SJC City Council Candidate Statement: Kim McCarthy

Member of editorial board at the Common Sense newsletter wants to bring her fighting spirit to City Hall.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Patch is running each candidate's statement on file with the City Clerk's office on consecutive days in the order the names will appear on the ballot.

NAME: Kim McCarthy


Out of control water bills, traffic, increasing debt … vote for me to stop this insanity. My name is Kim McCarthy, a 12-year resident of SJC, wife and mother of three. I was born and raised in Michigan and am a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit. Since moving to SJC I have:

Consistently attended City Council meetings to stay informed about local issues that affect all residents.

Completed the city’s Leadership Academy course on local government to familiarize myself with city operations.

Implemented and served on the Community Issues Ad-Hoc Committee

For the past 2 ½ years, served on the editorial board of the Capistrano Common Sense (www.ccsense.com) to get the facts to you.

Staunchly supported the establishment of the Capistrano Taxpayers Association (www.capotax.org)

Volunteer for: www.homefrontamerica.org and www.arkofsanjuan.org.

I will fight to reduce local taxation through reduction of water/sewer rates, permits and ticketing fees. I will fight to maintain local infrastructure including your neighborhood streets, and rein in wasteful spending on consultants. I will listen to your solutions to improve traffic flow and other local issues. Vote for me if you want a fighter for your quality of life. Please visit my website: www.commonsense4SJC.com.


