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January 19, 2021

Opinions, October 9th

The CZU Lightning Fire has heightened awareness throughout the SLV of the critical role that our local Water District plays in providing us with safe and reliable access to water. The upcoming November election offers four qualified candidates to fill two Board of Director seats for the SLV Water District. All four candidates are fully capable of serving our community, but there are important differences between them that can’t be discerned purely by looking at campaign signs.

The Friends of SLV Water is a group of local residents that works to ensure clean and affordable water in the Valley and strives to educate residents about water related issues. In an effort to provide background information on all the candidates, we have developed a non-partisan forum on our website to distinguish candidates on different subjects: https://www.friendsofsanlorenzovalleywater.org/november-2020-election

We sent all candidates a list of questions on seven water-related topics ranging from emergency preparedness to water rates to environmental protection to Board deliberations and more. We also plan to include links to candidate websites as well as articles from accredited journalists that objectively report on the candidates. As we receive more information, we will add a link to it on the candidate’s page of our website.

We hope that this evolving collection of material will provide Water District customers with the information they need to make an informed decision on which candidates will make the best Directors. Thank you for sharing this with your readers.

Lee Summers, FSLVW

Calling Bruce McPherson – Your Community Needs You
The San Lorenzo Valley – often considered to be the communities between Felton and Boulder Creek – is part of unincorporated Santa Cruz County.  This means that the only local representation we receive is our County Supervisor, Bruce McPherson.
When the CZU Lightning Complex Fires started in August, the difference in the level of engagement our communities received from our Supervisor was starkly different than the engagement Supervisor Coonerty showed to the affected areas he represents.
McPherson won re-election this past March because he ran unopposed. He hasn’t had to work very hard for our votes, and frankly, it shows. Nearly 1,500 families lost everything in McPherson’s District and he is our community’s bridge to the future. We will need the energy of a tireless advocate. One who is visible and actively engaged with our needs.
My argument is not that I expect McPherson to be physically present in the district every day. But his current availability pre-Covid was twice a month between 12:15 and 1:30 pm. Now our only avenue is by phone or email.
I understand that in the era of Covid, outreach is more challenging, but it is possible. He’s secured his seat for another 4 years. We can’t wait four more years for a representative who is willing to put in the effort to engage with us. 
Social media isn’t a perfect vehicle for outreach and not everyone is on it, but McPherson’s constituents are owed his tireless effort, energy and advocacy right now. He’s all we’ve got. There are no city councils and town governments for SLV to turn to, he’s our only voice but how is listening to what we need?

Jayme Ackemann, Ben Lomond

To the Editor,
I serve as an SLVWD Director, but I’m writing as an individual and not on behalf of the Board or District.
I need your help to elect Directors who will follow through on the changes we voted for in 2018.  I know Lew Farris and Beth Thomas well.  I trust them—you can trust them—to continue the positive changes implemented since 2018.   Beth and Lew are endorsed by Steve Swan, Board President, and Rick Moran, SLVWD Director.
Serving on the SLVWD Board requires more than academic credentials.  It requires years of residence, being in touch with and connected to the community.  It requires giving your time to improve the community.  It requires people knowing your commitments are solid.  It requires making difficult decisions while considering the interests of the ENTIRE community, not special interests or pressure groups. Lew and Beth embrace the positive changes since 2018 and will build on them with their own positive platform–and won’t return to the past.
Beth is a 40-year resident, serves on the Quaker Center Board and is a CASA volunteer, while serving as chair of the District’s Ad-hoc Facilities Committee.  Lew is a 30-year resident, receiving the Volunteer of the Year award from Santa Cruz County in 2018.  Lew served on the District’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee in 2014 and the Engineering Committee before being appointed to the Board. 
Their goals:  Comprehensive fire recovery and hardening District facilities against natural disasters; Protect our precious watershed; Institute multi-year budgeting PLUS scrutinizing spending; Continue improving infrastructure; Collaborate with local agencies; Protect the interests of the SLVWD community; and Engage with and respect the opinion of the public. 
Please look for the SLVWD Directors on your ballot.  Beth and Lew are first and last, respectively, on the ballot.   Thank you!  Vote 2 to Follow Through!
Bob Fultz, Felton