The regional water board held a meeting in Rancho Cordova today amid a burgeoning crowd of activists and citizens. The overflow crowd limited citizen access and input, and drove several people away. Admittedly I did not expect this many people either, however it was not comprised mainly of ratepayers. A large segment of special interest groups seemed to have gotten early notice, and were able to co-opt some of the room. Of specific interest was 4 very professionally made signs stationed at the entrance to the boards office, and touted a racially explicit organization. Upon questioning the water board personnel, the statement given was that they were unaware as to who placed the signs. This is somewhat unbelievable though, as security was very obvious everywhere, and it would have been pretty hard for some unknown to just walk up and place the signs.
Likewise, the entire parking lot was blocked off, as it was already full of cars and trucks displaying special interest messages. If I were to guess, I'd say we were dealing with a very stacked deck here. I opted to leave as well, mainly because there was access only to an overflow room, and not the general meeting room, so there would be little point. In addition, a thirty or forty page late change notice was being distributed, much of it making new statements by the board without any opportunity for research by the attendees.
As I left, I noticed two people changing parking spaces, although the cars were owned by only one of them, giving further evidence that this whole public meeting was little else but a charade.
I'd tell everyone to brace for the worst, as this water board is a rubber stamp for the triple increase in their sewer bills, because they plan on taking so much more water from the area to send to agribusiness and developers south, that it will lead to lower flows up here with greater pollution. Under that scenario, the only option is to pay for more water clean up.
You do have other options:
Work towards halting the new peripheral canal. If they can't ship the water south, they certainly ain't gonna truck it, and that means water stays here, and dilutes the contaminants. This will also have the effect of limiting agricultural water hogs and developers whose only goal is to make money. Crippling both of these will have a side effect of slowing population growth in California which is at the heart of yet another water issue.
And lastly, reject the racist intervention being thrust upon us at these meetings. The outgoing governor was supportive of organizations such as The Latino Water Rights Coalition, another racially explicit group comprised of pro-immigration lobbyists and supporters of illegal immigrants. Obviously they want more cheap labor, and massaging a shallow premise such as race is expected to give both the recipient and the practitioner a common goal. People who use race as a crutch or a tool should be dismissed immediately, as their true goals are not the general welfare of the people at large