November 1, 2002


Time for a Change at the Otay Water Board

The Otay Water Board has been an embarrassment, a shambles, since the last elections. The shenanigans that have been going on there have been well documented in the news medias and in court documents. And the voters have been waiting to make a change with this board.

On November 5, voters will finally have their chance to begin the process of bringing civility, professionals, and an ethical backbone to this dysfunctional board.

There are three seats that will be filled this year. Two are full term and the third is short term.

Seat No. 1 is an open seat with a slate of qualified candidates. Of the four candidates La Prensa San Diego endorses Carmelita Vinson for Seat No. 1. Vinson has a successful track record as a small businessperson, understands the needs of fellow business owners, as well as the business acumen to ask the right questions in operating the water district. Her long and lustrous career as a community volunteer – President of the Chamber of Commerce, Commissioner of the City of Chula Vista, and Volunteer of the Habitat for Humanity, avails her to the needs of the community. It is because of her business and community service background that we endorse Vinson for Seat No. 1.

For Seat No. 3 the incumbent Gary Croucher, who was appointed to replace Tony Innocentes, has used the Otay Water District for his personal financial gain as documented in a story published in La Prensa San Diego October 25, 2002 collecting per diem payments to the tune of $25,000 in one year and as such does not deserve a full term.

Of the remaining two candidates running we are endorsing Mark Watton to fill Seat No. 3. Watton has served on the water board in the past, which means he has the experience and the benefit of view the problems from afar and he has the knowledge to take the board back to the days when the board functioned smoothly and efficiently.

Seat No. 5, short term, is held by Paul Lewis and the best thing we can say about Mr. Lewis is that his name has not come up in any of the scandals and appears to be not a part of the problems with this board. As such we recommend that Lewis be re-elected to see if he can help the new board bring civility back to the board.

La Prensa San Diego Endorses

Carmelita Vinson
Seat No. 1

Mark Watton
Seat No. 3

Paul Lewis
For Seat No. 5

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