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Conservation is insufficient

North County's vote against a Paso water district shows elected officials are out of touch



Last week, the voters of North San Luis Obispo County stood up to the government and exposed just how out of touch political insiders have become with the people who elected them. The resounding rejection of the formation of the Paso Robles Water District and its funding, shows us that when we get involved with our government, we will get the representation we need. 

The overreaching piece of legislation, authored and championed by one of my opponents, state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, would have created a board of directors to manage groundwater that would essentially raise fees and taxes while trampling individuals’ private property rights. Even more concerning, the legislation was designed to circumvent the people by allowing the county Board of Supervisors to bypass the requirement of a local petition of residents. 

Roughly three-quarters of voters in North County voted against the water district and have stood up to the government’s attempt to silence the voters—another example of political insiders willing to do whatever it takes to get re-elected or seek higher office at the expense of the people they’re elected
to serve. 

Furthermore, it was just reported in the LA Times that California’s largest water district has been misleading investors by not disclosing $8.3 million in accounting transactions. This is what happens when politicians give the government a larger scope. Taxpayers’ dollars are poorly spent and we end up having to cover the costs. 

Increasing fees and raising costs on residents for saving water are penalties not remedies. Instead of pushing for more bureaucracy and regulations, representatives should work to develop long-range solutions to our water problems that will yield returns for the taxpayers. California’s drought stems from the short foresight current and past politicians have had and their failure to invest in our infrastructure. 

Solely depending on water conservation has proven to be insufficient in solving our water problems and only encourages additional government overreach. It is imperative that we prioritize investing in our future by modernizing our infrastructure and putting forth 21st century solutions such as increasing capacity for current reservoirs, creating more water treatment facilities, and removing barriers for new technologies like desalination. 

As your representative, I would never take the politically expedient route. I am listening to the concerns of the taxpayers, and I will bring next generation leadership to Washington that will solve problems with our Congressional district’s infrastructure, not mask them with further fines and penalties. I’m running for Congress to bring a voice for the future of the Central Coast to Washington.

Justin Fareed is a candidate in the race to fill the 24th Congressional District seat. Contact him through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com.

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