Still Fighting For Change
We find it interesting that the Oakdale Leader has finally shown some serious interest in the water issues concerning our area. What’s disappointing is the biased “hit piece” concerning OID’s two newest board members. Gail and Linda ran on a platform of transparency, keeping water local, and protecting our groundwater resource. They wanted the general public to know about the actions or lack thereof of the GM and those under his control. What exactly did they mean when they spoke of transparency? One example is TV coverage so the general public can watch and see how meetings are conducted and how the general public is treated during the meetings. Gail and Linda have been asking Mr. Knell to get that done, but this reasonable request has been met with inaction.
Another example of transparency is attempting to get the agenda and its corresponding items on the OID website. That, too, has fallen on deaf ears. Yet another example of transparency is to talk openly about the issues, issues that are NOT discussed in closed session.
What about the redistricting issue. Remember that? OID is so out of compliance with the law it isn’t funny, and they know it. Try getting some information out of the GM on that issue. Paloma didn’t. What’s happening with that study? Will it be done before the 2017 elections? Will there be sufficient public input before it goes before Knell’s majority for approval?
Steve Knell is no stranger to CEQA requirements and to Negative Declarations as a tactic to get something done. Did Paloma ask about the letter he wrote to LAFCO when Trinitas wanted to annex 7,200 acres for almond trees? Nope. It said that there would be “no negative impacts” on water, air, traffic, etc. Ask the people who live adjacent to the Trinitas lands if there has been any negative impact. We’re sure you’ll hear a different story. There is so much more Paloma and the Leader’s leaders missed.
Gail and Linda have done their very best to bring needed change to the OID board and how OID conducts its business. They know what you voted for and they are following up on what you expected from them. It’s sad that a lawsuit had to be brought in order to stop a one person agenda and his no-questions-asked followers. Sometimes that’s the only way to get “justice” and “openness.”
We the undersigned will continue to support the efforts of Linda and Gail to get true transparency, to protect water for the locals, to develop a sustainable groundwater plan for the region. They will win, and when they do the public that voted for them will win also.
Andrea L. Medeiros
Editor’s Note: The article the writers refer to was specifically about the issue of the OID directors providing information during the lawsuit. No other topics were addressed in the piece as it was not the point of the story.