Meeting Date:           May 27, 2004                         Budgeted: N/A

Program/Line Item No.: N/A

Staff Contact:             Henrietta Stern                      Cost Estimate: N/A


General Counsel Approval:  Reviewed materials   

Committee Recommendation: N/A

CEQA Compliance: N/A



SUMMARY:  The Board will consider draft Resolution 2004-__, Opposing Enactment of Senate Bill 1529, which is attached as Exhibit 5-A.  State Senator Bruce McPherson (R-Santa Cruz) introduced Senate Bill 1529 (SB 1529) in February 2004 for consideration by the State Legislature this year.  The most recent (April 13, 2004) text of SB 1529 is attached as Exhibit 5-B.  Related background and history is provided in Exhibit 5-C.  SB 1529 is similar to SB 149, which was introduced by Senator McPherson in 2003 and subsequently suspended at the end of the 2003 legislative session.  Both bills would change the governance of the MPWMD by replacing directly elected directors with appointed members comprised of local mayors/supervisors or their designees, and would remove the requirement for a public vote to approve an MPWMD-funded water supply project.   SB 1529 was passed by the State Senate on May 6, 2004 on a vote of 24-4.  The bill now moves to the State Assembly.


As shown in Exhibits 5-D and 5-E, the MPWMD Board has written Senator McPherson twice requesting a more public process and consideration of District concerns about SB 149 and early drafts of SB 1529.   Three MPWMD Board members and the General Manager also met with Senator McPherson on April 18, 2004.  No changes have been made to the most recent (April 13, 2004) version of the bill.


On March 31, 2004, the Board directed Chair Edwards to write a letter to Senator McPherson dated April 1, 2004 (Exhibit 5-D), expressing opposition to draft versions of SB 1529.  The Board specifically requested that the existing structure and composition of the Board remain intact, without change.  On April 19, 2004, the Board voted to: (a) oppose SB 1529, unless amended; (b) transmit a letter (Exhibit 5-E) to Senator McPherson advising him of District concerns; (c) form an ad hoc committee to met with Senator McPherson and local mayors; and (d) retain a consultant in Sacramento to represent the District’s interests regarding SB 1529 as it makes it way through the legislative process.   Attached as Exhibit 5-F are one letter in support of SB 1529 and five letters in opposition received by the District.


RECOMMENDATION:  The Board should consider approval of Resolution 2004-__ and may wish to suggest refinements to the text.  The MPWMD Board passed Resolution 2003-01 in May 2003 opposing SB 149 and has consistently expressed concerns about SB 1529 in 2004 to date.


BACKGROUND:  Please see Exhibit 5-C for more background information.  Additional information and links to State Legislature websites may be found on the District website:


The following concerns have been expressed by current Board members opposing SB 1529:


Ø      Change of governing structure from directly elected representatives focused on water issues to mayors or council members whose positions are unknown;

Ø      Extended transition time to gradually replace current directors as their terms expire;

Ø      Lack of a public vote for water supply projects;

Ø      Lack of a binding public vote to ratify changes to MPWMD governance made by state legislation;

Ø      Lack of clear definition of “successful” water project.



5-A      Text of Draft Resolution 2004-__

5-B      Text of SB 1529 (April 13, 2004)

5-C      Background information on SB 1529

5-D      MPWMD letter dated April 13, 2004

5-E      MPWMD letter dated April 29, 2004

5-F      Letters in support and opposition of SB 1529