The most effective way to influence decisions of Vallecitos Board Members, other than financial contributions, is to let them know as a ratepayer and voter, that you are aware of the impact their decisions have had on rates, and you want action to restore equity to ratepayers. The best way to have a voice is to JOIN FVC to show these politicians that the number of voters that know are growing, and provide public comment at board meetings. Many people are inhibited and won’t provide comment because the relevant issues are just too complex to understand. Take a few moments on the Ratepayer Equity Coalition page and this page to GET EDUCATED and gain the confidence to tell these politicians about your valid concerns. All data presented are from audited financial statements, documents and reports produced by Vallecitos, Vallecitos meeting minutes and audio, or information provided by other governmental entities (for comparisons).
Developer Fees and Recent Board Activity
Builders pay Capital Facility Fees to offset impacts from growth. Impacts are costs associated with building bigger pipes, more treatment capacity, more infrastructure and other projects needed because of more demand on the system.
Since 2013, developers have not been paying their full impact from growth. Customers (ratepayers) have been making up the difference. In 2013, newly elected Board members approved a settlement in a closed session meeting that allowed a developer to build free of a sewer density impact fee – an accommodation of up to $3.2 million. Go to https://friendshipvallecitoswater.org/ratepayer-equity-coalition/#What-breaks for details on this accommodation to developers and the ones that followed – all subsidized by ratepayers.
Among the accommodations to developers is a four-year delay in implementing a significant and much-needed adjustment to the Capital Facility Fees saving developers $11 million . The Building Industry Association (BIA) continues to request postponements. See financial contributions made by the BIA and developers to VWD Directors Martin and Sannella. The next scheduled Public Hearing for Capital Facility Fees is October 2, 2019, 5 pm.
Email to BIA regarding personal attack on FVC Co-founder at the August 7 VWD Public Hearing on Capital Facility Fees. BIA never responded to this email.
Letter to Vallecitos Water District Regarding Capital Facility Fees. VWD never responded to this letter.
Developer Financial Contributions to VWD Elected Officials
Vallecitos Water District (VWD) Board Members Mike Sannella and Hal Martin receive campaign contributions from the Building Industry Association (BIA) and developers. Even though the two-member standing committees of VWD must, by policy, rotate members every year, Sannella and Martin have remained the only members of VWD’s Finance Committee since 2014. Since then VWD ratepayers have paid $54 million to amass reserves, fund the developer deficit, and pay for future developer obligations. Also, since then, not one action item has come before the Board regarding long-range financial planning.
The links below are to readily-available FPPC documents disclosing BIA and developer contributions. FVC has filed a Public Records Act Request with FPPC for other campaign contribution disclosures. The links below may not be a complete compilation of the money contributed by developers to Sannella and Martin.
BIA’s $20,000 “Dark Money” contribution to Sannella. Also, see article below.
Press Release – Vallecitos Water District Customers Launch New Website, August 5, 2019
Developer Interests and San Marcos Politicians, by FVC Co-founder, Tim Shell, July 11, 2019
https://www.thecoastnews.com/dark-money-pushing-thumb-on-council-races/, November 1, 2018