On November 4, six candidates are running for three open seats for terms on
the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) Board of Directors (Water
Board). (See related story on p. 12.)
Carmel Highlands/Carmel/Carmel Valley (Division #5) is presently represented
by Zan Hanson, an environmental attorney and current Chair of the Water Board.
In Monterey (Division #3), Kristi Markey, a public agency attorney, is running.
Bob Pacelli, a documentary filmmaker, is running in Pacific Grove/Pebble Beach
These three candidates each were opposed to the massive (27,000 acre feet)
dam proposed for the Carmel River. Their opponents supported the dam.
Hanson, Markey and Pacelli favor the building of a modest 8,400 acre-feet,
voter-approved, desalination plant in Sand City. This plant would be under the
jurisdiction of the MPWMD. It would be less expensive than the huge growth-inducing
CalAm proposed plant in Moss Landing, favored by their opponents. CalAm’s plant
would be under the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission, in Sacramento,
and would be built without voter approval.
Hanson, Markey and Pacelli opposed State Senator Bruce McPherson’s SB 149.
This legislation attempted to take away the right of Peninsula voters to directly
elect their own district representatives, and to directly vote on water augmentation
projects. The McPherson bill also would have ended the MPWMD’s environmental projects,
including its successful restoration efforts on the Carmel River.
Their opponents favored SB 149. This placed them in league with other opponents
of local control (special interests), who were the moving force behind the McPherson
legislation. Fortunately, this bill died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
This attempt to take over the democratically-elected MPWMD through state action
highlights the importance of this year’s Water Board elections. It is essential
that we, the voters, retain control over our water allocation and augmentation
policies. The alternative is to hand these responsibilities to a German energy
conglomerate whose only interest in the Monterey Peninsula is the amount of profits
that can be squeezed from the area.
Three Water Board candidates, Zan Hanson, Kristi Markey and Bob Pacelli, support
your right to control your water policies, and the environmental efforts of the
MPWMD. Their opponents would take away your voting rights, and end the restoration
of the Carmel River. The Sierra Club urges your active support: contributions,
volunteer help, word-of-mouth, and your vote for Hanson, Markey or Pacelli.