Tim WhyteThe SignalPauline HartePatti RasmussenRichard RiouxLeon Worden

Newhall water district needs new leadership

Tim Whyte · November 2, 1997

It sure is a lot of attention for a small water district. The Newhall County Water District has become a linchpin of power in the Santa Clarita Valley, with rival factions viewing its control as crucial in the battle over how the area will grow -- or not.

That's not the way it's supposed to be. It's not supposed to be about the self-aggrandizing interests of activist groups who see a conspiracy at every turn. And, frankly, it shouldn't be about $10,000 campaigns for part-time jobs that are supposed to pay just a few thousand dollars a year.

So I'm disenchanted by the whole thing. What it's supposed to be about is the cheap, efficient delivery of quality water. I have a co-worker who lives in the district, and one day when we were discussing the campaign, she said, "I just want my water to taste better."

I'm not voting in the Newhall Water Board election, since I don't live in the district. But if I were, I'd vote for the challengers -- Barbara Dore, Val Thomas and Tom Campbell. I disagree politically with the incumbents -- Dave Rapoport, Lynne Plambeck and Ed Dunn -- and I think Plambeck and Dunn in particular have tried to use their positions on the board for political goals that have little if anything to do with serving the district's customers.

That said, I find fault with both sides, on several fronts. To wit:

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So. As you can see, there is fault to be found on both sides. But when it's all said and done, Newhall County Water customers will be better off with new leadership that devotes its focus more exclusively to water issues. Let the games begin.

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Tim Whyte is the magaging editor of The Signal. His commentary appears on Sundays.

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