Poway Mayor Steve Vaus addresses criticism following water emergency

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A group calling themselves the ‘East County Clean Water Coalition’ came together Tuesday for a press conference to discuss Poway’s recent water contamination that left people and businesses without water for a week.

The coalition consists of Frank Hilliker of the San Diego County Water Authority, Steve Robak with the Lakeside Water District, De Ana Verbeke of the Helix Water District and Steve Johnson with the Lakeside Water District.

Among other criticisms, the group says Poway Mayor Steve Vaus was irresponsible in his public comments during the Poway water emergency.

While the harsh criticism included the City of Poway for what Hilliker said was it’s failure to upgrade it’s basis water infrastructure, it was Mayor Steve Vaus who was attacked. He was called reckless and irresponsible for what Hilliker said was Vaus’ statement that the water was safe to drink.

“With the boil water still in place and testing still being done, Mayor Steve Vaus repeatedly said, ‘The water’s safe I’m drinking it, I’m giving it to my pets’. Making these irresponsible comments prior to final testing results was reckless,” said Frank Hilliker of the San Diego County Water Authority.

What Hilliker and Lakeside Water Board Member Steve Robak didn’t disclose until asked by this reporter is that they are supporters of former State Senator Joel Anderson. Anderson is running against Vaus in the District 2 Supervisor’s race.

Vaus was in studio to discuss the press conference and the future of the city’s water system:

When asked if Tuesday’s press conference had anything to do with politics, San Diego County Water Authority board member, Frank Hilliker, said Tuesday’s meeting was solely about public safety.

“This isn’t about dirty water. This is about dirty politics. They’re working on behalf of a desperate and disgraced candidate whose been in trouble more times than I can count. People are tired of politics like that. I’m proud of how Poway responded to this water crisis. We have faced many challenges and we always do the same thing: we come together. So, I would change nothing about what I did and I’m eternally grateful to our public works staff that worked around the clock to get us back online,” said Poway Mayor Steve Vaus.

Categories: Local San Diego News