What did we learn in the recent election for our PCJWSA board?  It was a very close election, issues were discussed, and many were ready for a change. We are more than a small group of vocal ratepayers. We represent the interests of many in our district who thanked us for our involvement and speaking on their behalf. We learned  many people are too afraid to speak out publicly because it might have a negative impact on their businesses, their civic activities and tarnish their public image. There are also many other reasons for their non=involvement. We have a silent minority of active registered voters who  don’t vote on PCJWSA issues.   

Many ratepayers were adamant that they would never vote for board members that believe that public concerns should not influence policy decisions because they believe they are more well-informed than the public and make the best decisions on our behalf. Let’s also remember not everyone voted for them, so therefore they don’t represent everyone’s interests. Many people have voiced this sentiment regarding our county commissioners and elected officials at all levels of government who often ignore the will of the people because they believe they know better.

We have a chlorine problem=too much chlorine, too little, or a distribution problem in pockets around the district.  Suggestion: Work with Parametrix our engineering firm to identify the trouble areas and find solutions to correct them.  

We need to develop a plan to deal with increased tourism and development and the impact on our natural resources, our upgrade and infrastructure.

We have aging asbestos-cement pipes and don’t know how old they are. They need a plan of action to replace them, and in the meantime, more frequent testing. The community should be involved in this discussion for costs involved.

We hope the board looks into the low interest loan I provided which is specifically targeted for rural communities who need to replace their aging pipes, other grants available, or people who are willing to write them.

PCJWSA does not need to hire a community outreach expert. All they need to do is LISTEN AND RESPOND WITH CLEAR ANSWERS. BE OPEN AND HONEST. The current response is LISTEN AND IGNORE, and HIDE things from the public.

Mike Dill has offered his technical skills for FREE. Writing grants to help offset our capital improvements. To improve our website. To develop an interactive map display so ratepayers see how our water and sewer works, and for projects that need to be done and shared with the community. Develop a (FAQ)Frequently Asked Questions to answer ratepayer questions that is research based. To quantify our data to determine our level of efficiency fiscally and to analyze all our data in other areas like population growth that involves much more than what has been discussed,  open more information to the public as part of an educational process and community outreach and help with a smooth transition for our new manager who will be at a disadvantage unless the historical data is recorded digitally that has been done the past 30 years. To develop partnerships with outside organizations like the school district. So far Mike is seen as a threat instead of an asset to this community. We hope that changes.

Let’s utilize the resources we have in our own community to improve how PCJWSA serves the ratepayers.  It’s our hope we can work in a spirit of cooperation, but so far, the board has not shown any interest in working with us. Mike Dill and I will be developing a monthly community newsletter to keep people informed and provide science based research on water quality issues, and other related topics. Any questions, suggestions, or if you would like a copy of our newsletter, please contact us at ppwaternews@gmail.com. We hope to get your input and support.

Robin Kostrikin

Pacific City

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