January 2, 2013
Monterey Herald, Monterey, California, page A3


Our community owes a huge debt of gratitude to you for keeping the option of public ownership of our local water supply alive. No one has expected you to go it alone, but your leadership in public service beyond the confines of your city has shown the way to other public agencies. Now, at least one of them may be ready to take the baton from you, if not to join you. That is good news. Yet, in behalf of all Peninsula ratepayers, Water Plus urges you not to let go of the baton until you are sure someone else has it firmly in hand. The difference to ratepayers between public and private ownership is immense: over half a billion dollars in the next thirty years plus the assurance of an adequate, reliable, and timely water supply.

The current Cal Am Monterey Peninsula project is even more deeply flawed than the failed regional project. People who have not known that before arae now beginning to realize it. That is why the water management district may now be moving to assume the mantle of public ownership from you.

Still, like the mayors' regional water authority, the district is delaying irreversible action in the hope that Cal Am will mend its project. These, like other local public agencies, have been paralyzed into inaction by the conflict between proponents of development and proponents of no growth. Each side has successfully worked to thwart change fearful that any change might shift the balance to favor the other side. But it is 2013 now. The time for delay is over.

Recently, you may have been surprised by the announcement that Nader Agha had apparently sold a controlling interest in the Moss Landing desalination project you were in the process of acquiring to a private equity firm. Though perhaps unsettling and increasing the project's cost, that transaction only shows how valuable the project is and how wise you were to select it.

Please continue your active and targeted support of public ownership, and thank you again for your extraordinary leadership in public service.

Gratefully and respectfully,

Ron Weitzman
President, WaterPlus

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