The McMullin Area GSA met on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at the Kerman Community Center in Kerman. It was nice to see at least a fourth of the attendees had the look of farmers under the age of 40 years old. Vice chair Matt Abercrombie called the meeting at around 2pm. The minutes were approved without comment and no one from the public was willing to speak out. Randy Schilling of Kings River Conservation District gave the financial reports and the board approved them and paying the bills. The only comment was somebody said, “This must be a group of farmers, they keep on going with or without money.” The MAGSA is in sound financial shape, that’s the only reason it was funny.
The board reviewed a report on choosing bylaws, ethics and conflicts of interest. Farmer/Veterinarian from Kerman Dr. Paul Toste spoke up and said the proportion of representation is skewed. Toste said the white area is the largest part of the GSA with the least representation. He also was concerned the bylaws call for a county supervisor to sit on the board but he’d like to see the supervisor that represents the GSA’s location and not just any supervisor. As it happens Supervisor and dairyman Brian Pacheco sits on the board. He lives and farms in the MAGSA white area. Bernard Jimenez, Fresno County said the JPA between the County of Fresno, Mid Valley Water District and Raisin City WD calls for the current board requirements. No one could recall for sure if the supervisor had to be from the district representing the area. And there was talk about the white area forming an entity which would require a new JPA. Attorney Janelle Krattiger said Toste’s recommendations would require a new JPA, which can happen and she pointed out the bylaws can be amended as well in the future should the situation call for it. He also explained about the ethics and conflict of interest statements are standard boilerplate but must be adopted eventually.
The board then got ready to review a proposed well ordinance but it wasn’t ready yet. The board did reappoint Don Cameron as Chair and Abercrombie as Vice Chair. It appeared the MAGSA has been interested in joining the Kings River Water Association but this was tabled. There were no directors’ reports.
Jimenez reported on the GSP and that has a lot to do with the coordination between the various GSAs in the Kings River Sub Basin. He said representatives from the GSAs have met but nothing was revealed from that meeting. Director Gary Rae said he met with Ron Samuelian of Provost & Pritchard, Gary Serrato GM of Fresno Irrigation District and Phil Desatoff GM Consolidated ID. He said it was a surprisingly productive meeting, but it will be a fight. He said MAGSA needs KRWA membership. It would open up many opportunities to work with the neighbors; but it takes only one no vote on the KRWA board to block it.
Lynn Groundwater, P&P reported on technical matters saying the California Department of Water Resources provides training for groundwater monitoring and other services. If an entity were to participate with DWR on these training and cooperation the data becomes available to DWR and therefor the public. The GSA would have to apply and DWR will keep it going until the funding runs out. Groundwater asked the board for direction and the board said go for it. Groundwater also updated the board on the GSP progress. KRCD’s Rebecka Quist gave the outreach program update and said the letters of support for a US Bureau of Reclamation grant has been going well. The interested persons list continues to grow as website visits are increasing.
P&P’s Randy Hopkins reported there are now three applicants for the GSA management. The HR committee will interview the candidates and stakeholders were invited to be a part of this. That struck me as unusual. Abercrombie said the white area stakeholders ad hoc committee hasn’t met but should soon. The next meeting will be September 5th and the meeting went into closed session for one case of potential litigation. It didn’t take long as they exited the building before I left.
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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of DAW.
SGMA The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 calls for the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Areas within Basins and Sub-basins to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans.
McMullin Area GSA – The McMullin Area GSA member agencies are Fresno County, Raisin City Water District and the Mid Valley Water District. Located in Western Fresno County MAGSA is one of seven GSAs in the Kings River Sub Basin.