An Imperial Irrigation District Director must dedicate well over 60 hours of work every week to digest and prepare for governing complex power and water issues. A Director must guard against special interests within the institution and outside agencies to adequately serve stakeholders and ratepayers.
A sharp and well-seasoned Director must also demonstrate a wealth of work and life experience. Ample experience is acquired only after years of diverse private and or public employment. A Director must make his or her decisions with dedication and preparation. A lax work ethic will not yield results that are desirable or respected; especially when the effects of poor decisions and inadequate preparation risk extensive and disastrous consequences for our community.
Only serious candidates with serious qualifications and a serious work ethic should enjoy consideration for the Board of Directors. Candidates with phony padded resumes and narcissistic glamor-shot photo campaigns exhibit behavior that is insincere and unqualified at best and deceptive at worst.
Electing candidates of this sort has consequences. Weak, underprepared, and inept Board members present a direct harm to the community and public interest through poor decision making, risking deception at the hands of cunning and predatory lawyers, and influence by concerted narrow political efforts and special interests.
If only one Director is ill-qualified, or otherwise incapable of serving wisely and productively, the entire Board is vulnerable to losing authority and respect. The waters an IID Director must navigate are not for the timid or inexperienced.
The IID is a big institution that has even greater impact on our community, economy, jobs, farms, and businesses. We need public servants that have demonstrated a solid work ethic and knowledge of the gravity of the issues that IID works with, and the burden they bear for the long term stability of the District and its relationship with the community.
Though perhaps well-meaning, Ms. Salas represents none of the qualities necessary to direct the Imperial Irrigation District.
Ms. Salas lists over 30 organizations from high school and college clubs to a breastfeeding committee as qualifications for the public utility office she is seeking. Amidst her seemingly-endless list of participation on immaterial committees and even coming dangerously close to claiming sole responsibility for some of Imperial Valley’s biggest infrastructure projects in the past decade, Salas cunningly neglected to mention her most significant work and community involvement. Ms. Salas has completely concealed her decade’s work as former Congressman Bob Filner’s district office secretary, and more nefariously as the local face of the Planned Parenthood abortion facility.
Perhaps her finest act as an aspiring politician, she understood the serious liability of serving as the point person of the Planned Parenthood installation in El Centro. In doing so, Salas sought to paper over her involvement with an organization that drew historic and unprecedented protest by drawing thousands of citizens in El Centro in near unanimous and ardent opposition from the community. Salas’ omission is dishonest and disturbing. Her work background and community involvement have been lackluster and subject to community criticism and questioning. Imperial Valley deserves a public servant with real grit, an impressive work history, and character in governing water and power issues.
Imperial Valley suffers from uniquely unqualified elected public servants. Our schools are rated as low as 1/10, our hospitals are graded at “F”s, and our cities and downtowns have declined, crumbled, and burned for decades. The Imperial Irrigation District, though far from perfect, has established itself as a model of public service by providing water and power efficiently and cost effectively. The IID and the public have benefitted from the leadership of individuals who understood that governing this vital agency required immense experience, knowledge, self-sacrifice, and willingness to do often unpleasant and thankless work.
The citizens of northern El Centro, Westmorland, and southern neighborhoods of Brawley would be well served by the dutiful, cool-headed, reasoned, and deeply experienced service of Ed Snively on the IID Board of Directors. I am confident that his leadership will be a step in the right direction for the IID and may help to inspire a renewed sense of community engagement and heightened standards for our local elected public servants in the years to come.