Letter to the Editor: Public misinformed background of water development committee

Dear Brandon Valley Journal Editor,

I would like to address information pertaining specifically to me in a letter to the editor written by Brian Papka and published in the April 4th edition. It was represented that I was incorrectly taking credit for an action taken by the city council in creating the Water Development Committee.

Although I prefer to stay quiet, since my integrity is being questioned I will address this issue. It was my suggestion to create the Water Development Committee as I felt it was a way for a group of interested citizens to be more involved in the water discussion and use their energy to a good benefit. I made this suggestion to Pat Hammond, Tim Wakefield, and Bryan Read after the public meeting held Oct. 10, 2017 at the Golf Course. I said I would pursue it and see where it went.

After discussion with Mayor Beesley, City Administrator Bryan Read and several council members, I approached Don Wells and asked if he would be willing to chair such a committee. I felt his technical background, attention to detail, and interest in our community would serve our residents well. Thankfully he agreed and has done a very fine job. We have had lots of valuable information presented by hydrogeologists, geologists and other knowledgeable professionals who know our groundwater area well. They have all come as volunteers for which we are very grateful.

As noted correctly in the letter, Don Wells did make the motion to authorize the committee, and I seconded it and it was approved by City Council. However, the behind the scenes efforts were far different than Mr. Papka implied in his letter. Sometimes facts get muddied, so I am hopeful that we can now move forward and develop recommendations for council’s consideration that will sustain our water quality and quantity for many years to come. 

Barb Fish

Ward 1 Alderwoman

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1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
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