Thank You All

I was elected to Lake Don Pedro Community Services District board of directors four years ago and immediately started educating myself as to local and state water issues by reading water publications and participating in numerous free/low cost online training courses sponsored by state water agencies. I utilized that information to propose solutions and make sound responsible decisions for our LDPCSD water supply and those properties entitled to Merced River water.

I sincerely thank those who voted and provided me with this opportunity to serve, but must caution all as to an inescapable conclusion based on this water education and experience.

Fair and honest representation of the 99% of legal water using (and future using) customers will continue to be thwarted if conflicting business interests with the intent and design of our surface water treatment plant are allowed to remain on the decision making side of the dais.

I believe three major variables have assisted in creating this negative situation. 1) The semi-isolated nature of the Lake Don Pedro residential community in these beautiful but rugged foothills makes routine well attended meetings difficult, 2) Decades of cultivated low information voting due to the lack of timely investigative reporting on local matters, and 3), over half the CSD customers (availability) reside out of area and cannot vote in elections due to respective county residency requirements.

Not surprisingly, and I think most would agree, any unorganized community which does not understand, appreciate or correct its underlying vulnerabilities, will easily become a target for disingenuous special interests set on exploiting our limited but highly valuable resources for their own personal and business desires.

Whether massive uncontrolled development in the subdivision contrary to the CC&Rs of our property owners’ association (ignored under the guise that “everyone will profit”) or the expansion of water service outside the legal Place of Use under water license 11395 and the contractual agreement with Merced Irrigation District (under the theory more customers are desirable regardless of license restrictions) when the majority of those paying the bills are fed disinformation and denied pertinent facts, we all become servants to the “cash cow” of corruption. This is sad but all so typically human.

Again thank you for the experience it was an honor serving.

My best to you and yours,
Lew Richardson

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