If you think our water matters, come in your pajamas

Published 3:47 pm Monday, May 18, 2015

To the editor:

I am reaching out to all citizens of Polk County, who would like to stand with me, in your pajamas Thursday morning at 6 a.m., May 21, for the reading of ICWD/Polk County Water System Services (#2 draft) Agreement, where no public will be allowed to speak their minds nor concerns about our own public resources…but they can’t tell us how to dress!

Showing up in your pajamas would deliver a message to the outside world that Polk government leaders (majority) are conducting critical resource/business decisions at this time apparently in hopes that pesky public participation will be minimal. Imagine their surprise when coffee-in-hand citizens wearing pajamas fill the room (appropriate attire for 6 a.m.) and we are in fact not sleepwalking through this unacceptable contract proposal, but rather, awake with our eyes wide open!

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I am not prepared, at this time, to list the multitude of concerns I have with this contract but am working on this with several others in and outside our county. I would like to request help in compiling a master list of talking points/problems that other citizens see as well, so to better prepare for the upcoming public comment /work-session meeting, currently scheduled for Monday, June 29 at 6 p.m.

That being said, I do wish to make note of two large elephants in the room. First, this “contract/agreement” between two parties, is professionally (legally) written by only one expert utility entity – Inman Campobello Water District, set up for their own best interests and benefits, not ours. So how can it be called an “agreement”?

Second, Polk County government has not done its due diligence in protecting citizens, county water resources nor our future, when it has not retained any independent lawyer or technical consultants to advise/guide/represent them throughout this highly complicated and long term (75 yrs.) shared water resource agreement venture.

Polk County Citizens and our waters deserve better. This is a high caliber decision and proposal that warrants the rigors of expert evaluation, especially on our side. We have to get this right because the stakes are high; there is a potential of over-obligation and mis-priority of Polk’s own water resources/reserves, leaving us to supply South Carolina (or other) customers instead.

So the very least we can do, to bring attention to this illogical unfair process going on, is to show up in our pajamas because our water matters.

Sky Conard
Mill Spring, N.C.