A group of residents in the tiny Yuima Municipal Water District in Pauma Valley have begun an effort to collect enough signatures to force a recall election on two directors.
The directors whose recall is being sought are George Stockton of Division 5 and Michael Fitzsimmons of Division 2.
The proponents’ grounds for launching the recall include the district’s finances, which they say last year ran a $600,000 deficit, and the high salary of the district manager, which proponents claim is one of the highest in the county, plus the board action in raising water rates several times in recent months. They also cite a lawsuit that the water district lost against a neighboring district (and which is under appeal).
According to the proponents “We wish to stop spending money we don’t have. But every month more is spent. We have begged our board members to vote no on any financial requests. They continue to vote yes.”
In answering the recall effort, Fitzsimmons claims that none of the figures quoted in the recall papers are true. “Yes, the district defended your critical groundwater rights against a lawsuit brought against it, at a onetime cost of $1.28 million (not $1.5 million as claimed), water rights that save the district over $1 million every year in water cost. The district has the lowest municipal water rates in the county.”
Stockton wrote, “There is a determined effort by a handful of people to take over the Yuima Municipal Water District. They intend to use the recall procedure to try to replace me and another representative . . . A newly elected member of the board is one of the leaders of this group.”
Stockton also wrote, “The proponents’ next step in this recall effort is to obtain the signatures of at least 30% of the registered voters in Division 2 of Yuima MWD on a recall petition to replace me as your representative. Please do not sign it. A special election will cost our district about $10,000. “