Rainbow addresses FPUD’s LAFCO application

The Rainbow Municipal Water District has formed an ad hoc committee which will develop a response to the proposed consolidation of Rainbow with the Fallbrook Public Utility District (FPUD).

A 5-0 vote at Rainbow’s April 7 special board meeting placed board members Dennis Sanford and Helene Brazier on the ad hoc committee. Sanford and Brazier will work with Rainbow staff and legal counsel to develop a proposed Rainbow response for consideration at the district’s April 22 regular board meeting.

The North County Joint Powers Authority (JPA) was created in February 2013 as a transitional structure to test the possibility of consolidating the Fallbrook and Rainbow districts. The joint powers agreement also included an employee leasing agreement which allowed FPUD and Rainbow to share employees, and the functional consolidation saved more than $1 million during the agreement’s first 11 months of existence.

In November, the FPUD and Rainbow boards voted to begin the process of applying to San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) for an actual jurisdictional consolidation, but the district boards could not agree on the governance structure for the successor district. Each district currently has a five-member board; FPUD elects its directors by seat with the entire district voting for each seat while Rainbow elects its directors by division with only voters in that division participating in that election.

The FPUD board initially proposed that the board members of the consolidated agency all be elected at large. At the Feb. 5 North County JPA meeting, FPUD’s representatives on the JPA board (which consisted of three FPUD board members, three Rainbow board members, and an at-large member chosen by the rest of the board) put forth a compromise proposal in which four directors would be elected by division and three directors would be elected at large. Such a format would provide board representation for residents of each of the four divisions while also ensuring that a majority of the board would be accountable to all of the district’s residents. Rainbow’s board members rejected that proposal.

The joint powers agreement allowed for a termination provision after one year, and on March 5 Rainbow’s board voted 4-1 with Dennis Sanford in opposition to terminate the joint powers agreement with FPUD. Rainbow board president George McManigle delivered the 30-day notice of termination to FPUD on March 6. FPUD scheduled a special board meeting for March 10, and the board voted 4-0 (with Archie McPhee absent) to submit an application for the merger to LAFCO.

Rainbow’s next regular board meeting was March 25. LAFCO executive officer Mike Ott gave a presentation on the consolidation application process and also provided official LAFCO notice to Rainbow, giving the district 30 days to provide an official response to the FPUD application.

Rainbow initially mistook the April 25 deadline date for a 25-day notice, which would have equated to an April 19 deadline, so a special meeting was scheduled. The April 25 deadline allows for a response by Rainbow’s April 22 meeting and thus gave Rainbow the luxury of creating an ad hoc committee to develop a response.

Rainbow’s accusations at the March 25 meeting included that FPUD did not have sufficient public notice for the March 10 special meeting. FPUD may address that by returning the consolidation item to the agenda at the Fallbrook district’s April 28 board meeting.

“It restarts the clock,” Buckley said. “We do have a little bit more time.”

FPUD’s regular board meetings are on the fourth Monday of the month in the absence of a holiday while Rainbow’s regular meetings are on the fourth Tuesday, so FPUD’s meeting is a usually a day earlier than Rainbow’s but is six days later if the fourth Tuesday of the month is the 22nd and the fourth Monday of the month is the 28th.

“We may have to wait until they do their business on the 28th,” Buckley said.

18 Responses to "Rainbow addresses FPUD’s LAFCO application"

  1. RtotheM   April 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    The purported $1M in savings due to the JPA is simply a parroting of Brian Brady. There is no factual data able to withstand simple scrutiny that supports Brian Brady’s assertions.

    The FPUD Board needs to understand that they were taken-in. Please don’t destroy this community for the sake of one man’s ego.

  2. Watchdog   April 17, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Game over FPUD! Move on and LAFCO return Fallbrook ratepayers money back $25,000.00 and stop this nonsense ASAP …;

  3. RanchViejoResident   April 17, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    RWD is incompetent and rapes us every month with outrageous fees. They need to GO!!!

  4. Lee   April 18, 2014 at 8:16 am


  5. Oldtimer   April 18, 2014 at 9:21 am


    Be careful what you wish for. Your comment indicates a lack of information. If FPUD dissolves Rainbow, your water bill WILL NOT GO DOWN.

  6. The Water Bill is too darn high   April 18, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Its the 21st century and time to rationalize and modernize our water markets. If you want stable rates and transparency then combine and privatize the the two districts.

