bwl3 at comcast.net
Mon Sep 7 10:55:15 PDT 2009
Sacramento Bee editorial and a Letter to its Editor from Jeff Shellito:
Editorial: Steinberg should protect the Delta
Published Saturday, Sep. 05, 2009
That ominous sound you hear coming from the Capitol this week is the rumble
of water buffaloes stampeding toward a possible deal to keep Northern
California water flowing to farms, businesses and homes in the south. We
understand the Legislature's new-found sense of urgency on this issue, but
we're concerned that the interests of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will
get trampled in the process.
The legislation is a moving target, and it's impossible to know how it will
turn out. But a couple of hints give us pause.
First, there's only one seat on the proposed seven-member Delta Stewardship
Council for a representative from the five Delta counties. The council, if
it's created, will have tremendous power to decide the region's future, up
to and including whether a massive new canal should be built to route water
through or around the Delta.
This is a big state, but it seems to us that more local representation on
such a body would be prudent.
Second, only one lawmaker representing the Delta was among the 14 members
appointed by legislative leaders to negotiate this package. Presumably, this
is because those legislators cannot be counted on to back a bill that
doesn't protect the Delta.
The one member from these parts is Senate President Pro Tem Darrell
Steinberg, the Democrat from Sacramento. But Steinberg, has divided
loyalties, because he was elected leader by and must be responsive to the
needs of all the Democrats in his house, not just those from the Delta.
In addition to assurances that any new governing body will give the Delta
counties an adequate voice at the table, the counties need protections for
their water supply and its quality, and guarantees that the financing needed
to repair and maintain the Delta as water is shunted south will be
sufficient to meet the need.
Steinberg understandably wants to chalk up a major legislative achievement
in his first year as leader. We wish him well. But that drive shouldn't
blind him to the needs of his own constituents
Letter to the Editor
Don't tap us for water project
Re " <http://topics.sacbee.com/State+parks/> State parks are economic
engine" (Editorial, Sept. 2): What state government spends
<http://topics.sacbee.com/taxpayer+dollars/> taxpayer dollars on is about
making choices and setting priorities.
Our legislative leaders recently created a conference committee on water
where, among other things, a $5 billion to $11 billion general obligation
bond is under active consideration to pay for construction of new water
storage projects (dams). The governor has already threatened to veto any
water reform package if it doesn't include such a bond.
If the <http://topics.sacbee.com/Legislature/> Legislature goes along and
the voters approve even a $5 billion water bond measure, it will annually
cost <http://topics.sacbee.com/California/> California $325 million over 30
years to service the debt.
Closing <http://topics.sacbee.com/State+parks/> state parks to save $14
million while our political leaders are seriously considering taking on
hundreds of millions of dollars in new debt is insanity. We should not be
asked to annually pay $10 more to register our cars to avoid park closures
if political leaders think state taxpayers should subsidize construction of
new dam projects that many believe are unneeded.
Let the beneficiaries pay for that water. That's how the State Water Project
Byron Leydecker, JcT
Chair, Friends of Trinity River
PO Box 2327
Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327
415 383 4810 land
415 519 4810 cell
<mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net
<mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org
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