ITEM: INFORMATIONAL ITEMS/STAFF REPORTS
17. QUARTERLY PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM REPORT
Meeting Date: October 20, 2003 Budgeted: N/A
Program/Line Item No.: N/A
General Counsel Approval: N/A
Committee Recommendation: N/A
CEQA Compliance: N/A
The purpose of the MPWMD Public Information Program is to more effectively communicate factual information about the District mission, its activities, and water issues to the public. The following paragraphs highlight activities in the July-September 2003 period. The next quarterly report will be prepared for the January 2004 meeting.
Public Outreach/Communications Committee -- The current committee members are Directors Molly Erickson, Judi Lehman and David Pendergrass. The committee worked with a public outreach consultant (Thom Akeman) to prepare the Summer 2003 newsletter, which was published in late August 2003. The committee and consultant are currently working on the Fall 2003 newsletter with a goal of publication in November 2003.
District Staff Action -- During this reporting period, District staff continued to write news releases on Board action and notable District activities, summarize major District activities each month, answer questions from the media and general public on a variety of subjects, maintain the District website, assist the public outreach consultant, and related activities. Extensive community and media interest continued regarding State Senator Bruce McPherson’s proposed bill (SB 149) to change the governance of the District. District staff wrote regular updates on the progress of the bill as it was considered by the State Assembly, and posted these updates to the District website: www.mpwmd.dst.ca.us. The bill was put into “suspense” by the Assembly Appropriations Committee in September 2003, and is not scheduled for consideration this calendar year.
District staff hosted a well-attended quarterly public update on the Water Supply Project EIR in August 2003, which was broadcast on Public Access Television. District staff continues to respond to many queries about water distribution system regulations, water availability in Hidden Hills, and other water-related issues through a variety of media (phone, e-mail, letter). Staff assists the public outreach consultant by providing factual information on a variety of water-related topics.
Several District staff members regularly update information on the District website. A staff team is working on a comprehensive re-design of the website as time allows.
Division and project managers hosted an informational briefing on District activities and issues for Water Board candidates on September 11, 2003. Five of the six candidates attended, and posed a variety of questions. All participants agreed it was a productive session.
H. STERN, DRAFT 10/07/03