Amber Duff challenges longtime incumbent Nancy Wright for seat on MSWD board

Amber Duff, a parent and payroll administrator, is running to unseat Nancy Wright, a seven-term incumbent, for a seat on the Mission Springs Water District representing Division 1.

Mission Springs Water District has one simple mission: Provide, protect, and preserve our most valuable resource — water.

Uken Report (UR) asked both candidates a series of identical questions. Following are Duff’s responses.

UR: Who or what motivated you to run for the MSWD Board of Directors?

Amber Duff: My motivation for running for MSWD water board is the quality and sustainability of the water that my family and my community depend on. My opponent believes it is more important to build a new 38-million-dollar office building, rather than making our water safe to drink.

UR: If elected, what knowledge, experience and/or expertise would you bring to the role?

Amber Duff: As a hospital administrator and later as a director of five free standing cancer treatment centers I managed accounts payable, human resources, billing, and collections departments. I also served as a patient advocate.  This experience is directly applicable to understanding the operations of the water district and the issues that will come before the board.

UR: What makes you a better fit than your opponent for the position?

Amber Duff: After more than 30 years on the board, my opponent has grown complacent, and disconnected from the community she serves.  My neighbors do not feel represented. MSWD needs fresh leadership to regain the trust of the community. MSWD customers deserve better, they deserve their health, they deserve the truth.

UR: Is MSWD doing enough in the area of conservation? Why or why not? If not, what do you believe should be done?

Amber Duff: Desert Hot Springs and its surrounding communities have one of the lowest residential per gal per day use rates in the valley. This benchmark must be considered when addressing the issues of conservation in our valley, as less water usage historically leads to higher water and sewer rates.

Additionally, MSWD has failed to simply complete paperwork that would allow MSWD to retain usable wastewater from its local businesses.  Businesses which year after year MSWD has failed to serve. MSWD needs to do more to support our local businesses and ensure the safe retention of our water supply whenever possible.

UR: What is your No.1 priority if elected and how will you achieve it knowing you’re only one vote on the board?

Amber Duff: My first goal is to stop (what I believe is) MSWD’s constant misuse of funds. MSWD needs to clean and protect our water. Some of my neighbors can barely afford their water bills, while MSWD board members and employees enjoy expensive country club meals. MSWD has its priorities backwards. The ratepayers come first every time.

I will work to open a dialogue between the board members and the public until our water is clean, safe, and affordable. I will ensure my neighbors are respected and their voices are heard.

UR: Do you believe MSWD should consolidate with Desert Water Agency? Why or why not?

Amber Duff: Desert Hot Springs and its surrounding communities have a unique source of both hot and cold spring water which we must protect. The community relies on this water and should have full control over it.

MSWD’s current leadership has continually failed to protect our water and has lost the trust of the ratepayers. Merging with DWA is not the answer to repairing a dysfunctional organization, new leadership is the answer.

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  • Amber Duff: Amber Duff