Reaching Texas Independents

Who Will Debate Prop A on Vista Ridge in San Antonio?

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Who Will Debate Prop A on Vista Ridge?
Tuesday, October 16, 7 – 8 pm, Pan American Golf Association Clubhouse
2300 Avenue B, San Antonio 78215
For details, visit our Event Page Here
Or invite your Facebook friends from here.

Leading Water Attorney Agrees to Debate FOR Prop A Because of Vista Ridge;
SAWS Chairman Berto Guerra Declines to Debate PROP A, Mayor Nirenberg now invited!

At Tuesday’s San Antonio Water System (SAWS) board meeting some things happened that made Prop A far bigger an issue than is being discussed yet in the battles between the Vote Yes and Vote No campaigns aflame in the city of San Antonio.

SAWS moved the largest water project in Texas history—the behind schedule $3.4 billion Vista Ridge, 142-mile long pipeline, closer to meeting its 2020 deadline. Meanwhile, SAWS trustee, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, was absent when the board voted for 81 million dollars worth of Vista Ridge related construction contract awards.

Members of the League of Independent Voters (LIV) hoped that someone – perhaps the Mayor -- might mention the two articles in the Rivard Report about SAWS recently rejecting a low bid contract for one tiny portion of the Vista Ridge Project and awarding the contract to a company which proposed to be paid $16.6 million more for the same amount of work. Instead of taking his trustee chair and questioning the SAWS recommendation to award to the high bidder or revisiting SAWS CEO Robert Puente’s recommendation to fight the ensuing lawsuit which names city council members as well as the San Antonio Water System, the Mayor was out stumping to defeat Props A, B and C.

Ellen Berky, a San Antonio architect who started fighting Vista Ridge in 2014 alongside those living over the Simsboro aquifer in Burleson county, recently joined the board of the League of Independent Voters. The League advocates for groundwater and eminent domain policy reform and protection of the first amendment right to petition.

Berky said:

“San Antonio citizens across the political spectrum opposed Vista Ridge because it is massively expensive and thoroughly flawed project that will take us in reverse on San Antonio’s exemplary history of water conservation. Plus, who really supports taking someone else’s water other than those who have most to profit from this 3.4 billion dollar boondoggle? But the real estate lobby and its henchmen in the public realm have the city so thoroughly divided it’s like Chinatown (the movie) except without the sex and mayhem. Actually, strike half of that. We have got mayhem – just not intelligent and informed debate. If San Antonio had the right to petition as provided in Proposition A, perhaps we would have had a public vote in 2014 and avoided all this madness.”

On Tuesday, at the SAWS meeting, Berky asked SAWS Board of Trustees Chairman, Berto Guerra, who had donated $25,000 to the “Go Vote No” campaign, to join a LIV sponsored debate on Prop A with one of the top water attorneys in Texas -- James Murphy.  Berky followed up with this formal letter of invitation.

Berky received this short letter the next day from SAWS CEO Puente declining the invitation to Guerra:

Ms. Berky,

We are in receipt of your letter to Chairman Guerra dated October 9, 2018, regarding an invitation to debate the pros and cons of Proposition A.  Chairman Guerra is aware of your request and formal invitation.  Unfortunately, Chairman Guerra is not available to participate in this event.

Sincerely,
Robert Puente

SAWS CEO, Robert Puente, is the most responsible person besides the Mayor and city council, for the continuation of the Vista Ridge Project. Despite its many setbacks, costs to ratepayers, and the disgust of targeted landowners living some 142 miles away, CEO Puente presses on while the Mayor and Council look the other way.

James Murphy is working with landowners and ratepayers across the state to make clear to legislators that:

“2019 is either the year Texans accept a failed and dangerous model for groundwater – that of California – or we remember that Texas is our Texas, not a place for fools’ gold. California has come full circle and is now struggling to reverse over 50 years of decisions that have the state reeling in water crisis. Texas cannot go down this path and certainly not SAWS ratepayers who happen to live in one of the poorest cities in the country.”

One of the spokespersons for the Yes campaign, Reinette King, said,

“If we pass Prop A this November 'we the people' will have a voice in matters people across our community are upset about such as the city giving away the land under the Cenotaph and the Alamo.  Some things cannot wait until it is time to elect a new council.” (more info here)

Linda Curtis, a founder and spokesperson for LIV who lives over the aquifer targeted by Vista Ridge in Bastrop, said:

“Prop A isn’t for any one group or interest, including the Firefighters. It is truly a gift from the Firefighters to the citizens of San Antonio to empower them to check and balance their local government.”

The event will take place with or without an opponent of Prop A. LIV is extending invitations to Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Christian Archer (the campaign manager for Go Vote No) and anyone who can credibly claim they can debate the pros and cons of Prop A and Vista Ridge.

The Prop A debate will be followed by a debate watch of the contenders for US Senate, Representative Beto O’Rourke and Senator Ted Cruz.

The flier for this event is posted here.
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For more information: 512.657.2089 call or text to reach anyone quoted in this release.

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