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Four seek three seats on water board

Newhall County Water District election will be Nov. 3

Posted: August 7, 2009 8:51 p.m.
Updated: August 8, 2009 8:30 a.m.
At least four candidates will jockey for three seats on the Newhall County Water District board this fall.

Because one incumbent did not file to retain her seat, Friday's filing deadline has been extended to Wednesday.

Newhall County Water District board member Barbara Dore decided not to seek reelection.

B.J. Atkins and Maria Gutzeit are seeking to retain their seats.

For Atkins, it would be his second term.

"I enjoy the work involved - it's a challenge," he said. "Many of the skills I use as an environmental engineer are used on the water board."

Gutzeit joined the Newhall water board in 2003 when a vacated seat opened. She was reelected to the board to serve her first full term in 2005 and is seeking her second full term this year.

Being part of what she called a well-run agency is reason enough to make her third run for the board, Gutzeit said.

"I am running because I love the water district," she said. It's one of the best functioning forms of local government we have."

Michael Cruz is making his first run at the water board. He said he hopes to bring some fresh ideas to the district.

"Our community needs innovative approaches to become more self-reliant, overcome these challenges and meet our community's water needs," Cruz said.

Kathryn Colley has also filed to run in the Nov. 3 election but could not be reached for comment.

The candidates said they have specific issues they wish to tackle if elected.

"The most important issue is to make sure we have a plentiful water supply without raising rates," Gutzeit said.

Atkins said the agency will need to focus on broad issues affecting water supply - specifically the drought and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

"We need to address all the stressors placed on our system, especially those from the State Water Project," he said.

Cruz wants the district to look closely at local sources of water and conservation.

"One thing we as a community must do more and more is use recycled water," Cruz said. "If we can use recycled water for watering all public spaces, like park fields, road medians and hillsides, we can save a tremendous amount of water.

"This will pay for itself tenfold, if and when California reaches critical drought conditions," Cruz said.


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