The Great Takeover - Part 2
Yesterday I wrote about the races for the Costa Mesa Sanitary District seats, planning to cover the Mesa Consolidated Water District races, too. However, that piece became too long, so here we are today to talk "water".
I GET NO VOTE, BUT...
This time around I have no vote for the seats available on the Mesa Consolidated Water District. All the seats on the board are elected by district and mine is occupied by Shawn Dewane. However, the three seats that ARE up this time around are VERY important to all of us because, depending on how the election goes, the result could mark a huge change in that organization and beyond. This time around the seats held by long-time board member Trudy Ohlig-Hall (widow of former mayor Donn Hall), current president Fred Bockmiller and Jim Fisler are on the ballot.
As I've mentioned many times, there are those running for both the Mesa seats and those on the Sanitary District - and those who are supporting them - who want to see those two special districts combined, then blended into the City of Costa Mesa government. It's my understanding that the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) would be happy to see fewer special districts, but the combination of them requires support from both boards.
FISLER VS. WORTHINGTON
Jim "a realtor here in town"Fisler (I used to tease him about saying that all the time when he was on the Planning Commission) faces a challenge from long-time activist Minuteman Dan Worthington. I refer to him as such because of his ill-advised journey down to the border a few years ago to hang out with the vigilantes on patrol. It's unlikely that Dan will defeat Fisler.
OC GOP AFTER HALL'S SEAT
Trudy Ohlig-Hall is a legend in the water business, having served three terms as President of MCWD during her 25 years on the Board. Her resume, HERE, is impressive and it would be hard to find a more effective, dedicated public servant. She is being challenged by Jim Righeimer's protege', Ethan Temianka. He is currently on the Parks and Recreation Commission and is very active in OC GOP circles. He, and the party, are spending lots of dollars to elect Temianka to this board because his vote would be pivotal to the aforementioned consolidation effort. He knows zip, zero, nada about water, except he probably swims in it and drinks some from time to time. The OC GOP machine is pulling out all the stops to defeat Hall.
BOCKMILLER, BY FAR
Fred Bockmiller, current President of the MCWD Board after also having served in that role four previous times, is an Engineering Manager by profession and understands the technology of the water business. Check out his resume', too. He has provided solid leadership to an organization that is known far and wide for being on the cutting edge of technology and a producer of reliable, clean, inexpensive water. He's being challenged by Costa Mesa's part-time, part-time, petulant, profane lame duck mayor, Eric Bever. This challenge would be almost laughable if the Orange County Republican Party Central Committee had not turned it's back on Bockmiller and chose to endorse the eminently unqualified Bever for this spot. It's all about politics and their grand plan and Bever may be the best (worst?) example of it.
HALL, BOCKMILLER AND FISLER
As I said, I don't get a vote this time around, but the choices seem pretty simple. The only reason to consider Temianka and Bever is based purely on politics - they certainly don't have any qualifications for the job. Quite honestly, I don't trust them with the water we drink. It's that simple. So, my recommendations are to go with the proven experience and leadership - Trudy Ohlig-Hall, Fred Bockmiller and Jim Fisler. Yeah, that's right... I support Fisler for re-election.