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TID candidates promise to protect local water rights

TID candidates promise to protect local water rights

Michael Frantz

POSTED October 14, 2011 6:37 p.m.


The makeup of the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors may change following the Nov. 8 Consolidated District Election, with the District 1 seat up for grabs.

The district, representing the northeast corner of the TID service area, was long represented by former Director Phillip Short, who passed away in 2009.

Michael Frantz, owner of Hickman’s Frantz Wholesale Nursery, has held the seat since 2009, when he was appointed following Short’s passing. Frantz will defend his seat against Christopher Barth, owner of Turlock’s GolfUSA and an almond farmer.

In the coming years, the elected director will be tasked with representing both the district’s electric and water interests. The crucial relicensing the Don Pedro Reservoir – the source of the vast majority of the district’s irrigation water and hydroelectric power generation – is ongoing, and the district must also consider electric rate increases to pay for new green power generation facilities.


Michael Frantz

Bio: I am a lifelong resident of Stanislaus County.  I grew my family’s nursery business to over 100 employees. I am married with two boys. I’ve spent my entire working career and civic involvement in agriculture and leadership activities.  I’m on the Farm Bureau board and only candidate endorsed for TID by the Farm Bureau.  

 Journal: Why are you running for the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors?

Frantz: I am running to continue the legacy of our forefathers, of bringing affordable water and power to our community.  Our valley cannot prosper without plentiful water supplies. Our community must have affordable electric rates to attract industry and jobs.  That is what I believe, and that is why Turlock leaders such as Mayor Lazar and prior Mayor Curt Andre are supporting me.  

 Journal: What do you feel is the most important issue facing the District?

Frantz: The two most pressing issues are excessive state mandates that are driving up our rates, and ensuring a relicensing of Don Pedro that is satisfactory to the district.

 Journal: If elected, what would you like to accomplish on the TID board?

Frantz: I will continue to work hard to hold the district accountable for all spending. My voting record shows that I voted to stop excessive pay bonuses, to eliminate annual increase in operational costs and continue to fight to keep rates down. As a businessman I know what is needed for job development and to protect our quality of life.  


Chris Barth

Bio: I’m not a politician. I’m a down to earth, common sense candidate who believes in family values, integrity and has been part of this valley farming legacy for years. Because of that I have learned to fight for what I believe in. I grew up on a chicken and almond ranch and have farmed and irrigated almonds in Hughson for many years. As the owner of GolfUSA in Turlock, I also understand the business issues and needs of the local businessman.

I am a past president of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, County Planning Commission, (leadership during the General Plan Update, passage of the Right to Farm and Fruit Stand ordinance), State Water Quality Control Board, Hughson School Board, Rotary Club, member of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce(I serve on their Government Relation Committee). I am chairman of the Agricultural Committee for the Governor’s Central Valley Economic Summit, a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program  and recipient of the Profiles on Leadership from the Agricultural Education Foundation.

 Journal: Why are you running for the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors?

Barth: I am concerned with the ongoing struggle for water, renewable and affordable energy rates and I feel very strongly that we need to control cost and wasteful spending; lower rates for families and businesses in our community; protect our water rights from regulatory threats and mandates.

I have a passion for agriculture and I will protect every drop of our farm water, every energy rate increase and every job that depends on it.

TID should keep plenty of water at the reservoirs so it can be used for irrigation, recharge aquifers in the district and for recreational use for all.

 Journal: What do you feel is the most important issue facing the District?

Barth: The most important issue facing the district is the relicensing of the Don Pedro Reservoir, as the outcome from this process will impact our local agriculture and business economy for generations. Also, control cost and wasteful spending in order to keep our rates low; protecting our water rights and the flow of water for a sufficient supply and reliable storage throughout our district.

 Journal: If elected, what would you like to accomplish on the TID board?

Barth: I just found out that not every rate payer has a vote for their board member, I will work to have everybody who is a TID rate payer be able to have a vote. Things have changed, this is the 21st century.

Energy and water independence should always be an important strategic objective of TID. If elected, the interest of both the residential and business consumer, as well as the farmer who needs water, will be my highest priority. I will work at keeping lower electrical rates and abundant water supply for everyone. I will protect our water rights and our power supply for generations to come.

I have experience, leadership and understanding of the many challenges facing our utility company and the economy today as a small business and farm owner and a long time residence of the area with a passion.  I care about this community and its future, and I care about you!

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