Politically Incorrect Zone: CA Prop. 1/”Water Bond” is more pork than beef

By Kevin Harris

Political correctness

With the Midterm Elections almost upon us, we Californians will soon be asked to fork over huge sums of additional dollars or future commitments of additional dollars, via bond measures, in order to make our lives better, safer or to solve one problem or another. Or, depending on your political perspective, to enrich the pockets of special interests or to grow our government even further.  One such bond measure is known as “Proposition 1,” the “Water Bond.” This is of particular importance to Californians now, as we endure a drought unlike any of us has endured before. 

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Proposition 1 is a $7.1 billion bond touted as a drought relief measure. with another half billion reallocated. The problem is, nearly all of the money in it is noONprop1PORK, with little actually going toward water storage or processing for state residents. Like so many other issues of the day, our state is choosing corruption and theft above actual solutions, this time with perhaps the most timely and important issue facing residents. So whatever happens on November 4 with Proposition 1, we will still be left with the unanswered question about how to solve our water problems. So from MY perspective, the better question is, how do we, as residents of our individual cities and towns, achieve “water independence?”

Cities get their water through various means in this state. Some draw their water from the overtapped Colorado River and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Others pump and process ground water, and a few even use desalinization, to name a few methods. But in our extreme drought, coupled with the state’s lack of funds, it is safe to say that the medium and long-term reliability of our water supply is questionable, wherever you live in this state.

Which brings me to my idea for a possible solution. The idea is that cities and towns across the state will each build their own water storage tank for emergency residential use. These tanks will be local projects, free from state and Federal funds and meddling, and fully owned and operated at the local level. Ideally, they would be large enough to store perhaps a 90-day supply of water for emergency residential use.

Even at the local level, however, people can still screw up a good idea. Like anything else, this would have to be implemented legally and responsibly, and elected leaders, city councils and business interests involved would have to ultimately decide if they want to end up becoming a carbon copy of Sacramento, or if they want to show Sacramento how it’s supposed to be done.

We have a wonderful opportunity to deploy solutions for ourselves, our families and our neighbors. What we DON’T have is a lot of time for squabbling, bickering, infighting or corruption. I, for one, still believe we’re BETTER than what our big government has become.

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Politics/lawmaking is like making sausages

Editor’s note: To help prove Kevin’s point about pork, here’s the text of AB1471 which put Prop. 1 on the ballot- from CA SOS site. We see that locals Gorell, Wilk, Pavley and Jackson were all co-authors. We  wonder if the three crossed out Senators were the ones who were suspended? The proposition is a lot more ugly and complex that the short summary on the ballot would have you believe. There’s an old saying that politics is like making sausages and if you saw how either one was done, you wouldn’t want to consume the product:

Proposition 1   Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.

Here’s the final cleaned up version that went to the voters in the voter guide, which hardly anyone reads:

Proposition 1 | Official Voter Information Guide | California

http://www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov/

Most people, at least those who actually vote,  will just read this when they fill out their ballots:

Prop 1

Water Bond. Funding for Water Quality, Supply, Treatment, and Storage Projects.

Authorizes $7.545 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration, and drinking water protection. Fiscal Impact: Increased state bond costs averaging $360 million annually over 40 years. Local government savings for water-related projects, likely averaging a couple hundred million dollars annually over the next few decades.

also available in other languages, such as Spanish.

Looks pretty good if you don’t read the details, huh? They’re even counting local government “savings” by taking your money to Sacramento and giving back part of it, probably with conditions for most of it.

 

Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris is a former reporter, editor and journalist, and previous President of Cal State Northridge’s Society of Professional Journalists. He is now a realtor and videographer, and lives with his two children in Oak Park. 

 

 

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