Strobel liaison to Valley for San Diego water authority

August 23, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

Imperial resident and real estate sales associate Rick Strobel was hired last month as liaison to the Imperial Valley for the San Diego County Water Authority.

"I'm excited," Strobel said Wednesday. "I just hope I can meet their expectations."

Strobel, 38, was hired to perform outreach in the community, according to an as-yet-to-be finalized agreement signed by the two parties. The agreement specifically calls for Strobel to:

· attend meetings of the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors, the county Board of Supervisors, the Imperial County Farm Bureau and meetings of other community/economic development groups as appropriate.

· provide information about SDCWA programs and policies at the various public meetings as needed.

· develop a plan for public outreach activities about the SDCWA/IID water transfer or other regional issues for various audiences in the community.


· meet with local community leaders to discuss water-related issues.

· provide a monthly written activity report to the authority.

· provide information to the authority's project manager on a weekly basis to explain emerging issues and background information to promote the authority's understanding of local issues.

· work with other authority consultants to ensure a cohesive program is achieved.

· perform other consulting work as directed by the authority's project manage.

"They're just looking for more direct lines of communication," Strobel said of SDCWA.

Strobel said he'd offered his services to the authority through intermediaries for some time as his interest in water issues grew. He said interest in water rights and the pending transfer of water from the IID to San Diego stems from his farming investments and the arrival of the Fort Worth-based Bass brothers, who bought land locally through his father's real estate business.

As a landowner, Strobel said he has not decided whether to participate in the water transfer, and that he will wait until all of the details are worked out before making up his mind. As a member of the IID's community advisory commission, he said he would have to resign to preclude any perception of a conflict of interest, although he will continue to attend CAC meetings when they resume.

Strobel said he meets regularly with what's called the San Diego County Water Authority IID action team, which includes SDCWA General Manager Maureen Stapleton; Bob Campbell, an assistant to Stapleton; former SDCWA director, Chris Frahm, and others.

Strobel said the SDCWA is seeking to hire someone locally to be a liaison with the Hispanic community as a further means of understanding issues of importance in the Imperial Valley.

Strobel began work for the authority July 27. His contract calls for pay of $3,500 monthly, plus expenses, not to exceed $50,000 over the 12-month term of the contract. The authority retains the right to terminate the contract with 10 days notice, while Strobel may terminate the contract with 30 days notice, but "only in the event of substantial failure by the authority to perform in accordance with the terms of (the) agreement through no fault of (Strobel's)."

Strobel has a degree in political science from the University of San Diego. He is married and has two children.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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