Former City Councilwoman Leticia Vasquez made a triumphant return to elected office Tuesday, winning election to the Division 4 seat on the Central Basin Municipal Water District Board of Directors.
Change may be coming to the Central Basin Municipal Water District with two incumbents voted out of office Tuesday.
Pico Water Board member James Roybal knocked off two-term incumbent Ed Vasquez and former Lynwood Councilwoman Leticia Vasquez defeated incumbent Rudy Montalvo of South Gate – both by a nearly 2-1 margin.
“People are pretty dissatisfied with the Central Basin Municipal Water District,” said Roybal. “I think the electorate is saying they’re tired of reading articles on what’s going on in the Central Basin.”
Directors Rudy Montalvo and Ed Vasquez lose by large margins in an election dominated by allegations of misconduct at the agency.
The Finance Committee of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California has decided to recommend the Board
of Directors not increase the District’s replenishment assessment* (RA) for the fiscal year 2012-2013.
At its May 4, 2012 meeting, the Board of Directors will hold its 10th and final budget hearing and workshop, where it will make its final decision on the 2012-2013 replenishment assessment. The zero increase scenario has been a consideration since the first workshop of the series. These public meetings have been well attended by stakeholders, residents, local leaders, and community and environmental advocates.
The workshops have provided the public the opportunity to give direct and important feedback to help influence the budget process and shape the final budget.
“WRD has now held 9 consecutive public meetings to insure transparency, and we have heard from members of the public throughout the district,” said Finance Committee Chair and Board Treasurer Sergio Calderon. “We think our recommendation reflects a combination of thoughtful public input, belt tightening, and expert analysis that will insure water will continue to be safe, reliable and affordable for struggling ratepayers.”
The clock has started in an effort by a water district to cut off water supplies to Pico Rivera and four other area cities after the cities refused to pay a water assessment.
The Water Replenishment District on Monday made its case in Norwalk Superior Court to outlaw water pumping in Pico Rivera, Downey, Signal Hill, Bellflower and Downey, saying the rebel cities need to pay up while five other legal actions get worked out in a separate court.
Compliant cities in the area are going to end up suffering if the five cities don’t fork over what will add up to $8million in unpaid assessments by the end of this fiscal year, WRD officials said.
“They’re pumping water and not paying us,” said Ed Casey, a WRD attorney. “That’s not fair.”
The fate of Downey’s water supply now rests in the hands of a Superior Court judge.
Judge Raul Sahagun in Norwalk Court on Monday heard arguments in a lawsuit by the Water Replenishment District to stop Downey and four other cities from pumping drinking water.
He could hand down his decision any day.
For months, Downey, Signal Hill, Cerritos, Pico Rivera and Bellflower have refused to pay a $244-per-acre foot assessment for water they pumped from the area’s groundwater basin. An acre-foot is about enough water for a family for a year.