  7. RtotheM   April 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Re comment #3 … Please, I beg you, attend meetings and study the budgets. You will find the truth… If you can suggest a savings of $1 from the RMWD budget I suspect the Board (ALL OF THEM ELECTED RATE PAYERS) will listen.

    Re comment #6 … Public or private, it doesn’t matter. The majority of costs exist because of the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District. Rainbow keeps almost nothing of what is collected. Also, with a private company the profit motive becomes an issue. Would you rather have local management and a local Board of rate payers, or would you rather send profits to some no-name umbrella corporation in New Jersey or worse, Germany?

  8. Another LRV Resident   April 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Of course RWMD keeps almost nothing of what is collect – they’ve given it to their board members as a doubling of their pay.

  9. oldtmer   April 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    The RMWD board pay HAS NOT BEEN DOUBLED. Can we get rid of that piece of misinformation? One director made a motion to do that and it was voted down. Rainbow directors receive a per diem of $150 per meeting (minus withholding) for a maximum of TWO board meetings per month. So, they take home less than $300 a month. FPUD’s directors make less- I think it is $120 per meeting. But they can count double digit numbers of meetings. I have forgotten whether it is 10 or 14. So they could conceivably get more that $1000 a month. Their per diems have an automatic escalator clause that goes into effect every year so pay goes up without public scrutiny. If Rainbow wants to raise pre diems they must vote to do so in a public meeting.

  10. huh   April 18, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    @#6… privatize? Do you even know know what you are talking about? That would double rates to MAKE A PROFIT! COME ON!

  11. Deliberately anonymous   April 18, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I’d say its pretty obvious that"old timer" works for Rainbow or is on the board and part of the problem. Nice how this person likes to lecture others but is too afraid or ashamed to put their name on it. Its easy to talk nonsense when you can remain anonymous…. nobody should believe them

  12. Me   April 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    @RanchViejoResident (#3)

    You hit it right on the head. Rainbow is the worst water district in San Diego County…AND…..THE MOST EXPENSIVE of all 23 districts!

    But as long as the new guy gets his pension after just 10 years…that’s the important thing.

  13. oldtimer   April 18, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Let me get this straight: Deliberately anonymous criticizes someone else for not listing their name?

    "It’s easy to talk nonsense when you can remain anonymous".

    Deliberately anonymous

    And since when was providing facts considered lecturing? Does anyone care about facts or is the main interest in just letting off steam?

  14. RtotheM   April 18, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Re comment #11 … Please don’t believe Oldtimer. Don’t trust anyone but yourself. Do your research and learn the facts. If Oldtimer is incorrect please tell us the truth. But don’t claim ‘nonsense’ unless you have the facts to back up your claim.

    Re comment #12 … Rainbow’s pension is no worse or better than every other water district in San Diego County. And please explain what makes Rainbow ‘the worst’ in your eyes.

    A good article on water costs was printed in the Union Tribune on February 3, 2011. Here is the link… http://shar.es/TeKh6

    Also, I would be very interested in your ideas on how to lower our water rates. I’ve studied the budgets of Rainbow and FPUD. Not a lot of options for either district. Consolidation won’t lower rates. That myth has already been dispelled by those advocating for the consolidation. So why consolidate?

  15. small lot - low usage customer   April 19, 2014 at 6:40 am

    What’s your real name Mr. Deliberately anonymous? Why won’t you back up your positions? What paid position do you hold in the Fallbrook PUD?

  16. Me   April 19, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    @ RtotheM

    "Re comment #12 … Rainbow’s pension is no worse or better than every other water district in San Diego County. And please explain what makes Rainbow ‘the worst’ in your eyes. "

    And if every one else jumped off a cliff you would too?

    It’s the WORSE water district because it HAS THE HIGHEST RATES OUT OF 23 DISTRICTS.

    There needs to be massive consolidation of this ridiculous number of districts.

  17. Just say NO to internet trolls   April 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I wish "me" would have the guts to backup what he says with some facts every once in a while. He has no facts. He offers no solutions.

  18. We're all ears   April 20, 2014 at 3:48 am

    @Me. Where do you get your info that Rainbow "HAS THE HIGHEST RATES OUT OF 23 DISTRICTS"? Put up or shut up


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