Looking To The Future
It’s again time to vote for OID board members. These past months have shown that nothing has changed on the Board’s agenda: That is, fallowing land in order to sell water to the highest bidder, pumping groundwater with abandon, draining our smaller wells and totally disregarding our local water rights. We have watched as our water has been sold “down the river” and our interests have been subjected to the Board’s wish to make money. The Board is all too ready to sell our water, not bearing in mind what is good for the District. Our aquifer is being systematically depleted. Newsletters from Mr. Knell, General Manager, are a farce.
We want representatives who will protect our water. We want honesty, integrity, and protection of our interests.
I attended one meeting of the Board, and that was enough for me and my husband to see how meetings are conducted. They are a free-for-all! The male members of the Board are not interested in what is fair and right. They have tried to exclude Linda Santos and Gail Altieri, Board members, from meetings, causing unnecessary legal costs to the District.
For these reasons, we are in favor of change. We recommend that Grover Francis and Don Taro be elected in their divisions. We know them to be honest and to have the interests of the District foremost in their minds.
Please elect them for our future!
Separate Myth From Facts
With the OID election drawing near, I urge you to consider two clear leadership options. One option is based on myths and rumors. The other is based on facts and business sense. For comparison, consider:
Myth: OID is poorly managed.
Fact: OID is amongst the best irrigation districts in the state, with abundant water (even during the recent drought) at amongst the lowest rates in the state. Additionally, OID has greatly improved service levels.
Myth: OID has been fiscally irresponsible.
Fact: OID has accomplished exceptional financial results. By focusing on strategic water sales, cost control, and sound budgeting, the District is positioned for the $18,000,000 2-Mile Bar tunnel, and the $6,000,000 Rubicon system. All with no debt, and no increase to our rates.
Myth: OID has jeopardized its water rights.
Fact: OID has utilized a widely accepted method of transferring its excess water through “water releases,” which commonly used to transfer water governed under Pre-1914 rights. The State Water Quality Resource Board accepts water releases as a legitimate means of water transfer, and acknowledges water releases as a beneficial use of water.
Myth: OID causes local wells to go dry.
Fact: OID pumps minimal ground water, and only to supplement operational bottlenecks. On average, OID pumps less than 8,000 acre-feet of water per year; this amounts to approximately 3 percent of typical water deliveries.
Myth: OID is a “good old boy” organization that is open to favoritism and “insider deals.”
Fact: Despite allegations by some in our community, there is no evidence of malfeasance by Board members. If anyone has any evidence of wrong doing, they should try their case in a court of law, and not in the “court of social media.”
Is the district perfect? No, but no organization is and OID is certainly on the right path. OIDs history of success is commendable, and makes OID the envy of every farming district in the state. We need an irrigation district that is moving forward, not backwards. Brad DeBoer and Herman Doornenbal are the only two candidates that have the vision, business experience, and common sense to continue to lead the district forward. I urge you to join me in supporting Brad and Herman on November 7th.
Brian J. Lemons