Supervisors vote against controversial water district formation

June 18, 2014
Frank Mecham

Frank Mecham


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors changed its position and voted to only support legislation to form a water district to manage the Paso Robles aquifer if it was based on the democratic principle of one person one vote.

Following a change of position by SLO County Supervisor Frank Mecham, the board voted 3-2 to oppose the bill unless it is amended to change how the district is formed. In its current form, the bill would create a so-called “hybrid” district in which a small group of people would have the power to tax, regulate, and enforce water usage within a North County area with yet-undetermined boundaries.

SLO County Supervisor Debbie Arnold told CalCoastNews she is surprised and delighted at the board’s action.

“I am happy for my constituents,” Arnold said.

Multiple groups including the California Sierra Club, the Farm Bureau and the Teamsters Union have voiced their opposition to the bill because of its voting structure. More than 50 people spoke against Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian’s bill during Tuesday’s board meeting.

After receiving approval by the Assembly, the bill moved on to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee which asked that the bill be amended to allow renters living in the district to have a few seats on the proposed water board. After Achadjian sought approval for the changes from the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors, board president Bruce Gibson responded that prior approvals were sufficient.

Last week, Debbie Arnold derided Gibson’s unilateral move as “bullying” and made a motion that the matter come back before the board. The board then voted unanimously to support Arnold’s motion to have the issue voted on during Tuesday’s meeting after a hesitant Frank Mecham endorsed it.

In two separate votes at Tuesday’s board meeting, supervisors Mecham, Arnold and Caren Ray voted against the bill unless it is amended to have a one person one vote while supervisors Gibson and Adam Hill voted in favor of the bill.

Even so, Achadjian plans to proceed with the bill and ask senators to approve the proposed changes during a Senate Governance and Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday, said Ross Buckley, Capitol Director for Achadjian


Too late. The horse is out of the barn. Katcho wants this district just as proposed. The big interests it would serve are very important to ANY politician, particularly those looking to continue their career. Your interests are not.

Mike Byrd

Remember, Katcho’s bill would merely give LAFCO one more alternative to consider when determining if a district should be created and, if so, how it should be structured. That’s where the ultimate decision will be made and I expect the local politicians might pay more attention to the will of the proposed district’s residents than the Sacramento politicians.


SLO County is getting played by DWR & Sac. Politicians haven been receiving tons of propaganda to support the marketing agenda run by Kern & LA County water interests. The agenda is to turn PRGWB into a bladder tank for outside municipalities and have private companies make tons of $ transporting water out of here.

Primer: “Local Control” = Control by a few landowners – nothing local about it, “Balance Basin” = import/export State Water Project water so they can steal our native groundwater and pretend they didn’t. It is a total scam.

I have met David Church, he doesn’t seem like a fighter or one to stand up against extreme pressure to do what is right. He seems more like a follower and will do what he is told. He would need to do his own independent research to figure out what is going on here and I don’t see him doing that. Anything he is being told by PRAAGS/PWE, DWR, Sac, Katcho etc etc is tainted with the marketing agenda. Further, I would be surprised if Bruce G is getting some benefit on the backside given the extreme measures he has gone to supporting this district – and he is on the board of LAFCO. For the most part Mecham seems scared of Gibson and goes along with him — so,

Relying on the LAFCO process seems futile. I really hope I am wrong but so far this process has seemed to be moving along regardless of the overwhelming majority of people opposing it.

fishing village

I heard, one person one vote IF you are a landowner, is that what you heard?


well today in Sacramento the bill was passed once again, now it goes on to another committee. Doesn’t seem right to me. Guess our voice doesn’t have enough money behind it


No applause for Caren Ray, she wants to win the election in Nov and so she is now in ass kissing mode Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson are probably not to happy with her right now, but she is an opportunist and thus that means she will kiss if it she has to.

If she had been elected trust me should would have gone the other way no doubt in my mind.After all she is the SLO COPULATOR


So Dog Eater, Caren, in your opinion is damned no matter which way she votes or during what time period she first did so.

With your coarse ending comment you remind me of a typical unthinking left-winged nut who, finding himself running out of anything intelligent to say, plays the race card, but in your case it’s the smut card.

Eater, get a life…and a new line. This one’s getting old and obsessing with this makes you sound pretty juvenile.

Jorge Estrada

To have traveled this far through the so called “public process” with no defined boundries has the appearance of a blank check, signed by the public.


Sorry, Harvard…



A politician back-pedaling on previous statement. There’s a novelty.

Kevin Rice

I think you are confusing receptiveness to the public with not keeping one’s word. Two completely different things. Frank did the right thing.


So Kev, Frank did the right thing…any applause for Caren taking the same position in the first place?


“Even so, Katcho plans to proceed with the bill…” What part of NO does he not get?

First he said he would sponsor the bill only if it were unanimously approved. It wasn’t. He sponsored it anyway.

No it has been voted against by the Board – the same membership as before, please note – and Katcho is still going forward?

That looked like a pretty good mix of people who are not normally on the same side all opposing this bill: the Farm Bureau, Teamsters and the Sierra Club along with “mere” property owners.

Get a grip, Assemblyman. You have assumed a “Father K knows best” attitude that is destroying our way of life. Just drop the bill or tell the Senate it needs more study to save face. Or would you really want to screw all these innocent people just because you can? Nasty!!!!