Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vote Against the Stormwater Ballot Proposition


Please vote AGAINST this stormwater ballot proposition!

Read John Walton's Newspaper Tree op-ed piece: PSB's high standards are the best stormwater option.

Obviously this is my opinion as the author of this neighborhood blog. You are welcome to add your comments for or against in the comments section below.

Know that I come from an activist position regarding environmental issues in El Paso. In all cases, the PSB has worked with advocates of open space, xeriscaping, and use of native trees. As President-elect of the West Texas Urban Forestry Council, I can tell you that they responded to our call to use trees as part of the stormwater master plan - a plan developed after months of deliberation by citizens of all backgrounds and occupations. (They include people in their planning. There is no elitism at the PSB.) As a member of the Open Space sub-committee for the City of El Paso's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, I can tell you that they have been the only entity responsive to the Open Space Green Infrastructure Plan. What little has been implemented by that plan has been implemented by the PSB and not by the City bureaucrats.

As an avid hiker, I was overjoyed by PSB's land transfer of 1700 acres to the Franklin Mountains State Park. PSB has been readily responsive to our Newman Park neighborhood regarding the nearby storm ponds and our beautiful Mayfield Wildscape.

A political advertisement that I just received via email reads:
The proposition on the City elections ballot seeks to return control of the Municipal Drainage System (“stormwater”) to the City. That will not solve El Paso’s flooding problem or who pays for it. This proposal would mean that politicians – not professionals – will determine where and if El Paso has an effective, safe stormwater control system.

El Paso’s new Stormwater Master Plan sets aside money for the Capital Improvement Projects we need to protect our property from summer storms – an important investment in our city. These projects are scheduled to begin later this year. The Plan sets aside an additional $6.2-million for open space and park pond projects; more than an investment in the environment, they are quality-of-life projects that benefit all of us.

Storm channels and drains all across El Paso that were ignored for years are now free of decades of litter – old tires, tumbleweeds and collections of trash. We must not return to the days of drain channels that are unkempt, unhealthy and dangerous eye sores.

Vote AGAINST putting our Municipal Drainage System into the hands of politicians who are pressured to make decisions that are not necessarily in the public interest.

Vote AGAINST a payment schedule that could mean residential customers will pay the burden of the costs. El Paso deserves better than this!

Vote AGAINST the stormwater ballot proposition!
If you do early voting, you will find polling information here.

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