Mike Pasner: Elect John Norton for NID Division 5 director
As the owner of Indian Springs Organic Farm here in Penn Valley, I know the value of the water supplied by Nevada Irrigation District. I’ve known it for 34 years. I understand the difficulty of supplying water to over a hundred farmers and ranchers, hundreds of businesses, and thousands of households. We need this reliable water supply and it has to come at an affordable rate.
This is why I will be voting for John Norton on Nov. 3. John is by far the best person to represent us on the NID Board of Directors. Here’s why:
1. The Centennial Dam. This dam was proposed in 2014 by Rem Sherzinger, the former NID general manager. This project makes no sense for our water or our finances. This likely billion dollar project has no federal or state support, meaning all that money would come out of ratepayers’ pockets. Furthermore, it would inundate hundreds of Native American sites, submerge dozens of homes, and ruin the celebrated recreation already provided by the Bear River.
Rich Johansen has supported this bloated, likely billion-dollar project wholeheartedly since its inception in 2014.
John Norton has demanded and acted for transparency in NID by pursuing a public release of the so far secret hydrology report and extensively analyzing the project’s finances.
2. Pesticide alternatives. The ad hoc Integrated Vegetation Management Working Group was invented by Rem four years ago to find non-toxic alternatives to Roundup use. Rem appointed 11 members and each director appointed one representative. In four years, this 16-member, ad hoc committee published no minutes, no agendas, solicited no public or stakeholder input. There was no research into cleaning ditches with excavators which could be a viable option and provide jobs. There was no research done to reduce dependency on elemental copper herbicides that drip directly into 250 miles of our ditches. This committee cost us $162,131 and resulted in no herbicide reduction. Board Director Dr. Scott Miller ended this secretive committee earlier this year by executive order. Rem has moved on from NID.
Rich Johansen was appointed by Nick Wilcox to this committee. When I asked Rich for dates of meetings and information, he said that information was privileged.
John is dedicated to herbicide reduction and has demonstrated he knows how to run a committee. He has a clear understanding of the laws regarding NID’s current toxic herbicide use in our ditches and water ways and has shown me a sincere concern for our community’s health.
3. Dedication to represent ratepayers. I have seen Rich at four board meetings in the past two years and no committee meetings.
John Norton has been at all but two of the past 22 board meetings and regularly attends committee meetings. I like Rich and respect him as a neighbor and a farmer, but he doesn’t have what it takes to manage our water.
John Norton will keep an open mind and put in the necessary research it takes to completely understand the issues. He has 28 years of experience making public service work for us, the public. John will put in the time it takes to ensure NID changes direction on herbicides, keeps rates reasonable, operates with transparency, and honors its employees.
Please help with this transformation by going to John’s website http://www.norton4nid.com. He’ll need endorsements, letters to the editor, phone volunteers, donations and votes. It will be worth it.
Mike Pasner is the owner operator of Indian Springs Organic Farm in Penn Valley.
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