Customer respect

Dear Editor:

As a current Board member at PAWSD I have made every effort to keep customer water costs down, keep the focus on fixing leaks, and, most importantly, treat customers with respect.

I am frankly embarrassed at the rude and dismissive treatment customers have received meeting after meeting from Chairman Allan Bunch, who is up for reelection. I shouldn’t have been surprised after witnessing the boorish, ungentlemanly treatment Mr. Bunch leveled at fellow women board members before I was elected in 2012.

Allan Bunch has never sided with customers against staff recommendations. Not once in two years to my recollection.

Sadly, if customers want basic respect, they will need to vote in two new board members on May 6th.

Last week was no exception. At a local debating forum, a PAWSD candidate who spoke intelligently and carefully was cornered by Bunch and barked at so loudly for one half hour that numerous people were shaking their heads at Bunch’s rude behavior. It was a disgrace.

The PAWSD candidate had a very clear pro-customer agenda that Bunch, I guess, felt was all wrong.

A woman customer suffering a pipe break causing a flood due to minus 30 degree weather was treated dismissively by Bunch and was ultimately charged a rate ten times the district cost for water.

Mike McDonald is a hard-working Pagosan who wanted to build a 1,500 sf home in town and was hit with a $180,000 cost to hook up to the system. He was told that he would have to upgrade the water main far away from his home even though the water line was in the street already. If a water district sits on its thumb and does almost nothing to fix its 40 percent water leaks can anyone really expect a small home owner to do for the district what the district won’t do for the customer? Well Mr. McDonald was poorly treated in typical fashion by Mr. Bunch and we barely secured a third vote to help him.

I could go on with this but let me just say this is an important election. Last year, Allan Bunch tried to push a 32 percent rate increase in his continuing war against customers. This year, if he is reelected with his running mate, it will happen.

If you want a different direction, there are two solid candidates who will not let customers down.

I am supporting Paul Hansen and Gordon McIver for the PAWSD Board this election.

Please vote on May 6th at 100 Lyn Avenue, Pagosa Springs at the Water District Board Room or go to the PAWSD website ( and click on the link for an absentee ballot request to be sent to your home or print out the request at home. Request or print a ballot request for every registered voter in your home.

Then mail that request form to PAWSD, P.O. Box 4610, 100 Lyn Avenue, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157. Phone 731-2691.

Mike Church

This story was posted on April 10, 2014.