• Council agrees to join Mayors’ JPA in 7-0 vote

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    Pacific Grove City Council members were reassured at the Wednesday, Jan. 18 meeting by City Manager Tom Frutchey that most of the concerns they expressed at the emergency meeting last Thursday would be met in the early stages of the Regional Water Authority, the JPA proposed by six Peninsula mayors. But it was the news coming last Tuesday that California American Water had pulled its support for the Regional Water Project, the desalination plant in Marina, that buoyed their hopes that something might get done. They voted 7-0 for the JPA.

    Frutchey’s assurances were largely verbal, but it seemed to satisfy the balking council members who had voted last week to continue the matter with no one but the Mayor supporting it. The council was told that the JPA would have different powers from the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District.

    The question of under-representation of ratepayers would be answered if the WMD were on board, and Frutchey said, “It was never intended that they be left out.” And he added, “We’ll decide later how to represent the 34 percent [of ratepayers who live in unincorporated areas].”

    JPA meetings will be public, probably as forums, he said, and this was echoed by Mayor Garcia.

    Funding for the JPA was another big concern of council members, who, to a man, pointed out that Pacific Grove has no money to spare. Frutchey said that the first year’s budget was $30,000 – $5,000 per city. He did not elaborate on funding for future years, however, and Council member Alan Cohen wanted to know how long it would be before the JPA came up with a mechanism for repaying the cities. Council members encouraged the WMD to come up with a plan, and Council member Robert Huitt said that a formal arrangement between the JPA and the WMD is needed. “But,” he said, “we can’t wait to have all the questions resolved before we do this.”

    Carmel City Council had passed the JPA earlier in the week and offered to staff it for the first three months. Monterey City Council, in a late-night meeting on Jan. 17, continued the matter for another week while Sand City City Council passed it. On tap are Seaside and Del Rey Oaks council meetings.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 21, 2012

    Topics: Front PG News

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