Pine Water Conundrum

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The Gila County Board of Supervisors ceremoniously washed their hands of the troubles of the Pine/Strawberry Water Improvement District and called a May election.

Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin said she attended last week’s town hall meeting convinced the supervisors ought to run the troubled district until November, before staging an election to replace the disbanded water district board.

But after listening once again to the bitter depth of the divisions in that long-suffering community, she decided the board of supervisors ought to rip the bull’s-eye off their backs and let someone else provide the target practice.

Probably not a bad idea.

We’re still scratching our heads over the county attorney’s ruling that if the board does call an $18,000 special election for May at least three of the board members elected will have to again seek election in November. Those three board members will serve only five months before seeking another four-year term at a cost of about $5,000. This apparently has something to do with state statutes that limit terms to no more than four years. Don’t make sense to us. But then, we ain’t lawyers.

So now the residents can gird themselves for an election all their own, with the primaries for everyone else in August and the general election in November.

We hope the election will draw careful, pragmatic candidates more interested in the future than in the past. The community has endured a long struggle to secure an adequate water supply. Those who have served up until now managed to do just that.

Supporters of the departed board members had lots to praise. Detractors of the departed board members had lots to criticize. But that’s all water down the creek bed now.

The community now has enough water — but lots of critical decisions still to make.

We just hope the election will focus on the problems that await rather than the personalities of the past. And that the bowl of water in which the Gila County supervisors is so vigorously washing their political hands doesn’t have too much turbidity.

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