In spite of the “flood” of finger pointing in the Rio Bravo Water System scandal (yes, I think it’s safe to call it a scandal now), reports from Rio Bravo and El Cenizo earlier this week indicate that the water is STILL green in those communities. This comes from an insider who is intimately familiar with that precinct, er, part of Webb County.
If the system has been corrected, then why is the water still green? And if it’s still green, then why not put a little swimming pool chlorine in it … it’ll clean it right up! Given the level of responsibility that’s been displayed int he handling of this fiasco, “shocking the pool” with the water supply might even be too sophisticated a solution.
This issue isn’t going away. The people of El Cenizo and Rio Bravo deserve to drink water that doesn’t give them the squirts. And someone besides Johnny Amaya will have to take ownership of this scandal. IS the water still green? Haven’t heard of any county officials who have made an on-site inspection. Only former county officials who may or may not have an ax to grind.
The underlying issue here is one that nobody will admit out loud but everybody is whispering about. Why the heck is Webb County managing the water utility for these two incorporated cities?
Political junkies argue back and forth that Webb County would be best served by leaving El Cenizo and Rio Bravo to manage their own water supply, collect their own water bills and deal with their own problems. Maybe they’re right. Maybe the residents don’t pay their water bills. But who’s going to have the ganas to stand up and deny poor children clean water?
It’s a toughie, but probably the right decision to make. Meanwhile, Judge Danny Valdez, Webb County’s CEO, is at fault for allowing this to happen. He put one of his canoneros into a position he was unqualified to handle and looked the other way while his friend turned the water green and put children at risk.
There’s a lesson here, Judge Valdez — Don’t make a bet with your mouth that your butt can’t cash. Thanks to your inadequacy, that’s where the county is right now in this situation. If you have no intention of maintaining the water system, DON’T ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT TO DO SO. If it’s better for all parties to separate the utility from the county, then ensure that your fellow citizens are covered before you leave them high and dry (literally.) Provide for your constituents. Then walk away.
Probably good advice for the coming Primary Election, too, Judge!