Meet the Santa Fe Irrigation District board candidate: Alan Smerican
Two candidates are vying for one open seat (Division Two, Solana Beach) on the Santa Fe Irrigation District board in the Nov. 6 election: Holly Smith Jones and Alan Smerican. Below are candidate photos, bios and answers to two questions given to them by this newspaper.
Name: Alan Smerican
Years living in the Irrigation District: 25 years
Education: Bachelor of Science degree in business management;
Additional courses in engineering and post graduate courses in computer technology
Profession: Retired FBI agent and security expert;
As a public service, I conducted the Irrigation District’s original security survey and planning.
•Four years on the City of Solana Beach Public Safety Commission, two terms as chairman
•Served on the Board of Directors of the local chapter of ISSA (Information Systems Security Association)
•Served on the Board of Directors of four Computer User Groups (president of two of them)
Guest speaker on security matters at many non-profit organizations.
1.) What do you think are the biggest issues facing the Irrigation district?
2.) Do you have any suggestions as to how the biggest issue in your answer for #1 should be addressed by the board? (Both questions answered below)
1. RATES: The biggest issue facing the Irrigation District is the rising cost of imported water. Approximately 30-40 percent of the water we need each year is collected from our sparse rainfall and run-off. Therefore 60-70 percent of the water we use must be purchased elsewhere by the district. The imported water is expensive and is the most significant cause of increased water rates. Some believe employee benefits are the cause of higher water rates. It is true that many years ago, pensions and other benefits were greatly increased.
However, five years ago, the Irrigation District lowered the pensions for all newly hired employees and just recently negotiated reduced benefits for all employees. These reductions will help, but are insignificant compared to the cost of the imported water. If elected, I will be able to assist the Irrigation District in seeking additional sources of water, at reasonable rates. I will also help monitor the cost of benefits provided to employees to ensure they are appropriate for the district.
2. SECURITY: Another issue is the security of our water supply. I will bring my security expertise to the Board of Directors to facilitate the necessary security to protect our water supply and infrastructure.
3. MAINTENANCE: We need to keep water rates as low as possible without compromising the maintenance of the water mains. We do not want to become another San Diego, whose water mains break regularly because the maintenance has been neglected for years.
- Meet the Santa Fe Irrigation District board candidate: Holly Smith Jones
- Water rates for Santa Fe Irrigation District to increase in new year
- Santa Fe Irrigation district board approves water rate hike
- Solana Beach: Residents ask Santa Fe Irrigation District for more cost cuts
- Santa Fe Irrigation District board lifts mandatory restrictions on water use
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