After the heated Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) meetings, it’s unfortunate that the focus has shifted away from the actions in question of the PSWID, toward the outrageous verbal attacks on Sam Schwalm. The truth about angry outbursts is that they provide a good smoke screen for unethical behavior. I hear from other Pine residents that belong to town-oriented groups that the tempers of Calderon and Lovetro (board members with uncontrolled outbursts) are not exclusive to only water meetings. The only moral thing to do is a public apology made directly to Sam Schwalm — not a generalized apology for an outburst! Public people with these types of anger issues should not be allowed to continue in any public forum.
The time limit for people wanting to speak in attendance to these meetings is another disgrace and is controlled by what Lovetro calls “at the discretion of the board chairman.” At the last meeting, Cindy Maack and Jane Wilcox were allowed to rant at Sam well over the three-minute limit while Sam Schwalm is allowed only one comment/question at any meeting (approximately one minute). Also, Sam’s questions at the meetings and/or submitted through e-mail are no longer being answered. This is a violation of the First Amendment and discriminatory.
I observe a lot of critical adjectives being used to describe Sam Schwalm. He has shown tremendous restraint and has not responded to these threats or unethical remarks. He has stood on higher ground above the unjustified anger directed at him more than once.
Of course, the water board wants to push a record of the positive accomplishments and brush the wrongdoing under the radar — who wouldn’t?
From what I see, I guess the right of freedom of speech is not worth much in Pine, Arizona. The local residents who make their living in Pine do not want to voice opinions against the PSWID water board out of fear of losing income or getting fired through the influence of the “Almighty Powerful One.” That’s why in almost every article it is stated that “most of the residents of Pine” support the PSWID actions.
Lovetro and Calderon, the PSWID board members with outbursts, have been personally insulting and threatening to Sam Schwalm — that’s a fact. All board members should be held to an appropriate behavioral standard — not allowed to be junior high bullies in public office.