Proposed Paso Robles water district trampled by voters

March 8, 2016
Supervisor Debbie Arnold

Supervisor Debbie Arnold

Correction: The number of Measure B-16 votes for the formation of the district was 753 and the votes against the district 2,643.

In a crushing loss to large North County agribusiness interests, 77.83 percent of landowners above the Paso Robles basin have voted against Measure B-16, formation of a proposed Paso Robles water district.

Funding for the district, Measure A-18, also failed with 74 percent of voters against funding the district.

For the past two years, San Luis Obispo County supervisors Bruce Gibson, Adam Hill, and Frank Mecham have pushed for the district, claiming the basin is in “overdraft.”

Both supervisors Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton voiced their opposition to creating the district; the balloting cost taxpayers about $1 million.

Proponents, like vineyard owner Jerry Reaugh, claimed the election would determine “local control.” Reaugh is chairman of the well-funded, pro-district Paso Robles Alliance for Groundwater Solutions (PRAAGS). A number of major players in the state’s water hierarchy helped draft the failed proposal, and the vote was authorized by legislation carried by Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo).

Opponents, on the other hand, countered that the plan was a “water grab.”

Tuesday’s votes were preliminary as ballots postmarked March 8 will be counted for the next three days. Nevertheless, it is unlikely the vote will change substantially.


A victory against big outsider money. Great for the citizens of North County!


Money can’t buy everything. We must remain vigilant!


“the balloting cost taxpayers about $1 million”

HOLY CRAP! How can someone spend $1,000,000.00 on balloting? How many people actually were sent ballots (not just voted), and is that a reasonably cost per potential voter?!

That is ONE MILLION dollars to send a piece of paper out, gather them up and count them. About a weeks work in the private sector (at most), or 2-3 months in the slug government sector (at best) and that STILL seems excessive.

I vaguely recall ballot issues that were special ballots (not regularly-scheduled) and they were significantly less costly.


I live in the city of Paso and did not get to vote, thanks to those who voted NO


What implications does this vote have for Harvard University?

Jorge Estrada

Common sense is an expensive discovery when the exploration is funded by tax dollars. I’d prefer some of that affordable higher knowledge (genius level stuff) like fixing our roads.


Winners: Compton, Arnold, Dan Blackburn, the people of North County.

Losers: Hill, Gibson, The Tribune, Aaron Ochs.

Dan Carp

Another layer of unnecessary government regulation averted. Congrats to the people.

Mitch C

Another loser: that toady Achadjian.


Achadjian brought this legislation forward (when he didn’t have to…why??), with the help of Gibson, Hill and Mecham…shame on them!! I wouldn’t vote for him for dog catcher! Congrats to the folks who worked so hard to get the TRUTH out. A great defeat against those who want to own our water!


Avidreader you have it right

Achadjian is a DEMOCRAT!!!!!!!! in his heart and soul.

His nose is brown as in Jerry Brown

Do not expect my support in June

John Peschong, Dan Carpenter, Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton are HEROES!

The lies Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson told about water and crying all the time that we need to take over the water from land owners. Lies lies lies and they have been proven to be lies and nothing ever changes.

Remember people that the power is in your hands and the bad people cannot stop you from standing strong and voting strong….

When ever possible give your time, $$$$ and vote to John Peschong, Dan Carpenter and Debbie Arnold on June 7 for their district supervisor election.

Seal the deal and show Bully Adam Hill and unethical Bruce Gibson that their rain of terror is OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You forgot Sue Luft and Laurie Gage, hate to be around them today.

just the facts

Luft and her gang are probably planning next steps! Be on guard!


Lets hope this is just one of other loses for Mr. Hill this year, another one being his re-election attempt.

just the facts

Thanks kayaknut for mentioning Adan Hill’s re-election attempt come June. Vote the bully out! Vote Dan Carpenter for Supervisor!

just the facts

Right on Dave! Another winner: Dave Congalton!


The options that remain on the table now are:

The county manages the basin through their flood control district

The State of California manages the basin.

My question is if we choose option 2 and then refused to let State of California manage the basin what are they actually going to be able to do?

The state of California is in Sacramento and we are in San Luis Obispo County.

How is the state going to enforce its water rules? Even if they go to court any orders would have to be carried out by the county sheriff. At that point we would see what Ian Parkinson is made of and whether he stands with the people in this County or Sacramento.

I think it’s best that the county manages the basin through the Flood Control District.

But if the Board of Supervisors decides not to exercise this option I think we pull a little Revolution and see what happens.


My question would be does the state even have the right to make such rules. Seems their little “law” goes against hundreds of years of water right laws.

Is the county now going to do their job and protect the rights of the county residents?

Kevin Rice

Close the fridge door. The lights are out. The butter is chillin’. Congrats to the People!


Miss Chicky-baby!

Kevin Rice

Slaaaaam Dunk!