FPUD takeover of RMWD unfair to voters

Rainbow Municipal Water District voter rights are threatened by a takeover by the Fallbrook Public Utility District.

Voluntary negotiations between the two districts to determine feasibility of a “merger of equals” broke down when FPUD refused to agree to division elections to guarantee equitable representation of Rainbow voters on a new board of directors.

Division elections were critical to Rainbow’s board because Rainbow has a more diversified base of ratepayers compared to Fallbrook’s largely urban customer base; for example, Rainbow’s large agricultural community.

When Rainbow legally withdrew from the negotiation, FPUD filed an application to regional authorities (LAFCO) requesting dissolution of Rainbow and an FPUD takeover of Rainbow. If LAFCO approves FPUD’s application, Rainbow voters could be disenfranchised by FPUD’s “at large” elections and Fallbrook’s much larger voter base. Rainbow voters could also lose their existing ordinance that requires that voter approval of new debt.

A hostile takeover of Rainbow by FPUD should be denied by LAFCO.

Larry Carlstrom

4 Responses to "FPUD takeover of RMWD unfair to voters"

  1. Avocado Grower   June 25, 2014 at 6:09 am

    This is a very serious threat to us water users. RMWD has been very carefully run and as a result has a over $100 million in assets with very little debt. FPUD has made many bad decisions and has a heavy debt load to pay off. If FPUD is allowed to take over RMWD, both districts will be run into the ground by FPUD’s "high debt" philosophy.

    RMWD employees retirement benefits are much lower than FPUD’s and only cost RMWD 14.66% of payroll. FPUD employee retire with 75% of their salary after 30 years service. This costs FPUD 28.39%. A real sweet deal. Which retirement plan will be adopted after the takeover? My guess is that all salaries and benefits will be raised to the higher cost for comparable positions. No California government worker has ever had to have their compensation reduced. Think about it.

    Time is running out. We all need to write a protest letter to……….

    San Diego LAFCO
    attn: Michael Ott
    9335 Hazard Way, Suite 200
    San Diego, CA 92123

    or

    mike.ott@sdcounty.ca.gov

    Reply
  2. oldtimer   June 25, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Thank you, Avocado Grower. I’d like to add that the deadline to submit comments to LAFCO has been extended to August 1.

    Reply
  3. Omen   June 25, 2014 at 11:46 am

    So Many Things Wrong About this Hostile Take Over By Fpud and its spend spend spend habits While Rainbow Continues Making Cuts On Budget And Reducing Staff Through ATTRITION Further Reducing Budget FPUD CONTINUES TO HIRE NEW EMPLOYEES DO THE RATEPAYERS KNOW ABOUT THAT THE LIST IS MUCH BIGGER BUT FOR NOW THATS JUST 1 ITEM TO BRING UP

    Reply
  4. Betty   June 26, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    The takeover is a threat, not only to large water users such as farmers, but to everyone in the Rainbow district. Please urge your neighbors to write and protest

    Reply

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