Candidate Statement: Betty Olson for Santa Margarita Water District

The incumbent seeks reelection to the board of the SMWD.

Below are links to candidate ballot statements for all candidates for the Santa Margarita Water District board.

Santa Margarita Water District (vote for 3)

  • Candidate ballot statement for Fred Carr
  • Candidate ballot statement for Stan Dziecielski
  • Candidate ballot statement for Chuck Gibson
  • Candidate ballot statement for Charley Wilson

Betty H. Olson
Occupation: Director, Santa Margarita Water District

I ask for your vote for SMWD director to insure secure, dependable and safe water at the lowest cost. As a Civil and Environmental Engineering professor at UCI, my career is the study of water quantity and quality, educating our next generations for the water field and serving on state and national water committees that assure water reliability and quality.

I’m dedicated to a fiscally sound district, helping SMWD to create rainy day funds for replacement of facilities, smooth transitions in rates as water and power prices increase, and to stabilize property taxes, during a weak economy. In the 2002 power crisis many water districts raised rates; SMWD used rate reserves. SMWD refinances infrastructure bonds as interest rates drop to keep your taxes low, develops strategies to bring facilities online as needed, so economic downturns don’t saddle ratepayers with extra costs, and raises rates only as necessary. Since 1996, SMWD added 23,000 homes, without increasing employee numbers or limiting service. We have $48,000,000 available to help meet future uncertainties. Rate stabilization funds cover operating gaps between increased water costs and rates, so your rates are not raised before costs increase.

I’m committed to conservation through policies encouraging reductions in water usage and increasing reclaimed water for irrigation. I helped establish SMWD’s policy to reduce water use through programs for homeowner association greenbelt areas, large lot new homes, xeriscape and irrigation reduction classes; resulting in a decrease in treated water use of 7,000 AF even while adding new customers. My goal is for 33% of SMWD’s water use to be supplied by reclaimed water, currently 19%.

Water reliability is critical and SMWD’s wholesale water supplier MWD has no full allocation guarantees. Located in South Orange County and at the end of the pipe with no groundwater basin, SMWD has insured short-term reliability by purchasing storage in the El Toro reservoir, building Upper Chiquita Reservoir, utilizing local untreated groundwater and planning stormwater catchment basins for irrigation. For long-term reliability, SMWD has leased an option with Rancho Cucamonga to supply water for county approved growth and is the lead agency to bring a new water source to Southern California, diversifying our supplies, while insuring water source and environmental protection through monitoring. My background and experience is needed in this time of increasing water scarcity to plan for you today and your children’s tomorrow.

Please vote Betty H. Olson Nov. 6.

D Stiller October 21, 2012 at 04:59 AM
For truly safe and healthy water, please end fluoridation. It is a neurotoxin among other things. I will vote for whoever will stop the unnecessary adding of fluoride to the public water supply. Thank you kindly.
Mark Curran October 22, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I am surprised as I read all of the candidates ballot statements that there is no mention of anyone addressing the horrible smell that comes from the "lift station" by Tejeras Creek and Antonio. It is not a pleasant way for homeowners and visitors to be welcomed into our city and the poor people who live by that facility must suffer incredibly (I do not live close to the facility). It would be nice to have that fixed.


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