Transparency is key in diking district | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
February 6, 2012 · 7:48 AM
To the editor:
If the voters in Diking District 1 believe in honesty and transparency, and if they are concerned about the continuing supply of clean water from their water districts, they would be wise to elect Tom Kraft as their new diking district commissioner.
Did you know that 1.5 billion gallons of fresh water is removed from the wetlands surrounding Deer Lagoon each year before it has a chance to replenish the groundwater and underlying aquifer? Did you know that Judge Churchill has ruled that long-time diking district commissioners Ray Gabelein and Steve Arnold purchased and installed the pump without proper notification of the so-called “benefitted residents” in Diking District 1? These funds — authorized by the unlawful assessment of district residents — are now on hold by court order, and the loan payment due on the pump is now in arrears. As a result of this improper action, there are lawsuits pending against these two Diking District 1 commissioners.
Despite assurances by Bayview Beach Water District commissioners, who monitor chloride levels in the wells, they have never conducted focused studies by hydrologists to support their claims that reduction of fresh water levels in Deer Lagoon wetlands will not result in disturbance of hydrostatic equilibrium sufficient to result in saltwater intrusion.
Judicious pumping of water is endorsed by Diking District 1 Commissioner John Shepard and others who believe that flood-prone properties should be protected. But the question remains: How much pumping is reasonable and necessary? No one can possibly know how big our aquifers are and whether they are interconnected without expert hydrological evaluation. Opinions based on piecemeal study or guesswork by the less-than-fully qualified may lead to disaster.
Clean water is vital to us. The risk is too great to continue this reckless freshwater draw-down without the fullest possible knowledge of potential ruinous consequences.
Diking District 1 commissioner candidate Tom Kraft will proceed cautiously; his actions will be based on the public interest and public input.
The flow of water does not respect political/property boundaries. For all our sakes, it behooves Diking District 1 residents to elect officials who respect the law and seek the best solutions for all parties involved. Ray Gabelein has failed the public trust. We deserve better. Elect Tom Kraft.