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Not a personal attack

I appreciated that Myron Martwick, chairman of the Oak Lodge Water District Board of Directors, copied me on his letter, which I received April 14 via General Manager Michael Read at the Oak Lodge Sanitary District administration offices.

Understanding that the letter will be published in the April 23 edition of this newspaper, I feel that it is important for me to reply to the issues which Mr. Martwick raised. My March 12 response to Mr. Martwick’s March 5 Community Soapbox was not meant as a personal attack, but rather to provide perspectives which his article neglected to mention.

Because I believe that the public deserves to learn of and consider all of the aspects related to the merger feasibility study currently under way, all pertinent information should be placed before the public so that they are fully informed and trusted to develop their own opinions.

In order to honestly evaluate whether there are benefits to our joint customers, we should be discussing the matter before us, which is exploring the potentials, both good and bad, of a merger between the water and sanitary districts. This matter was brought to the OLSD Board by resolution, so it is now our duty as public officials to thoroughly investigate the idea. I understand that last week the OLWD board voted to hire a consultant to do a thorough review of the report on the financial potentials that consultant Steve Donovan has been preparing, with the complete cooperation from top to bottom, of both organizations. From what I can tell, Mr. Donovan is doing a thorough and unbiased job working with staff and board members of both organizations, and they are all asking each other a lot of tough questions. That vote to review the Donovan study is clearly exercising due diligence, and I fully support a thorough review of the financial report by a neutral third party.

After both boards have reviewed these reports and have determined their worth to our community, as we commissioners and directors were elected to do, then it is important that we have a community discussion based on the findings in the reports.

Once the boards have had the opportunity to review and consider the results of the study, we will have the obligation to consider whether to proceed with further actions in support of a merger, or not.

Terry John Gibson is president of the Board of Directors of the Oak Lodge Sanitary District.



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