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Johnson appointed to vacant Rainbow MWD board seat

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Rainbow Municipal Water District board had a vacancy after Pam Moss resigned from the Division 1 seat, and on May 23 the board appointed Julie Johnson to fill the vacant seat.

“Very thrilling,” Johnson said. “I’m honored to have been selected to finish the term of Director Moss.”

Division 1 includes Morro Hills, Bonsall, and Vista Valley. Moss sold her home in Bonsall and her temporary residence is not within the Division 1 boundaries, so she is no longer eligible to serve on the Rainbow board. Eight applicants sought the vacancy, and the Rainbow board interviewed all eight candidates before voting 4-0 to select Johnson.

Johnson has lived in Bonsall since 1995. Her first position as a public school teacher was in the Encinitas Union School District. She later taught elementary school, middle school, and high school students in the Oceanside Unified School District. Johnson was also an elementary school and secondary school administrator with the Oceanside Unified School District.

She then taught at Cal State University San Marcos before taking a student services administrative position at Mira Costa College. Since 2011 Johnson has been the director of GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) at Mira Costa College. GEAR UP is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education so that they can enter the workforce for successful careers.

Because her duties with Mira Costa College include helping find students career jobs, Johnson initially began learning more about the Rainbow Municipal Water District from its employment perspective. From a water use perspective, Johnson experienced the effect of high water costs on agricultural production. At one time she had 450 avocado trees but, as they became unprofitable and as the trees aged, the grove was removed. Johnson decided to remain in agriculture although not on a commercial basis and is now a floral grower.

Helene Brazier was initially appointed to the Rainbow Municipal District board’s Division 1 seat in February 2012 after Gerald Walson passed away. Brazier was unopposed for re-election in November 2012 and in November 2016. Brazier opted not to run for another term in the November 2020 election.

Johnson and Moss sought the board position. Moss received 1,204 votes while Johnson was the choice of 1,098 voters, giving Moss the seat.

“Then I supported her 100%,” Johnson said.

A member of one of Rainbow’s committees does not need to be on the board. When Johnson first began working with the district she asked if she could volunteer on one of Rainbow's committees. She was placed on the Customer Service and Communications Committee, and eventually she became that committee's vice-chair and then the chair.

Johnson was subsequently appointed to Rainbow’s Budget and Finance Committee in 2020. She remained involved with Rainbow committee activity after her election loss, and a 2022 appointment to the Engineering and Operations Committee gave Johnson experience on all three of the district’s committees.

“It was a phenomenal experience,” Johnson said.

On April 25, Moss notified the district that she would be resigning from the board effective May 1. Division 1 registered voters with interest in serving on the board were asked to provide information on themselves by May 15.

The eight candidates also included attorney Michael Ayers, welding company administrator Mallory Fore, former San Diego County Water Authority manager of administration and controls Ron Hartnett, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system administrator Kyle James, former Menifee Union School District superintendent Steve Kennedy, Terrace Downs Association homeowners association board member Sandra Parsley, and California Avocado Commission treasurer and Hass Avocado Board vice-chair Kenneth Roth.

“I was honored to have been selected,” Johnson said. “I’m honored because I know that the board works very closely with the community and the staff.”

The Division 1 term expires at the end of 2024, although Johnson may run for a full four-year term in the November 2024 election.

“I am excited to do the very best and do the job,” Johnson said.

“Our community is very important to me,” Johnson said. “I will do what it takes to get the job done.”

 

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