about WATER, and the use of it, seems to me that anyone who uses it is affected. Pretty much EVERYONE. Therefore, one person, one vote.

          (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. Mitch C says:

    Achadjian is such a useless toady

    (25) 45 Total Votes - 35 up - 10 down
    • TacomaRose says:

      Don’t forget about Frank Mecham who only bowed because of political expediency.

      When it was apparent that the majority of his constituents (voters) would take him to the woodshed …. well let’s just say his tobacco pouch shrunk.

      Sorry Katcho … you and Frank have turned out to be …. how do you say it …. spineless

      (29) 33 Total Votes - 31 up - 2 down
      • pasowino says:

        Isn’t that supposed to be how elected officials are supposed to work? When they get a sense that their constituents don’t want something, aren’t they supposed to vote against it? Seems like Frank did the right thing in this case no?

        (-1) 19 Total Votes - 9 up - 10 down
        • kayaknut says:

          How about not voting at all until they get a sense of what their constituents think?

          (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
        • SLOBIRD says:

          Frank did not listen to the people from the onset of this mess. He was definitely in the forefront with Gibson leading this from the beginning. I personally contacted all the BOS members on this issue and only Debbie responded. Frank may have been a decent mayor for Paso when he only had to deal with us local folk but once he got to the big house he only wants to play with the big boys and screw the people of North County.

          (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down

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