Badlands Journal editorial board
Merced Irrigation District! This group, which can't even handle its normal irrigation business without the odor of scandal, is supposed to be able to negotiate its relicensing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission? The state Department of Water Resources trusts MID to lead, plan and administer the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP "Ear-wimp")?
MID is a very shaky organization.
Following her dishonorable role in attempting to bankrupt the environmental groups that publicly sued the Riverside Motorsports Park project near her dairy while she and other farmers hid behind them and schemed against them, Suzy Hultgren was miraculously appointed to the county farm bureau board of directors and soon after won election to the board of the Merced Irrigation District. Evidently, her extensive family, with roots here and there all over the county, has decided to make Suzy its public face. Included in that family is her cousin, John Sweigard, who left his position on the west side as general manager of the Patterson Irrigation District and board member on the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority board.
So, in a year with a 55-percent snowpack in the Sierras and cuts in delivery amounts to irrigators in the district, MID sells 15,000 acre-feet to the San Luis Water District. The two public proponents of the sale are Sweigard, former board member of the SLDMWA, and Hultgren, his cousin, with Hicham Eltal, assistant general manager, trotting on behind. Read More »