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Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, candidate for county supervisor to represent the Ojai Vally and Ventura: 'Nobody is going to be adjudicating the watershed'

1 30 Cooper Quirk LAVEREOWEB

Photo by Greg A. Cooper

Matt LaVere, Ventura mayor, attorney, candidate for 1st District supervisor to represent the Ojai Valley and Ventura.

Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, an attorney, said at the Thursday, Jan. 30, city of Ventura public meeting, held at Matilija Auditorium, regarding the thousands of legal notices and summonses delivered to Ojai Valley and Ventura residents' mailboxes and doorsteps this month regarding water use, in front of a standing-room only crowd:

“I know a lot of you in this room are angry at me. And I can't say I blame you.

“The fact that 12,000 of you got that notice without warning or without explanation is simply unacceptable and I am ashamed that it happened on my watch as mayor.

"We ... I'm joined here by my deputy mayor Sofia Rubalcava…. we were given really bad advice. We were told that if you were a metered water customer, that if you paid your water bill to a water company, that you had nothing to do with this lawsuit, and the actions we took were based on that advice, and that advice was wrong. And I am here to own that tonight.

"I was asked by my colleagues on the City Council to deliver a message tonight.

"And that is that we would never in a million years have voted to needlessly bring in 12,000 people in Ventura and Ojai to a lawsuit which they have nothing to do with.

"I also want to relay this message, though:

I've heard from a lot of you… 

"It was a nightmare what we put a lot of you through, the fear we put you through, the anguish. And what I heard was that: 'Please don't take our water. Why don't you work, why don't you collaborate with the water users in the valley, and across the watershed and figure out a physical solution? Adjudication is not the answer.’

“And I'm here tonight to say — and these experts behind me are going to further back that up — is that is exactly what we are doing. Nobody is going to be adjudicating the watershed.

“All of the users have agreed to come together to collaborate, to work together on a physical solution that is not going to impact anybody's water rights.

“The primary users are going to come together and we're going to do a physical solution, just like so many of you suggested and we're going to come together and we're going to do what is right for the watershed.

“Settlement is so close, we’re are almost there. We’re going to do the right thing."

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