False Information Being Spread About Water Problem



In a recent letter to the editor, Sam Schwalm continues to make accusations and spread fear and false information to citizens in the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District. Contrary to Mr. Schwalm’s statement that I have been aggressively trying to silence any discussions, I wish to open the discussion further and to its broadest context so the citizens of our community may be well-informed with complete and factual information of all the events that have transpired.

Unfortunately with Mr. Schwalm, he chooses to ignore pertinent history that brought us to our current situation. For example, he is in denial that some of the recalled board members secreted documents provided by Robert Hardcastle of Brooke Utilities from other board members prior to the K2 vote and withheld them from the public for almost one year. He ignores two blatant conflicts of interest in the K2 negotiation process by a member of the water development committee, who later became a board member and another board member who became employed by Brooke Utilities shortly after leaving the PSWID board. Just like Robert Hardcastle, he is trying to pit Strawberry against Pine and is in denial about Strawberry’s water situation. Lest we forget water was trucked to Pine in 2007 and shipped up the Magnolia pipeline to Strawberry. In addition, let me remind him that Strawberry has only 200,000 gallons of water storage. Lastly, Sam Schwalm now says he supports the buyout of the water companies; however, he wants to spend $300,000 of taxpayers’ money to help Brooke Utilities drill a well that potentially could raise the value of the companies. Is this good business sense? Whose side is he on? Is he trying to help Pine-Strawberry or Robert Hardcastle (Brooke Utilities)?

Sam Schwalm needs to answer a lot of questions about his close ties to Robert Hardcastle of Brooke Utilities and why he gets special e-mails from him concerning PSWID board activities.

So Sam, I invite you to come out from behind your word processor. Perhaps the public has questions of both of us. I propose a public forum/debate, where we will engage one another and answer the public’s questions regarding water issues. We would select an independent moderator and have the session in January on a Saturday afternoon for maximum attendance. Sam, I am waiting for your call. I have nothing to hide and lots of information to provide.

Ray Pugel


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