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Voice: Time to split the IID

April 14, 2001

In their responses to the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers vote of no confidence, Mr. Horne and Ms. Mendoza are way off base. Ms. Mendoza, you are correct that you were elected to represent all of the Imperial Valley, but to say you were not elected to serve as a fiduciary representing the narrow interests of the landowners or any other particular group just goes to show your and the IID board's disregard for the facts.

Without going into all of the malfeasance of the board during the last five years, the water department cannot be treated the same as the power department. It is time to call for the separation of the two departments.

Mr. Horne and Mr. Maldonado, start the 10-year process of the separation now and allow the landowners to elect their own board. You can keep the power department; that way you won't have to worry about politics.

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Ms. Mendoza, starting in 1916, after the Southern Pacific foreclosure of the California Development Co., the landowners of the Imperial Valley started putting their water rights into a trust. You, acting as the trustees, are responsible for, and have to answer us, the landowners, also known as the beneficiaries. We cannot be treated equally with the "power owners"; they weren't even born until 1936.

Time and time again, you have not fulfilled your fiduciary duties. You probably think the Valley would never vote to break you up because all of your votes are in the "power" people. And you are correct. But you forget one important thing; we have the courts to break you up. We have enough facts to prove that the IID Board of Directors has failed in its duties to it beneficiaries. It is now time that an organized effort begins to split the departments through our court system.

If we don't do something now, this current board will continue to punish the water department and continue to waste millions of dollars on the water transfer that appears never will happen.

Mr. IID, let "us" decide the fate of "our" water, if we decide to keep it here.

DAVID CASON

El Centro

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