The Sacramento Bee editorial board interviews candidates and will be endorsing in local races. Last week, we met with candidates for the open Assembly District 4 seat, which is being vacated by Mariko Yamada due to term limits. The district consists of the southern Sacramento Valley, wine country and the Coast Range. It includes UC Davis. We asked the candidates their thoughts on the twin tunnels plan, water storage and conservation efforts. Below are excerpts from their answers.
Davis mayor/university director – Democrat
I am most affiliated with Rep. John Garamendi’s six-point plan – water conservation, water reuse and all of those pieces that he’s come out with – and I don’t believe those have been pushed hard enough and fast enough. I don’t support Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels at this point in time. I don’t think it’s clear enough that beneficiaries are going to pay for the tunnels. It is an enormous amount of money and enormous amount of land. It’s not clear to me our economy can sustain that kind of a project going forward… But storage is absolutely critical. … South-of-Delta storage is something we could build consensus on.
County attorney/Davis council member – Democrat
I personally am opposed to the Bay Delta Conservation Project plan, the twin tunnels plan. I don’t see that as the solution to our water concerns in this state for a number of reasons. I think that ... instead of focusing on basically building these two tunnels to pull water from the north to the south we should be focused on other measures. We should be focused on more water conservation. We should be focused on desalination, focused on storage. So those are the kind of things we need to be focused on, not the proposed tunnel. ... I think both above-ground and below-ground storage is something you need to look at.
Napa County supervisor/businessman – Democrat
I love the fact that Reps. Doug LaMalfa and John Garamendi are working together and getting together for the good of the people of California. That exemplifies what I want to do when it comes to the Legislature. ... If we are going to pass a water bond, I think what we need to do is things that take care of the drought conditions in the state of California. I was in the water business at the time in Napa in the early and mid-1970s when we went though the last drought. And, really, what have we done? Frankly, they’ve done a lot more in Southern California. The Metropolitan Water District has done a lot, and we’ve done very, very little. I’m not supporting the twin tunnels, but I am supporting storage. ... I think it’s incumbent upon us to sit down with them and be part of the solution not just say “no, no, no and hell no.”
Retired Marine officer – Republican
I would support sending water to Southern California, but the problem is they are building this thing (twin tunnels) with almost all of the water storage south of Delta. They’re not doing anything for the north state. ... The problem with the current Delta tube that Gov. Jerry Brown proposes is that there’s no real water storage. There’s no flood control for Northern California. There’s no maintenance or levee repair for Northern California. There’s no hydroelectric sources of power for Northern California. There’s basically nothing in it for the north state and everything of significance is going to the south state. No. We’ve got to oppose it because we need to protect the water sources for agriculture up here first.
Legislative aide – Republican
Didn’t respond to requests for an interview with the editorial board.