San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

PHOTO Development in the San Marcos River watershed such as Texas State University’s massive new Performing Arts Center, shown here under construction on University Drive, “comes with a price, and that price is a decline in the quality of water of the springs and river,” two Texas State biology professors said this week in a letter to the San Marcos City Council. MERCURY PHOTO by JAMIE MALDONADO

by BRAD ROLLINS

Two Texas State University professors are disavowing a San Marcos council member’s contention that their research indicates responsibly developed land can improve the quality of water runoff into the San Marcos River.

In response to a San Marcos Mercury candidate questionnaire in October, council member Shane Scott said data collected by the professors indicates “that the right kind of development actually protects our river better than being left in a natural state.”

Scott elaborated on the comment later at a debate and in an interview, saying vegetated swales, water retention ponds and other filtration systems have been shown to reduce the amount of E. coli swept into the river at certain test points by at least 50 percent. Scott serves on the Upper San Marcos Coordinating Group, a stakeholders board overseeing the study of water quality in the watershed of Sink Creek, the uppermost tributary of the San Marcos River.

“The way our geology works around here, when it rains, the water comes very quickly across the landscape and enters the river very quickly. The study was about wildlife and all the wildlife that we have. Their feces rushes into the river very quickly. Scientific studies show that development that captures this water through filtration systems literally cuts it into half, if not more,” Scott said at the San Marcos League of Women Voters forum on Oct. 22.

In a letter dated Nov. 27 to Scott and his council colleagues, two researchers who regularly present water quality data to the Upper San Marcos group said Scott’s statement is “a mistaken or uninformed interpretation of information you received.”

“We never presented evidence supporting your statement that development protects our river better than being left” undeveloped, states the letter, signed by assistant professor Benjamin Schwartz and associate professor Weston Nowlin. “In all of our presentations, one of the biggest take-home messages is that development in the Upper San Marcos River watershed comes with a price, and that price is a decline in the quality of water of the springs and river.”

Neither Schwartz nor Nowlin could immediately be reached this afternoon to discuss their research. Their letter did not include specific examples of their findings.

Asked about the letter this afternoon, Scott said he remains certain that Nowlin presented data at a meeting this summer that indicated E. coli bacteria was reduced in some areas where new real estate development provides better filtration and reduces habitat for feral pigs and other wildlife whose feces contaminate the river.

He suggested that Schwartz and Nowlin are ideologically motivated to soft-pedal evidence that could have the effect of encouraging land development.

“It’s not a wrong interpretation. It’s very true. Just because they don’t like it doesn’t make it wrong. Just because they don’t want to hear it, doesn’t make it wrong. Just because they don’t want people to consider the possibility that development can be beneficial to the environment, doesn’t make it wrong,” Scott said.

He said, “I have no agenda. I went in objectively and heard the presentations and that is what they said.”

Read more

Meadows Center Letter on Water Quality

CORRECTION 11/29/12: This story originally identified Schwartz and Nowlin as biology professors. They are professors in Texas State University’s biology department, but Schwartz’s specialty is karst hydrogeology.

CORRECTION 11/30/12: The story originally misstated the relationship between Schwartz, Nowlin and the Meadows Center. Schwartz and Nowlin are faculty in Texas State’s biology department, a separate entity from the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, formerly the Texas Rivers Systems Institute.

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49 thoughts on “Scientists ask Scott to take back development comment

  1. A clarification: Benjamin Schwartz is a Karst Hydrogeologist, who is a member of the Biology Department at Texas State.

  2. That comment from councilman scott is such a biased and obvious stretch. I am not surprised the scientists are acting on this, they would be discredited by their collegues if they did not. It reminds another comment i heard scott say during a debate in oct: “we dont have to worry about water, there will always be some”. The room literally gasped. It would have been funny if it wasnt so tragic.

  3. So according to Mr. Scott it is the wildlife that live natural in our area that are contaminating the river. That seems legit to me, those awful deer are everywhere. How dare they pollute our river, we were here first and they moved in and started destroying our habitat. On a serious note, it is more likely that areas used to raise cattle that are located in a watershed could potentially add high levels of E. Coli to the system. I wouldn’t be to surprised that center neighborhoods if designed properly offer better water quality entering the river than a cow pasture. But the idea of natural wildlife polluting the river is very ill informed.

