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Letters: Central Basin Water Board candidate Gray lashes out at Hawkins

(Editor’s Note: The following “Letter to the Editor” was received by Los Cerritos Community Newspaper earlier this week. It is in response to comments made in a previous article posted in this publication. We welcome all opinions).

Central Basin Water Board candidate Jay Gray

Central Basin Water Board candidate Jay Gray lashes out at incumbent Director Phil Hawkins

This most recent article is in light of your own newspaper publishing an article on May 11th that specifically stated Hawkins claims of “False Accusations by Opponents” were rebuffed by Shelby Grad, City Editor of the Los Angeles Times whom is quoted by your reporter and editor as saying, “Hawkins need to be accountable for his past statements.” Likewise, your own writers, in the same article, state that Hawkins “did receive thousands of dollars in contributions from The Caldron Group and other political action committees controlled by Tom Claderon. “
Needless to say, I am deeply concerned that your newspaper, which is earning great notoriety for bringing to the public’s attention political wrong doing, due to coverage of John Noguez, would publish on May 18, what seems to me, nothing more than a political press release and void of important facts.
Hawkins voted to raise water rates 5% a year for each of the next two years. (http://www.aquafornia.com/archives/65177/)
Hawkins claims that accusations about wasteful spending on perks were false. FACT: David Demerjian, head of the district attorney’s Public Integrity Unit said that Directors at the Central Basin “may have violated the law, collecting thousands of dollars in meal reimbursements for their spouses and other public officials.” (Los Angeles Times: June 19, 2011). The Times has never retracted any of its articles about the Central Municipal Basin Water District. (Los Cerritos Community News: May 18, 2012).
Hawkins claims moving the election from November to June will save taxpayers $300,000 in election cost. FACT: Central Basin never asked for an estimate from the County Registrar-Recorder’s Office. (Whittier Daily News: February 13, 2012)
Hawkins claims that he has reduced spending to an all-time low. FACT: Water usage is down since Hawkins first took office and today our water bills are higher than ever.
FACT: When Hawkins took office in 2001 the districts operating budget was $4,885,202 today it has nearly doubled to $9,555,090.
Hawkins claims a successful recycled water program. FACT: After 20-years in operation the program has yet to pay for itself.
Hawkins claims he wants to keep water rates low. FACT: When Hawkins took office in 2001 the district charged customers $478 per acre-foot. Today the rate is $915.
Jay Gray
Candidate, Central Basin Municipal Water District