Friday March 7, 2014
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I'm sure that most of you read the article about Mesa Del's unregulated well in Tuesday's paper, but here's an extract for those who haven't:
"For years, Brooke Utilities has apparently gotten the bulk of the water it has been selling to residents of Mesa del Caballo from an undocumented, unregulated well, according to documents obtained by the Roundup."
"...documents provided by... the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) seem to suggest that Brooke Utilities provided half the water it sold Mesa del Caballo residents from an undocumented, unregulated well, perhaps without paying for the water for an extended period. The well number listed required reports to the ADEQ correspond to a capped, inactive well several blocks away."
To make it clear what that says, here it is. It would appear that Brooke pumped 500,000 of water each month from an unregulated, untested, and thereby unsafe well, while using the records from another, capped and unused, well to cover the testing of the water it was selling.
After all is said and done and this is verified, which certainly looks, inevitable, what charge will be filed against Brooke Utilities and Robert Hardcastle as a result?
If all the facts are verified then BUI should most certainly be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The ACC reviewed all hauling charges, so now I wonder if any of the State and Local Government Agencies cross check records with one another?
Of the topic a bit, but we also have laws on the books that both the County and the State acknowledge exist, and admit that a written set of laws were broken, but neither was given the charter/authority to prosecute!
That the ACC would claim ignorance is beyond the pale. It's not like multitudes of people, myself included , have not testified in front of them regarding the illegal, unethical, unfair actions of Robert Hardcastle on behalf of Brooke Utilities. Unfortunately, those now serving on the ACC (which is really only a political stepping stone for ambitious politicians) were not the one's that heard all that testimony and outright defended Robert Hardcastle in most instances. Hardcastle's attorney, Shapiro, was cut from the same bolt of cloth. Together, I don't know what they had on the members of the ACC, but that political group were definitely NOT looking out for the interests of those that elected them. My wife actually had a telephone conversation with one of the commisioners aides, and she actually got that person to admit that the ACC rightly favored the "Corporations" they were supposed to be regulating. If it's the fox guarding the hen house, this is what we get. Robert Hardcastle is an attorney himself. He will get little but scorn from his illegal activities. That's my 2 cents. Your milage might vary.
Thanks, Pam. I too wonder why I do not see the county and the state taking action when laws have been broken. There's a legal term for forcing an official to do his job. Let's see if I can remember it.
Ah! Took a minute. It's called a writ of mandamus. It requires an official to do what the law requires him to do. What we need is a citizens group that files a writ whenever it looks like some county or state official is ignoring the law.
Thanks, Ron. I can see how the ACC would not now about that well. It was very cleverly hidden. They took water from Well A and sent in the tests for Well B. That the ACC, or the people charged with reviewing the tests, didn't know the actual location of the well is not surprising. Very clever. Very crooked.
Like you, I guess, I faced Hardcastle and Shapiro at the ACC. It was funny, actually. They evidently thought they had been accused of something by some dummy who couldn't handle himself. While I was in the witness chair I made the statement that in doing what it had done Brooke had violated ACC regulations.
Shapiro looked at me and said, "Well, Mister Garrett, do you know of any OTHER time that Brooke Utilities violated an ACC regulation?"
I smiled and said, "Yes, I do," and started reading a list of 13 violations.
Shapiro waved a hand and said, "Well, we don't need to hear all that."
I turned to the commissioner and asked, "Since he asked the question, am I not entitled to answer it?"
He smiled and waved me on.
Then Shapiro tried something as old as Schopenhauer, one of those little word tricks. Instead of answering his stupid question I said, "Don't try any lawyer's tricks on me. They won't work."
The commissioner actually chuckled.
Then, when Hardcastle was on the witness stand he made a BIG mistake for a lawyer. I asked, "Do you think it is proper for one party to a contract to withhold facts which are material to the contract from the other party?" He answered, "I'm not a teacher. I'm not in business to TEACH people."
It was obviously a slur on the fact that I was a teacher at the time, but what he evidently did not realize is that he had just admitted that the verbal contract I had made with Brooke was not binding because there had been no meeting of the minds. A contract is not valid when the two parties to it each think it means something different, so I asked him, "When you went through law school did you study contract law?"
