Friday, April 15, 2016

Big Night At Mesa Water Board Meeting

Thursday night was a big one for the Mesa Water District Board, and for those of us they serve.  Last night they received proclamations from numerous official bodies, congratulating them - and us - on exceeding the State-mandated 20% water savings.  The district managed to save more than 21%, thanks to the outstanding efforts of the organization for their practical solutions to the problem, their excellent public awareness campaign and to most of us who use their services.

I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos... I just took my Iphone to this meeting, not expecting to "cover" it.  The distance and lighting taxed it's capabilities, so I didn't get good shots of most of the participants.  The best image is provided by Mesa Water - the group shot below.

It was interesting to watch the many politicians in the room mingle and schmooze.  Here's a photo of Mayor Steve Mensinger having his photo taken with Michele Steel.
Board President Shawn Dewane accepted proclamations from State Senator John Moorlach (in absentia); Assemblyman Matt Harper - who showed up looking all dapper in his chapeau.  I thought for a moment he might break into a song and dance number; Supervisor Michele Steel; Director Bob Ooten from the Costa Mesa Sanitary District; Mayor Steve Mensinger representing the City of Costa Mesa; President Cathy Green from the Orange County Water District; a representative of Congressman Dana Rhorabacher and others I didn't catch.  The kudos were well-deserved.
Additionally, as covered in the Mesa Water press release, HERE, the district bestowed awards on ten (10) groups they identified as "Mega" Mesa Water Savers.  The City of Costa Mesa also produced a page on Costa Mesa Connected, HERE, describing the event and including many images.

There were many highlights of those presentations.  For example, when Justin McCusker, representing C.J. Segerstrom & Sons stepped up to receive their award Dewane almost waxed poetic as he described the monumental contributions made to water issues by the Segerstrom family, and Henry Segerstrom in particular.  It was a nice touch.
The City of Costa Mesa also received an award for their efforts in conserving water.  It was a special moment when, among the many dignitaries receiving accolades, the representative chosen to accept the award was Lead Maintenance Worker Philip Willey, accompanied by his lovely daughter.  When I spoke today with Bruce Hartley, his boss, he told me Philip was chosen because he's the guy who gets it done.  He's the one who makes sure all the sophisticated watering devices around the city work as expected and that the madates are met.  This was a very special moment for me - seeing the value of the folks who actually do the work acknowledged for their efforts.  Good for Hartley!  And, during the photo ops Mensinger made sure we knew he was there.  Councilwoman Katrina Foley also attended the meeting.
Oh, yes... my sweet and very patient wife and I received an award, too.  We were one of two single-family residences - the other being Janice & Steven Frates - to receive acknowledgement of significant water savings.  We're very proud of this acknowledgement.  We spent a lot of time and effort designing and installing our new front yard - replacing a lawn with drought-tolerant plants, each one individually irrigated with a drip system.  As you can see from the images below, the plants - just a year old this month - have not only survived, but thrived.  Only those two bougainvillea plants were original - all the rest are new plantings.  The Santa Barbara Daisies and Mexican Sage have just exploded, as have the Kangaroo Paws, the roses and all the rest.  We hope our efforts will encourage more of you to experiment with water saving landscaping choices.  You don't have to install as many plants as we did - it was our choice to provide a demonstration garden, to show you what can be done.  And, FYI, Mesa Water acknowledged that we've saved around 40% on our water consumption.  In actuality, comparing month-to-month to previous years when we were watering a lawn, the savings have varied from around 40% to nearly 60%.
Thanks to President  Shawn Dewane, Directors Jim Fisler, Jim Atkinson, Fred Bockmiller and Ethan Temianka, each of whom were very cordial.  Fisler, with whom I've had social media battles in the past until he blocked me, was especially friendly and it was much appreciated.  It was nice to catch up.  I also appreciated the plug Dewane gave the blog.  Although he didn't name it, we felt the love.  And, a special thank you to Stacy Taylor, Noelle Collins and the staff for creating a special moment for those of us who received this recognition.
And, kudos, one more time, to Mesa Water and General Manager Paul Schoenberger and his staff for the industry-leading creativity that provides this critical resource to us, especially at a time of severe drought.

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Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Very nice award Mr. and Mrs. West, congratulations. Your garden is so beautiful.

4/16/2016 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Congrats Mr. and Mrs. West! It's an honor to know you.

4/16/2016 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

Stunning garden and equally stunning Costa Mesan sweethearts! Hats off! Or, as the French like to say, "Chapeau!"

4/16/2016 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Xyn Bohemia said...

congrats to all of us! what a great heartwarming story. and you and Susie are so deserving of a special award (mostly Susie-- hee hee) your yard is beautiful-- i hope the raccoons are being good! :)

4/16/2016 11:58:00 AM  

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