Rancho Santa Fe is a community of self-important entitled people. It is home to the likes of Phil Mickelson and other rich folks who wanted to sequester themselves away from the riff-raff and live in a cloistered community created for the nouveau riche who also count themselves among California's conservarati.
And now they're pissed. Just like everyone else in the state, they have to cut back on their water consumption. This is so classically clunky on the part of the deluded few who think they have every right to whatever water we have left in this state because they have the money to pay for it. Screw everyone else, they whisper. We have the money, we want the water.
Get a load of this guy:
Drought or no drought, Steve Yuhas resents the idea that it is somehow shameful to be a water hog. If you can pay for it, he argues, you should get your water.
People “should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful,” Yuhas fumed recently on social media. “We pay significant property taxes based on where we live,” he added in an interview. “And, no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water.”
Bad news for Mr. Yuhas. Property taxes pay for your roads and schools, but they don't have a damn thing to do with your water, dude.
This is how piggy they are in their cloistered community:
Yuhas lives in the ultra-wealthy enclave of Rancho Santa Fe, a bucolic Southern California hamlet of ranches, gated communities and country clubs that guzzles five times more water per capita than the statewide average. In April, after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called for a 25 percent reduction in water use, consumption in Rancho Santa Fe went up by 9 percent.
As for fines? Mehhhh, they don't care about fines. Here's your shining examples of RSF residents:
In a place where the median income is $189,000, where PGA legend Phil Mickelson once requested a separate water meter for his chipping greens, where financier Ralph Whitworth last month paid the Rolling Stones $2 million to play at a local bar, the fine, at $100, was less than intimidating.
Meet your Ann Romney wannabe, up on her high horse:
“I think we’re being overly penalized, and we’re certainly being overly scrutinized by the world,” said Gay Butler, an interior designer out for a trail ride on her show horse, Bear. She said her water bill averages about $800 a month.
Wouldn't want the horsie's hoofies to step on dry ground, would we?
“It angers me because people aren’t looking at the overall picture,” Butler said. “What are we supposed to do, just have dirt around our house on four acres?”
Hey, it worked before you put your mansions there. Seriously? Has anyone educated these people on the idea of drought-resistant landscapes? My 81-year old stepfather ripped out all of their lawn last year and planted cacti, which are beautiful, by the way. It took him awhile, but he did it without any whining, either.
Then there is the Cowboy Contingent, just down the road in Yorba Linda. He's not very happy either.
“I call it the war on suburbia,” said Brett Barbre, who lives in the Orange County community of Yorba Linda, another exceptionally wealthy Zip code.
Barbre sits on the 37-member board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a huge water wholesaler serving 17 million customers. He is fond of referring to his watering hose with Charlton Heston’s famous quote about guns: “They’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.”
“California used to be the land of opportunity and freedom,” Barbre said. “It’s slowly becoming the land of one group telling everybody else how they think everybody should live their lives.”
What is wrong with just trying to get along and make a sacrifice for the good of everyone? Water is scarce, so why can't they just quit hogging it and cut back like the rest of us are?
Honestly, brown lawns don't worry me as much as this drought continuing for five or six more years unabated. If this is how the selfish rich act now, what will they do when there are true emergencies related to water shortages?
Like it or not, it's not all about them and their pretty gardens.
Their attitude confirms the rationale for keeping water resources public. Privatizing water would enable this kind of "market-based" behavior.