The Consolidated Irrigation District’s board of directors met at its Selma headquarters on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. Before the meeting I heard a story I thought was kind of funny. Due to the increased recharge the frog population near some of the ponds has grown. A man living next to a ponding basin complained to staff about the number of frogs. He was referred to Superintendent Walt Frost. Frost is about as good natured a man as you can meet. I guess you’d call him jolly, he laughs a lot. Anyway, the landowner complained to his director saying he told Frost stop get a crew together to remove the frogs and Frost laughed at him. The unnamed director told the fellow Frost wasn’t hired for his public relations skills. A lot of water makes some folks happy and evidently some folks crazy.
Chairman Larry Cruff called the meeting to order at 1:00pm and there were no public comments or changes to the agenda. Cruff asked General Manager Phil Desatoff if staff was ready to proceed with the board of equalization meeting and the answer was yes. Attorney Doug Jensen was willing to hold off on the closed session long enough to get that out of the way. So the meeting swapped colors and became a board of equalization meeting. There were some petitions maybe four out of more than a dozen denied but there was no one present to dispute this. That is the landowners’ choice and most of the items before the board of equalization are routine. This meeting must be held annually but could be held more often. There’s no restrictions to when and how often said Jensen. He added he thinks due to SGMA CID will be delivering more surface water before growers’ pump. Director Tom Benzler sat through his first equalization and I’m glad he asked if there was any precedence set. The answer is no. I like it when someone else asks a question I have. I have never experienced being the only one in the room who was wondering what was going on.
After this meeting went into closed session to discuss a potential property purchase and the three lawsuits with the City of Reedley. I asked how long this would take and was told it could be several hours. Followed by a public hearing to set assessment rates. I opted to leave at this point since the only items remaining were the consent calendar and action items that were a slam dunk such as accounting policy and ACWA elections. So with a clear conscience I went elsewhere to further the righteous work of seeing farmers get water.
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CONSOLIDATED IRRIGATION DISTRICT – 2255 Chandler St, Selma, CA 93662 Telephone; 559/896-1660
CID covers 145,000 acres mostly in South Central Fresno County. Surface water supplies: Kings River CID is its own GSA
General Manager – Phil Desatoff, Attorney – Doug Jensen, Water Master – Walt Frost, Controller – Margaret Macias
Board of Directors – President Larry Cruff, Thomas Benzler, Earl Hudson, Tony Lewis, Ray Moles