Questioning Officials A Cornerstone Of Our Liberty

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Editor:

Water For Pine Strawberry is a group that has been in existence for the last four years. We are citizens of Pine and Strawberry who are concerned about the water situation and the actions of the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID). Our efforts over these years have been focused on the reasonable expectations that the PSWID board provide complete and accurate information on their activities to the public, that they spend their neighbors’ money with the same care that they would spend their own, and that they operate in an ethical manner.

PSWID has often been reluctant to provide complete and accurate information. We have worked to fill that gap with the Web site www.WaterForPine Strawberry.com to provide a repository of information about the actions of PSWID. We also began providing e-mail summaries to the community of the PSWID board meetings, analysis of water issues and commentary on what has been happening.

We are proud of our track record for accuracy and that our analysis has proven itself correct over time.

In that time the PSWID board has had some positive accomplishments, most notably hiring CH2M Hill to provide professional management of the water system. However, there have also been many instances where substantial amounts of money were wasted. There have been multiple instances of influential members of the community receiving sweetheart deals. There has been multiple times where the PSWID Regulations for procurement and contracting have been violated. There have been many instances of the board providing incorrect and misleading information to the public.

While these problems have occurred throughout the four years, they greatly increased after PSWID Chairman Mr. Gary Lovetro and his supporters took control of the board. It is little wonder that Mr. Lovetro refuses to make the PSWID Regulations document easily accessible by the public. Nor is it hard to understand why Mr. Lovetro does not like our paying attention and asking questions.

The ability of citizens in this country to be able to ask public officials questions and to receive an honest answer is a cornerstone of our liberty. It is an affront to that liberty when Mr. Lovetro issues threats and organizes campaigns to intimidate those who are paying close attention to the board’s actions.

Sam Schwalm

Comments

Dan Haapala 1 year, 12 months ago

Every community needs a watch dog. In the Pine/Strawberry area that has been Sam. With no bone to pick, no public office to attain, no interest other than that of a resident and involved citizen in the community, Sam has spent countless hours of his 'free time' to follow the actions of the only government agency in his community and report what he has personally heard and seen. Some don't like the light of day on their garden. Some have castigated Sam as some kind of kook, but Sam has only done what all of us should be doing, keeping a reign on our government so that we the people stay in charge. I encourage everyone who has been told he is trouble, to go to his review of every meeting and read what he is reporting. Sam Schwalm, should be praised for his diligence in protecting the rights of tax payers in the Pine and Strawberry area.

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