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Hansen, McIver

Dear Editor:

PAWSD voters, please choose a more honest, sensible and affordable future next Tuesday.

Paul Hansen and Gordon McIver have made clear commitments:

Hansen and McIver will vote to freeze water rates for a minimum of two years and join Director Mike Church and me in a line-by-line budget overhaul aimed at deepening that freeze into future years. Is the freeze affordable? Well, most of the planned rate increase over the next two years is dedicated to a set of silly “master planning studies” justifying the next decade of budget-busting projects.

Paul and Gordon’s approach: Stop the decade of spending by stopping the “planning for spending” today. Save now so we can save later.

Hansen and McIver will stop the excuse making about our 40-45 percent water losses. Candidates who claim that 40-45 percent water losses cost $90,000 per year (1 percent of PAWSD $9 million water budget) and claim the only solution is a complete $75 million replacement of water mains are a big part of the problem, and no part of the solution.

Paul and Gordon have committed to a watertight plan: pressure test the lines, dig the holes and repair the leaks. Then repeat until the job is done.

Hansen and McIver have made a commitment to support no new debt. PAWSD is currently staggering under nearly $40 million of debt to create a system which can produce 10 million gallons each day for customers who use one million gallons each day. PAWSD voters were not permitted to vote on nearly $30 million of the debt which funded this overexpansion.

Paul and Gordon’s commitment: Every dollar of debt requires voter approval.

Hansen and McIver are committed to maintaining and sustaining the Town’s Snowball Plant. Snowball is the most efficient plant in the PAWSD system: gravity in and gravity out. Snowball produces the highest quality water in the PAWSD system. The plan to replace Snowball with a massive pipeline and pumping project from the West Fork of the San Juan to the upper section of the Dutton Ditch is a financial and environmental nightmare.

A nightmare we will never wake up from.

The under-the-table moves and comically lowball estimates used to push this disastrous plan leave a bad taste in my mouth. If you live east of Piedra Road, this project will leave a bad taste in your mouth every day for decades.

Hansen and McIver have committed to honest over-the-table business practices. Every contract will be bid out fair and square. Sensible repair and replace projects can be bid on by local firms. Multi-million boondoggles are paydays for out-of-state consultants, engineers and contractors.

If you support proposed 31.8 percent rate hikes, more debt without voter approval, endless excuse-making about 40-45 percent water leaks and no-bid multi-year deals for preferred contractors, you can keep all that by re-electing Allan Bunch.

If you want a commitment to sensible and practicable change starting next month, please vote for Paul Hansen and Gordon McIver at PAWSD offices on Tuesday, May 6.

Glenn Walsh

This story was posted on May 1, 2014.