Letter to the Editor

Minority rule of basin

Paso RoblesJanuary 19, 2014 

One of the first questions asked at the Jan. 7 meeting co-sponsored by Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions and PRO Water Equity regarded the minority governing the majority. Both sponsors assured the attendees that the makeup of the board they developed would prevent that. I disagree.

The described board would consist of three directors elected by all registered voters in the basin, two by landowners with less than 40 acres, two by those owning between 40 and 399 acres, and two by those with more than 400 acres. The latter two categories will more than likely be aligned, equating to four directors favoring large owners. Voting rights in the second category is based on acreage, i.e. 1 acre, one vote; 39 acres, 39 votes. Enough said. Large owners could pick up more directors in the three at-large seats.

According to the SLO County website, there are 8,000 landowners in the basin. One of the last questions asked was what is the fewest number of signatures/voters needed to establish the water district, with voting based on acreage. The response: around 50. The minority will rule. I can understand PRAAGS wanting a water district, but not PRO Water Equity, formed by rural homeowners purporting to represent the same.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service