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SCV residents are uninformed

Posted: August 14, 2010 6:16 p.m.
Updated: August 15, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

John Krist
CEO,
Farm Bureau of Ventura County

Mike Solomon
General Manager,
United Water Conservation District,
Santa Paula

Rob Roy
President/General Counsel, Ventura County Agricultural Association,
Camarillo


The residents of Ventura County are tremendously disappointed by the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District board’s July 27 vote to postpone a decision on sewer-rate increases. Without these increases, as board members are well aware, the Sanitation District will be unable to upgrade its treatment facilities so the people of Santa Clarita can stop polluting the Santa Clara River with salt.

We are even more disappointed by the tenor of the public discussion that has engulfed this issue over the past few months. Egged on by grandstanding elected officials — who appear to possess neither the political will nor the ethical integrity to take unpopular but necessary action — many of the residents of Santa Clarita have demonized and attacked their downstream neighbors in the Santa Clara River Valley.

The hard-working men and women who cultivate that valley to produce a bounty of affordable, nutritious food have been described as rich, selfish land barons making unreasonable demands on the working-class families of Santa Clarita.

Ill-informed residents in your community have demanded that farmers and ranchers here bear the cost of cleaning up the contamination, or have suggested that these families simply be bought out and forced off the land that many of them have been farming for five generations.

All this so that Santa Clarita households can avoid paying a few more dollars a month to meet their moral and legal obligations to protect water quality.

Santa Clarita’s continued intransigence on this matter is a threat to a significant segment of Ventura County’s $2.1-bilion-a-year agricultural industry. That also makes it a threat to the economy and lifestyle of everyone in Ventura County. Our urban residents and farmers alike will be united in demanding that state and federal authorities hold Santa Clarita accountable for its defiance of the law.

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