Dam City Council 

Demonstrators Float Idea for Voter Initiative

For the second time in eight months, roughly 700 residents took time from their Sunday afternoons to express disbelief that the city council still refuses to listen to them. They linked hands and formed a circle around the Mt. Tabor reservoir, the large water tank at the center of a fight between neighborhood associations and city council.

"Cap the council, not the reservoir," yelled one woman. She then turned to the man standing next to her and quipped, "It's so stupid that we need to keep doing this."

A year ago, city council decided to invest tens of millions into an elaborate plan to put lids over the century-old reservoirs. Citing concerns about poisoning, the plan moved forward quickly and without input from residents. Once those residents found out about the plan, they agitated for city council to reconsider. To no avail, they staged a protest in March where they linked hands around the reservoir. Last Sunday they repeated this protest.

Yet pleas to halt the plan seem to be falling on deaf ears. A few weeks ago, city council pushed forward and awarded a $6 million contract for designing engineering blueprints to the very same consulting firm that first sounded alarm bells about potential terrorist attacks.

Desperate to grab city council's attention, a group calling itself Citizens for Safe Affordable Water has filed two petitions for voter initiatives. If successful, either could derail the plan by removing a good deal of fiscal power from the water bureau.

For more information about the ongoing fight, check out "friendsofreservoirs.org."

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