This is the short version regarding the Water District prepared by
Joanne. Please read and pass on to others you may know that are
interested in this debate.
UPPER SAN PEDRO WATER DISTRICT:
If you wish to read the actual legislation: I did.
A. It DOES create a whole new level of government-- a vote for
the district is a vote for a "municipality" (same as a city or
county). It will NOT be controlled locally, but will be
responsive to the State only because it was set up statutorily as a
B. It will not have DIRECT taxing ability but it will have
INDIRECT taxing ability through existing providers if the providers,
which are sponsors of this idea, agree to conservation projects
determined by the district. There was also a recent comment
by Pat Call on his Friday show that the waste water treatment plant
could be turned over to the district in which case your sewer fees
could go up. YOU would not be charged by the waste water plant
directly, but the plant would increase charges to the city who would in
turn increase your fees.
C. It doesn't have any money to support it. This is the
most crucial issue because the money that was promised when this
district was formed legislatively has dried up along with all the other
funding because of the economy. There is a rumor that the Walton
Foundation is "interested" in the project and would give $10 million,
$1 mill at a time. This is speculation and nothing is in
writing. If it isn't in writing it isn't happening.
The district will also be able to issue "Revenue Bonds" which obligates
everyone in the district to pay them back with interest. The
legislation is totally nebulous on this but very specific about how the
bonds can be done and how they HAVE to be paid back. If the
district defaults it will become an increase on your property tax --
bet on it. The really big thing that the City wants is to have
the CAP (Central Arizona Project) build a pipeline from Tucson through
Green Valley and over here to replenish the sub-watershed. It
will take 20 years -- what happens to the aquifer in the mean time??
According to the legislation the issue that is presented on the ballot
must define where the money is coming from -- it does not do
that. If you know an attorney that would like to review and
possibly get if off the ballot, contact Joanne.
D. The biggest lie of all is that the Fort will be "saved" if
this is passed. B and S. The mandate received by the Fort
back in 2004 is specific to the Fort and they have done remarkable
conservation efforts to reduce their water consumption by 71%.
There will be another BRAC sometime in the future (duh!!) but nothing
the district does can "guarantee" the Fort will stay or not be
downsized because the distict is passed. This is nothing more
than scare tactics. We got into this mess because of the Center
for Biological Diversity (Tucson) suing the Fort.
In reality, the City of Sierra Vista and the County, prior to the
lawsuit, had done NOTHING to promote water conservation. Their
excuse has been that they didn't have the "power statutorily" to
enforce water conservation methods such as retention/detention basins,
dry wells, or water harvesting/grey water. Instead of seeking
THAT kind of legislative authorization, they chose to seek a whole new
level of government -- another municipality called the Water District.
As we have seen from other base closings, the Feds will do what the Feds will do and we can all cross our fingers.
Bottom line: Disregard the media pressure and pass along this
information to every one you know because we are being played with this
issue. I know a lot of you have "bad feelings" about this
district. Trust your instincts. Vote NO. Tell
everyone you know to vote NO because it is MORE government.
Remember the words of Reagan: "Government isn't the solution to
the problem, government IS the problem".