Byron, CA (November 24, 2015) – At a regular board meeting Monday, Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) initiated an open, transparent line of communication among the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and the Discovery Bay Community Services District (DBCSD) related to a possible detachment process of overlapping service areas. Currently, the property tax revenue paid by the affected residents of the Town of Discovery Bay helps ensure the future water supply of the growing residential community. Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Piepho’s Chief of Staff Tomi Riley addressed the BBID Board, clarifying some issues and participating in much of the discussion.
“We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to speak directly on this matter in an open, public forum,” said BBID Board President Russell Kagehiro. “This meeting set a stage toward positive progress, working collaboratively with all interested parties. While Supervisor Piepho was unable to attend the meeting, we appreciate Ms. Riley bringing light to some of our primary concerns.”
The BBID agenda item was in response to the November 17 Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors’ action asking the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) in San Joaquin County to consider the detachment of portions of the Town of Discovery Bay from BBID. Contra Costa County’s pursuit of detachment concerns the BBID Board of Directors as it represents a hasty, premature step with unknown implications. In Ms. Riley’s comments, she specifically addressed inconsistencies in recent communications from Piepho’s office concerning BBID’s finances.
“We need to slow down the train,” added Kagehiro. “This discussion was essential to ensure we maintain an open dialogue with all stakeholders. There are many potential consequences with detachment. This is not a decision that can be made too hastily, and the conversation needs to include everyone.”
Rick Howard, general manager of the DBCSD, addressed the BBID Board and commented that the Town of Discovery Bay had not taken a formal position on this matter, but also welcomed the open communication among agencies. Also present at the meeting were more than a dozen BBID agricultural customers and several Discovery Bay residents.
“As this matter heads to LAFCO, we look forward to participating openly with our neighboring agencies recognizing the interests of all constituents,” said BBID Board Vice President Tim Maggiore. “This is a long road ahead that requires thoughtful evaluation and analysis.”