Joint board being sued for good reason
Mission Valley Irrigators is suing the joint board and with good reason. With its illegal attempt to cancel last year’s elections and its refusal to seat two commissioners who won by large margins, with the largescale misreporting and underreporting of legal expenditures during the first half of last year and with the current financial scandal the FJBC has undermined the case that the FJBC should manage the project.
Fortunately it was a lawsuit by MVIU that led District Judge Manley to declare that the attempt to cancel the election was illegal and order that Lake, Rosman and Swenson be seated. But for eight months the old commissioners held on to their seats.
While the other issue at hand in the lawsuit is whether the joint board legally reformed in 2014 it is clear that this group has not been a good steward of irrigators’ hard-earned dollars that they have been entrusted with. Over $200,000 is unaccounted for and with the rest of our money they continue to lose lawsuit after lawsuit. They will soon be past the $2 million mark with no end in sight. How many ditches could have been lined with that?
Most importantly the Department of Interior will work with the three districts and signaled that before management was destroyed last time. No one wants an increase in irrigation costs but at least an increase in O&M goes to improving water delivery and not litigation. We got a $2.50 increase in 2014 in administrative costs and that has netted us absolutely nothing. It is time to reduce the admin fee instead of wasting more money on appeals.