My Friends, giant STA kudos must be given to Ed Bearden for his discussion of the threats the Modesto Irrigation District management is posing to us individually and our entire economic environment. Ed makes some VERY important unique observations and comments in his article.
In addition, he forces us, and the MID management to remember 3 critical issues, which are:
1. MID is NOT a business, but a ratepayer-owned utility mandated to serve the needs within the District. Ed says, “Someone (meaning Tom VanGronigan and Paul Warda) has forgotten this valley was a desert prior to the 1887 creation of the MID as a public utility.” Ed reminds us of the sacrifice and arduous work by which the People created a water storage and distribution system which created a bounty of food and business.
2. Ed reminds us that MID management, aided by rubber-stamp Directors (same 2 guys), squandered untold millions of ratepayer’s money on failed ventures like TANC, Mountain House, the Four Cities, the BioMass Burner, the Phase 2 water treatment plant. Ed says, “So now the MID board is saying we need money more than we need water.” And this would be an even bigger mistake.
3. Ed’s most important and compelling comments remind us that YOU and I own the land and the water. MID exists because our ancestors sacrificed and labored, mortgaged their farms, and created this green, productive valley with their hands, mules, horses and blood. They did not create water to be sold to a city 100 miles from our District. MID management has NO AUTHORITY to sell water outside the District, only the ratepayers can authorize that. Until they do, the water belongs here in the Valley.
If Ed will give me the liberty to paraphrase his great article, I would say to Directors VanGronigan, Warda, Wild and Blom, “Join Director Byrd, and do NOT sell our water to a greedy city far away, especially for the 30 pieces of gold they offer. Do NOT violate the trust the Ratepayers demand of you. DO stop this horrible idea of permanent divestiture of our precious resource. Stop considering this giveaway now.”
Ed, on behalf of the Stanislaus Taxpayers Association, every farmer and dairyman, every electricity user in the District, THANK YOU for your considered and wise words.