First; Congratulations to Carolyn and Tom on their victory (will know finally on June, 5 ). We all wish them clear vision and pure hearts on their journey forward. I enjoyed my first political race in Tillamook county. Robin Kostrikin and I hope to continue our effort over the next year by writing a monthly newsletter with interested parties in and around the community focused on water quality at the tap and other water issues from our larger community (other coastal water/sewer services, DEQ,…). We will publish with our own oversight from the community and would love for the relationship with PCJWSA to be friendly and open but are prepared for other positions. We hope to be the public voice that PCJWSA proposes to reach. I would volunteer help towards any technical research or systems development work that needs it. We have the potential to make ourselves into a ‘model’ public-information system around water issues and I will continue to help as I can.
Here are some important issues that came up during this election.
• Fact: I have more engineering credentials than any on the current PCJWSA board. This includes a Master-of-Science in Computer Science from Oregon State ( I also put-in the computer network for the Oceanography department as a system network manager while finishing my degree) and a degree from Evergreen (WA) and PCC (Portland). I also have worked on large multi-national financial systems as well as those for small clinics. I have never wanted to be the oppositional party to PCJWSA but continue to want an ‘open’ system for all members and the public-at-large.
• I understand classified information; what is public and what is private as I’ve worked for the DOD and DOE, several large corporations and been classified to various levels for almost all projects (many of them in research and development or pre-IPO). I’ve also volunteered as a system manager for the Tillamook Watershed Council.
• I believe an interactive-map of our service area is the best way to show ‘projects’ to the public and demystify exactly how our system works and make many more people invested in their local water and sewer. Tillamook Estuary Project has a good model for how to do this. ArcGIS can be utilized and is practically free to public-interest water groups. I have offered my time to help with this.
• I believe a FAQ (frequently asked questions) available from the PCJWSA web-site (or our newsletter web-site) would be the best way to organize the research around ‘public’ issues. Work needs to be done on how research is done and presented.
• I hope to setup ‘testing-at-the-tap’ within several places in our community. This will start to look at the issues of chlorine and bio-solids in the water at the use points. Several people are capable and willing to work on this.
• As the upgrade is close to completion, Tony and Michele are close to retirement. Tony is our long-time work manager and Michele is our long-time data manager. These are key positions and the transfer needs to bring in the needed expertise for the future.
• There is a close-knit financial group that controls the flow of ‘large money’ in this community, especially around large public loans or grant funds. Large money is defined to be anything in excess of $100,000. This group also seems-to-be in control of the key board positions within the community that control this money.
• Currently this financial group is advancing rapid tourism development in the Cape Kiwanda area. The upside benefits real estate, gated communities, rentals, hotels, resorts and all other businesses that benefit from this boom-bust industry. This is the political direction PCJWSA has been funding with the upgrade design, sometimes to the exclusion of local repair-maintenance-upgrade issues around the rest of the community. Some issues have been on the books for 15 years.
• The downside to this tourist industry is an increasing consumption of water and other natural resources, garbage and pollution to the land and water base (water is a finite resource that ultimately may be exhausted). At present, this upward limit is not known nor is it considered within major financial decisions. How systems are hardened for emergency situations favors Cape Kiwanda to the detriment of the rest of the system as does the order that projects are put on the queue for work completion. PCJWSA is currently reluctant to be involved in this discussion with the community to a positive end. It continues to operate within a listen-ignore process.
Water, its consumption and pollution, is becoming a critical issue all over the world. Many diverse minds will be needed in the solutions that need to be developed. PCJWSA must look at their water issues within this global mindset. I (with others) will continue to work (hopefully with PCJWSA) on expanding our knowledge of how we collect water, clean it and deposit it back into a vibrant water system that supports salmon, birds and people. Wish us luck on our newsletter to the public. Out in a month.