Dear Editor:

Your one vote matters as evidenced by last week’s Town election. On May 6, 2014, you can make a change in the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Board (PAWSD). If you are unable to vote at the PAWSD office on May 6, you must apply for a ballot. Please secure your application from the PAWSD website (renee@pawsd.org) or from the PAWSD office, and comply with the submission deadline in order to receive a ballot.

The PAWSD Board Chairman stated last week he was satisfied with his two years as chair — 40 percent treated water loss, increased rates, $8.5 million of reserves spent — and he believes business should continue as usual for another four years. He and his running mate do not offer solutions — only spinned versions of why nothing can really be done about water leaks and water rates. When candidates cannot defend their record, they can only issue misinformation.

Customers better get ready to pay. The PAWSD Board Chairman voted by email in favor of a 31.8 percent rate increase (Option 4 of Aranda 2013 Rate Study) on April 29, 2013, for an average bill increase from $37 to $48.80 (PAWSD customers you can verify the open records and Board meeting minutes yourself).

You can verify with Mike McDonald how he was treated when he requested water service for his small home within the district.

Paul Hansen and Gordon McIver have committed to:

• a two-year rate freeze while the budget is being reviewed.

• finding and fixing water leaks.

• customers retaining their right to vote on every dollar of long-term debt.

• capping property tax increases at the rate of inflation.

• maintaining and improving the Snowball Plant.

• stopping the $25 million (minimum) replacement of Snowball Plant with a “round the system” pumping project.

Vote for Paul Hansen and Gordon McIver. Hansen and McIver will join Mike Church and Glenn Walsh in bringing PAWSD back to common sense and fiscal fairness by providing respectful customer service. It is your right to vote and your vote matters.

Mary Ann Smith

This story was posted on April 17, 2014.