Letters to the editor
A water wolfin sheep’s clothingOne of the primary messages of the resounding negative vote on Referendum A is that state dictated solutions on water issues are not needed or wanted.Rather, what are needed are local and regional solutions spearheaded by the actual water providers working with area citizen groups, not political appointees or state bureaucrats.Now the same people who were behind the defeated Referendum A are trumpeting something called the Statewide Water Supply Initiative (SWSI).Don’t be fooled – SWSI is a Referendum A “wolf” in “sheep’s” clothing as the solution to local water supply issues. We couldn’t disagree more with Commissioner Stone. As its name indicates, SWSI is a State sponsored study headed by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) that was designed to select the large water development projects that would be funded by Referendum A. The CWCB is the State agency that spearheaded the fight against the Town of Vail’s in-channel recreational water right (which the CWCB lost), and has no one on its board who represents Eagle County or the recreation based industry.Moreover, the make-up of the SWSI Technical Round Table advising the CWCB is dominated by political appointees who do not represent the cities, towns, and water districts that are charged with the responsibility to provide water and sewer service, and will actually pay for any water supply project. Equally important is the fact that there is not a single person on the SWSI technical roundtable that represents Eagle County recreational water users and only one out of the 27 members has any connection at all to the recreation based industry, the most important industry on Colorado’s western slope. That individual, however, is not from Eagle County.Water supply solutions need to be worked out at the local and regional level. A case in point are the on-going negotiations among Aurora, Denver, the Colorado River District, Eagle River water providers and area citizen groups. Recently heralded by the Rocky Mountain News as a model for achieving cooperative water solutions, this is an effort to develop limited, responsible, environmentally sensitive water projects that share resources and provide for everyone’s water needs, but at the same time protects the west slope and water for recreation, the fish and aesthetics.Unfortunately, that is the same process which would have been undercut by Referendum A, and now potentially could be hindered by SWSI. We trust and only hope that SWSI will be no more successful than, and will meet the same fate as, Referendum A. In the interim, we intend to continue the ongoing process with Aurora, Denver, and area citizen groups in an effort to achieve a meaningful and lasting resolution of Eagle River water issues.Rick Sackbauer, president, Eagle River Water & Sanitation DistrictRobert Warner, president, Upper Eagle Regional Water AuthorityGlenn E. Porzak, special water counsel, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District and Upper Eagle Regional Water AuthoritySome blessingThanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. Friends and family get together and count their blessings. When my guests leave, I am full of good food, and full of gratitude for the family and friends who have shared the evening with me.Imagine how distressed I was this year when one of our kids came back inside to report that there was a green parking ticket on their windshield and on the other three cars parked on the street! We live in a small, quiet Vail neighborhood that ends in a cul-de-sac. While we all know that the streets have been posted for no parking, we also know that the reason for this is to aid the snowplows in bad weather. This Thanksgiving we had clear streets as well as a starry night.It upsets me to no end to think that my tax dollars are paying for the code enforcement people to be out on Thanksgiving night giving out tickets and stirring up bad will. Since this occurred at 7:40 p.m., I presume that they were working on over-time. If there was a parking problem on our street, I would feel a little less angry. However, we have all lived here for a number of years and understand the importance of making our street user friendly for our snowplow crew. We all use good judgment and I’m willing to bet that there are never complaints about the on street parking here. I find it warped and infuriating that the code enforcement staff spent their holiday ruining mine for no reason. Isn’t this the time of year that people are supposed to reflect on getting along with others? The fact that these tickets turned out to be warnings doesn’t mitigate for a minute the feeling of being slapped in the face on a holiday.Peggy Nicholls
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