Crying ‘Wolf’ About Pswid



It is discouraging that when there is so much good news to report about the Pine-Strawberry Water System we have people who write uniformed and unfactual tales to the editor. Sam Schwalm, one of the few lonely vocal critics of the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District, cannot seem to write an article or letter and get his facts correct.

In a recent letter to the editor, he stated “The PSWID board agreed to purchase the Milk Ranch Well for $570,000 and the appraisal effort was stopped.”

That is news to us. Last time we checked, we did not have a signed agreement with the PSWID or anyone else, however, if Mr. Schwalm can produce a document signed by the PSWID board and us that agrees to the purchase of the Milk Ranch Well for $570,000, Milk Ranch, LLC will donate $10,000 to the charity of his choice.

By the same token, if he cannot produce a signed agreement, we would expect him to donate $10,000 to the charity of our choice or at the very least, add another retraction to his long list of corrections.

To clear up another cloud, the reason there was objection to the person who was going to value and do the “appraisal” of our well was because that person was not a licensed appraiser. He was an engineer located in Kentucky who had never set foot in Pine. Our request was that if an appraisal was done, it be done by a licensed Arizona appraiser who would be working within their area of expertise.

Sam is right on one key point. There is no room for Chicago politics or a “community organizer” in Pine who is fast and loose with the facts or who leaves out pertinent details to their essays. Logically, if we had the political influence that Mr. Schwalm implies that we have, the Milk Ranch Well would have been sold months if not years ago.

At the last PSWID meeting, Ginger Kaufman of Strawberry praised the board for a water restriction-free summer. The room exploded with applause. It was disheartening to observe Mr. Schwalm scowl and refrain from applauding the progress in the quality of life that the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District has made.

We would be happy to meet with anyone who would appreciate factual information on the Milk Ranch Well and the well development process. Drilling a well and developing a well are two separate and distinct issues.

In any event, if Mr. Schwalm would be so kind as to send us his address, it would be our pleasure to send him the book, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Constant criticism and misstatement of fact does nothing to achieve credibility or factually inform the citizens of Pine-Strawberry.

Ray Pugel, Julie Pugel, Robert Randall, Sally Randall


None 6 years, 5 months ago

Quoting Ray Pugel, Julie Pugel, Robert Randall and Sally Randall: "That is news to us. Last time we checked, we did not have a signed agreement with the PSWID or anyone else..."

Thanks for pointing that out! The current board has spent over $100,000 on a well that someone else could come along and buy! No letter of intent, no purchase agreement - just money down a hole.

Of course everyone is happy that there were no restrictions this summer. Everyone was also happy with the wet winter we had. Everyone is happy with the repairs that Dean and his crew have put in to improve the efficiency of our system.

What everyone is not happy about is the lack of financial responsibility the PSWID has with money coming out of the homeowners pockets.

There were no restrictions, yet the Milk Ranch and Strawberry Hollow wells were not on the system. What's the rush? Get an appraisal from an objective, qualified appraiser. Have the cost of the repairs paid for by the current well owner, or take them off the purchase price.


Bernice Winandy 6 years, 5 months ago

Vinman, happy to see that you recognize that paying close to 2 times the appraised value of an item and that voting to purchase an item with incomplete information is simply fiscal irresponsibility. There are others in the community that see it that way, too. I, too, wonder what is the hurry especially since I see no one else in the race to purchase these items. I wish we could get a direct answer from PSWID.


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