On Wednesday morning June 14, LAFCO held an emergency special meeting to vote on whether to support or oppose AB 530/399, a methane gas bill that had an amendment added to it at the last minute, which would not allow Fallbrook and Rainbow to detach from San Diego Water Authority without allowing the entire county to vote on the detachment.
Six LAFCO members voted to oppose the amendment and 2 members, Joel Anderson and Steve Whitburn, voted for the amendment to change any future detachments to a county-wide vote.
LAFCO also voted to move up the Aug. 7 meeting, when the detachment was supposed to be voted on, to July 10. This would thwart the sneaky amendment by superseding it.
Tasha Nicole Boerner from Encinitas was the Assemblywoman who piggybacked the last-minute amendment in the California Assembly.
If the bill passed before the August 10 LAFCO meeting, LAFCO would lose their leadership
Fallbrook Planning Group member Stephani Baxter said the county is so concerned these days about everything being equitable and Fallbrook is a very diverse community. What this bill does is take away our local control and the power to govern ourselves by having all the big cities override our vote on LAFCO. This bill is big government and anti-local control.
Fallbrook Public Utility District board member Dave Baxter said, “The stated margin of error with the SDWA budget is 6%. Fallbrook’s average water authority revenue is only 1.3% of their budget. It’s a drop in the bucket for everyone else in the county and would save millions of dollars in infrastructure costs.”
LAFCO has had 3 years to research and make a decision.
The City of San Diego is a firm supporter of the water authority. Mayor Todd Gloria’s staff strongly supported the legislation, broadening the vote countywide as well as the San Diego Chamber of Commerce.
There is a final meeting for the public on JU
uly 10 for comment. Stephani Baxter said, "Any and all who care about their water rates should participate. In person, via written, or call in during the meeting. The LAFCO meeting on July 10, is 8am at 1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego. http://www.sdlafco.org.."