Get Educated

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).

Educational Series – Release 1, April 8, 2021, Introduction and the Deficit

Educational Series – Release 2, April 14, 2021, Reserves

Educational Series – Release 3, April 29, 2021, Debt

Educational Series – Release 4, May 13, 2021, Capital Facility Fees – Buy-In Component

Educational Series – Release 5, July 7, 2021, Water Rates – What Are Customers Paying For?

Educational Series – Release 6, August 17, 2021, The Cover Up – Reserves?

Email to VWD GM Confirming Developer Subsidies May 12, 2021

FVC Email – Vallecitos Incumbents are Campaigning Early – April 19, 2021

FVC Email – Educational release follow up – April 17, 2021

FVC Email – Educational Series Release 2 – April 14, 2021


Developer Fees and Recent Board Activity

Developer Financial Contributions to VWD Elected Officials


State of the Water Rates April 2019

State of the Water Rates October 2018

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 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.

Article on Developer Fees Adopted October 2

FVC Letter to Board in lieu of August 29 Public Comment

BIA Comments from August 7 Public Hearing and FVC Responses

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.

Email to FVC Members regarding results of August 7 Public Hearing

FVC Member Comment at August 7 Public Hearing

Vallecitos Water District August 7 Public Hearing video

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.

Developer financial contributions to Hal Martin -2012

Developer financial contributions to Hal Martin – 2016


Press Release – Will Vallecitos Water default on $3.1 million in bond payments?

Press Release – Vallecitos nears $100 million in Customer Reserves: So Why are they Raising Rates? January 29, 2020

Coast News October 31, 2019

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, November 1, 2018

Read More:

San Marcos Water and politics: The Price We Paid

 recorded lecture, presentation slides, and news article.

Palomar College Political Economy Days lecture by former Vallecitos Water District CFO, Tom Scaglione.

State of the Water Rates April 2019

Palomar College Political Economy Days lecture by former Vallecitos Water District CFO, Tom Scaglione.

State of the Water Rates October 2018

Palomar College Political Economy Days lecture by former Vallecitos Water District CFO, Tom Scaglione.