Clint Worthington September 01, 2012 at 10:23 PM
wschrimp, you state about people using your real name, yet I cannot find your name in the phone book or a name recognized by the registrar of votors. You can easily find my name on Facebook. I can't find anything for you. Anyway, if you carefully read her candidate statement it will answer many of your questions. I am curious though, last Thanksgiving she hosted 12 Marines at her home for Thanksgiving who could not be with their families. She did not know any of them. All of them called also called their families at home on her dime. What did you do?
Clint Worthington September 01, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Sharon Y, maybe you should read the lawsuit against the City regarding the water. I have. What you are stating is factually incorrect. The lawsuit does not ask for damages anywhere in the lawsuit. It requires the City to follow the law regarding Propostition 218 and to purchase water from the cheapest supplier. I would suggest that you read the lawsuit before you state things that are factually not true.
Clint Worthington September 01, 2012 at 10:32 PM
wschrimp, in order to throw stones, you must have a long history of volunteering your time at a school. I am curious, which school was it and when? Kim McCarthy has volunteered many hours helping kids. I wish I had half the energy she does volunteering.
Clint Worthington September 01, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I am curious, then why don't you list your accomplishments?
Stephanie Frisch September 01, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Wow, Kim looks very pretty when she smiles. I don't think I've ever seen her smile before.
SJCfamily September 01, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Stephanie - you obviously don't know Kim McCarthy - she smiles alot and has a great sense of humor. And I agree with you; she does have a pretty smile!
Clint Worthington September 02, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Stephanie, I agree. I wish I could have as great of a smile as she does.
Tony Brown September 02, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Kim is one of the most beautiful women in SJC, inside and out....and she is just about the funniest person I know. We've laughed ourselves hoarse a lot over the last several years. When it comes to community issues though, she means business and is very focused. Nobody has more courage than Kim when it comes to standing up for values and principles. That's why I'm voting for her...She WILL get it done.
Clint Worthington September 02, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Sharon Y, is it wrong to change a publically funded service? Did you not notice our City is broke? Our City can no longer afford to publically fund all the services it has in the past. Because of Allevato and other Council Members incredible spending we have zero dollars saved for a new City Hall. Zero. The GWRP had a 8 million dollar deficit and the water rate payers have been paying principal and interest payments on a 18 million dollar bond that never ever was issued because the City's financial statements were so fiscally unsound. We cannot afford a person any longer like Sam Allevato. We can afford someone like Kim McCarthy who will say no and cut the spending. Remember it was Sam Allevato who gave tremendous praise to City Managers Joe Tait's $324,000 a year salary, the 15th highest in the nation according to MSNBC. I have known Kim for quite a few years, and she knows how to cut costs.
Tom Lowry September 02, 2012 at 02:22 AM
If you want to read what Mrs. McCarthy is really about and stands for then read her many posts on her own website at http://www.ccsense.com/search/label/McCarthy. It might be an eye opener.
Kim September 02, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Wow, we will all have her contagious smile when she wins. Tony Brown, I agree totally, we need more people to stand up for values and principles. It is clear she is a person of integrity, quality and substance, and will move this City in a positive direction. Can't wait to congratulate the future Councilwoman Kim McCarthy on her winning night!
laura pasqua September 02, 2012 at 03:52 PM
shes got my vote....
Susan A. Mather September 02, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I have not lived in San Juan for a long time but I have been a reader of Capistrano Common Sense for over two years. It arrived on my drive way in 2010 and I was shocked to read all that was going on. The incredible waste of millions of dollars in a water plant, stupid spending on bus shelters, the flushing of hundreds of thousands of dollars in to a plan for a "new downtown" and the worst of all $27 Million on a piece of land that could never have been developed because half of it is US Govt.protected land the other half has an electrical power grid and a liquid petroleum fuel pipeline running underground. So what does this have to do with Kim McCarthy you will say? From what I have read she will raise a stink about all this useless spending and get SJC back into surplus and lower our water rates significantly just for starters. We need to establish a strong rainy day fund and then improve our image later when we can afford it. I have met Kim McCarthy and she pledged to me she would do all this and more. My vote goes to her.
Rhen Kohan September 03, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Susan and Laura....After reading all of these posts, my vote goes to Kim McCarthy too. The feeling from the posts by wschrimp feel mean spirited and needless and on the level of high school verbal jousting. The facts are there...among many topics, our water rates are too high due to the City mishandling. The lawsuit will benefit us all as filed by CTA and I support it. I believe Kim will address this as well as other matters that need to be addressed, such as the SDG&E sub station upgrade.
Joanna Clark October 12, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I am also concerned about the increasing price of water. I've installed automatic faucets, drip irrigation, and water barrels to collect rain, and still my water bill increases. The unpleasant fact is that water isn't going to get cheaper, its going to get more expensive. We lose about 30% of the water coming down the California aquaducts to evaporation. Climate change is having a disasterous effect on the annual snow pack. Lake Mead's water level has been dropping at the rate of 10 feet per year. It is predicted that Lake Mead could be a dry lake bed by the end of 2014. Desal is horribly expensive, so that isn't a solution. So, Kim, I would like to know what you propose as solutions.
SJCfamily October 12, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I'm not Kim, but you can read her proposed solutions to the high water rates on the campaign website at: www.commonsense4sjc.com under "issues". There's a couple of issues listed there, including water.
wschrimp October 12, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Hi Joanna. You are right on so many levels. Much of the complaining about the water rates is very short sighted, since every expert has been saying that unless there is some miracle weather pattern change, the cost of imported water is going to skyrocket in the coming years due to this issues you mentioned. This plant may be costing us more now (there still is little proof of this) but it is going to save us big time in the coming years since we will not have to import as much water as our neighboring cities and then we will see who pays the most for water.
SJCfamily October 12, 2012 at 08:09 PM
wschrimp- This is what I've learned from researching this issue. First, we ratepayers paid $38 million to build the water plant (it will be around $78 million by the time the loan is paid off with interest). We don't own it, and when our lease expires we will only be entitled to about 25% of the water - that's IF the lease is renegotiated for that amount. The yearly costs to operate the plant are as follows: P&I on the bond (loan) - about $2.2 milion per year (this figure may actually be higher; I'm doing this from memory) Employee comp & benefits - $2.4 million Electricity - $900,000 Repairs /filter replacements - $ 250,000. This is an on-going problem and thus an on-going cost. My understanding is that because of the poor water quality, it must be pushed through the filter membranes at a high volume which causes them to rupture. Repairs /pipes, etc - unknown but is millions thus far; our soil is corrosive so eats through pipes and wells which should have been built with stainless steel but weren't. Replacement is costly. We've replaced some but not all from my understanding. Also, we are being charged to repay a bond (loan) that was never issued, which is costing about $110,000/month Hope this helps explain why this plant costs nearly twice as much to run than if we bought the water elsewhere (MWD water is about half the cost). We can never be "water independent". We have to buy water elsewhere to blend with ours.
