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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Special District

Casitas Municipal Water District Division 5Candidate for Director, Division 5

Photo of Russ Baggerly

Russ Baggerly

Director, Casitas Municipal Water District
3,062 votes (54.91%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Finish the aquisition of Golden State Water Company and protect the citizens of Ojai.
  • Find new water resources for CMWD to withstand the drought.
  • Finish the removal of Matilija Dam and restore the Ventura River Ecosystem.



Russ Baggerly


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Senior Administrative Assistant to Ventura County Supervisor, Policy and Political Analyst, Environmental Consultant, Small Businessman

Record of effective policy research and development of county and state legislation

Legal knowledge of topics from air quality to zoning

Possesses skills for positively effecting public policy, directing effective meetings, and developing consensus and compromise from conflicting interests.

Involved in various political campaigns and initiative actions.

Experienced review of CEQA documents, public administrative issues, and effective public speaking.

POSITIONS Political - Senior Administrative Assistant, Supervisor Maria VanderKolk, District 2, Ventura County, January 1991 to July 1994

Supervised development of policy and legislation on resources, land use, and administrative issues Served on state and local committees and boards for the supervisor Developed reputation for unique problem solving skills for complicated constituent and governmental issues Developed personal working relationships with federal, state, county, and local elected officials and staff

Co-Campaign Manager, Kevin Sweeney for U.S. Congress, 1992 Political consultant for Patagonia, Inc., City of Ventura election, 1989

Environmental Coalition, intervention, So.Cal.Edison/SDGE Merger, 1990

Citizens Environmental Quality Analysis. Owner-operator environmental document consultant. March 1989 to December 1990

Environmental Consultant for Patagonia, Inc., 1988-1989 Administrative Assistant, Los Padres Forest Association/Sunbow Ecology Center, 2000-2003

Business Baby Boot Company, owner-operated. Design, fabrication, marketing and wholesale distribution of a quality baby shoe line, 1982 to January 1989 Cobbler's Corner, owner-manager. Shoe repair and retail sales, 1976-1982 Professional Flamenco Guitarist, 1963 to present

Other Air Pollution Control District, Clean Air Advisory Committee Elected Official, Ojai Valley Sanitary District/Ojai Valley Municipal Advisory Council - 1996-to present Workers Compensation Subcommittee - CSRMA/Driver Associates 1999-to present Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, appointed alternate for Supervisor Maria VanderKolk, August 1992 Friends of the Santa Clara River, Board Member Ormond Beach Task Force, Chairman Citizens to Preserve the Ojai, Administrative Director, 1988-1989 Have current knowledge of California Environmental Quality Act federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations Have reviewed many environmental documents for technical adequacy Have testified before the: Public Utilities Commission Federal Energy Regulatory Commission U.S. EPA U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service State legislative committees/regulatory bodies

Environmental Coalition, Board Member, 1987-1990, President 1998-to 2004 Environmental Defense Center, Board Member, Santa Barbara, 1989-1990 Southern California Association of Governments, Commissioner Regional Advisory Commission, 1989-1990 Education Environmental Planning & Site Analysis, UCSB, March 1994

Land Use & Environmental Planning, UCSB, October 1991

California Wetlands, November, UCSB, 1991 Ventura County Resource Management Agency CEQA Seminars, 1987-89-93 Subdivision Map Act, UCSB, 1987 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), UCSB, 1986 Attended numerous non-credit seminars on air quality, energy resources, environmental planning and conservation at various public and private institutions University of Seville, Seville, Spain, 1969-1971 Santa Ana College, Santa Ana, 1961-1963 Additional Skills Foreign language: fluent Spanish Proficiency with Microsoft Word for IBM PC, Excel, and Internet processes. Produced private video productions for local Public Access TV Station.



Southern California Native. Married 49 years. Lived in Ojai for 40 years.

U.S. Army, honorable discharge, 1966-1968  Vietnam Veteran. Fly fishing, hiking, camping, birding. Lived for a total of 6 years in southern Spain. Traveled in numerous European countries. Professional Flamenco Guitarist.


Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Roger Essick
  • Tony Thacher
  • James Finch

Organizations (1)

  • Environmental Coalition of Ventura County

Individuals (1)

  • Steve Bennett - Supervisor 1st District

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy



Areas of My On-going Participation with CMWD


CMWD Water Resources Committee - this Committee deals with every aspect of water policy, availability, quality, allocation, distribution and beneficial uses for CMWD and its customers.


Water Service Agreement Ad Hoc Committee - this Committee has been negotiating a new water delivery agreement with the City of Ventura to help prevent the sale of CMWD's water outside its boundaries.


