For Immediate Release Thursday, October 11, 2018
Who Will Debate Prop A on Vista Ridge?
Leading Water Attorney Agrees to Debate FOR Prop A Because of Vista Ridge;
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.
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.
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.
One of the spokespersons for the Yes campaign, Reinette King, said,
Linda Curtis, a founder and spokesperson for LIV who lives over the aquifer targeted by Vista Ridge in Bastrop, said:
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.
For more information: 512.657.2089 call or text to reach anyone quoted in this release.