Court Rules Ojai FLOW and its Board Members
Must Pay $23,209 to Golden State
for Legal Fees.

Click here to learn the background

Click here for court decision

(Thank you Ojai for showing up in court.
The amount is less than half what was asked)

The Major Milestones
in the Golden State Buyout

The Golden State court case* is now behind us, and the following major milestones now remain. When we made this list, we purposely didn’t include dates, because stuff does happen. But we’ll keep updating the list to show where we are. Our current best guess is that Golden State will be out of Ojai by October 1, 2017. Then what a grand celebration we’ll have!

  1. Appraisal is made. ☑ Submitted to Casitas Board on Feb 24, 2016
  2. Casitas Board decides how much to offer. ☑ Casitas Board has closed door session, reviews the appraisal, and votes 5/0 to make an offer.
  3. Casitas makes an offer to buy Golden State operations in Ojai.
    ☑ On February 26, 2016 an offer is made for $23 million + up to $2.5 million in uncollected WRAM charges.
  4. Golden State says yes or no. ☑ On March 8th Golden State says they are not for sale and don’t want to negotiate.
  5. Negotiations likely to occur. ☑ Nope, Golden States refused to negotiate.
  6. If Golden State says no:
    1. Casitas Board holds a hearing to decide/approve the use of eminent domain. ☑ The Casitas board voted unanimously at their March 23, 2016 board meeting to hold a public hearing and vote whether or not to move forward with the eminent domain process to acquire Golden State Water operations in Ojai as Golden State had agreed to in Section 3 of the Franchise Agreement with the City of OjaiAfter taking input for the public as well as Golden State at a special public hearing on April 13, 2016, the Casitas board voted unanimously to move forward with the eminent domain process to acquire Golden State Water operations in Ojai. Here is the Notice of Resolution and Golden State’s reply.
    2. Casitas files the court case. ☑ On May 12, 2016 Casitas filed the case PLUS filed a claim for damages because of Golden State’s previous court actions. On July 5, 2016 Golden State files 1) their response, 2) Request for Special Motion to Strike, 3) David Moran notice of support to strike.For the latest up-to-date information visit, enter 2016-00481628. Our full case number is 56-2016-00481628-CU-EI-VTA and the assigned judge is Vincent O’Neill.
    3. A Mandatory Settlement Conference is set for April 5, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., in Department D22.
    4. The Phase I “Right-to-Take” Trial is set for June 12, 2017, at 1:30 p.m., in Department D41.
    5. The “Phase II” Valuation/Damages Trial is set for December 11, 2017, at 1:30 p.m., in Department D41.
  7. Casitas issues bonds, and the Casitas Mutual Water District purchase of the Golden State Water Company operations in Ojai takes place—estimated first quarter 2018.

* In July 2015, the California Supreme Court refused to hear Golden State’s appeal of the appellate court decision regarding the use by Casitas of Mello-Roos bonds to fund the buyout of Golden State Water operations in Ojai. This was nearly two years after the landslide (87% in favor) August 20, 2013, election to buy out Golden State operations in Ojai. This delay has already cost the Ojai ratepayers more than $6.5 million dollars, because they have yet to be billed at the lower Casitas water rates they voted for. To recoup that loss, Ojai FLOW has filed a class action suit on behalf of all Ojai Golden State ratepayers. The courts ruled the suit to be a “SLAP” which means Ojai FLOW and its board members will be required to pay for Golden State’s legal costs unless on Jan 24, 2017 the judge says there will be no costs paid (see December 22, 2016 Ojai FLOW news Release) .


Don’t fool around with Ojai,


We went over the top, with 87.4% voting Yes.

This is unheard of and we should all be proud to be part of such a united community. This election will go down in history and used to show that people
can control their destiny.


Total Registration = 4,796

Total Ballots Cast= 2,464 (51.3%)

Yes Votes = 2,154 (87.4%)

NO Votes= 310 (12.6%)

FLOW - Election Night

Overseeing the Vote count on election night.
August 13, 2013

Left, Pat McPherson (Ojai FLOW Chair) – Steve Wickstrum (Casitas Gen. Mgr.) –
Russ Baggerly (Casitas Board member for Ojai)