  4. I would like to suggest that Shane Scott is “ideologically motivated” to ignore the science. Except for one donation from the San Marcos Firefighters, every dime of his campaign contributions were from developers. Follow the money…. And Shane Scott is doing just that. Blindly and with a deaf ear.

  5. Hmmm, well then I guess it would appear that San Marcos is a pre-growth city. After-all, Shane Scott did win the election by a large 20% margin against the anti-development guy. My guess is that these scientists/students (whichever they may be) were pressured into making this statement by a very vocal group of people in this city. That same group of people generally isn’t very supportive of the University, just sayin’.

  6. No, but maybe I am one of the 60% of citizens that voted for him.
    You don’t have to respond with some snarky comment about how I am not using my real name. I simply choose not to.

  7. Drs. Schwartz and Nowlin are research/teaching faculty at Texas State University, in the Biology Department.

  8. Realizing that Shane Scott was re-elected,as others were, not ordained to have the un-challenged freedom to spread myths about developement, our water resources, etc. Elected officials are held accountable by ALL THE CITIZENS, not simply the ones that they arranged to vote for them! Land developement codes, environmental laws and science, and moral fortitude must all play a part in any and all decisions made by said elected officials, their own personal opinions do not now and never have been in any way shape or form the unchallengeable law of the land! Simply because some of the business titans of our area have formed a group, and wish to force their wishes on our community against its will, does not mean that such behavior need be tolerated. My friends, the ballot box is but one of many vehicles that can be utilized to achieve ones goals, so keep the faith, we do not presently live in a society that allows the diabolical suppression of our individual rights, hopes and dreams, thank God! 🙂 jlb

  9. SM Citizen…I happen to know Dr. Schwartz(and no I am not one of his students nor do I work with him) and I can tell you that it is extremely unlikely that he was pressured by any group to do this. He lives and works in this community and, therefore, cares about its future. He is not some nut who is anti-development, he is for responsible development. It only takes a bit of common sense to realize that developing near the river is likely going to cause problems for the river something it seems many of our local politicians are lacking (or maybe they’re just more concerned about their own wallets).

  10. I am proud of these guys who stood up and corrected mr. scott’s fallacies. I think any 3rd grader could use his(or her) critical thinking skills to figure out that development is not better for the river than leaving the land in a natural state. Mr. Scott is obviously not an expert in regards to water or watershed related issues, and he should not be treated like one.

  11. I’m just wondering, if the “science” is showing that its the deer feces that are responsible for our river pollution does this mean we can pass an ordinance allowing hunting in our neighborhoods? I thinking there could be some high profit margins for venison out there…

  12. I think it is funny that this comment board lights up in support of a couple of professors who are working for paid grants, while commenters demonize one of our elected leaders and his motives. Scott gives his time for the City, very little of which is compensated, yet he is on the take on account of campaign dollars? He didn’t get any personal financial benefit from campaign dollars.
    How much has the Meadows F or other special interests paid faculty for “research”? Do they pay for “research” which is against their special interests? Does faculty directly pocket research money for their time? The money cuts against the integrity of most paid faculty research more than it does local elected leaders. Maybe that is what Buddy meant.

  13. I thank Drs. Nowlin and Schwartz for taking the time to clarify the misrepresentation of their research by Mr. Scott. I am part of the San Marcos Upper Watershed Coordinating Group and was present at the two meetings Shane Scott attended. I do not recall anything presented at those meetings that insinuated the claims Mr. Scott is making. Furthermore, his statements, “Just because they don’t want to hear it, doesn’t make it wrong. Just because they don’t want people to consider the possibility that development can be beneficial to the environment, doesn’t make it wrong,” make no sense. How can he claim they made these statements but “they don’t want to hear it” at the same time? If Mr. Scott has a different interpretation of the data, it would be helpful for him to support his claims with a more reasoned and detailed
    explanation.

