Water Weight (copy)

A recent Zoom meeting of the board of Monterey One Water.

Over the past year, the board of directors running the Monterey Peninsula’s sewage treatment agency has become perhaps the most contentious arena in the region’s perennial water wars. 

The board of Monterey One Water is split on whether to move forward with a plan to expand the new wastewater recycling program, which is important because the expansion, supporters argue, could solve the region’s historic water shortage. Opponents say that the expansion is inadequate and that a desalination plant is needed. 

The divide has been so bitter that for months, the board failed to recognize one member’s extra weighted vote even though the agency’s bylaws required it. 

But on June 29, the M1W board voted finally to approve Marina Coast Water District’s demand for an extra weighted vote based on the increased population in its jurisdiction. The extra vote, increasing MCWD’ share from two to three, slightly shifts the balance of power on the board but likely not enough for the agency to emerge out of its impasse on the wastewater expansion plan. 

Voting in favor of MCWD were board members Ron Stefani, Linda Grier, John Phillips, John Gaglioti, Tom Moore, Tyller Williamson, Nick Smith and Jason Campbell. 

Voting against were Gloria De La Rosa of Salinas and Mary Ann Carbone of Sand City.

 

Asaf Shalev is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly. He covers the environment, agriculture and K-12 education, as well as Seaside, Marina, Sand City, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.

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