Seckel is currently the District Engineer and Assistant General Manager at MWDOC, from which he is retiring after 37 years.
Seckel’s opponent, Stacy Lynne Taylor, has worked in public relations under various titles (currently “water policy manager”) for 10 years at Mesa Water in Costa Mesa.
(Technically, Seckel is also running against Allan Mansoor, a barely memorable career politician and the former Minuteman mayor of Costa Mesa. In 2013, as a member of the State Assembly, Mansoor signed a letter of support for the Poseidon ocean desalination project proposal. He has little if any relevant water policy experience at any level. Suffice to say that he has absolutely none of the qualifications that Karl Seckel has for the job of waterboard director. That’s it.)
*Karl Seckel holds a Master of Science Degree from the University of Maryland and is licensed by the state of California as a civil engineer. His opponent, Stacy Taylor, has a Bachelor’s Degree in economics from UCLA where she also took extension classes in marketing and communications.
*Karl Seckel negotiated an $85 million refund form the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MET) for the sale of the $100 million AMP. And he was involved in building, financing, and operations of several AMP expansions. His opponent, Stacy Taylor, has no known similar experience.
*Karl Seckel’s decades of relationship building with the MET, which supplies imported water to the region, gave him unequaled working knowledge of MET policies and operations, allowing him to better serve the needs of MWDOC’s 28 water agencies. His opponent has no such experience.
*Karl Seckel helped conduct reliability studies for emergency water deliveries and general water reliability. His opponent has no such experience.
*From 2004 to 2013 Karl Seckel led research efforts toward possible construction of a subsurface ocean desalination plant on Doheny State Beach. The project would supply up to 15,000 acre-feet of reliable drinking water for south Orange County water districts that have to import most of their water. Subsurface technology is far less damaging to marine life than the surface intake technology that Poseidon would use, which causes mass destruction of marine life. Seckel’s opponent Stacy Taylor, on behalf of her employer Mesa Water, campaigned for and supports the Poseidon project.
The Poseidon project would kill masses of marine life, increase greenhouse gas emissions, and cost ratepayers three times as much for the same amount of cheaper water they already get from the MET. The main beneficiaries would be outside investors, not Orange County ratepayers.
Seckel’s study directly compared eight water reliability supply alternatives for the Orange County basin, including the Poseidon project, which ranked a distant last in every scenario.
In a concise white paper, Seckel rejects the Poseidon project. “Let me say right up front that I believe the Poseidon Project is NOT a good solution to water availability issues facing our region and not a good project for our area….It will cost the local residents much more than the value we might receive from it.”
In contrast to Karl Seckel’s transparent response to voters’ questions about the Poseidon scam, Stacy Taylor has been evasive and misleading. Do not be fooled by her false claim that MWDOC will not have a vote on the Poseidon project, which is being led by the Orange County Water District (OCWD), the agency that manages our groundwater basin.
Also, the OCWD has to go through the MWDOC Board of Directors to get a $399 million public subsidy that Poseidon needs to make its project viable to investors.
To sell its water, Poseidon needs a compliant board of directors at MWDOC. And it would certainly also like to prevent anymore studies that downplay the need for its project.
Right now, Karl Seckel is Poseidon’s biggest single obstacle to its greedy quest for profit for itself and its investors at the ratepayers expense.
That’s why Poseidon VP, Scott Maloni, and other corporate special interests, picked Taylor as the beneficiary of $68,766 of “independent expenditures” (a legal euphemism for “I own you”). That’s $36,308 from Poseidon and $32,458 from billionaire Kieu Hoang and Behr Paints tycoon John V. Croul.
In fact, Poseidon is trying to buy off the entire MWDOC board majority as well as seats on the OCWD and Mesa Water by spending $147,792.46 (as of Oct. 19).
Seckel writes in his Poseidon white paper that, “These expenditures are legal…but are they right?”
Of course they’re not right. Vote for Karl Seckel anytime between now and Nov. 3rd.
John Earl is the publisher and editor for the Surf City Voice and Poseidon Town. In the late 1980s, he covered local politics for the Huntington Beach News. In 2005, he was a founding member and first president of Residents for Responsible Desal, which he left in 2006 to become editor of the print newspaper, OC Voice.