  14. And if science shows ignorant people to be even worse for the environment than the deer……….? 😉 jlb

  15. Don’t confuse us with facts, Skeptical.

    The fact is that the San Marcos River Foundation is funded by the Meadows Foundation through Andrew Sansom’s connects. That’s why the San Marcos River Foundation never takes on Texas State University, which is hands down the worst polluter of the river.

    Follow the money and you’ll find out why Wassenich gives Texas State a pass while everyone else gets hell.

  16. I find it funny how pro-developement people do things like petition the appraisal district to lower their property taxes because they claim that their property is undevelopeable, and then turn around and attempt to sell their property for said developement years later! Ha Ha, really funny, oh how the winds of greed do blow, EH 😉 jlb

  17. After I was defeated by Mr. Scott for place 6 I decided I would be a passive political observer. But I feel compelled by this article to “chime in”. First let me start off by saying Mr. Scott beat me in a fair open election. I have no hard feelings toward him nor do I believe he has any towards me. I have spoken with him many times since then and have even had lunch with him. I did not agree with him on many issues politically then, and still do not.
    I am a little sickened by politics in San Marcos when it comes to the pro-development vs anti -development. What sickens me is a person does not have to be one or the other, though here we seem to think you must be on one side or the other. That being said I was also in the room during the debates when Mr. Scott said San Marcos does not have to worry about water. I actually had to turn to the gentleman sitting next to me asked if I just heard what I thought I heard. I will admit I am not the smartest man in the world, but when I heard that ridiculous statement I did not believe Mr. Scott and continued to watch and listen to the rest of the debate. When Mr. Scott made the ridiculous statement that development along the river was better than the natural environment around the river I did not believe him, and voted my conscience on voting day.

    I applaud the authors of the letter to Mr. Scott for wanting him to take back his comment. This reminds me of an old saying my grandfather use to say. “If you try to fix the gate when the cows are out, you’re too late.” The cows are out, the election is over. If anything good can come out of this maybe we in San Marcos can keep an eye on the candidates and hold our elected officials accountable for their actions, remind them they are responsible to the citizens not developers from out of town or environmentalists from out of town. San Marcos issues can and should be solved with San Marcos solutions.

  18. Well said Rodney.
    And I appreciate that someone recognizes the fact that you can care about the environment and still be pro-growth.

  19. This comment string is so hilarious! Don’t we WISH that SMRF got loads of money, Mr. Money Bags, from the University! And as for me or SMRF giving the University a pass when they pollute…. well, let’s just say I’m haven’t been a favorite of the University for many years, since I am constantly turning in problems we notice there with their construction pollution, erosion control, etc. I just have to ask: how on earth do folks get such completely wrong information about SMRF?

  20. For Diane:
    Why do they get the information wrong? Because the truth hurts. And it takes a big set of balls to own up to the truth.

  21. Dianne, you ask “how on Earth do such folks get such wrong information amount SMRF???? They don’t get the wrong information, they just make up information that wish were truth. In other words, they lie, I don’t know who “Skeptical” and apparently he/she doesn’t want anyone to know. Probably a good chance they are in the InSanMarcos group that is emailing letters to council wanting easier development in the most sensitive areas and then claiming the October 24 letter stating the same had nothing to do with Lazy Oaks and then just this week sending another email asking the “Silent Majority” to come to council to speak in favor of something it (InSanMarcos) signatories to the October letter said had nothing to do with Lazy Oaks. You will get motion sickness just following this groups evolving positions.i have friends who signed the letter and they have told me that in the letter had nothing to do with unincorporated areas west of town. The latest letter does. There is no question about that. I do not think that some of my very close friends lied to me. I do think that whoever is actually orchestrating this group may well ne very dishonest, both to the community and even to the members of this organization. growth in our community is good only if it is responsible growth that the landncan tolerate. question, Will the leader of InSanMarcos or the writer of these contradictory letters and positions please identify yourself? I find it interesting that the proponents of raping and pillaging the land want to cowardly hide in the shadows while those that seek to protect the environment use their names. Maybe a coward doesn’t want to be shown to be a liar as well and vice versa. Sent from an IPad way too early in the morning so not grammar checked. Best, CES

  22. InSanMarcos has a web site and they are a 501(c)6 organization with a mission statement: “To provide information to business owners, civic leaders and residents regarding the facts concerning local issues that shape the future of San Marcos.” Their values are: inform, involve, invest.

