Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Collusion? Bias? State Responds After Temperance Flat Vote.
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 6 years ago on
May 10, 2018

Share

Although never mentioned by name, Kristal Davis Fadtke became the villain in the eyes of a roomful of ticked-off politicians.
 


Kristal Davis Fadtke
Last Friday (May 4), a bipartisan group of Central Valley politicians lined up at the podium to let the world know how angry they were about the paltry funding awarded for their project.
The California Water Commission went with staff’s recommendation to grant the Temperance Flat Reservoir $171 million dollars. That’s only 16% of the more than $1 billion they sought from Proposition 1 dollars.
The speakers put much of the blame on the staffer who scored the project low on a key benefit that determined the overall award.
That staffer is Davis Fadtke, supervisor of the Water Storage Investment Program with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Davis Fadtke presented the findings to the commission at its May 1-3 meeting in Sacramento. She was one of 14 reviewers on the project.
Her department said that their funding recommendation met the letter of the law.

Temperance Supporters Unleash Wrath

A day after the May 3 vote, where the commission accepted the staff’s findings, a group of Temperance Flat supporters talked to the media at Fresno City Hall.
The group included Republicans and Democrats from the local, state and federal levels.
“The process that was used by the staff, in terms of the scoring and rating, I believe was flawed,” Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) said. He felt the project didn’t get enough credit for environmental protection.
Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) accused Davis Fadtke of collusion with environmental groups.

“I personally witnessed a mugging by the commission.”Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes
“We got denied over blind bias. I think the staff report of this particular individual was written or at least included all kinds of input from NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and from Sierra Club. We were not asked significantly to come to the table with an alternative approach to this. Because every time we ask, there isn’t one to satisfy what we want,” Patterson said.
Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes put it bluntly: “I personally witnessed a mugging by the commission. … They gave their responsibility away to the Fish and Wildlife service who had a license to steal.”

Fish and Wildlife Responds

Fish and Wildlife responded to GV Wire on behalf of Davis Fadtke. It said that the law was strictly followed in formulating the recommended funding awards.
“We understand the concern and passion voiced by supporters of Temperance Flat and other proposed water storage projects. We share the desire to see as many storage projects as possible receive Proposition 1 funding,” spokesperson Jordan Traverso emailed to GV Wire.
“Department staff followed the regulations and statutory direction of Proposition 1 in its review of Temperance Flat and all other projects. Staff reviewers have been transparent in how they arrived at their recommendations. There is no basis for suggesting otherwise.”

Devil is in the Details

Voters approved Prop. 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, with 67% of the vote. Many supporters touted money for water storage projects, especially in the Valley.
However, Prop. 1 changed the Water Code. Specifically, Chapter 8, Section 79756 (b) which reads:
“No project may be funded unless it provides ecosystem improvements as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 79753 that are at least 50 percent of total public benefits of the project funded under this chapter.”

Temperance Flat Scoring

The staff report broke down the public benefits (Appeal Response, see page 7) into five different categories, attaching a monetary recommendation with it. The breakdown:

Public Benefit Recommendation (in millions) CWC Vote
Ecosystem— Fishery Improvement for Spring-run Chinook Salmon $0 4-3 in favor
Ecosystem— Refuge Water Supply $85.7 7-0 in favor
Flood Control $104.3
Emergency Response $210.7
Recreation $100 5-1 in favor (one abstention)
Total $500.7

Initially, the staff recommended $0 for the recreation component; the commission added $100 million by a 5-1 vote.
Despite the $500.7 million recommended, only $171 million (double the ecosystem funding of $85 million) applied toward Temperance Flat’s funding.
The area that held back Temperance Flat was the $0 for the salmon, a view many supporters vigorously disagreed with.
“Temperance Flat applicants were not able to demonstrate a net ecosystem benefit that could be substantiated by staff as required by Prop. 1,” DFW’s Traverso said. “While not as much as the applicants were seeking, it still shows the state is willing to be an investment partner.”
Mario Santoyo, executive director of the San Joaquin Water Infrastructure Authority (which oversees the Temperance Flat effort), said that if the bond had passed when initially proposed in 2009, the project wouldn’t have funding problems. In the interim, a Democrat (Jerry Brown) replaced a Republican (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as governor.
Santoyo said lawmakers added the section that Davis Fadtke and her staff used to score the salmon public benefit in 2014. That compromise legislative language was necessary to get the proposition on the ballot.
It also led to the low ecology score.
[Update, 5/11/18: Doug Obegi, attorney with NRDC, said the 2009 version of the bond language did not change. “Proposition 1 included identical language to the 2009 proposed water bond regarding ecosystem benefits of water storage projects.” Obegi, as well as Santoyo, testified at the California Water Commission.]

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

DON'T MISS

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

UP NEXT

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

UP NEXT

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

UP NEXT

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

UP NEXT

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

UP NEXT

Finding an Apartment May Be Easier for California Pet Owners Under New Legislation

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

6 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

18 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

18 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

19 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

20 hours ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have Execute It’: FUSD Board President

20 hours ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

20 hours ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

21 hours ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

22 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

23 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

You might have noticed that the tangy taste of pickles has taken over more than just the condiment aisle. From pickle-flavored popcorn to pi...

5 hours ago

5 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

5 hours ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

6 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

6 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

18 hours ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

18 hours ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

19 hours ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

20 hours ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend