I sincerely appreciate the readers of the Highland Community News who contacted me after reading I was officially reprimanded at the last board meeting of the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District for drinking a bottle kombucha at a board workshop. They were upset by what they read and so am I.

Kombucha is a fermented tea product sold in the refrigerated delicatessen section of our local grocery stores. It is delicious but also popular because it aids in digestion. I began drinking it to control colitis naturally.

No one drinks Kombucha because it contains a small amount of naturally occurring alcohol from the fermentation process or notices it “may contain one-half of one percent alcohol by volume” on the label.

How much alcoholic is that compared to popular alcoholic beverages?

Beer contains 5 percent alcohol by volume; wine contains 11 percent alcohol by volume and a shot of scotch contains 60 percent alcohol by volume.

That means a person would have to drink 10 bottles of kombucha for the equivalent alcohol of one beer,  22 bottles of kombucha for the equivalent alcohol of one glass of wine or 120 bottles of kombucha for the equivalent alcohol of a shot of scotch.

So why was Kombucha used to reprimand me for “consuming an alcoholic beverage in a public place” just 73 days before facing re-election on the statewide general election on Nov. 6?

I contend, and others agree, that it was a blatant attempt to influence an election. Just like the attempt two weeks earlier, when the board abruptly ended my term as President (four months early) with no cause given.

Why try to influence an election? Because two of the directors that participated in these acts have endorsed someone else.

Director June Hayes of Rialto and Director Mark Bulot of Redlands want voters in Division 3 to elect former San Bernardino City Councilwoman Wendy McCammack instead of me.  

Voters in San Bernardino however remember recalling  McCammack in 2013  shortly after the city went bankrupt. Voters singled her out as the member of the City Council they held personally responsible for decisions that lead to insolvency.

No one should meddle in elections. It is the one time that voters get to determine who represents us in the government. It’s the way it should be.

Politicians who use public meetings to put “blood in the water” for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election aren’t fooling anyone.

That is why I filed a complaint with the San Bernardino County Public Integrity Unit asking them to investigate. I do not know whether it is illegal for politicians to use a public agency they serve on to influence an election. But it’s certainly a question that needs to be answered.”

Submitted by Director Susan Longville represents Division 3 that includes most of the north side of San Bernardino including 32 percent of the properties served by East Valley Water District.

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