Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Sep 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Candidates On Desal

waterdropSANTA CRUZ > The eight candidates for Santa Cruz City Council sat on a panel on Thursday evening, Oct. 4, at the Louden Nelson Community Center while moderator Rick Longinotti grilled them about their stances on the proposed desalination plant.

Longinotti, a spokesman for “Yes on Measure P” and advocate for alternatives to desalination in Santa Cruz, questioned each of the candidates regarding their positions on desalination. At one point, tensions ran high and one candidate—Richelle Naroyan—abruptly departed the forum saying she was uncomfortable with the format of the meeting. Mayor Don Lane, who is among the candidates, also spoke out, saying the format frustrated him due to the amount of time the moderator took to speak against desalination, while candidates were given no more than two minutes to respond.

On the desalination proposal, candidates Cynthia Mathews, Lane and Naroyan believe desalination is the right way to go in order to provide the city with water security in the case of drought. Jake Fusari and Micah Posner spoke about their reservations and endorsed Measure P, which aims to give people the option to vote on building the desalination plant.

Fellow candidates Steve Pleich, Cece Pinheiro and Pamela Comstock also endorsed Measure P and focused their talking points not so much on the issue of desalination, but on giving voters the opportunity to make the decision. Comstock was clear that she felt she did not have enough background knowledge on the issues concerning desalination and said the forum would be a learning opportunity for her.

Those candidates who endorse Measure P also said they would fund alternative water resources before the final decision on desalination is made, so as not to put all their eggs in one basket.

The Environmental Impact Report for the plant has not been published yet, and the candidates who are hesitant about desalination all spoke about needing to review EIR when it becomes available.

Pleich talked about continuing his research on the potential of waste water recycling and also about strengthening the city's partnership with UC Santa Cruz. There has been a good deal of stress over water-sharing deals between the university and the city.

Mathews spoke about problems with the alternatives to a desalination plant and the politics surrounding its opposition, but said she could make a more definite decision on desalination when the EIR report is released.

She anticipates there being many pros and cons to the desalination option.

She also talked about moderate restrictions on the use of water resources and “massive curtailments during a drought.”

Fusari said he was concerned about desalination from an environmental and financial perspective.

“I want to explore every alternative before we move forward with this,” he said. “You always need to have something to fall back on.”

Posner said he opposed desalination. He talked about his commitment to the environment and about preventingSanta Cruzfrom producing more green house gases. He said he is concerned about the amount of energy a desalination plant will consume and that he does not believe voters will pass the project. He supports researching grey water as an alternative resource and raising the price of city water to fund work on alternatives.

Naroyan talked about her concerns for Santa Cruz if a drought were to happen and that failing to have an alternative water source—like desalination—could be a disaster.

“I wish we weren't talking about desalination,” she said. “I wish it weren't an issue, but we do need to deal with it.”

At one point, after Naroyan finished responding to a question, Longinotti paused the forum to correct statements Naroyan had made.

“I didn't know we had a debate going on here,” Naroyan replied.

Longinotti said he hoped it was a dialogue. She said she felt like she was being debated and that she needed to leave. And then she left the building.

Lane said a desalination plant could very well be the most reasonable source of water security for Santa Cruz but that he will scrutinize all proposals for alternative sources. He does not support Measure P.

After Lane expressed his disappointment about the format of the forum, he invited the audience to another forum in which he would take 30 minutes to talk about why voters should be open to a desalination plant and then provide Longinotti with only two minutes to respond.

Longinotti responded that he feels the same frustrations when he attends city council meetings.

In response to a question about polling the community on whether they would prefer to make cutbacks in their water consumption or pay for a desalination plant, Lane proposed designating a whole year for a trial, to see if people can cut back 35 percent on water use.

“If we succeed [in cutting back], and people are comfortable with that, then we don't need desal,” Lane said. “But I don't think it's adequate to just ask people in a poll. People will always say they're willing to cut back. Let's see if we really can.”

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

You Are What You Post

Online personality algorithms put astrological profiles to shame, but UCSC psychologists are raising questions about sharing personal data

 

Venus Direct, Mercury Retro Soon, Honoring Our Labors

As Burning Man (nine days, Aug. 30-Sept. 7 in the sign of Virgo) burns in the hot white desert sands, a petal of the rose created by retrograde Venus and the twelve-petaled Sun in Virgo’s petals unfold. All of us are on the burning ground (Leo) in the womb (cave of the heart) of the mother (Virgo), gestating for humanity once again (each year) a new state of consciousness. Both Virgo and Cancer, feminine (receptive energies) signs, are from our last solar system (Pleiades). When humanity first appeared on Earth we were nurtured by the mother, a matriarchy of energies (on islands in the Pacific). Eve, Isis and Mary are part of the lineages of our ancient Mother. Overseen by the Pleiades, the Earth (matter, mater, the mother) in that last solar system was imbued with intelligence (Ray 3). As we move toward autumn, another mother, Ceres realizes she has mere weeks left with her beloved daughter, Persephone. Persimmon and pomegranate trees prepare for autumn, their colors signs of hope as the light each day continues to dim. Sunday, Venus in Leo turns stationary direct, yet continues in her shadow until Oct. 9 (when retrograde Mercury turns direct). Slowly our newly assessed values emerge from the Venus retrograde. We thought in Venus retro how to use our resources more effectively. Mercury retrogrades Sept. 17. Monday is Labor Day. Let us honor the labor of everyone, all life a “labor.” Let us honor Labor Day and all those who have “served” (labored for) us this past year. We honor their labors. We honor the labor of our parents, those who have loved us. We honor our own labors, too. We are all in service, we are all laboring. We are all valuable.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Girl Gone Wild

’70s SF recalled in raw, poignant ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sushi Garden

Local sushi empire expands to Scotts Valley

 

Do you overshare online?

I don’t think so. I just post things about my life, like successful things. Sometimes I just like sharing different news that I find interesting, or favorite artists, clothes, music. I like to post photos. Natalia Delgado, Santa Cruz, Server

 

McIntyre Vineyards

I recently met up with three friends for dinner at Sanderlings at Seascape Beach Resort. We chose to eat outside so we could watch the sun set over the ocean, but the Aptos fog rolled in and swallowed it up.

 

Sustainable Supper

The Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper series supports its award-winning programs