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TID seats no longer uncontested

Two file candidacy papers

POSTED August 13, 2013 8:51 p.m.

Earlier last week, the Turlock Irrigation District race wasn’t looking to be much a battle for incumbent directors Ron Macedo and Joe Alamo, both of whom are looking to regain their seats on the TID board.

 

However, on Friday, all that changed when community members Daniel Agundez and Darrell Monroe decided to throw their hats in the ring and challenge the current directors for their board positions.

 

Agundez, a retired Pacific Gas and Electric worker who has lived in the community for over 30 years,  stated the current board is not being efficient enough in taking action against problems.

 

“I want to make sure that these issues are being looked at in an urgent way,” said Agundez. “I really haven’t seen any changes to the current situation.”

 

Agundez, who himself owns and operates a residential pump, stated that there is a  lack of attention being given to the groundwater quality and pumping in Turlock and surrounding cities. He also said that because of three consecutive drought years, the Board needs to work harder in ensuring water flow is saved for the county’s irrigators, rather than selling off the water to other districts.

 

“Right now, groundwater is the lifeline for a lot of these farmers,” said Agundez. “The effects of losing water aren't just limited to our farmers and growers, but our whole economy as well.”

 

Agundez also expressed concerns about the private contractors used by TID to do field work. According to Agundez, these workers are from out of town and don’t stay and contribute to the local community. Instead, Agundez believes that the manpower should instead be offered in a form of apprenticeship to community youth.

 

“Instead of bringing in contractors, why don’t we starting offering apprenticeships to our youth,” said Agundez. “We’d be paying the same amount and this could generate more jobs in our community.”

 

Also running is Monroe, a retired irrigation worker. Monroe, who filed for his candidacy on Friday, worked for the district for over 25 year as a water distribution operator. He believes his experience can bring a workable knowledge to the current Board.

 

“Right now, I don’t think some of the Board has the correct amount of knowledge,” said Monroe.

“It seems like the management just kind of leads them into decisions.”

Monroe also stated that one of his major reasons for running was ensuring that the Don Pedro reservoir is adequately protected, and that the Board should do everything it can to ensure the satisfaction of current TID employees.

 

“For me, it’s about keeping the water safe, keeping the power rates low, and keeping our employees happy,” he said.

 

TID elections are set for Nov. 5.

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