Give us residents a little credit
November 3, 2002
(This letter was originally addressed to Basalt Trustees Jacque Whitsitt and Anne Freedman.)
I was disheartened by the newspaper article regarding Basalt’s new water rates. Your assumption that residents only conserve water because someone slapped them on the wrist and increased the amount of their water bill is a bit self-righteous.
People conserve water for a variety of reasons ? not the least of which is that Colorado just endured its worst drought in history.
Last summer I collected water in my sinks to pour on my flower gardens; I adhered to the mandatory watering restrictions; I prevented my children from running through the sprinkler on hot summer days; I replaced an existing section of lawn with native shrubs and trees.
And I did so because I care about my community and about this beautiful state in which I have lived all my life. As forest fires raged around us, it would have been negligent to do anything else.
You stated that the decrease in water use last summer is evidence that the plan is working. The plan is not working, Jacque; we are.
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We are working to take care of this community, our neighborhoods and families, and we are teaching our children to do the same. To take credit for the conservation efforts of your constituents is sheer hubris.
You may also want to consider that the mandatory three-days-per-week watering schedule had something to do with the decrease in water use. Nearly five months of restrictions may have more to do with conservation than your new rate structure.
I also resent Jacque’s comment that she refuses to back down on this issue; personal agendas should not mandate town policy. Up to this point, the town has seemed open to a dialogue between residents and policy-makers. I hope you don’t close the door too soon on the erroneous assumption that you have succeeded in “teaching us a lesson.”