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BVSC Elects New Members


Last updated 5/10/2023 at 10:57am

The Borrego Valley Stewardship Council (BVSC) elected its 2023 slate of Team Leaders at its annual meeting, April 12, in the Borrego Library.

The elected Team Leaders are: Bri Fordem, Anza-Borrego Foundation; Kathy Dice, Borrego Water District; Martha Deichler, Borrego Springs Unified School District School-Community Liaison; Dale Jones, American Legion; Jim Dion, Borrego Village Association Executive Director: Jim Wermers, The Mall, Owner; and David Garmon, Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy, President (Consultant Emeritus to the Leadership Team).

The Leadership Team is chosen by the Council to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Council and is chosen annually.

Bri Fordem, President of the BVSC, reiterated the principles and purpose of the to the attending representatives of 30-member community organizations, tourism and business enterprises.

Following the election of the slate of Team Members by a show of hands, Fordem introduced three guest speakers – David Garmon, of the Tubb Canyon Conservancy, Sandra Hansberger, Chair of the Borrego Health Board of Trustees, and Howard Blackson, BVSC’s land use and urban planning consultant.

Garmon, using a slideshow, discussed the collusion between SDGE, and UCSD appointed-lead consultant to the San Diego County Decarbonization Plan to prioritize industrial scale Solar plants in rural communities, like Borrego Springs. Data in the research was skewered against residential rooftop Solar as the better solution to address the county’s plan to reduce its carbon footprint with renewable energy solutions.

The catch, according to Garmon, is that the “consultant leading the research and report was in the pocket of the electrical, utilities energy lobby, a proponent of plans that require costly transmission lines, benefitting the utilities.”

In the case of the County’s Decarbonization plan, Borrego Springs was selected as an ideal site for industrial scale Solar plants, because to implement the plan, a $3.9 billion transmission line would have to be built by SDGE. The line would travel through preserved parklands.

The Plan, Garmon explained, manipulated data in favor of large-scale projects over roof top Solar to mitigate carbon originating in the coastal communities. The Bottomline is: “Who would benefit in the long term? – not the ratepayers, not Borrego Springs, or the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The ultimate beneficiaries of this plan would be the investors that own San Diego Gas and Electric.

Garmon reminded people to go to and sign the petition to say, “NO” to large scale industrial plants in Borrego Springs.

Chairman of the Borrego Board of Trustees Sandra Hansberger, came with an important message about the Borrego Springs Clinic. Given the organization’s legal and other problems, recent bankruptcy, and auction sale of the Borrego Health Foundation’s clinics and assets, there have been concerns about the local clinic’s future.

Hansberger, laid the concern to rest, reporting that their partner (actually new owner of the Clinic), DAP will keep the Borrego Clinic open.

She went on to report on the operations of the local clinic, stating that there are full time medical doctors. She noted that the staff of the clinic hopes people will utilize their lab services, and that that clinic has a new x-ray machine…. But no medical technician.

The next speaker was Howard Blackson, BVSC consultant on land use and urban planning. Blackson’s message was that Borrego Springs required a “vision” that combined the best of its past and present. He pointed out that a vision is the necessary precursor to implementing goals for the future.

A united future shared collectively by all of Borrego, according to Blackson, is the way to move forward and also protection against piecemeal programs that do not nurture a collective plan, but rather conflict. The same for protecting the community from the county, without a vision to guide them, well meaning individuals will support or create activities that actually are detrimental to Borrego’s future. He commended the Stewardship Council as the organization working towards a shared “vision” for Borrego Springs.

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