Attention Idyllwild Water District residents:
The upcoming ballot for three of the five directors is now out.
These are important times in California water history. I am encouraging all to vote for a change in directors. Vote for June Rockwell and Steven Kunkle (not the ex-fire chief). He is a 29-year employee of the Idyllwild Water District.
Like our own Congress, it is clearly time for some changes. Steven is a long-time resident and knows the workings of Idyllwild water production, sewer system and delivery system intimately. I have spoken with him for hours. He brings the expertise the current board simply does not have. It is a gift to the community that he is willing to sit on this board.
I have come to believe many poor decisions and actions have been taken by the current board, not the least of which is raising our bills last fall by lowering our allotment — then, almost immediately giving themselves a raise to $100 from $50 per meeting for their participation.
The fire board directors volunteer for no pay, the Fern Valley and Pine Cove boards accept $50 per meeting. In my opinion, this should be volunteer work as these individuals are not employees nor formally educated in water management. They should be willing to serve as many of us do here in Idyllwild for no pay, for the community benefit.
June Rockwell, the other candidate I support has stated she will take no compensation for the job if elected. That is the spirit of Idyllwild.
Imagine five directors getting $100 per meeting each ($500) right after they tell us they need to generate more revenue by lowering our allotment.
Not to mention we could save millions of dollars in the coming years if we ever got our act together and consolidated our districts. Three districts for less than 4,000 people is ludicrous. We are a community that draws its water from the same mountain.
I personally went to a water board meeting and experienced a sense of arrogance and stonewalling when Mr. Kunkle asked why he couldn’t have more time to review public water district documents. He was being strongly curtailed to an hour here and there. He was told he needed to be supervised while reviewing the paperwork. After 29 years in the field, he deserved better treatment. Mr. Kunkle was treated rudely. We deserve true transparency.
We, as a community, have done very well in conserving our water and it appeared to all there are adequate reserves, both tapped and untapped, yet property owners who wish to build their retirement home are told “no more meters,” when a purchaser of a lot that has a meter can build.
Many have saved for years to build their dream home and, apparently, without formal engineering research, this board decides to make a whole lot of dreams vanish by making a whole lot of properties almost worthless. Continued conservation and limiting exterior watering would allow all property owners to realize the full value of their investment.
The district is now about to incur a debt, along with a grant, to expand water recycling. The problem is there isn’t a bona fide plan or infrastructure to get this water to the general community. So we will be paying a new debt. Will that mean another revenue increase?
Please don’t throw out the ballot. Vote for Steven Kunkle and June Rockwell to replace a couple of these “good old boys” and let’s think about how best we can save money and wisely manage our resources.