Helix Water District Board
East County News Service
Four candidates are running for two seats on the Helix Water District Board. We invited all four to be interviewed on our radio show and two of them responded. In our radio interviews, we asked candidates their views on the drought, creating new regional water supplies, the tiered rate structure, budget priorities, the future of Lake Jennings, and transparency, among other issues.
You can listen to their interviews here:
Kathleen Hedberg interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/cg9yf06gmm
Steven Rotsart interview: http://kiwi6.com/file/o49k8zokbs
Hedberg is an incumbent and civil engineer who is running as a ratepayers’ advocate. She voted against rate hikes passed by the board majority. Her opponent is Maria Mariscal, who has worked for the County Water Authority.
Rotsart says he’s running because rates are too high, having nearly tripled in the past nine years. He He believes his experience in nonprofits will help him bring financial accountability to the board. He is running against incumbent Deana Verbeke, whose website says she is a voice of ratepayers but who voted consistently to raise rates despite objections from the vast majority of ratepayers who submitted public comments.
SCALZITTI CHALLENGES SMITH FOR HELIX WATER DISTRICT SEAT 5, SAYS DIRECTORS ARE "ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL"
October 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Water Company President Joel Scalzitti is squaring off against incumbent Helix Water District board member Richard K. Smith for the District 5 seat. ECM sent a questionnaire to both candidates. Smith declined to answer the questions, instead responding, “I refer you to my web site, www.richardsmithforhelixwaterdistrict5.com.
Scalzitti , who previously served on the Helix Board but left office 13 years ago due to residency questions as a result of a divorce, says he now meets residency requirements and owns and runs a small ranch in Granite Hills. He answered each question in detail and his responses are below. Scalzitti’s website is http://www.joel4water.com/index.html
October 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) –Incumbent John Linden is running for reelection for Helix Water Board’s District 1 seat against Mario Tilaro. ECM sent questions to both candidates. Linden’s responses are below. Tilaro, a small businessman and owner of Fletcher Hills Business Center, did not respond. Linden’s responses are below.
October 8, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – ECM sent questions to all candidates running for Helix Water District Board.
In the race for seat three, there are two candidates: incumbent Chuck Muse and challenger Lori Kern-Greenberg. Kern-Greenberg responded to all questions in detail on topics ranging from water rates to transparency. (Scroll down for her replies.)
Muse refused to answer any questions, instead sending a brief reply: “All information you requested can be found on my web site.” (Editor’s note: In fact, only some of the topics are addressed on his website, which can be viewed at www.chuckmuse.org.)
September 26, 2012 (La Mesa) -- Lori Kern-Greenberg is running for the Helix Water Board against long-time incumbent Chuck Muse. In a questionnaire sent by La Mesa Citizens Oversight Group, she answers detailed questions on water rates and accuses board members of "lining their own pockets" while ignoring the needs of ratepayers in the district.
"Water is not a commodity. It is not bought and sold on the stock market. Water is a necesssity and the board has a responsibility to the ratepayers to keep all rates as low as possible," she states, adding that she wants to change the tiered-rate structure so that everyone will pay the same rate.
October 30, 2010 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District’s Board of Directors has faced challenges amid an era of water shortages caused by drought and court decisions limiting our region’s water supplies from Northern California. Water rate hikes, budget cuts and development of new water sources for our region are all key issues the Board must contend with in the future.
Yet campaigns for this board have stirred surprisingly little attention among the public. Only one seat is contested. Incumbent DeAna Verbeke is running against challengers Stephen D. Last and Jordie Lehr in Division 2. In Division 4, incumbent Kathleen Hedberg is unopposed.
“Why can’t we charge people the right cost at the right time?” – Board member Kathleen Hedberg
By Kristin Kjaero
November 27, 2009 (La Mesa) - - On November 18, the Helix Water District Board dived into controversial waters, voting to hold a public hearing in June on a proposal to raise rates 12.6% effective July 10, 2010 plus an additional 7.5% effective July 1, 2011. The proposal triggered a heated discussion whether to hikes rates before the Board knows how much its water costs will be raised.