Opinion

Wheeler debate?

Dear Editor,

While I understand the necessity for time constraints and structured formats, I found the May 1 Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce "Candidates Night" to be a milque-toast, benign event where no tough questions or issues were adequately addressed.

I also find it disappointing and curious that Supervisor Wheeler declines to debate Mr. Cliby — apparently with his extensive financial resources and the community saturated with his signs, he sees no benefit to engaging Mr. Cliby any more than minimally required.

Yet I still have questions for Mr. Wheeler:

1. At a Wheeler Town Hall meeting, Mr. Wheeler stated "water is the lifeblood of the mountains" and remembered when Coarsegold Creek ran year around. At the Elks Lodge last week, Mr. Wheeler stated that McCaffrey Homes would be receiving water from MID (Madera Irrigation District), which is comprised of water emanating from the Sierra foothills, including Willow Creek, and designated for agricultural use.

How is it that Mr. Wheeler voted to support the sale of water derived from our district for agricultural use, to a developer (coincidentally one of Mr. Wheeler's two largest contributors per Sierra Star) wishing to build 5,000+ homes in another district, even when many of our own mountain residents are concerned about their water supply? Not to mention, Madera County runs a 22,000 acre feet water deficit annually, even without a drought.

2. Also in the Sierra Star, MDS Enterprises donated $910 to Mr. Wheeler's campaign, yet I could find no phone listing or company by that name in our area. Who is/are MDS Enterprises?

Mr. Wheeler owes it to the voters of District 5 to openly debate Mr. Cliby, and thoroughly address these and any other issues/questions his constituents may have, even those of us who have not yet decided to vote for Mr. Wheeler.

Coleen Seifert, Coarsegold

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