Sept. 12, 2013
Tim Dewar, email@example.com
The next step in determining who will supply water to 2,900 homes in Ojai is scheduled to be taken Monday.
Superior Court Judge Mark Borrell will hold a status conference to discuss the outcome of the Aug. 27 Measure V election. Borrell could set a hearing date on a Golden State Water Company (GSWC) lawsuit, filed in March that sought to vacate resolutions adopted by Casitas Municipal Water District (CMWD) that set in motion a potential takeover of the private company through the formation of a community facilities district (CFD) funded by Measure V’s property tax.
Borrell ruled in early June that he would wait until after the election before taking up the question of whether the Mello-Roos funding mechanism could legally be used to fund the CFD. He said the suit would be rendered moot if Measure V did not pass.
The fact that nearly 88 percent of those voting approved of the measure, means that both sides will appear in the Ventura County Superior Court’s courtroom 43 at 8:30 a.m. Monday. The conference is open to the public
When asked if CMWD officials were concerned at all that Borrell might side with GSWC, Casitas attorney Jeffrey Oderman said Thursday, “The district does not feel it would be respectful of the court to say in advance of a court hearing/trial that the district is not “concerned at all.” That said, the district believes its position is legally sound and it is optimistic the court will rule in favor of its authority to use Mello Roos funding.”
Oderman added that if the litigation is resolved in Casitas’ favor, the district is prepared to complete an appraisal of GSWC’s Ojai service area, sell the bonds necessary to finance the acquisition and move forward with the acquisition process.
When asked what CMWD would do if Borrell ruled against it, Oderman added, “No comment. Needless to say, the district does not anticipate this result.”
GSWC officials declined to comment.