This subject has taken up so much interest during the campaign that I feel compelled to address it once again. The decisions being made about the water supply suggest that big moneyed interests are more important to some of the candidates than the needs of people in our town.
This post should point out that there are those running for office, namely Kathy Galvin and Satyendra Huja who have proven themselves to be more interested in a wide range of county developers and the Monticello Business Alliance than they are the regular people, taxpayers, and rate payers in Charlottesville. How we plan our water supply, and the costs associated with it directly affect how much money we can use to address social needs in any meaningful way.
Days before the Democratic Primary, mailings went out to voters all over Charlottesville concerning the Water Supply. The mailer came in three forms- one from various groups purporting to represent something other than “sprawl interests” and two from the “Monticello Business Alliance”. All three expressed the same lies and half truths. They compared the cost of the new earthen dam with the cost of dredging. What they did not include was the cost of the pipeline and pumping stations, without which the new earthen dam would be virtually useless, as there would be no way to disperse the actual water to where it is supposed to be. Without the pipeline and other additions, there would also be no extra water, as claimed by the Monticello Business Alliance and others. see the mailer
By the Monticello Business Alliance’s say-so the dam would cost $25 million and dredging would be $36 million. In reality, the cost of the new dam, because it requires the pipeline and other new infrastructure, is somewhere around $142 million. The mailings also misleadingly suggest that dredging is a one time process. This is a deception intentionally ignoring that dredging proponents call for a sustained process that also allows for the selling of material that is dredged up, which would further reduce the cost of restorative and maintenance dredging.
I suppose it is no real surprise that a business group interested in more development would try to influence the public by lying about the costs of things.
The real story here however is- one of the mailings specifically endorses a slate of candidates for the now decided democratic primary.
Two of those candidates won: Kathy Galvin and Satyendra Huja.
Galvin and Huja each received $500 from the Monticello Business Alliance and the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association in the reporting period for July 1 to Aug. 10.
(read campaign finance reports)
As of this writing, reports for Aug. 11-Aug. 31 have not been publicized so we aren’t sure if Galvin and Huja have received more from the Monticello Business Alliance or Blue Ridge Homebuilders Association but consider this:
The Monticello Business Alliance spent a lot of money on those mailings, the mailings also served two purposes for Kathy Galvin and Satyendra Huja- it endorsed their candidacies, and supported their positions on the water supply plan.
You can see who the Monticello Business Alliance represents, and who is interested in having Huja and Galvin get into office. The businesses and members of the Monticello Business Alliance want to use our tax payer and ratepayer money on building an expensive new dam and pipeline so that they have an excuse to encourage more unnecessary sprawl and ecological degradation.
By accepting the contributions and allowing the Monticello Business Alliance to endorse them as candidates we can see exactly where Huja’s and Galvin’s loyalties lie.
But wait! There’s more!
If we go ahead and build this new dam and pipeline and wind up with way too much extra water (and debt) we can sell it, to Nestle’ Corp.
If you want to see why this is a bad idea, and why the Nature Conservancy, along with business interests continue to favor this awful plan check out Hook Story on the Water Supply Plan.
(Just Google Nestle and Nature Conservancy and a host of information is available about how our water supply could be in danger of becoming profits for Nestle, or even the property of Nestle’, by using your tax dollars and water bills.)
But back to Galvin and Huja- we need to demand from them a public and aggressive denunciation of the bad information included in the mailings that endorsed them, a return of PAC money from the Monticello Business Alliance and the Blue Ridge Homebuilders Association and honest explanations of their positions based on facts rather than lies and half truths. We also need to hear from them that under no circumstance will they allow Nestle’ or any other such corporation to purchase our water for commercial use.
I have very little faith that such a repudiation will occur or that Kathy Galvin or Satyendra Huja will commit to anything other than complying with the wishes of the sprawl lobby.
All the more reason to vote for me, Brandon Collins on November 8th.
I believe that public resources should remain under public control, and that all people should have access to a healthy water supply. Outside business interests should not be allowed to influence our process for determining the smartest, greenest, and strongest water supply plan. By attempting to invest in candidates who benefit from lies being told on their behalf we can what kind of designs Galvin, Huja, county business interests have in mind for Charlottesville.
I am a candidate to whom voters can look for decisions based on what our community, our people, and our environment need, not what county developers and their political action committees want.