Squid Fry for Mar 20, 2003
Thursday, March 20, 2003
BOILING MAD Buoyed by the anti-water district vote last November, State Senator Bruce McPherson recently introduced a bill in Sacramento to dissolve the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District. No surprise here. That's sort of what Monterey Mayor Dan Albert, head cheerleader of the anti-district vote, hoped for, believing that a joint powers authority-like AMBAG or some other soon-to-be-named decision-making-body with non-elected members-would do a better job of representing Peninsula water users than a directly elected board. Some dissolve-the-district types have even suggested letting the mayors do the job.
Right. Squid can picture our selfless mayors now. Albert: "Carmel? You want to add eight bathrooms onto two mini-mansions? Go right ahead. Use our 29.5 acre-feet of water. Monterey don't need no stinking hotel. Or affordable housing, for that matter. And Del Rey Oaks? You want to build a drinking fountain at city hall? Quit yer whining. We will squash you like a bug." Squid disagreed last November with Albert's arrogant motion and Squid's still holding Squid's breath for a taste of representative democracy. Squid's gills are now about to explode. But read on.
Last Thursday, March 13, McPherson and his dam-hungry buddies organized a discussion on the water district at the CSUMB campus. Squid laughs an evil laugh at the irony. CSUMB isn't even in the water district territory. It's like having the Monterey City Council meet at the Marina City Hall. Even worse, when the first wave of invites was sent out, water board members didn't make the cut. McPherson apparently had a change of heart and let board Chairman Zan Henson join the panel. But groups that opposed the anti-district vote (including the League of Women Voters) weren't invited to speak. Doesn't McPherson have any political ambitions beyond Sacramento? If so, Squid thinks he will wind up high and dry on this one. Sure the water users want to see some consensus on addressing Peninsula water issues. But just wait until the water district is disbanded, and water management decisions are made by a few, well-connected special interests. If you think the price of gas is high, just wait until you turn on that tap for a little H2O. Like Squid's mother used to be so fond of saying, "bend over and take it."
ABEL WHO? And speaking of Republic-ans in Sacramento, Abel Maldonado, an assemblyman from Santa Maria, recently announced that he is seeking the Republican nomination in the state's 15th Senate District, the sprawling coastal district that stretches from Santa Maria to Saratoga. And if Waterdistrict-gate wasn't enough, McPherson, who will be termed out of office at the end of next year, endorsed Maldonado. Saratoga Assemblywoman Rebecca Cohn has said that she will seek the Demo-cratic nomination, but Maldonado is considered the early front runner. The district's largest population centers are in the south, and the registered voters are (unfortunately) mostly Republicans. Now, Squid could gloat, because three years ago when the state Senate President Pro Tem John Burton and Senate Republican Leader James Brulte redrew Senate lines, splintering Monterey County, drawing then-Assemblyman Fred Keeley out of Mcpherson's soon-to-be vacant seat in the State Senate, the Weekly predicted that the Central Coast would soon be represented by an out-of-town, anti-choice Republican by the name of Maldonado. Note to readers: all elected officials-McPherson included-serving Monterey County earned 100 percent pro-choice rating from Planned Parenthood. Maldonado scored a 44 percent. Where's Keeley when Squid needs him?
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