The “hybrid” board of the proposed AB 2453 Water District gives voters in the Paso Robles Basin a unique opportunity to achieve the essence of democracy—that governance closest to the people is the best.
Land use in our basin is diverse and unique as small residential properties are interspersed with rangeland and agriculture. Few basins in the state are like this. A hybrid governance structure is needed so that all these diverse interests can be represented. It would have been unfair to irrigated agriculture, which will pick up the bulk of the cost, to be under a metropolitan district one-person, one-vote structure. However, rural residents needed a strong voice. They got it with three seats voted on by registered voters and two seats in the 1 to 40 vote-by-acre category. That’s five of the nine board members.
Equally, landowners who own 40 to 400 acres and 400-acres plus are constrained within their categories so they must be mindful of the needs of rural residents. This is the beauty of the hybrid board. No individual or group can control.
Let’s not waste this golden opportunity for the most representative board possible. It won’t come around again. Vote for Measures A and B.
-- CC Coats - San Miguel