He said yes, of course, so I asked him, "And yet you believe that stonewalling on the part of one party to a contract who has special knowledge doesn't void that contract?"
Well, what was that.
Later, outside in the parking lot, Lolly and I almost split a gut when we saw Hardcastle yelling at his little bitty buddy.
I agree, by the way, that what WILL happen is not what SHOULD happen.
You see, you get a rope, and you throw it over a tree limb....
Like Desi used to tell Lucy, Hardcastle has some '''splaining" to do. I hope the Roundup will keep us informed.
By the way do any of you smart ()^* :-) know how the Roundup decides whether a letter goes into "opinion" or "guest comment?" Now remember the smiley and be nice!
Way back when Williamson was the owner of the Pine/Strawberry water companies, my husband and I went to the ACC to review some of their records. We pointed out discrepancies in the filed annual reports. The ACC employee told us that they didn't have enough personnel to check all the annual reports. Therefore, things are missed.
I wonder how much higher our taxes would have to go to have "enough personnel" to do the necessary checking.
P.S. I would still like an answer to my question regarding "guest comment" or "opinion"?
"The ACC employee told us that they didn't have enough personnel to check all the annual reports."
Bernice, what you didn't know was that you could have filed a "formal complaint" as I did. Then you could have brought the evidence with you, put the owners up on the witness stand, and forced them to testify under oath, with the penalty of being charged wtih perjury if they lied. The option is open to all of us. Few people ever use it.
I don't have the slightest idea how an editor decides what letters go where. Not my ball of wax.
Maybe someone else knows.
By the way, Bernice, you have not been ignored. Apparently you posted a question two days ago but I never saw it or its follow-up.
I need to explain how I know whether or not any given string needs attention. I look at each string according to the number of comments that have been made. If the number hasn't changed since I last posted I don't look at the string, and I put it in a separate part of the file in which I keep track of all this every day. Up till this morning that number stayed at 4. And the date of the last post remained the same as the last day I posted, which was three days ago. That, by the way, placed it below the currently active strings on the screen. Today it jumped to 7 and moved back into the active area. Why I do not know, but you were not being ignored.
Hardcastle cut a deal with the Town of Payson Water Dept. in March 2010. The deal allowed Brooke Utility to purchase up to 85,000 gallons per week! That's Payson Public Municipal Water. That deal is still in effect and on going with the new owners of "Payson Water Company" (alias Brooke Utility) who delivers that water at triple rates to Mesa Del customers. So far, no public details are available as to the rate that Payson is charging the Private utility for our water, how much water has been provided since March 2010, and how many months each year. I suspect what Payson charges is minimal or below current market rates. The ACC is in the pocket of the Corporations, think APS. I believe nothing will be done about this past and current debaucle. By the way, there is no meter on the Payson fire hydrant where the water tanker is filled. Maybe it's based on Scout's honor reporting the amount? This newspaper appears to have no interest in looking into these Payson on going water sale details and publishing them. Our local politicians certainly don't either. Do you think there could be a nexus? Lol......
Go out to the hydrant, take a good book and count the trucks. It should say on the truck how many gallons they carry.
Put in a request at the town for the contract between Brooks and Payson. Should be a matter of public records. Then request the bookkeeping from the water dept.
If you're going to do that, Don, be sure to bring (a) a still camera and (b) a digital clock with time and date that you can put in the each picture of the truck. I've watched trucks like that load up and they usuallu load until there's a spillover. Wouldn't hurt to catch that in the pic sp no one can say they were underloading the trucks. It wouldn't hurt to have (c) a van from inside of which you could take the pictures. I doubt the town would let Brooke cheat but Brooke....?
The truck holds 5,400 gallons at fill. All the loads are fill up loads by Verde Valley Water hauling Co. per an employee. They make a minimum of 10 fill runs per day, but often as many as 17. That's seven days a week for an unknown amount of months. Do the math just using the minimum trips. A huge amount of Payson water.
There must be some kind of legal papers to file to stop the selling of our water.
Is this something that should have gone before the council or the public to vote on?
