To the Editor: Points to GA fee opposition

On Aug. 21, upon getting 20 comments and more than 5,000 protest votes opposing the Replenishment Fee, the Groundwater Authority passed its new fee knowing it would saddle us with taxes of around $300 a year and put many jobs in jeopardy. GA Chair and Kern County 1st District Supervisor Mick Gleason had the temerity to say (I paraphrase) that he wants this done before he leaves the valley; and that the people who campaigned for the protest vote were motivated by something other than the best interest of this community.

Pushing this forward for HIS self interest was OK, but those who opposed the fee were selfish, indicating the attitude “we the People” have felt from the majority of this Board.

These high-minded statements are answered with principles of the California Constitution:

Article 1, Sec. 1: “All people … have inalienable rights. Among these are … protecting property...” (like their funds)

Article 2, Sec. 1: “All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their … benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require ...”

Article 1, Sec. 3: (a): “The people have the right to instruct their representatives ...”

Article 2, Sec. 11: (a) “Initiative and referendum powers may be exercised by the electors of each city or county under procedures that the Legislature shall provide ...”

Through a grassroots efforts of businesses and individuals, including individual Board members of one of the Board represented agencies, a Referendum Petition has been circulated valley wide, resulting in more than 2,900 signatures by citizens alarmed at this affront.

The petition states: “We, the undersigned property owners of the Indian Wells valley seek the repeal of Ordinance 03-20, ‘Establishment of a Basin Replenishment Fee,’ adopted on Aug. 21, 2020.”

The petition makes these statements to the GA Board (by inference): We exercise the power of our Constitution, and demand repeal of this unjust and harmful law. We want it corrected. We refuse to bow to capricious exercise of power in an unelected Board. Repeal this ordinance, and listen to the people. There are numerous avenues available to continue this fight, and fight we will if need be. Liberty is too precious to allow further erosion by unelected “boards” in our valley. We would prefer that the solution of this disagreement begin today.

Mike Neel

Story First Published: 2020-09-25