I endorsed a candidate only once before: Jeff Stone for state senator.

We live outside of the two water district boundaries where voters plan to cast their ballots for an Aug. 25 election. Still, I know who I would vote for in both Idyllwild and Pine Cove races. I’m not telling, though. In this case, I feel the town is too small to bring grief to candidates by endorsing one over the other.

Instead, I urge you to consider certain qualities of each candidate and attend the candidates’ forums next week. Pine Cove Water District’s forum is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at the Pine Cove Fire Station.

Idyllwild Water District’s forum is from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, at the Idyllwild Nature Center.

Below, in the order of importance, are qualities I seek. Some won’t surprise you:

• Transparency

• Commitment to and promise to learn open government laws

• Intelligence

• Ability to challenge the norm

• Ability to think independently of other board members

• Open to ideas but not easily swayed

• Knowledge of local water issues

• Interest in bringing new ideas to the table

• Not closed to the idea of consolidating three small water districts

Why the last one? Imagine you run a newspaper in a small town and you need to send a reporter to all the board meetings, including ad hoc and standing committees.  Imagine you report on these meetings, taking up valuable space in your newspaper and finding that water meetings bore the living heck out of some of your readers. These meetings cost time and money, and not just for the districts.

Becky Clark,