Go to ARS and see what towns are allowed to do.
Pat makes a good point. Since the water system is paid for by tax money there may very well be limits placed on what the town can do with it. Beats me, though.
I think the opinion is written by members of the paper and not signed. Guest Comment is signed by whoever wrote it or it says at the top who wrote it. Maybe. (:
Now you are understanding my point about all of this. The Town of Payson Water Department is a PUBLIC municipal water provider. Not a private one. We Town residents/taxpayers pay taxes and are charged by the Town for our water delivery, use, up keep, and improvements. The Town Water Department entered into an agreement to sell our publicly owned water to a PRIVATE Water Company to service THEIR customers who do not live in Payson. We, who pay for our Public Municipal Water Company, had no say so or approval process in the sale of our PUBLIC Water to an outside entity. Much less the impacts to OUR water supply, or any effects on our water bill rates, current or future.
You what I see as the main problem concerning most of the things that people complain about up here? It's very simple, but very widespread. Rare indeed does anyone ever tell us the reasons why something is being done.
Think about it. When Frontier Elementary was sold, was it explained? When the deal was made with Mesa Del, was it explained? Has so many of the things done by PSWID ever been explained? Is anything ever explained except in a statement filled with generalities?
And then comes the other obvious question: When you go to a meeting you don't get to watch and listen to a discussion of the issues; you just watch people voting on something. If all meetings are supposed to be open except for a few special cases, when did all the discussion take place? It's obvious that the open meeting law is constantly being violated.
For a while in my teens I used to go to town council meetings and listen. A subject would be on the agenda. It would be brought up. They would start talking. Usually there was someone there from the applicable department who would explain why some recommendation had been made. There would be a lot of questions asked and answered. Sometimes someone would be sent back to find some answers. When the process was finished it was as transparent as glass. You knew who, what, why, where, when, and how.
Until we get that the people here will never be happy.
It's as though people on boards feel that they are wasting their time if they discuss things with the people who put them there.
So do something about it besides gripe on here. (:
Mr. Walker is also selling water to Chaparall Pines for their golf courses, which was not in the original contract that he cancelled and changed.
He makes his own deals. Maybe that is why he retired when he did, but is still working for the town on contract. Just a thought.
We could probably have 2 Fire Marshalls for the money he collects from the town each year. A buy out to retire, retirement, med. ins. and his contract money if I have read all the articles right.
Some of the above is an opinion and some is taken from written material from the newspaper and a 16 page Water Supply Handbook from July 1995 Compiled and written by Carroll Cox.
In the words of a little guy in a spiked helmet, "Very interesting."
Artie Johnson!! ;-)
All right Don....show us the origional contract with Chaparall Pines. Your insinuiation that Mr. Walker has done something wrong or underhanded needs to be backed up. If you can't...you need to apologise or shut up. I've agreed with you over the years but you have*gone too far with this issue.
I still feel that it is the RIGHT thing to do to share our water with a neighbor. Payson is not giving it away. Have you ever considered that maybe Payson might recieve some future consideration? Do you understand the difference between a representative type of government and a pure democracy. If the town had to put everything to a public vote....nothing would get done. If you don't like the way things are going....vote the present officers out....don't bitch and complain.
In reviewing my post from last night I feel that I was not civil. For that ,Don,I apologize.
Boy Mr. Hinshaw, how many times have I had to apologize for shooting from the hip? I believe it is the nature of this type of interaction, We can type our current feelings and thoughts faster than we can actually determine how others might misconstrue them. Once we hit "Post" it's a done deal. If I could constantly remember the old adage "I am the master of my UNSPOKEN words, and a slave to those words that should have remained unsaid". I try, but alas, I fail too often.
Was permission given by Town Council to sell Payson water to Hardcastle? Chap. Pines ? If I missed that information in earlier posts, please excuse me. If permission was given by Town Council and Hardcastle and C. Pines adhered to agreed terms, the discussion should center on the elected representatives who approved of selling town water and the stated reasons for doing so.
Don was not the one who posted about the original contract with Chapparal Pines. It was me. I will start going thru my boxes of papers and find it for you, but you will have to give me some time.
