Our family has lived in Montecito since 1972, and I have been deeply involved in our water issues since the 1980s. California is experiencing an historic drought. We are in a water crisis that is so unprecedented that it has never been considered in any long-range plan before.
It is very clear to me that the two businessmen challengers, Floyd Wicks and Tobe Plough, want to privatize our water district. I think adding a profit layer is the last thing we need to do here. Ask the folks in Ojai and the City of Claremont where Wick’s private water company, Golden State, profited from selling these communities water, why they have sued to take back their water districts and make them public again.
In the recent Ojai decision that made the water district public again, the 2nd District Court of Appeal had harsh criticism for Wick’s water company, citing price gouging that went on for over 20 years. The three-judge panel wrote, “Golden State charges its customers rates that are more than double those charged by Casitas, and the disparity is growing. Over a 20-year period, Golden State’s average rates increased at nearly twice that of Casitas.”
Our community is very fortunate to have Tom Mosby, retired Montecito Water District water manager, and Charles Newman, recently appointed to the Water Board, running for the two seats now contested.
I am endorsing Tom Mosby and Charles Newman, and here is why.
In my 30 years of experience working with water issues, I have worked with many water managers and can whole heartedly say that Tom Mosby is among the best, if not the best I have ever worked with. He is honest, knowledgeable, dedicated, and always puts the customers’ interests first. He is first and foremost a public servant, and he is there for the best interests of our community. He started working at our water district in 1990 as an engineer and became manager in 2007. We need his experience in this unprecedented drought to guide us through this water crisis.
Charles Newman was appointed to fill a vacancy on the water board a year and a half ago and has been a breath of fresh air. He has put in many hours over and above the norm because he wants to do the best job possible for our community in this water crisis. He initiated the board’s work to bring reclaimed water into Montecito’s water portfolio and is working hard to get us a desal contract with the City of Santa Barbara.
The mandate of our water district is to provide us, its customers, with a reliable water supply at a reasonable cost. There are two critical things that need to be done. One is concluding negotiations with the City of Santa Barbara to get desal on-line for Montecito. The other is working with other South Coast water agencies to replace with larger pipe the 7.5 miles of undersized pipe that runs from Solvang to Lake Cachuma. This needs to be done to assure delivery of all the water MWD has purchased outside our County.
Tom Mosby and Charles Newman are our best choices to get this done.
They have my vote November 8.