Commentary: Mesa Water commentary rooted in innuendo
Re. “Commentary: What is Mesa Water up to?” (March 27): This wink-and-nod commentary lacks logic and legitimacy.
First, the writer, Jay B. Litvak, opens with negative comments about the Costa Mesa City Council, pink slips, union battles and a city employee jumping from the roof. I fail to see how his dredging up of these activities has anything to do with the Mesa Water District.
My concern is that Litvak has other personal reasons for writing his letter, which is full of innuendo and half-truths, including where he thinks Mesa Water may be going.
When the writer makes the comment, “The district’s behavior is even more unusual when observing how much cash it has managed to accumulate. It projects a cash balance of $22 million over the next several years and has also actively sought to increase the credit rating to Triple A.”
What Litvak may not know is that higher credit ratings — and Triple A is the highest — lower the interest rates charged for any capital improvement bonds issued by an agency, like Mesa Water, and that in turn cuts the cost of repairing and replacing key infrastructure like water facilities and pipes.
Litvak’s comparison of Mesa Water’s cash reserves versus those of Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) clearly shows he didn’t do his homework. IRWD has held much of its capital in other hard assets, including office buildings, multifamily dwellings and retail properties. These holdings are actually less liquid instruments than the short-term paper in which IRWD (and Mesa Water) invests.
Regarding water rates increases, Litvak also failed to do his research. With the passing of Assembly Bill 32, regarding carbon regulation and energy — also known as the “green initiative” being forced by Sacramento on California — the cost of electricity is going up and most estimates that I have seen are close to 30%. Of course, pumping and distributing water uses electricity, and thus the laws passed in Sacramento lead to higher costs being passed on to all water ratepayers throughout the Southland.
Litvak went on to state, “Is Mesa Water looking to buy another agency, or is it looking for a suitor? But Mesa Water is a local government agency. Agencies don’t buy other agencies, nor do they sell themselves to other agencies. So what is afoot? Could it be that Mesa Water thinks it will be privatized? How and why could that happen?”
This entire line of questioning is ludicrous! Mesa Water is neither trying to sell nor buy another agency. The owners of Mesa Water are the ratepayers! How about that! Litvak tries hard to use every conspiracy theory angle he can come up with — from the election by the voters of a new board member to accusing the Republican Party of doing something sinister with the water board.
When questioning authority, I agree that we should ask the right questions. My question is simply this — what’s the real reason why Litvak is picking a bone with his spouse’s former employer?
HOWARD HULL is a 50-year resident of the City of Costa Mesa.