One delinquent water district will harm taxpayers – Orange County Register

South Coast Water District and Emerald Bay Service District have asked, insisted and pleaded with the Moulton Niguel Water District for more than a year that it simply pay its bills.

In that time, Moulton Niguel has racked up a shocking $950,000 in unpaid invoices dating back to July 2016.

We have held public meetings, delivered letters, sent emails and placed phone calls kindly asking for payment. Still, Moulton Niguel has refused to pay what it owes. We ultimately felt compelled to ask the courts to intervene. In response, Moulton Niguel’s Board asked a judge to move the case from Orange County to Los Angeles rather than pay its bills or debate the merits of the issue in our own community with a jury of those impacted by the District’s actions.

This is truly contrary behavior for a local government agency, especially as the facts are very straightforward. Moulton Niguel requested to enter into a contract with our agencies in 1999. We granted that request and Moulton Niguel paid without any expressed concerns for 16 years until, without notice, Moulton Niguel stopped paying its bills last summer and has refused to do so ever since.

Our agencies continue to hope for a swift resolution. We hope that Moulton Niguel’s Board of Directors grasps the severity of the district’s delinquency and comes current with its past-due bills. If the District wants out of its contract, it must stay current with the terms and we can negotiate in good faith, as partners should. That is common sense and upholds the basic principles of business.

In the meantime, though, we are taking one last step and asking that Moulton Niguel’s customers, our taxpayers and the public at large encourage the District pay its bills. After all, it is the Orange County taxpayer who would be harmed by Moulton Niguel’s delinquency.

A public information campaign (found at has been launched to provide the facts. The website was launched by our agencies with the hope that transparency and public knowledge will compel Moulton Niguel to pay what it owes and avoid further economic harm to our community. The website encourages concerned taxpayers to send letters to Moulton Niguel, asking the District to please pay its bill. It provides a history of the issue, videos explaining the consequences and more.

Launching this effort is certainly a unique step for our three agencies. But we have been left with very few options.

If Moulton Niguel does not pay, Orange County…

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