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Voice: Horne out of order

IID board split may be necessary

May 17, 2001

I read with some surprise the letter recently penned by Imperial Irrigation District Board President Andy Horne, in which he chided Alex Jack and David Cason for suggesting the IID boards should be split and that their motive for personal gain is at the expense of the community.

I have known Alex Jack for over 35 years and have served on several boards with him. Alex is a businessman and is not against making a profit, but he is also very community-oriented and has given freely of his time and resources to the community. I believe if you ask most of his fellow board members at Brawley Union High School, they would agree.

Mr. Horne's letter appeared to be written with a condescending and contemptuous tone. It is totally inappropriate for an elected official to write such a letter and then place it in our valleywide newspaper.

To answer Mr. Horne's statement that to split the district equitably seems "well nigh impossible," I'm thankful that the pioneer men and women that worked for years to bring water to this valley didn't give up on a dream that must have seemed "well nigh impossible."


Mr. Horne states that the IID board managing both the water and power departments is the same as a farmer growing both lettuce and alfalfa. I believe his choice of analogy is inaccurate. I believe a more appropriate comparison would be a person who manages an alfalfa ranch and a feedlot for separate outside owners. The alfalfa ranch owners desire to get the highest price possible for their hay, while the feedlot owners desire to purchase hay for the lowest price possible. The manager (director) has the difficult (nigh impossible) job of being equitable to two groups.

Can it be done? Yes, but do most men or women possess the acumen and discipline to do their job while answering to two sets of owners with different interest. I fear not. Add to the equation the alfalfa ranch and the feedlot grow to such size that either operation could occupy the manager's full-time attention.

I dare say our IID directors may be very close to the same place as our hypothetical overworked ranch and feedlot manager.



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