Sorry Don, you were innocent for once(:
I've said this before, but I'll say it again.
Takes a big man to apologize!
You're right. It all comes down the people who have the power and authority to make the decisions. And the real trouble there is the fact that we are rarely given the full story. We end up just reading about the decision. It would be so much better if we were in the decision making loop, not as decision makers, but as what was once called "informed citizenry."
"...you will have to give me some time." For some odd reason that made me smile. I'm not sure why.
"Sorry Don, you were innocent for once(:"
To get back to Artie Johnson, that's also very interesting. Does it mean that the rest of the time he was guilty as charged? :-)
By the way, you know why the name Artie is so familiar to me? Late at night when it's time to do what I call a TUA (totally useless activity) I'll do a couple of crossword puzzles. You'd be surprised how often the clue is, "TV comedian." I know why they like Artie's name; it isn't spelled in a common way so they think it will help to screw up your mind, which I suspect is what crosswords are for.
Works for me.
Rex, no harm, no foul. I'm a big boy. I suppose the jist of my bitch is that there was no prior public airing of this contract agreement. No, I'm not going to Town Hall, waste time over this done deal that's really about the future pipeline water deal and placating Mesa Del opponents of the future treatment plant that Payson will build there. I just don't like back room deals when it comes to taxpayer money. But that is the way things are done, I just won't accept it at the local level. I'm finished with it. I know when I have banged my head on the wall enough.
All the best..Now on to the real important local issues. What to wear at the next fund raiser for whatever organization.
Probably the Rim Country Humane society or whatever it is called.
People seem to think old, not wanted sick dogs and neutered feral cats are more important than people.
Sometime I prefer old, not wanted sick dogs and neutered cats to people. I sometimes identify with them....not the cats though.
I wish someone would help me with my vet. bills. (:
About 3 weeks ago I took my dog to Mesa, cost over $700. She has to go back Aug. the 8th which will be $634. or more.
She is not old, but has something wrong with her stomach. She will soon be my $8000. dog and worth every penny. She takes very good care of me and my high blood pressure.
Stays right by me and lets me know before it gets to the danger point. As soon as I pick up a blood pressure cuff she lays down and watches me take my BP then goes back to sleep.
Back to the topic. Brooke probably won't be charged with anything. He will have to be sued.
Anyone want to bet on it?
Pat, it seems to me that some governmental agency should at least ask for an explanation. If not, perhaps, the Roundup could pursue an answer. Would that be good investigative reporting?
It would be, but I don't think you will see it happen. What would they take pictures of? Evans standing in a pose somewhere looking down a well. I haven't seen much investigative reporting from the Roundup since Carolyn Dryer left the paper as editor. Things may have been investigated but not printed or printed wrong.
If a reporter won't use a recorder there is something wrong. I challenged them on what they wrote about me saying something about Evans before he was elected. It was supposed to have been a direct quote from me. I said I wanted to hear the recording and was told, oh our reporters don't use recorders.
"...not the cats though."
Hey! I love cats! I even know how to speak cat. Really. You'll never know how many times I've walked into a house, seen a cat, sat down, and called it to me — in cat.
If Brooke did what is claimed, I would say there's no doubt about the fact that laws have been broken. How about making "false officials statements" for a starter? Since Brooke operates across state lines maybe some federal law has been violated. Perhaps the FBI could get involved. Then if they are questioned and lie about it we could get "obstruction of justice" and a whole lot of other juicy possibilities.
recorder |riˈkôrdər| noun
1 an apparatus for recording sound, pictures, or data, esp. a tape recorder, cassette recorder; VCR, videocassette recorder, videotape recorder; DVD recorder, digital recorder.
2 a person who keeps records : a poet and recorder of rural and industrial life, archivist, annalist, diarist, chronicler, historian; rare chronologer, chronologist..
3 a simple woodwind instrument with finger holes and no keys, held vertically and played by blowing air through a shaped mouthpiece against a sharp edge.
4 in England and Wales, a barrister appointed to serve as a part-time judge.
