Letter to the Editor
DeCinzo Right On
Santa Cruz Weekly, 5/3/12
In disparraging DeCinzo’s cartoon that depicts the city bulldozing “science-based evidence” and “democracy” (among other things), Charlotte Webster (“Cartoon Facts,” Posts, April 25) omits some critical points about the desal issue. Many scientifically supported solutions to our water problem have been proposed, but the city, in its years-long, $12 million (to date) push for a desal plant, has refused to commit any reasonable sum of money to investigate these. The most feasible alternative—that of improved winter water storage (it’s like money in the bank!)—requires a political commitment to cooperation among the three affected water districts. Storage would cost far less and be less environmentally destructive than desal. Nor would storage alter the character of our Westside neighborhoods, as would a desal plant with all its associated infrastructure.
Desal, on the other hand, requires no political will, only an obscene amount of money in this fragile economy: $180 million, including financing.
The cartoon’s portrayal of city council destroying democracy is right on the mark. While the council approved an ordinance to put desal on the ballot (after the Right-to-Vote-on-Desal began its campaign for a charter amendment), how democratic is it if the powers-that-be have the legal right to withdraw the ordinance before it’s voted on? In contrast, the petition currently being circulated in the city by Right-To-Vote-on-Desal puts the decision inalienably in the voters’ hands. Please check RTVOD.org or call 419-6441 to find out where to sign this petition.