Water District should push for elected GA members

The three plus year history of the IWVGA has been fraught with overspending, lack of thoroughness in gathering facts, and unfair distribution of the costs of poorly conceived but vastly expensive imported water projects. The People of this Valley are in a state of alarm at both the costs being put on them and the lack of actual representation of their interests. This egregious abuse of power by the IWVGA is at present involving the Water District in three separate lawsuits/ legal actions and the count is rising. As the most well funded member of the IWVGA, the Water District will unavoidably incur high costs from these court actions and also end up shouldering much of the blame for the damage done, regardless of their previous statements of protest concerning IWVGA actions.

The biggest reason for the widespread disgust at GA actions is lack of communication and representation. How could any Citizen with even a small sense of justice feel fairly considered when inaccessible GA meeting times are held, accountability is non-existent, and protest votes and petitions are ignored while the apparent predetermined agenda is forged ahead on. Never in the history of the Indian Wells Valley have the people so widely tried to voice their opposition to being taxed severely via protest vote AND via petition to referendum the recent replenishment fee, yet a complete deaf ear was practiced by the ruling elite of the GA board with the backing of the County lawyer. This affront to Constitutional government must stop.

In this instance, the Water District needs but two things to right the problem. First is the will to fight the injustice. As the ONLY elected body in the Valley put in place by the will of the People to both provide for water needs and govern such, the District holds a legitimate position to address this issue and is likewise required by the will of the people to do so. You are the elected leaders in this locale for water, for around 90+% of the Valley residents.

Second, the other thing needed to right the problem is action to pull out of the IWVGA and to institute the submission of a well crafted initiative to remove the current IWVGA and replace it with an elected body that represents the People of the Indian Wells Valley. As a governing body in this Valley, the District is well positioned for the task and can readily bring about fairness and accountability to the process of dealing with the water needs of the Valley. With the help of skilled law firms, I believe there are clear paths to accomplishing this.

This sorely needs to be done. Our state of disenchantment over this issue here is yet to be seen, but next year when the bills come due, I believe it will be heard loud and far. I submit this statement asking that the Board give serious thought to this proposition and take action soon. I believe there is a way to make this happen readily. Doing so will make the pain of attaining a "sustainable" aquifer more bearable. People will contribute to the solution when they feel they have been actually included in deciding how it is formulated. I can assure you, most of the People in this Valley DO NOT feel that way right now. You are likely the only representative body in the Valley in a position to correct this. It is your duty to do so.

Take action and bring us an elected Groundwater Agency for the Indian Wells Valley.

Mike Neel

Story First Published: 2020-12-10