Editorial: No logic anywhere
Published: January 4, 2013
- Definitely not at the water board, the courts or in
DO MONTEREY Peninsula residents clean themselves more frequently if there are more showers or bathtubs in their houses?
What about cooking? Does the average Carmelite wash more
vegetables, braise more short ribs or scour more dishes if his
kitchen has more faucets?
And does a person go to the bathroom more often if there are more toilets available to him?
The answers are so obvious, the questions hardly bear
mentioning. In Somalia or Laos, more sinks and bathrooms in
houses might cause more water usage, but in civilized places,
they do not.
Nevertheless, for three decades, the Monterey Peninsula Water
Management District has played fixture cop to everybody who
lives in its jurisdiction under the guise of “conserving water
resources” and protecting the environment of the Carmel River.
Meanwhile, the district does nothing to actually restrict how
much water you use. So while you can’t add a sink to your house,
you can let the faucet in one of the ones you do have run all
day and night, for all the water board cares. Its water cops
will invade your house to count your toilets and sinks, and hit
you with stiff fines if they find one that’s not on their books,
but won’t say a word if your “legal” ones are left running all
Little wonder, then, that reasonable people conclude that the
water board, despite all its protestations to the contrary, not
only routinely acts in a way the defies simple logic, it also
doesn’t actually give a fig about controlling water use or
protecting the river, but is in the business of stopping
development — a task which is utterly outside its purview. If
the city council in your town or the county board of supervisors
decides by a majority vote to issue you a building permit, the
water district should not stand in the way.
Nevertheless, that’s exactly what it does today, and has been
doing for almost 30 years. The name for this kind of
governmental abuse of authority is “oppression.”
Where do the people turn for relief when the government is
abusing their rights? They’re supposed to be able to turn to the
courts. But last week, Monterey County Superior Court Judge
Lydia Villarreal, who has a habit of making wrong decisions,
upheld the water district’s indefensible fixture-counting
policy. She should have overturned it because it has no rational
Her erroneous decision leaves the State Legislature as the
Monterey Peninsula’s last resort for setting its water laws
straight. Will the Legislature do anything? Of course not. It
- And even less so in Washington
So taxes are going up, but not as much as they would have if the country went over the “fiscal cliff.” It’s hard to be happy about that, because, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday, the 150-page legislation hurriedly passed by Congress and signed by the President this week contained hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pork for racetrack owners, Hollywood producers, green energy companies and other special interests lobbyists who have friends in Washington.
A few weeks ago, we were complaining that, while the federal
government was telling everybody there was a fiscal crisis in
the nation that could bring ruin within a few years if taxes
weren’t raised, it was throwing away millions on a new
“branding” of the Monterey Peninsula’s bus routes.
Millions? According to the “logic” followed in Washington, that
amount of money is, literally, nothing.
The federal government is run so irresponsibly, it makes the
water board look like a bunch of geniuses.