Invasive species alert

By Alex Breitler

No, it’s not some water weed out in the Delta, or a thistle on the shoulder of Interstate 5. It’s an elected member of the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District, according to a draft letter by the district’s neighbor to the south, Stockton East.

The letter was to congratulate North San Joaquin General Manager Ed Steffani on his upcoming retirement. The draft version poked fun at Steffani’s arch-nemesis, Bryan Pilkington, who derailed Steffani’s proposed groundwater pumping fee, was elected to the North San Joaquin board in 2008 and helped elect two allies in 2010, giving Pilkington majority power and, essentially, showing Steffani the door.

To be sure, Pilkington has a knack for riling up water wonks. He opposes landowners paying to pump from our shrinking groundwater table, but to date has offered no specific plan of his own. He has, at times, refused to sit with fellow board members. He routinely casts dissenting votes, on matters as seemingly trivial as approving the minutes from previous meetings.

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