By Raiza Giorgi

The Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Improvement District No.1 (“ID1”) has recently issued a vacancy which been created for Division 3 of the ID1 Board of Trustees by the resignation of ID1 Trustee Kevin Walsh, as he moves to the position of General Manager of Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District. Walsh takes over that position following the retirement of Bruce Wales. 

Added to news from the district is that ID1 General Manager Chris Dahlstrom is currently recovering from a heart attack and is recovering at home working part-time, Walsh said. His replacement until Dahlstrom is well enough to return is Paeter Garcia, who is also ID1’s legal counsel. 

“I know that Chris is working hard and should make a recovery over time,” Walsh said. 

Walsh added that he will be continuing the work to ensure that SYVRWCD rights are protected and that the Santa Ynez River Basin is in good shape. The district has until Jan. 1, 2021 to develop the Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) in accordance with Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). This law provides specific provisions for the State of California to step in if local GSAs do not develop adequate GSPs, or do not otherwise comply with SGMA. Thus, although groundwater may be regulated by the State, SGMA is an opportunity for local control, Walsh added. 

“We will be organizing a citizens committee for those interested in being engaged with the process to know more,” Walsh said. 

He said interested parties should contact the district’s office at (805) 693-1156. 

Walsh’s vacancy on the ID1 Board of Trustees will be filled by appointment by the Board of Directors of the District pursuant to Water Code section 75166.2.

The ID1 Board of Trustees is responsible for establishing the policy and direction of ID1. The Board consists of five representatives, four of whom are elected by division and one of whom is elected at-large. The individual appointed to fill the current vacancy will serve until a new Division 3 Trustee is elected and qualified through the next general election process scheduled for November 3, 2020.

The Division 3 Trustee that is elected and qualified through the November 2020 election process will serve the remainder of the current term for Division 3, which extends until the general election in November 2022 and thereafter until the individual elected in November 2022 is qualified. Individuals interested in being considered for appointment to the ID1 Board through November 2020 must submit an application on the form available at ID1’s office located at 3622 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez, CA 93460 or on ID1’s website at

Completed application forms must be received by ID1 on or before 5 p.m. on Monday, May 13, 2019. For purposes of this appointment, Water Code section 75166.2 states that each Trustee must be a registered voter and holder of title to land in Division 3 of ID No.1. Applicants previously convicted of certain felony crimes may not be eligible to hold public office in California.

The Board of Directors of the District plans to consider applications and make an appointment to fill the vacancy for Division 3 of the ID1 Board of Trustees at a Special Meeting of the District to be determined and noticed for a date occurring after May 13, 2019 at the Santa Ynez Community Services District Board Room, located at 1070 Faraday Street, Santa Ynez, CA 93460.

For more information contact Mary Martone, Secretary to the Board of the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Improvement District No.1, by mail at P.O. Box 157, Santa Ynez, CA 93460, or in person at 3622 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez, or by phone at (805) 688-6015.