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Clean up PAWSD

Dear Editor:

Thanks to the Southwest Organization for Sustainability and the Archuleta County Commissioners for declaring April 21-26 as Earth Week, and allowing us to recycle for free.

Thanks to PAWSD for allowing water users to vote, if they know that Election Day is May 6. PAWSD did not send you a ballot; they have not included an election notification in your water bill. Cost may have precluded the former. Whom does the latter disenfranchise? PAWSD’s website provides the following, “The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot, if the ballot is to be mailed to the elector, is April 29, 2014. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot, if the ballot is not to be mailed to the elector (i.e., delivered in person), is May 2, 2014. The deadline for submitting the absentee ballot is 7:00 p.m. the day of the election —.”

Anyone who has attended a PAWSD meeting knows that Roy Vega responds politely to his constituents. As he retires, he has maintained his loyalty to his running mate, by asking us to vote for the latter.

Roy has also continued to serve his constituency, by mentioning the sad state of knowledge and questionable accounting methods at PAWSD, and the failings of the outgoing president. For example, Roy describes PAWSD futile attempts to reduce water loss succinctly by, “But where would one start such a program out of over 300 miles of line?” He states this, while reminding us that the new manager and board president have already been in office for two years. Mr. Vega exposes PAWSD mistaken accounting practices, when he states the annual cost for lost water is $80,000 per year, because only electricity and chemical costs are included. Yes, all other costs, including those for facilities, equipment, labor and debt retirement, were conveniently washed into the soil.

While PAWSD promulgates misinformation, a water main is being constructed from Lyn Avenue to the downtown. If reelected, the outgoing president will renew his plan to construct his water pipeline from the Snowball Treatment Plant to Lake Hatcher. The only possible justification for these multi-million dollar projects is water loss. These costs will never be assigned to PAWSD “water loss” reports.

Complete your Earth Week by voting. Elect Hansen and McIver to the PAWSD Board, to clean up PAWSD. They direct PAWSD to address water loss, an Earth Week priority. They will stop plans for new water pipelines, allowing them to stop our water price increases.

John Ramberg

This story was posted on April 24, 2014.