Barger working to fill seat vacated by Acosta on water board

Dante Acosta being sworn in as a member of the SCV Water Board. Signal photo, Jim Holt

L.A. County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger has been interviewing candidates to replace Dante Acosta, who resigned from his position as the county’s representative on the SCV Water Agency’s board last week.

“We are looking at a number of qualified candidates to fill the position and expect to notify the board with a decision as soon as possible,” Barger spokesman, Tony Bell, wrote in an email Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, in a bid to reduce the size of the board, its members voted to send the supervisor a letter asking her to consider “retiring” the position altogether, rather than filling the spot.

The county’s seat on the agency board became available last week, when Acosta announced he was moving to Texas.

On Tuesday night, at the close of the meeting, board President Bill Cooper seized the chance to reduce the size of the board and suggested writing a letter to Barger “outlining legislation which speaks to reducing the size of the board.”

“I would like her to consider retiring the position to the board,” he told board members.

Board member Jerry Gladbach told Cooper and the rest of the board that interviews of candidates were underway “because there were several who had applied.”

Staffers with Barger’s office would not disclose who has been interviewed for the position.

It was through attrition that the newly-created agency with 15 board members was reduced to 13 over 12 months.

When the SCV Water Agency was created on Jan. 1, 2018, it saw the merging of two boards — one representing the now defunct Castaic Lake Water Agency and one representing the also defunct Newhall County Water District.

The board was reduced from 15 to 14 directors in April, 2018, when director Bill Pecsi announced he would be moving away.

The board was further reduced in February 2019  when directors had to decide what to do with the seat vacated by long-standing local water board member Jacque McMillan, who retired from her seat.

The board seized the opportunity to reduce its size.

On Feb. 5, members voted to “resign” McMillan’s board position, leaving them with 13 members.

On Tuesday, members backed Cooper’s pitch to try and convince Barger to do the same thing with Acosta’s position.

Acosta, a former 38th District Assemblyman, was sworn in as the newest member of the SCV Water Agency board in January, after having been nominated to the post by Barger.

Since January, he represented L.A. County’s Waterworks District 36 in Val Verde.
[email protected] 661-287-5527 On Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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