Public Request to Grant County Commissioners

Over the past few months discussion within the community concerning efforts to divert more water from the Gila River using one of the two options under the Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA) has increased dramatically.

To be clear, inaccurate information and confusion has been a part of that public discussion. But that is unavoidable and to be expected because the AWSA and the implications of diverting or not diverting more Gila River water are very complicated matters. Put three lawyers in a room, ask each to tell you what the numerous provisions of AWSA provide, and I bet you dollars to doughnuts that you will get a minimum of at least three different answers.

However, what is avoidable and should not be tolerated, is intentional dissemination of inaccurate information, lies, and half-truths about this issue—which is what our Grant County commissioners have been repeatedly claiming is the case.

The problem I find with their claims, though, is that not once have they provided even a single specific example of the campaign of misinformation they say is going on. How come?

So, given this lack of specificity, and given the commissioners’ concerns to not suffer any damage to their credibility, I ask the Grant County Commissioners to please provide the community with their evidence of the lies, half-truths or misinformation they claim is being promoted. Or, in the alternative, please stop making these unsubstantiated claims.

It also seems to me that any public servant concerned about the propagation of misinformation regarding an extremely important matter of concern to the County would pick up the phone and call whomever they believe is the source and try to get to the bottom of it. Maybe one or all of the commissioners have done this, but if they have, I am not aware of it.

I do think that Commissioner Hall, though, is on the right track with his call to the other two commissioners to reconsider Resolution R-13-18, which they hastily approved at their March 11 special meeting. Resolution R-13-18 was the resolution supporting the City of Deming’s Southwest New Mexico Regional Water Supply Project to divert Gila River water, a project the commissioners had not even seen let alone read.

Mr. Hall’s advocacy for transparency in government and his position that the County should provide its citizenry with the best independent information on this matter as possible is also commendable. Hopefully, Commissioners Ramos and Kasten support him in these goals.

Walter “Ski” Szymanski
Silver City

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