It seems some in this community seek to stifle/limit those who desire to challenge our local politicians in the form of letters, document requests and public comments.
Last week this paper published a letter from Mike Welch saying there should be limitations on how much someone can disagree with and correspond with the DBCSD.
A letter printed in this paper written by an individual who continually rails on the DBPOA said I should leave town if I don't like the CSD. While I respect these folks' right to say these things, it is hard not to taste the un-American flavor of their rhetoric.
Two recent examples of why I am challenged by our CSD's behavior and why I have chosen to speak out are:
Much of the ridiculous debate over how much it costs the CSD to deal with citizen correspondence relates to the Richardson v. CSD lawsuit and issues surrounding the reasons for the litigation. This whole situation could easily be put to rest if the CSD would engage in meaningful settlement talks. Richardson is only asking the CSD to agree to follow the law. He is not seeking damages or any changes to past actions. Just agree to follow the law and it all goes away what's so hard about that?
The vast majority of civil litigation is settled before trial but the CSD refuses to consider a resolution for this simplistic case. A judge already ruled that the case has merit and a trial date is set. Money will be spent at an increasing rate unless the public demands the CSD behave responsibly and engage seriously in settlement talks.
When I saw the Aug. 6 CSD agenda, I was surprised to see that a review/discussion of the town's recent 10,000-gallon raw sewage spill was not listed. This was the largest spill in town history and one of many that have cost the town several hundred thousand dollars in fines.
This is an important topic that was relegated to the end of the general manager's report, which was at the end of a very long meeting (most attendees had left not knowing if the topic would be addressed). Yet on the agenda for the second meeting in a row was the vindictive issue of a historical assessment of how much it has cost to process letters from the public/Bill Richardson.
When a town government has, in my opinion, its priorities this wrong, I see no reason why I should not voice my disappointment.
This community is clearly split. There are those such as Mike Welch, who say hands off the CSD, even if it means taking away one's basic rights. Then there are those who have high expectations of elected officials and who don't mind speaking out/acting when they feel slighted.
I know which category I'm in this November we all will have the opportunity to stick with Mike and the status quo or to move to a new level by electing those who seek a more open and forthright local government.