I attended the meeting about starting to negotiate a term sheet with Poseidon and setting up a citizen’s advisory committee. The place filled up fast and it was soon a group outside the lobby. Councilwoman Deglaze was there and spoke in support of the project. Lynn Semeta was also there and heard Billy O’Connell was there but I didn’t see him.
The board has some back and forth about some issues unrelated and then moved on to Item 7. One guy spoke about six checks that were written and multiple invoices from the same Vendor. I believe the board said they would will look into it.
Then a presentation was done by whom, I don’t know. But it went over in detail how the contract negotiation should go. They want to have term sheet in place to start negotiating the whole contract in the middle of March.
After the presentation some on the board questioned the timing of bringing the Advisory Committee in place before they have anything to work with. One board member was pretty adamant that he feared the committee would turn into a mini board.
I’d say the first 12-15 speakers all supported Poseidon. A State Senator, Council people, developers, other water districts exec and our chamber of commerce. There were also three students from Irvine, all in support. Most of the supporters said the same thing that “we need the water” and it creates jobs etc.
Merle was the first one to speak out against Poseidon. She spend the first minute asking the board why and how 24 speakers could all be in support go ahead of her.. She was there right at the beginning of the meeting as I was. We both were first or second to bring our forms to speak up, so it was odd all the supporters went first. Merle brought up that Poseidon had not gotten final permits applied yet and other issues.
Talking to some others I learned that the AES plant, when they convert, will no longer be water cooled but air cooled. The Coastal Commission is working with Poseidon to see how this will affect the plant.
My speech was that we should wait until Carlsbad was completed. Since Posideon had never build a plant of this size and run it successfully it was the only way we would know true costs and the environmental impact. And after all is said and done we are only going to wind up with 8% of our water needs. We could accomplish this by easily in other ways.
I also argued we should not being negotiating in dought conditions. I gave an example of Santa Barbra which build a plant for $34 million and mothballed the plant four months after it went online. Lastly I mentioned that even the Desal Community is waiting on Carlsbad, so should we.
Had to leave but I saw a post that other speakers echoed my thoughts on waiting for Carlsbad to be completed. I think that’s a reasonable position. I would assume that the board approved the item and will begin negotiations. The questions they were asking the person giving the presentations indicted to me that this was done deal. Not one person on the board asked if we were going to approve this or not.