DERIVATIVES recordership |-ˌ sh ip| noun (in sense 4) . ORIGIN late Middle English (denoting a kind of judge): from Anglo-Norman French recordour, from Old French recorder ‘bring to remembrance’ ; partly reinforced by the verb record (also used in the obsolete sense [practice a tune] : see sense 3 ).
Gee Pat, you'll have to be more specific. :-)
Tom, you must be bored today.
A little machine that has a tape in it. It has a microphone and an on and off switch. Batteries and/or electric cord. Off and on switch. When you start to talk turn the switch to on and make sure the microphone is picking up the sound. There are some that are small enough to fit in your shirt pocket.
I used one when I was working to save beach camping at Roosevelt Lake. Worked great and I won. I used one on a day I went to see one of our past town attorneys. Put it right in front of him never tried to hide my recorders. He ask me if it was a recorder when I sat it down between us. When I said yes, he said he would not talk to me if I recorded the conversation.
When I ask him if he was refusing, he changed his mind and we had a very nice conversation and I had proof of what was said. Don't need video. Only make sure everyone says their name. Greatest little machines in the world.
I used to carry one of those when I was doing Fire Cause/Origin Investigations. It was quite helpful as I could literally record all the things I was seeing and finding and then when back at my office, transcribe those findings into a report. When I did my stint as PIO, I think most reporters I dealt with used them as well. Always had to be careful around those rats, as they would pretend to turn off the recorder and then try to draw you into the "off the record" comments. I have zero, zilch, nada respect for reporters or talking heads and they earned every ounce of that disrespect. Yes, I know there are some conscientious ones out there who take their job seriously, but most are simply into self-promotion. Never seen bigger egos.
Don, your efforts and the responses of others resulted in a nice little blurb in Tues. Payson Roundup. The questions that you raised and the responses to the questions raised by you and others led to the Roundup clarifying the issues. Now we know when, how much, what is paid, and who approved. You did not beat a dead horse. Good work!
All I will say is.....IS......HA HA HA ha ha ha ha ha....HO HO HO Ho ho ho ho, He HE he he he he, Stop, please, I can't stop laughing!!!!!
Are you talking about the water to Mesa Del? If you are what did we learn?
Just having fun with you.
Pat, I'm inclined to agree with John on this one. We may not yet know what you are digging up buy we know a lot more than we did. Knowing it helps to clear the air.
Gee, Don. You need to look into that. It could be serious.
a. A rare form of epileptic episode called gelastic seizure. The main symptom of a gelastic seizure is uncontrolled laughter. In one case, a pilot had been waking up other members of his household in the middle of night as he, sound asleep, broke out in peals of laughter.
b. Then there's pseudobulbar affect, which can accompany such neurological conditions as MS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), Parkinson's disease, brain tumors, and traumatic brain injury.
c. And finally, there's Kuru, known as Laughing Disease. Kuru is an incurable degenerative neurological disorder endemic to tribal regions of Papua New Guinea. It is a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, caused by a prion found in humans. It is now know that Kuru is transmitted via cannibalism.
But don't worry about having to spend a lot of money on any of them.
All three conditions are fatal. :-)
Since the town Now says we have more water than we need, I have changed my mind. I now think we should sell our excess public Town water to Young, Christopher Creek, Tonto Village, Geronimo Estates, Beaver Valley, Whispering Pines, Colcord Estates, Tonto Basin, Rye, Deer Creek Village, and any left over, to Scottsdale! Maybe start an official Town of Payson Water Hauling Service. We could clean up, have a surplus budget, and build our own University free and clear. LOL..... @(xx)@
I needed that! Always enjoy some tongue in cheek humor.
Don, I hear you talking!
By the way, this is completely off the point, but for anyone who's interested, the little joke that I put up for Don includes and interesting bit of truth.
Notice that last disease, Kuru. It's a lot like mad cow's disease, except that it strikes humans. And how do you get it? Only one way: by eating the brain of a another human being. So when we look at New Guinea, and at the New Guinea natives, and the large number of them that suffer from Kuru, we see what happens when humans slide so far down the scale of humanity that they are little better than animals. It's a form of poetic justice that I, for one, think is well deserved.
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