Mailbag: Mesa Water District is financially strong

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Mesa Water District appreciates public discourse. However, a letter in the Daily Pilot Mailbag, “Candidates are right about a water district’s woes, but what should be done?” (Oct. 13, 2022) contains false and misleading information.

Mesa Water is financially strong. In fact, Mesa Water consistently receives an AAA credit rating — the highest achievable by an organization — from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch rating agencies, it is the most efficient water agency in Orange County, based on the lowest expenditures per capita, and it has no unfunded pension liability.

We are continuously investing in our infrastructure, which has resulted in us having one of the lowest water loss percentages of any agency in California. We are currently constructing two new wells to increase local water production capacity, replacing mainline water valves throughout the service area, and upgrading the Mesa Water Reliability Facility, to ensure an abundant water supply.

The MWRF makes the district the only Orange County water agency to meet 100% of its community’s water needs with locally sourced water ensuring a drought-resilient water source for Mesa Water’s service area for generations to come. Local water is less costly than imported water from the Colorado River and Northern California.

Mesa Water customers receive safe, high-quality water from a transparent, efficient and fiscally responsible agency.

Paul E. Shoenberger, P.E.
Mesa Water District General Manager
resident of Costa Mesa

Sea level rise threatens N.B.'s future

Kudos to the Daily Pilot for publishing a resume on each of the candidates running for City Council in the cities covered by its circulation.

However, considering the current schism in the nation between those who pledge allegiance to the Constitution and the rule of law as opposed to those who would impose their will on the nation by use of force, I believe that the Daily Pilot erred in not asking one basic question to every single candidate: Do you believe that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump? Every voter has a right to know this.

Regarding the eight candidates running in Newport Beach, it is quite depressing though not surprising that only Jim Mosher has identified the real long term issues facing the city — sea level rise and airport impact. The latter is being addressed to a limited extent, mainly by the persistence of concerned citizens due to the increasingly debilitating effect on large segments of the city right now. However, sea level rise and its impact the harbor and on 18 miles of waterfront properties, is an orphan. The issue will not be resolved in one or two four-year terms, particularly by those council members who view their stint at the city as a farm club for higher political office and find it politically expedient to view climate change as a Chinese hoax. The catastrophic impacts of sea level rise are 20 to 25 years away. The possible mitigation scenarios need to be addressed now — research, preliminary engineering, financing, permitting and construction.

The city needs not one but four Jim Moshers — dedicated, apolitical, beholden to none, no hidden agenda, honest as the day is long, a true public servant just wanting to serve.

Jamshed Dastur
Balboa Island

Making a run for C.M. council

Former President John F. Kennedy once said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” Our current Costa Mesa City Council suffers from “groupthink,” where most votes are 6-1, divided by bitter ideological differences. Whether it’s a proposed Charter or removing our right to vote on large developments, our core mission should be to provide quality of life for residents and workers by collaboratively tackling tough problems. I’m an independent Democrat and public medical service professional who can’t be influenced.

I support regional homelessness solutions, offering similar quality services that will avoid shifting the unhoused, and reduce resource burden on our city. No more enabling neighbor cities. If they refuse, I support enhancing our police (including bicycle police) to enforce our anti-camping ordinance stringently, discouraging vagrancy and other petty crime.

On housing and development, I trust our voters, who want quality affordable housing options. Bringing in corporate developers to convert us into Santa Ana fuels gentrification, which is pushing poor black and brown people, including my siblings, out of Santa Ana.

I will work to find the best investment with a fair and safer balance between commuters, bikes, pedestrians and transit. For instance, my husband and I led our neighborhood in advocating for the cost-effective bike boulevard through Mesa Del Mar instead of a pricey and environmentally dangerous project in 2019 which didn’t even link destinations.

I hear a lot about parking and mobility. Working-class folks don’t have the luxury of living close to work or spending hours walking, biking or on the bus. I support bringing back the residential parking permit program with no fees, equitable participation for renters and low-income areas, and starting a shared parking agreement program between residences and businesses.

