With the recent passage of Measure J, the November ballot initiative that compels the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to conduct a study as to whether buying out California American Water's local system is feasible, there has perhaps never been so much interest in who sits in the district's board.
And for the past few months, it's been a mystery of who the seventh member would be since former Seaside mayor and MPWMD board member Ralph Rubio retired from politics in December (the board has one seat for a county supervisor and one for a Peninsula mayor).
The answer is now clear: Carmel Mayor Dave Potter, who previously served on the district's board from 1997 to 2016 when was the county supervisor for District 5.
At a meeting of the Monterey County Mayors' Association on Jan. 4, Potter was elected in a 3-1-1 vote of a subcommittee of Peninsula mayors (Pacific Grove Mayor Bill Peake voted no, Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson abstained and Del Rey Oaks Mayor Alison Kerr was late to the meeting and did not vote).
Roberson, who endorsed Measure J in the election, says he would have been happy to serve on the board and suggested the mayors discuss the matter, but he says Sand City Mayor Mary Ann Carbone instead made a motion to appoint Potter, seconded by Seaside Mayor Ian Oglesby, and the matter was quickly settled.
Potter, who says he wanted the position, says that his priorities on the board will be to ensure that his constituents' concerns are addressed in the feasibility study, and to figure out if the potential acquisition of Cal Am's system would actually save ratepayers money.
Potter says he plans to attend the Jan. 15 Measure J listening session in Carmel where the public is encouraged to offer their thoughts on what feasibility means, and what the benefits would be of a publicly owned water system.
There are similar sessions in Seaside Jan. 7, at MPWMD Jan. 8, at Monterey Jan. 9 and Pacific Grove Jan. 10.