Vitriolic letters

Dear Editor:

DeBunch PAWSD.

Two questions highlighted the PAWSD session at the Archuleta County Republican Women’s (ACRW) meeting. Both addressed candidate Bunch, because he is the only board member running for a second term. I paraphrase these questions as, why do vitriolic letters in The Sun focus on you? And, how could you alone create such havoc?

As president, Bunch exercised control over meeting agendas. He also commanded the power to increase water rates 18 percent and neglect 40 percent water losses, by cajoling two board members to join him.

In a letter to The Sun, Roy Vega called out previous writings as “poison pen letters.” A definition of that term is, “a letter or note containing unpleasant, abusive or malicious statements, or accusations about the recipient or a third party. It is usually sent anonymously.” The letters were neither anonymous, nor malicious, nor abusive. They documented Bunch’s costly actions and his “unpleasant” reception to those attending meetings.

At the April PAWSD meeting, Bunch did it again. A customer asked to be recognized. He denied her request saying, “If you wish to comment you should run for office.”

Roy’s letter is puzzling because he affirms several of the writers’ criticisms; e.g., water rate increases of 4.2 percent for four years, which does compound to 18 percent. He conveniently fails to mention Bunch’s failed attempt to increase rates by 32 percent. Mr. Vega focuses on the pair’s first two years in office. While it is not unusual for a person to change behavior, following election to a position of power, Bunch became a tyrant. Vega alludes to this behavior. Vega places responsibility for rate increases on consultants. He ignores the fact that PAWSD’s financial responsibility for failed projects remains a fundamental aspect of the costs that they submitted to these consultants. Isn’t this reminiscent of the Dry Gulch debacle? A board hires consultants to provide answers they desire; then they place blame on the consultants when push comes to shove.

My letters have been vitriolic. I am bitter over PAWSD’s water rate increases, tax assessments and their refusal to address the underlying causes. I am also bitter when Mr. Bunch cavalierly states that PAWSD water leaks of 40 percent are of little consequence to him because they only cost $0.41 per 1,000 gallons. Meanwhile, PAWSD charges customers $4.22 for their leaks. Questioned further, Bunch pompously proclaimed $0.41 is wholesale and $4.22 is retail. Wow, a 1,000 percent profit extracted from customers when they experience the same misfortune that PAWSD ignores on PAWSD’s side of the meter.

Paul Hansen and Gordon McIver presented concrete plans for stopping the “water letting” at PAWSD. Prior to their presentations, Bunch announced, “I am incredibly pleased with the performance of PAWSD — ” I hope that you are sufficiently unhappy paying twice as much as residents in other four corners communities, to vote.

Request an absentee ballot, and cast your ballot now. Or vote on May 6th at PAWSD. Elect Paul Hansen and Gordon McIver to create a new culture at PAWSD.

John Ramberg

This story was posted on April 17, 2014.