Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Unincorporated Fallbrook and Rainbow vs big government, big cities

Julie Reeder


On July 10, LAFCO directors will meet and vote on whether FPUD and RMWD can detach from the San Diego Water Authority (SDWA) to join Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD).

They have been mulling it over for three years. It’s an amount of business that is very small, compared to SDWA’s entire budget. FPUD only accounts for 1.3% of SDWA’s total budget and their budget margin of error is + or - 6%. So what is the big deal? The deal is power and control.

This is a great example of why local control is so important. This is another example of how San Diego runs over the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. If we were incorporated as a city, we would at least be able to stand up for ourselves. But we aren’t, so we are relegated to hope and pray that a majority of LAFCO directors will have our best interests at heart when they vote. Some of them will definitely be thinking of their own constituents who they want to make sure to vote for them again.

Thank goodness we at least have Jim Desmond, who we do vote for and who does have our best interests at heart. But it takes a majority, and even then, there is sneaky work behind the scenes to make it harder for us and others in the future to have representation and local control.

Those who would oppose us detaching have a supermajority of Democrat friends in the California legislature to help them shore up power by lessening local control and adding sneaky amendments to unrelated legislation to seal the deal and make it harder for us to detach.

It’s kind of like what Willie Brown did when the California legislature passed the Revenue Neutral Act, which made it virtually impossible for small towns to incorporate and become a self-governed city.

The big guys in San Diego, the mayor, the Chamber of Commerce, and other cities are so “lucky” to have an Assemblywoman like Tasha Boerner from Encinitas who is willing to sell out the unincorporated areas and squash Fallbrook and Bonsall’s right to self-govern and manage our own water and water costs. She worked to get a sneaky last-minute amendment added to an unrelated bill so that the rules change and lessen individual areas’ power to self-govern and have local control of their water issues.

It’s all about control. It’s all about big government.

I don’t even think it’s the money. Why would there be so much effort and so many years spent fighting such a small percentage of SDWA’s overall business? Especially when we have paid in advance on projects that they won’t have to make good on?

After the cronies get the sneaky amendment passed, there will be little chance of Fallbrook and Rainbow having the opportunity to manage their own affairs as it pertains to our water issues, so our representatives got the vote for detachment moved up to July 10, instead of August. If the vote goes well for detachment, it will precede the sneaky amendment attached to state legislation.

We have a long history of having to fight for our water rights. It doesn’t make sense that we have to allow San Diego to have a say on whether or not we can manage and control our own future as it pertains to water issues. But, those who represent San Diego see it as being fair for San Diego.

We are a small population of 50 to 60k that really has to show up at least to make our voices heard. If you have been following the articles and meetings about detachment from SDWA and you support it, it would be a good idea to show up at the LAFCO meeting to show your support and speak if you’re willing.

For me, this is more than just a water issue. It’s a local control issue. If we silently allow San Diego to control everything we do, then we are destined to serve their needs instead of our own. That’s not “fair.”

Any and all who care about their water rates can participate in person, via written comments, or call in during the meeting, but the best would be to actually show up and pack the room. I will be there. I hope you will be too.

The LAFCO meeting is on July 10, 8 a.m. at 1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego.


Reader Comments(1)

tcasey622 writes:

Julie Reeder is correct that Fallbrook & Rainbow have little legal-say over our lives. Supervisor Desmond appreciates how important it was to San Marcos to become a city. The only solution is for us to become incorporated. Wildomar is an excellent example of using Interstate-15 frontage to establish revenue producing businesses, rather than commuter housing, then using that base to pay for the independence-required public services. Let's partner with Pala and make the most of I-15 & SR-76.

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