Quagga Mussel Ad Hoc Committee - this Committee has frequently recommended major steps to further protect Lake Casitas from being infested by mussels.


Ojai Basin Groundwater Management Agency - deals with all aspects of groundwater management for the Ojai Basin.  I am currently helping to prepare a draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan with the Ad Hoc Committee.


Matilija Dam Design Oversight Group - a governmental and non-governmental group focused on removal of Matilija Dam and trapped debris.


Ventura River Watershed Council - the council shares information, knowledge and develops project ideas for grant funding.  Also, I serve on the VRWC Steering Committee as one of two representatives from the watershed that evaluates projects' potential for grant funding with State bond money.


Watersheds Coalition of Ventura County - this is a coalition of representatives of all three watersheds in Ventura County and provides governance for the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan efforts mandated by the State.  Also, I serve on the WCVC Steering Committee.  The Committee has two representatives from each watershed reviewing and evaluating integrated projects to add to the suite of projects for grant funding through State bond measures.



Areas of Major Effort During My Third Term


Quagga Mussels


There has been a continued effort to create a strong defense against infestation of Quagga Mussels at Lake Casitas.  This effort included searching for and hiring a qualified consulting firm with knowledge of Quagga Mussels and developing a Control, Monitoring, and Eradication Plan.  For reference, Quagga Mussels were found in Lake Piru at the close of 2013.  Following this, CMWD and the Quagga Mussel Ad Hoc Committee began a year-long letter writing campaign in 2014 to raise awareness (about the threat to the Santa Clara River and  Lake Casitas) with every agency that could have a role in solving the problem. As of the end of 2015, major state and federal agencies have largely agreed with CMWD's assessment of the potentially disastrous situation and steps that have to be taken now.


New Groundwater Law and OBGMA


Work on the Groundwater Sustainability Plan began along with a Basin Boundary Modification effort to correct differing maps and an incorrect map in State Bulletin 118 depicting all of the groundwater basins in the State.  There have been recent releases of information about the regulations for the new SGMA law (please see above) and the new regulations for the Basin Boundary Modifications.  The year-long effort to review and understand the new requirements revealed a constantly moving target for compliance and consumed an extraordinary amount of time.


Extreme Drought


The effect of at least four years of extreme drought on local water users and the condition of Lake Casitas has prompted the need to review and revise the Water Efficiency & Allocation Program.  Subsequently, regulations were put in place for preserving Lake Casitas for the duration of future long-term droughts and to continue to provide water for the District's customers.



Acquisition of Golden State Water Company by Eminent Domain


With the approval of the Community Facilities District, followed by the challenge in court by GSWC on the use of Mello-Roos structured financing and resolving a further appeal of the Superior Court ruling in CMWD's favor (and the GSWC loss in the Court of Appeal) the way was paved for completion of CMWD's financing plan for the acquisition of GSWC.


Appraisal of the GSWC's facilities and service business was completed in early 2015 and an offer was made to the water company.  In this regard, keeping the Board of Directors informed and ready for pending actions was of supreme importanc


Next Term Goals


Golden State Water Company Eminent Domain Action


Completing the takeover of Golden State Water Company is a primary goal for my next term. This action by CMWD will be one of the most dramatic positive episodes in the history of the Ojai Valley.  The possibility of the unification of surface water resources from the Casitas Municipal Water District and the groundwater from Golden State wells in the Ojai Basin will produce integrated water use for the area..


Groundwater Sustainability Plan


The new Sustainable Groundwater Management Plan (SGMA) requires the Ojai Basin Groundwater Management Agency to prepare a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the management of groundwater to sustain all of the beneficial uses overlying the basin.  This plan will produce management tactics that are custom made for the groundwater users in the Ojai Valley.  The basin is generally in balance and self correcting for most pumping requirements. OBGMA will develop strategic thresholds for pumping restrictions ranging from advisory notices to specific pumping requirements  to help prevent overdraft of the basin.


Future Water Development in the Face of Extended Drought


This drought probably began after the El Niño event in 1998.  There have been other El Niño events since '98, such as the 2005 event, but the sum of its parts adds up to less water than is needed over the long term.


Because the Ventura River Watershed relies completely on annual precipitation and percolated groundwater for water use, strategic planning must begin now for future water availability to sustain our population.


The next planning exercise will consider all possibilities ranging from desalination, well water in new areas, capturing storm water runoff and coordinated efforts to improve percolation and storage into groundwater basins.  Water stored underground does not evaporate.


Matilija Dam Removal and Ventura River Restoration


Continuing efforts to fund the removal of Matilija Dam based on new approaches will continue. Recently released reports provide new possibilities for the removal of the dam by siting reducing the cost of removal without reliance on the Federal government for funding.



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