PHELAN-(VVNG.com): By Lynn Courtney- Despite the rain, the February 17, 2016, PPHCSD Board Meeting was standing room only with over 100 community members in attendance. It was stated that this was the largest participation in 8 years. The topic attracting attention was the PPHCSD’s proposed Water Conservation Ordinance, specifically the inclusion of Enforcement Clause, Section 9.1 which states in part “A person violating any provision of this Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punishable by imprisonment in the County jail or not more than 30 days, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment as may be allowed by law. Each and every violation of this Ordinance and each day during which such violation is committed or continued shall constitute a separate offense.”
Along with all ages, from seniors to a teenager from Serrano HS, there was a wide range of representation at the meeting from the Oathkeeper organization, Veterans, and the Phelan Pinon Hills Ratepayers/Taxpayers Alliance online group. Many were offended and some were angry that the PPHCSD would even consider putting such an ordinance in place, and felt the Board should be defending the community, not alienating it.
In what took 3 hours to complete, approximately 25 community members spoke in opposition to Section 9.1 of the proposed ordinance. A common viewpoint was represented by an Oathkeeper organization member regarding Section 9.1 who stated “The fact that it’s even in this proposal is disgusting. We’re all Americans here.” It appeared only one attendee spoke in favor of the Enforcement Clause 9.1 as written.
A quorum of the PPHCSD Board was present which allows them to conduct the business before them for the evening. Further, a written statement was delivered by an absent ill board member stating she was in favor of removing Section 9.1. After 3 hours of hearing public comments, and the Board explaining their points of view, they decided to postpone action until all five Board Members were able to be present. They expressed that they were in agreement with taking the language out but did not want to vote without all Board members present. When asked to affirm that this meant they would vote to remove the language at the next meeting, they declined to make that statement.
Therefore, the community will need to attend the next meeting as well to see how the Board actually votes.
The next meeting of the PPHCSD Board of Directors will be held on March 2,
2016. Ratepayers can download the proposed Ordinance at
https://tinyurl.com/hmyy6kz Pages 118-128.