This article is in a series of “Election Reality Check” pieces about the election for Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. The statements chosen are based on comments the candidates have made to Westlake Revelations about the other candidate, as well as reader questions.
Bowman uses the phrase “Proposed tank”: Is it really proposed? or committed?
Reality Check: Technically true. In reality, it’s misleading because it’s both.
When Las Virgenes Municipal Water District board members voted earlier this year to move forward with the 5 million gallon water storage tank in Three Springs, the vote was technically on whether to proceed with design. In a project like this, there are several votes that the Board will need to do before completion. For example, they may include votes on design, awarding of contract, and signing off of contract.
LVMWD’s Board voted already to proceed with the design.
The night of the vote, Director Joe Bowman was asked if the tank could be stopped. He correctly answered that the tank can be stopped at any stage along the process, but went on to explain that it would be unheard of for the current Board to stop a project after it went to design.
The next evening, Bowman presented to the Westlake Village council, and made a point of continually referring to the project as “The proposed tank” and “If the project is built” which are both technically accurate, but contradicted the clear indications he made from the LVMWD dais the night before.
The LVMWD Board of Directors has the ability to stop the tank project at any time. It would take three board members to vote to do so, and at least one board member (Director Steinhardt) is already against the tank proceeding. In all likelihood, it would require either a change in circumstances, base facts, or Board member make up for the Board to collectively change it’s mind and stop the tank.
Historically, it appears that LVMWD has never stopped a project once it has made it to the point in the process where the tank is currently. The further they get into the project, the less likely that is to happen because of the monies spent to date. The design stage the tank project is currently in is one of the less expensive stages.