With your vote, we can begin this new dawn in Costa Mesa’s bright future together.

Jorge Miron
Candidate for Costa Mesa City Council District 3

The case for kindness, respect and Lisa Pearson

I remember being taught John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success at Lincoln Elementary School, but this wasn’t my first time learning it, as John Wooden was a legend in my home. My dad played volleyball at UCLA, and my mom, Lisa Pearson, received her master’s in education from UCLA. The Pyramid of Success teaches sincerity, honesty, reliability, integrity, loyalty and poise. While performing well academically was important in our household, my parents held these values above all else.

My mom came from a family of educators, and while she was teaching, she became one of the most popular teachers in her school. When I was born, she retired to focus on raising the family. Raising three children, one with a learning disability, has only furthered her compassion and underlies her promise to treat every student with kindness and respect.

If you haven’t heard of my mom, step outside and ask your neighbors about her. Her positive reputation precedes her. I saw it when I attended Lincoln Elementary and Corona del Mar Middle and High School. Teachers and students were quick to recognize the Pearson name because of her years of dedicated service to our schools.

We live in a community where reputation goes a long way. Being able to work with others and listen to opposing views is important when considering someone for a position of leadership. As you prepare to vote, I encourage you to think about the type of leader you would want representing you, your kids and our district on the school board. 

Lisa Pearson is the only school board candidate in Trustee Area 4 who has earned the respect of our community through years of service and leadership — always with kindness and respect. She is trusted by students, parents and leaders throughout our community.

Vote for my mom, Lisa Pearson, for our Newport-Mesa School Board Trustee, Area 4.

Maxwell Pearson
Newport Beach

Miller is the best for Newport

The arguments being used to tear down Tom Miller and prop up Joe Stapleton are misleading and need to be called out.

First, they deliberately overlook Tom’s record as a successful businessman and family man who has improved countless lives through his entrepreneurship, volunteer work and philanthropy. We should welcome the idea of having a self-made man with fresh ideas and hard-earned business and life experience on the Newport Beach City Council. The fact that Tom has spent his time in the real world rather than the Team Newport training school is actually a very good reason to vote for him.

Second, it’s hilarious that anyone would label Tom, who has called Newport home since 2016, a “relative newcomer.” Will O’Neill and Kevin Muldoon had lived here for fewer years when they were elected as part of “Team Newport” (aka “Team New to Newport”).

There’s no greater proof of Tom’s love for Newport Beach than the time and money he devoted to defeating the disastrous Measure B. The latter was designed to restructure our city government to transfer nearly all power to a single politician, presumably a Team Newport member. It was an attempt to destroy a voter-approved system of governance that has served us extremely well, all to allow the Team Newport members to further entrench themselves and gain even more control of our city’s agenda and future.

Joe Stapleton’s support for Measure B is totally at odds with his “Keep Newport, Newport” campaign slogan. Maybe a better tagline would be “Keep Newport Team Newport.”

I’ll be voting for Tom Miller to bring a wealth of business and life experience, as well as real independence, to the City Council. I urge you to do the same.

Gary Cruz
Newport Beach


We are approaching the moment for final decision on the elected leaders in our communities. In order to make the choice more clear, we thought that the comparison below may be helpful. Our family supports Tom Miller based on his leadership experience, and independence.


Tom Miller


Age: 60

Professional Achievement: Founder and CEO of multiregional auto services company. 850 employees

Politician: No

Measure B (Elect the mayor): Opposed and won

Controlled by others: Never = Independent

Day job: Retired. Plans to work full time for City Council

Availability: Available full time

Leadership experience: Steered his company through two down economic cycles

Joe Stapleton


Age: 38

Professional Achievement: co-founder and president of investment firm

Politician: Yes

Measure B (Elect the mayor): Supported and lost

Controlled by others: Supported by and indebted to Team Newport and developers

Day job: Mid-career financial advisor during this new financial crisis

Availability: Maybe at night when not focusing on clients

Leadership experience: Has never headed a large corporation during a crisis

Best Candidate: Tom Miller

Mike Dutton
Corona del Mar