Facts Speak For Themselves

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Editor:

First I want to congratulate the Town of Payson and Mayor Evans for their efforts in obtaining the federal stimulus funding for the Blue Ridge pipeline.

Your comments “the irony of an agency serving 83 homeowners getting money to drill precisely the same sort of deep well that the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District and Pine Water Company have been arguing about for nearly two years,” struck a nerve. The irony is that Mr. Harry Jones along with his other positions is now contracted as the interim general manager of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) and paid out of the PSWID budget.

For clarification, as a consultant, Mr. Jones does not represent all three Gila County Board of Supervisors. He is paid out of District One funds at the behest of Supervisor Martin. As an outside consultant whose background is finance, he was contracted by previous Supervisor Ron Christensen for a few months back in 2003. Now almost six years later, he has been paid by us the taxpayers, several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The crux of the matter is, Mr. Jones was one of those instrumental in the demise of the K2 well effort. He worked toward the recall of four members of the previous PSWID board and was against the K2 well!

His intent is that we should buy Pine and Strawberry water companies. To that end he interfaced and coached those in opposition, reviewed some of their statements to be presented to the ACC and publicly spoke against the K2 well and Brooke Utilities at opposition meetings.

His activities were questioned by some in Gila County and the concern was that he was representing some of the taxpayers and being paid by all of the taxpayers. His expenses for his activities up in Pine and Strawberry sometimes reached over $7,000 per month, all paid by District One taxpayers including those in Payson.

Despite sanctioning Mr. Jones’ expenses as her consultant, Supervisor Martin only managed to attend one PSWID meeting over the years, and that was when the previous board was facing the threat of recall. So our tax dollars were being spent to go against an elected taxpayer-supported board and even more galling the hopes of a deep well to serve both communities were dashed.

I therefore cannot go along with your suggestion that I owe a particular debt to Ms. Martin and Mr. Jones because they did not work so effectively and tirelessly on my behalf. The facts speak for themselves.

Pam Mason

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