Over the past two decades, the fight between the Metropolitan Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority has eaten up the time and energy of countless water bureaucrats and cost water customers across Southern California tens of millions of dollars.
Now that fight has led to a rebellion in the Water Authority’s own backyard.
As a result, the Water Authority may no longer be able to count on a phalanx of its board members to publicly support the anti-Metropolitan rhetoric and policies that have been the cornerstone of the agency’s ethos for much of recent history.
Some San Diego water agencies are eager for money from Metropolitan’s large pool of subsidies available for local projects.
But curiously, even though they recently won access to those funds after years of litigation, Water Authority leaders now don’t want the money.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Maureen Stapleton has autocratically led the Water Authority into a years long, high-stakes poker game with ratepayer money. The gambit was lost and all ratepayers will cover those losses. Now, in a fit of pique, she leads the Water Authority down another unwise path. At some point, the Water Authority needs to wake up and realize that they need new leadership that is focused on reliable delivery of water at the lowest possible rates, not gamesmanship.
I am sad to report that much of this article mis-characterizes what Padre Dam is advocating. Cutting through the hype, Padre Dam is advocating that the County Water Authority and Metropolitan chose a new path of trying to workout their differences in a spirit of true compromise: give and take. In the end neither side will be triumphant but both will have achieved the goal of best serving the people they represent. Padre does not seek to lead a rebellion, much less advocate one. Based on past history within Padre Dam itself, much will be gained if both sides seek to establishnew talks--perhaps with new people leading the talks on both sides--and approach these negotiations with an open, honest and non-threatening attitude. Scorecards are not the objective. No one can change history, but anyone can shape the future. I can tell you a new and open approach can work. And everyone will benefit from it.