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Hold the line

Dear Editor:

Vote for both Paul Hansen and Gordon McIver in the 6 May PAWSD election. Otherwise, you can expect your water bill to continue to increase. Are you not already paying enough for your water? We already have the highest water rates on the Western Slope. Our rates are double the rates in Bayfield, Durango and Cortez. If you want to pay even more, vote for the incumbents. If not, vote for Hansen and McIver.

PAWSD Board members Michael Church and Glenn Walsh need our help in holding the line against higher rates and taxes, as were proposed by the present board leadership, who attempted to raise your water rates by 32 percent, but settled for 18 percent. The incumbent candidate tolerates a 41 percent leakage of drinking water out of the PAWSD system (which you are paying for), and supported a 6-year no-bid contract for the planning of the next PAWSD boondoggle: a $25 million pipeline from the West Fork of the San Juan. Over the past two years, the present board leadership has approved $8.5 million of spending from its reserves.

Church and Walsh need Paul Hansen and Gordon McIver on the board so that they can successfully challenge these issues. Both of these candidates oppose water rate increases, and promise to freeze rates for a minimum of two years and support strict caps on increases in property taxes. Both support the PAWSD customers’ right to vote on every dollar of debt.

PAWSD is a monopoly. We have no other source for water. PAWSD is it. Therefore, it must be tightly controlled, or there is no telling how it could savage its customers (us) in the future.

PAWSD is apparently making it as difficult as possible for rate-payers to vote by mail. You will not be mailed a ballot if you don’t request one. You must either go to the PAWSD Office (off of Lake Forest Circle to 100 Lyn Ave.) and fill out a ballot request form (you can receive and fill out your ballot at the office) or request an Absentee Ballot at the PAWSD website (pawsd.org), which must be returned no later than 6 May.

Or you can vote on election day, May 6, at the PAWSD office.

Continued apathy on the part of voters will subject all of us to ever-increasing water bills and taxes. Mark the election date: May 6th. Carpool, if necessary, to get there. Better yet, vote today.

Vote for Hansen and McIver for the PAWSD Board.

Duane Branson

This story was posted on April 17, 2014.