wschrimp October 12, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Name one city in this state that is water independent? I am not disputing your numbers, however did the people doing this research compare the numbers to similar water facilities to see if they are out of line with others? Can you say that similar plants do not cost the same to construct, run and maintain? The idea that we are paying so much more than everyone else is not true. MWD is not less expensive than ours! I guess none of the people responsible for this research ever lived in a Mello Roos District, like Aliso Viejo. Sure the water seems high here, but only because you are paying it all up front. While living in Aliso Viejo, we thought our water costs were very low until we factored in the large amount we had to pay annually with our property taxes for the Water Bond. The amount Mouton Niguel Water charges for water is offset by the multi millions they receive annually by these water bonds. Factor that in and San Juans rates do not look out of line at all and in fact in the long term, San Juan will wind up paying less over the long term than these other areas that have water bonds.
Clint Worthington October 12, 2012 at 10:05 PM
As schrimp. You wrote "the plant may be costing us more now (there is little proof of this)". Did you miss that the GWRP had an over an 8 million dollar deficit ? That deficit I over 8 million dollars in taxpayer money.
Clint Worthington October 12, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Ws schrimp, the cost of water from the MWD is $780.00 per acre foot (source, letter from Utility Director Keith Van Der Maaten that was sent to every water user when the bills were over 30 days late). The cost to produce water is just under $1,400 an acre foot (source, SJC Utility Department water dashboard report found on the City website). As you can see, it is cheaper to purchase water from the MWD than manufacture our own. The MWD has provided our City water through two world wars, earthquakes, and drought without missing a beat. The GWRP has never lived up to its expectations in eight years. So Mr. Schrimp, would you rather go with an entity that has cheaper water and has successfully cprovided water to our City for over 100 years ? Or, would you rather go with water that costs almost twice as much, a GWRP that has no emergency generators, a plant that is unable to produce water during a drought, a plant that has no reliability record in eight years. Which makes more sense to you Mr. Schrimp?
SJCfamily October 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM
wschrimp- In response to your question: "Name one city in this state that is water independent?"; I suggest that you direct that question to Mayor Larry Kramer and Councilmembers Sam Allevato & John Taylor; they are the ones claiming that the benefit of maintaining "our own" water plant (even though we don't own it) is "water independence".
Joanna Clark October 12, 2012 at 11:30 PM
This may be all true, SJCfamily, but the simple fact is we are running out of water. The earth can sustain about 2 billion people. We have already surpassed 7 billion, of which 2 billion live in water stressed areas. In 2000 the CIA "Global Trends - 2015" report stressed that we would be fighting wars over fresh water by 2015. That is less than 3 years away. With Lake Mead water levels dropping by 10 foot a year, with predictions that it will be a dry lake bed by the end of 2014, and Las Vegas seeking to build a pipe line some 1800 miles to the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio. Desal is not really an option. It is horribly expensive and not environmentally friendly, so what would you propose as a solution?.
Clint Worthington October 12, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Joanna Clark, are we talking about solving the worlds water supply? Or are you talking about the water in San Juan?
Joanna Clark October 12, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Well Clint, if the world well runs dry, where does that leave us? Are we an island unto ourselves? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the bulk of our water comes from the Colorado River and Northern California through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Metropolitan Water District is proposing advance wateruse efficiency through conservation and recycling, and with further local development such as groundwater recovery and seawater desalination. If Lake Mead goes belly up, as predicted, remaining water sources which we share with millions of other people up and down the state will be even more stressed. So we are going to have to work with others, outside of San Juan, if we are to survive. Given the cost both financially and environmentality, I don't see desal as a first solution to our problem.
Clint Worthington October 13, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Joanna Clark , if the world runs dry of water, we truly have other problems at hand to then worry about. With all due respect, I truly do not see our GWRP which does not have any type of success rate supplying water to the world. Keep in mind, that the GWRP pumps water from the underground water table. In times of drought, the water table drops rendering the GWRP useless . In addition, the expenses for the GWRP have been enormous due to the pre-mature failure of pumps, wells, and filters as the water table is dropping below the approximate 130 foot level causing the pumps to bring up increasingly dirty water which the pumps and wells were not designed for. You can read about all of this, in the city's website on the utility department agenda.
Joanna Clark October 13, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Clint, I am not talking about providing water to the world. I am asking you where we get the bulk of our water supply? Ground water and fossil aquifers are running dry all over the planet. We are dependent on the water we buy from other sources, most of which comes from the Colorado River and Norther California through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Others here in southern California are dependent on the same sources. Everyone, including myself, would like to see the cost of water come down. But as population increases and clean drinking water becomes more scarce, cost isn't going to come down, it is going to go up. The question is "What do we do then?" Do we privatize the GWRP, in order to get out from under the cost? I, for one, would not recommend privatization as a solution. Privatization of water resources has a long history of failure--e.g. Bolivia, Stockton, Atlanta, Milwaukee, to name a few. I don't have the answers, but one thing I do know, the problem is far far bigger than the GWRP.
SJCfamily October 13, 2012 at 05:45 AM
"joanna" - WE can't privatize the GWRP - we don't own it.
Joanna Clark October 13, 2012 at 07:40 AM
SJCfamily - Ok, we don't own it... but your answer doesn't help solve the problems facing us. I'm looking for potential solutions. Maybe the GWRP was a good idea when it was first conceived, maybe it was a bad idea. Either way, It was never a permanent solution to the problems that we will be facing10, 20 years down the road. If the earth continues to warm, we will lose our glaciers, winter snow packs will continue to grow smaller with each passing year, reservoirs like Lake Powell and Lake Mead will become dry lake beds, and our water allotment from Northern California will diminish. Compound these problems with a population predicted to grow from 3.05 million to 3.99 million over the next couple of decades and we will have a major disaster on our hands. So what do you suggest we do to solve these problems? We can buy some time by learning how to conserve water. And we can buy some more time by learning to recycle existing water. Capturing waste water from our sinks, laundry, and showers, and using it to flush our toilets can reduce household water consumption by as much as 35%.
shelly October 25, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Ms. McCarthy, Is this your view of the people in SJC, "“So, if you are wondering why you see so many pregnant Latinas and male Latinos not at work, with their well-dressed, well-fed, well-accessorized families, driving their new SUV’s or trucks around town, now you will understand. They come over the border, move in with their families, put their kids in school, are fed breakfast and lunch virtually for free, then they are directed to CHEC who hooks them up with tax-payer funded money and services galore.” Capistrano Dispatch, Kim McCarthy, April 24, 2009.


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