Village News Reporter
Two Greater Fallbrook special districts have nominated Ross Pike for a seat on San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission board.
The Friday, Jan. 20, meeting of the Mission Resource Conservation District board included nominating Pike for the LAFCO special district seat currently held by Alpine Fire Protection District board member Barry Willis. The Tuesday, Jan. 24, North County Fire Protection District board meeting included a 4-0 vote to nominate Pike for the seat with Pike abstaining from that action item.
“I’m hopeful that our San Diego special districts, especially our Fallbrook special districts, would support me,” Pike said.
LAFCO handles jurisdictional boundary changes including incorporations, annexations, consolidations, latent powers expansions and detachments. The reorganization decisions will include the proposal for the Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District to detach from the San Diego County Water Authority and become retail agencies of the Eastern Municipal Water District.
“We would need a strong advocate,” Pike said of the FPUD and Rainbow proposal.
The LAFCO board consists of two county supervisors, currently Nora Vargas and Jim Desmond; one City Council representative from San Diego, currently Stephen Whitburn; two city council members from the county’s other 17 incorporated cities which are both currently vacant as Escondido mayor Paul McNamara lost his re-election attempt and Chula Vista mayor Mary Salas left office after completing her second term; two members from special districts, currently Willis and Jo MacKenzie of the Vista Irrigation District, and one public member, currently Bonsall resident Andy Vanderlaan. LAFCO commissioners have four-year terms and Willis’ term expires in May 2023.
Special districts include independent special districts, which have independently elected directors and dependent special districts, whose members are the county Board of Supervisors or in some cases a city council. The boards of independent special districts choose the two special districts representatives on the LAFCO board.
San Diego County currently has 26 water districts, 12 independent fire protection districts including the Borrego Springs Fire Protection District which has a scheduled March 6 hearing on being dissolved with the territory added to the San Diego County Fire Protection District, ten community services districts, four health care districts, four cemetery districts, three resource conservation districts, one independent sanitation district and one recreation and park district.
“I’d be a strong advocate for the special districts in the county,” Pike said.
Pike moved to Fallbrook from Western Michigan five years ago. In July 2022, Pike was selected to fill a vacant NCFPD seat. Pike is also a member of the Fallbrook Community Planning Group, which is an advisory public agency rather than a special district, and since the planning group has no regulatory power Pike can serve on the planning group as well as on the fire board.
Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].