ICYMI: June 8, 2018
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected]
Yesterday, Voice of San Diego reporter Ry Rivard broke news that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) will revote on the Delta tunnels proposal this July in response to allegations made by Food and Water Watch California and the First Amendment Coalition that Metropolitan violated the Brown Act with multiple closed-door communications between MWD board directors, Governor Brown, and Department of Water Resources (DWR) Director Karla Nemeth before the official April 10 vote on CA WaterFix.
Rivard’s recent story on the revote includes some interesting details about jockeying efforts executed by MWD board director Brett Barbre of Orange County. After MWD disclosed to the press that Metropolitan would build one tunnel with the option of building a second tunnel later, Barbre pushed numerous board members towards a yes, and even solicited help from Governor Brown to whip enough votes for the twin tunnels.
Things get even muddier when one takes into account the decades-long political history between Barbre and Congressman Ken Calvert (R-Corona)—the author of a rider that seeks to exempt CA WaterFix from further legal review. Both Barbre and Calvert’s efforts indicate that officials fear the project will not break ground before Brown leaves office, with the threat of the next Governor scrapping the twin tunnels project.
General Counsel for MWD, Marcia Scully maintained Metropolitan’s innocence in a response letter dated June 6. Ms. Scully noted that the MWD board of directors would be revisit their vote during their July 10 meeting.
Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla commented,
“First, congratulations to Food and Water Watch California and the First Amendment Coalition whose efforts to uncover Brown Act violations during the CA WaterFix process at Metropolitan Water District resulted in a revote.
“Second, this is not an auspicious beginning for the CA WaterFix construction JPA. If its members can’t handle their own agency votes legally and correctly, why would we have confidence in future processes? Even more problematic is how Metropolitan Water District of Orange County is driving decisions for twenty-six member agencies at Metropolitan Water District, and by proxy for the Delta, and the entire state. The politically motivated Brett Barbre, along with the scandal-challenged U.S. Representative Ken Calvert, (who is known for placing earmarks for Orange County special interests into Federal legislation), are working to upend due process for Delta residents and for all parties impacted by the Delta tunnels. What happened with the April WaterFix vote at MWD of Southern California is all about cronyism, political favors, and political paybacks. The April vote reveals that MWD is failing to create sustainable water policies for Southern California ratepayers.”