As part of Noozhawk’s Nov. 3 election coverage, we are publishing Q&As with board candidates for some special districts and education districts, including the Goleta Water District.
Candidate answers may have been lightly edited for spelling and formatting, but are otherwise presented as they were submitted.
The Goleta Water District is an independent special district governed by a five-member elected Board of Directors.
The general manager and staff members oversee day-to-day operations of the district, such as repairing and maintaining pipes, pumps, wells, water meters and other infrastructure; water quality testing; and customer service (billing, conservation, applications for new water meters).
Separate special districts oversee treatment of wastewater from the water district system: the Goleta Sanitary District and Goleta West Sanitary District.
Goleta Water District board members approve the district budget, including maintenance and capital improvement projects, approve water rates and charges, and are in charge of policy decisions like water supply planning and conservation strategies.
Recent board policy and budget decisions include: approving large, multi-year rate increases for residential and non-residential water customers; updating a permit to sell recycled water to interested agricultural customers; and saying no to the state’s proposed water tunnel project, along with several other local water agencies.
Candidate Phebe Mansur
Noozhawk: Why are you running for the Goleta Water District Board of Directors?
Phebe Mansur: I love living in the “Goodland.” It has been a wonderful place to build a life and successful business. But it is deteriorating year after year.
The water district suffers from financial instability, the quality of water degrades, and we see no change in securing our future water supply. The directors imposed tiered regressive water rates on the community. There needs to be a change in attitude and leadership.
The recent water rate increase motivated me to run for Goleta Water District. Every day I hear how the pandemic has affected my customers. Financial stress is a major concern the rates can be a killer.
There was nothing brave of the sitting directors who voted to raise rates. Instead they showed a stark disconnect between them and the community. People are suffering, some living paycheck to paycheck.
As a director, I would make every effort to reduce expenses just like I did at my business. Operating my business provides me a skill set unique to the current board. I will work with the other directors to find creative solutions to ongoing issues.
Noozhawk: What personal and/or work experience…