The board of the San Lorenzo Valley Water District is looking for a new member after the sudden resignation of Margaret Bruce last week.
The district announced Bruce’s departure in a news release on March 26.
“During her tenure on the Board Ms. Bruce served as president of the Board for 2 terms, she made many important contributions to the District including the Regional Emergency Intertie Project, the consolidation of Lompico Water into the District and many environmental achievements,” the release read.
Bruce was first appointed to the board in 2012 after almost 7 years on the district’s Water Education Commission. She won election in 2016 with 35 percent of the vote.
Bruce spoke with the Press Banner by phone on Monday and then released a written statement.
“Differences of opinion are a good thing, but an accumulation of differences in philosophy prompted my decision,” she wrote. “For example; cancelling the watershed education grants because they were ‘too expensive.’ As the saying goes, ‘If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.’ Insisting decisions (particularly associated with environmental matters) have a ‘return on investment’ — which is different from ‘be cost effective.’”
Bruce also cited a distinct lack of transparency as part of her decision as well as concerns about a board agenda that does not pass scientific muster.
“Science underpins the work of the district, particularly in protecting our watersheds,” she wrote. “I was distressed to hear the Board President’s disapproving complaint, ‘the science changes’ — implying that new information invalidates science. The Board President’s statement to prospective public committee members, that the new board had a ‘platform’ and committee members should agree with that platform. A litmus test? A loyalty oath?”
Bruce said that she could not continue to represent ratepayers because she had become marginalized.
“I am one, alone. They are four, alike,” she wrote. “My opportunity to make a positive impact became very limited. The district — like all water districts — is facing an infrastructure and cost juggernaut. Expenses, risks and complexity are rising, fast. Now is not the time to don rose colored glasses, think small, or stomp on the brakes. This is the people’s water district. I hope they are paying attention.”
The remaining four directors considered how to address the vacancy during their regular meeting Thursday, which was after press time. They could choose to appoint a fifth member to serve for the two-year remainder of Bruce’s term or hold a special election.
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