On November 30th, Director Forguson presided over his last North Yuba Water District board meeting. The meeting was short, only thirty minutes. After the board attended to some routine agenda items, Director Ferguson took a few minutes to address the board and members of the public. He warned the board that he felt closed door meetings might soon become public.

He praised the board for being, in his words, the best board the NYWD has ever had. Indeed, the NYWD has made some great accomplishments in the past two years. Debts are paid off; the accounting is in the black; the district has a new excavator; a new fleet of vehicles; some bad sections of the ditch in the Oregon House area are now piped; the engineering plans for piping the Forbestown Ditch are complete and it appears the funding is available to move this project along.

All in all, the NYWD has done a good job putting their house in order. However, for the next year at least, the availability of irrigation water is dependent on the snowpack feeding Dry Creek. Only time will tell what will happen next year, but current long range forecasts indicate a wetter and warmer than normal winter season. Warmer temperatures mean little or no snow.

The NYWD has much to say about what is has accomplished, and an effective public relations effort is crucial to the public’s perception of transparency. The NYWD may not have control over the weather but it does have control over the message it delivers to its customers and the public. Public relations matter.

Charles Sharp

Oregon House, Ca.

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