Candidates for Montara Water and Sewer Board of Directors Debate Consolidation

The incumbents argued against it while a newcomer says sharing has benefits

It’s a matter of money for the two incumbents who would not support consolidating water resources in San Mateo County.

“We do not need to make other districts' problems ours,” Kathryn Slater-Carter, a current Board of Director up for reelection, said. “We would keep our debt and they would take our water.”

The issue goes back to 2001, according to Scott Boyd, MWSD incumbent and a current Board Member on the Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside, which is responsible for ensuring wastewater is cleaned before it enters the ocean.

He said he wouldn’t support consolidation, because it should stay with those that paid for it.

When Montara residents were owned by a private utility company, the district voted to invest money to buyout the company and take it into local control.

The board says with that authority, its been able to give Montara District residents lower utility rates than it had in 2001 while allocating $3 million annually to water and sewer improvements.

Newcomer Thomas Peterson, a consultant who has previously worked as a water engineer for the California Department of Public Health, offered a different perspective.

Peterson said that while he doesn’t think consolidation would be right at this time, he does support sharing water resources in emergencies and believes benefits to consolidating the water resources could allow the district to develop parks.

Developing the district’s parks was voted the second biggest priority for Montara residents during a previous a public forum, just after not consolidating water resources.

About a dozen community members came to the forum organized by the Midcoast Community Council and the League of Women Voters.

The next forum will be on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Lipman Middle School, 1 Solano St. Brisbane, CA 94005 and include candidates for the Brisbane School District.

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