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February 25, 2021

Letters & Shout-outs

Letter: Prather, Hammer, and Ratcliffe slate needed for SLVWD’s future
I am totally in support of re-electing Larry Prather to the Board of the San Lorenzo Valley Water District, in spite of the distorted use of a quote of mine in a cruel attack letter implying otherwise.
Larry has crucial, in-depth understanding of years of District operations, providing vital insights for future planning.
He has vigorously helped assure enormous progress in infrastructure improvements, not just fixing storage tanks but reducing energy costs by installing solar arrays at treatment plants, and instituting the successful leak-inspection/repair strategy.
Larry designed the Capital Equipment Replacement Fund to assure ongoing funding for this crucial need. As an engineer, he understands technical issues and provides important insights when they are discussed.
His commitment to environmental preservation and community involvement has been demonstrated again and again. We need him on the Board!
Thankfully, there are three outstanding people who are eager to serve on the SLV Water Board — Eric Hammer, and Gene Elizabeth Ratcliffe, along with Larry.
Their combination of experience, skills and insights will enhance Board processes, assuring responsive, efficient District management.
Eric’s years of dedication to community organizations explains his ability to involve people, and wisdom in short- and long-term planning. His successful local business shows he understands staffing, training and operations, and handling complex finances.
Gene has been a water education specialist. A scientist, she readily grasps issues related to water procurement, treatment, testing and distribution.
After 11 years serving on a planning commission, she is skilled in government complexities, encouraging public participation, and working with all sides in a controversy.
We need them all and they all have my vote!
Nancy Macy,
Boulder Creek
Letter: Response to claims of Watchdogs’ ‘Tea Party tactics’
The San Lorenzo Valley Watchdogs were flattered that we were considered important enough to warrant a targeted character assassination smear in last week’s letter from John Fasolas, “SLV Water ‘watchdogs’ using Tea Party tactics.”
His diatribe reduces to irrational arguments devoid of rational justifications.
Character assassination is simply not an acceptable form of debate in this or any election. Dear friends, this is a moral issue.
Successful democracies require citizens to attain a level of civil decency, so when disagreements arise, we mutually expect and hold each other to a higher standard of integrity in arguing our positions.
The Tea Party allusion is a specious mixed metaphor. We don’t resort to filibustering, and we certainly can’t shut down the government justified with appalling self-righteous rhetoric.
This violates our sense of civil decency and our conviction that democracy requires political compromise.
The Watchdogs organized over an issue arising with Proposition 50. We legally challenged their faulty engineering design for Intertie 5. This resulted in a mandated expensive and time-consuming EIR.
As a Professional Electrical Engineer, I analyzed the sound study and found it to be flawed. We filed our objections along with Fish and Game and several environmentally aware State agencies.
The District subsequently dropped Intertie-5 from the project. Had they done it right to begin with, Intertie-5 wouldn’t have been dropped.
Dear friends, visit our website: http://www.slvwd.co/dp/ and make up your own minds about the Watchdogs. I recommend our five critical position papers:
1. White Paper on Rate Increases & Capital Improvements
2. White Paper on the Administrative Campus
3. White Paper on the Adjusted Rate Increase
4. White Paper on Special District: SLVWD
5. White Paper on Governance & Elections.
Everyone should read paper No. 4, since this documents the unique form of government that is our water district and why the job requirements for being a director are different.
Stephen Petersen,
Member, San Lorenzo Valley Watchdogs
Letter: Stephany Aguilar is an advocate for Scotts Valley residents
It is unusual to cast your vote with such confidence, but that is the case when voting for Councilmember Aguilar.
She is truly a rare politician. Through the 18-plus years she has served on the Scotts Valley City Council, she has done so with the people of Scotts Valley as her focus.
We have known Councilmember Aguilar for many years and have witnessed the hard work, countless hours of research, and her dedication to making every decision to the best of her ability.
When she walks into the council chambers, she is well-prepared and oftentimes goes to project field sites in order to make a clear and informed decision.
After projects are approved, Councilmember Aguilar follows through to the completion ensuring that all conditions are met by the developer.
It is important to have a check-and-balance system in any organization, and she fills that role for our city council.
Stephany has given strong support to the Scotts Valley Police and Fire departments. The safety of our community is always her top priority.
She is not only an advocate for Scotts Valley residents, but works statewide and has served as president of California Council of Governments and as president of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, and as director of Monterey Bay Division of League of California Cities.
She received her Masters in Communications Studies at San Jose State University and was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award from San Jose State in 2014.
She is now serving as First Vice President for the League of California Cities. The statewide recognition of her work in Sacramento and elsewhere can only bring a rich vision of what will benefit Scotts Valley.
It is clear that Stephany loves to serve and represent our community. She stands up for what she believes and has stayed true to those beliefs.
Councilmember Aguilar is honest, hard-working, compassionate, and most of all loves Scotts Valley.
We promise you she is worthy of your vote.
Stan & Cathy Herteman and Family,
Scotts Valley
Letter: Clearing up ‘untruths’ about SLV Watchdogs
“Like clear, fresh water refreshes the human body, so does truth refresh the human spirit.”
This is a motto of the San Lorenzo Valley Watchdog Community Outreach group. Well-researched facts are the basis of our writing and statements. Courtesy and friendliness are characteristics that define our interactions with others.
We do not, however, ignore when others speak untruth. We have the courage and strength to counter such false communications.
Sometimes, when people speak untruth it is because they are just not educated to the facts. Maybe they are gullible and just believe what they are told is correct without ever testing it to see if it is so.
Other times people just speak untruth because they have heard it pose as truth for so long that they have come to believe it is so.
Then there are those who just speak untruth because it deflects other people from seeing the truth. Speaking untruth is like serving unclean water and it is corrupting and sickening.
The statements made in Mr. Fasolas’ name bear many such impurities. The following five points identify errors along with some purifying information:
1. Mark Lee is not a member of the SLV Watchdog group, but he is an energetic protester who leads a neighborhood group from Ben Lomond.
2. SLV Watchdogs promotes lawful and truthful behavior and does not subscribe to the “Tea Party” in any way. Read (http://www.slvwd.co/dp/content/white-paper-special-district-slvwd)
3. The SLV Watchdogs never threatened the SLVWD with a lawsuit. Although we did hear that they were concerned about one, we never did find out who gave them such an idea.
4. Mr. Bruce Holloway is not a member of the SLV Watchdog group and whomever he sues is none of our business. He is a fine researcher and is very effective in explaining financial investment policy to the SLVWD Board of Directors.
5. The Grand Jury may have learned a lot of truth from our website because it reports facts. Read (http://www.slvwd.co/dp/article/two-grand-jury-reports)
However, the Grand Jury identifies their own local governments to investigate and conduct their own investigations by examining facts and eliminating “lies.”
I would say that there may be people who use “Tea Party” tactics, and have “mean” spirits, and we may just have recognized such demonstrated by Mr. Fasolas’ writing.
I would like to encourage him to delve a little deeper and discover the facts. They truly are enlightening and refreshing.
Suellene Petersen,
Watchdog Community Outreach