In October of 2018, I read a Bublak for mayor campaign mailer. I was alarmed at what I read. The mailer was misrepresenting the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority’s surface water project.
The mailer had a series of bullet points; the last two stated, “Because Turlock water users fall last in line for water priority behind Federal, State and MID users, the plant will receive little or no water during drought years; Water when it’s needed most won’t be available, yet ratepayers will continue to pay for an unproductive plant.”
This made no sense. Bublak had been a Director on the SRWA for more than two years. She had access to all the information about the project and had voted for millions of dollars worth of CEQA studies, lobbying efforts, etc. Bublak certainly knew that our region had been in a 10-year drought, the last three years, a severe drought. The region’s groundwater situation was, and would continue to be, grim. This SRWA surface water project would be the most significant infrastructure project in the City’s history; it would be the most important water project the City of Turlock would pursue.
The mailer’s closing statement read, “Amy needs your vote to become Turlock’s next Mayor to stop the disastrous new Tuolumne River Surface Water Treatment project, now budgeted at a whopping $288 million dollars!” Bublak failed to mention Turlock’s portion of the then-budgeted total was $171.6 million. Clearly, this was not a disastrous water treatment project. Bublak was fear mongering to garner votes.
Bublak threw TID’s staff, City of Turlock staff, council members and mayors, who had worked on this critically important project for years, under the bus in order to be elected. She was throwing not only her constituency under the bus, but their children and future generations of children, as well. Turlock’s sole drinking water source is declining and contaminant levels are increasing. This information was well known to council member Bublak.
After winning the mayoral race with only 37.6 percent of the vote, Bublak cast a yes-vote for the surface water project, quite contrary to the last sentence of her campaign mailer: “I’m asking for your vote to help stop this project before it soaks Turlock residents for the next three decades.” When questioned about her campaign promise, Bublak said: “I will never apologize for standing up for the rate payers.” Why does deceiving the public not merit an apology? What about standing up for your constituents and future citizens of Turlock? Where was the accountability? Where was the honesty?
I’m so pleased that former Turlock councilmember and vice mayor, Gil Esquer, is running for mayor. It’s time for representative leadership, fiscal responsibility and political honesty. I hope you will join me in voting for Gill Esquer.
— Jeani Ferrari