Voice: Why aren't supervisor candidates talking about Salton Sea?

February 21, 2002

For years every person who ran for supervisor of this county recognized the thousands of real jobs that would occur with a saved Salton Sea. One supervisor even talked about not only the Salton Sea but a future giant airport and bullet train coming to our county every time he ran. At last we thought we had hope of a booming economy that would rival farming if not surpass it. The entire county and its population would be winners.

The Salton Sea Authority's economic sub-committee's report should be a database of subjects to consider for all those running for supervisor. Every person in this county should be considered during this transfer, not just a small faction.

Since 1980, I have secured three economic reports that all tell us this saved sea would change the basic financial status quo of this Valley. A lot of money has been spent on these studies yet they seem to be ignored by all.


In 1983, the Parson Report found 605,000 acre-feet of water could be "reasonably conserved by the IID." The greedy water barons will get it all before going back to Northern California for more. All this to maintain San Diego's economy.

Water-oriented sports at a saved sea would address 59 percent of the recreational needs of a growing South Coast area, with nearly 17 million people living there from L.A. to the border. Only 16 percent of the state even plays golf. The wasting of water in the Coachella Valley goes on and is dedicated only to amenities and gated communities for the richest 2 percent of golf-playing people on this earth.

All of those golf courses and water-skiing lakes and water malls in the Coachella Valley are subject to evaporation of 6 vertical feet per year, the same as the Salton Sea. For those projects using river water, what about the salt buildup?

We all know Imperial County is the poorest of this state's counties and projected to stay that way. Ongoing political posturing by most candidates of good things coming really means, "I will give it a good try." It seems after the election, we always end up pushing and wondering how to make our county's economy grow.

Along the west shores of the Salton Sea, to refinance a home, we are required to buy, at a high cost, flood insurance on a lake that is going to drop 12 to 17 feet in the near future. To sell a home or even refinance one is nearly impossible because of no comparable sales from the past. With dwindling property values, our people will be seeking property tax relief along with boat ownership taxes, etc.

We are sending out some valid information about predicted "dust storms blowing off an exposed and dry Salton Sea bottom." These are real and meaningful scare tactics.

The four possible future supervisors describing what they want for this county all failed to even mention the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley Press. Are they even aware of the benefits of a saved Salton Sea? Jobs created, real jobs, union jobs and thousands of jobs for all people in Imperial County. A real chance for success.

The one and last hope for us to be one of the richest counties out of the 58 in California seems to be passing us by. With no one running for supervisor even mentioning the Salton Sea while the San Diego Chamber of Commerce brags about their $9.2 billion flowing economy and how this transfer will keep it growing, you would think at least one would mention the predicted powerful benefits of a saved Salton Sea. The economic sub-committee of the Salton Sea Authority, with all of the money spent, laid it out in plain English what this county could accomplish financially in our future. But to this day everyone has ignored the report.


Salton City

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