    The Board members are: Bill Burnet, Kevin Carswell, Pam Couch, Aubrey Longacre, Shirley Rogers, Fraye Stokes, Robbie Wiley.

    Charles, you can become a member for $20. Wait, they might charge you more. LOL

  23. I’m a local small business owner who is a member of inSanMarcos but I don’t just always fall in line with their message and do what they say. I have my own opinions and vote my conscious…not the way some “pro-development” group says I should vote. That being said, I find this string to be quite humorous to follow. I rarely post but feel obligated to do so.

    I am not aware of any letter that was drafted by inSanMarcos promoting relieving restrictions on development over the aquifer. However, at their last meeting, they had a presentation about a letter that was drafted by a group of business owners, I believe Patrick Rose along with contributions by others, that simply asked that the City Council not add any further restrictions to development on the west side of the City (i.e. over the recharge zone). I do not necessarily believe that is an unreasonable request. Much like I do not believe the request to further restrict the density over the recharge zone an unreasonable request. Albeit I’m not in favor of reducing the impervious cover below the existing TCEQ accepted levels.

    One thing I’m having a hard time understanding though is how this letter somehow correlates with inSanMarcos’s support of the Lazy Oaks development. Did the same group not also support Paseo Robles and the development at Wonder World and Craddock, both of which are located over the recharge zone. Further, if I recall, the development at Wonder World and Craddock was approved for higher impervious cover. Not real clear on how that was accomplished and I may be incorrect. Seems like this letter would go to support all developments over the recharge zone, which has been the trend with inSanMarcos, and not just one specific project.

    I agree whole heartedly that you can be both pro-development and environmentally sensitive. Development done properly, can be a steward of the environment and can mitigate, to the greatest extent possible, the impacts of that development. Is development perfect? No. Do accidents happen? Yes. But the fact is that development occurs. And all development will have an impact, not just that over the aquifer. I always find it interesting that development adjacent to the Blanco River often goes by with little to no fuss but if it’s on the San Marcos everyone’s in an uproar. Doesn’t the Blanco flow into the San Marcos. Also, how is it that we can dump our effluent out of the wastewater treatment plant directly into the river and be perfectly happy swimming in the same river but I seem to remember it being an issue to use that same water to irrigate in the Paseo Robles development. Would reuse of that water for irrigation or other applicable purposes, in-lieu of our valuable potable water, not be more beneficial than just dumping into the river to wash downstream. Perhaps it’s just because all of that happens downstream of San Marcos so we’re fine letting it be Martindale’s problem.

    I’m sure my post will be mutilated by a fervor of responses so let my beating begin.

  24. ISM is designed to act as a pro-development “counterweight” to groups like SMRF.

    “According to the Internal Revenue Service, a 501(c)(6) organization is a business league devoted to the improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business…A 501(c)(6) business league may further its exempt purposes through lobbying as its primary activity without jeopardizing its exempt status.”

  25. Dear Another Anonymous Poster, I will get you the blast email from InSan Marcos urging people to show up and speak for the Lazy Oaks (YES, IT SPECIFICALLY SAYS LAZY OAKS) and get it online so you can read it. It has everything to do with InSanMarcos and our neighborhoods. Sorry to rush, but running out to buy a christmas tree.

  26. OK, Anonymous Poster, if you don’t see the connection you need to go to TSO. This email was sent by a nameless person with his/her talking points (most of which are wrongheaded and show a complete disregard for what is right about our community). What investment is there if this developer only intends to get entitlements so he can sell the project for some other developer to come in and develop 3 plus houses per acre. My question to Mr. Nuse and the council is quite simple. 1. Assuming the developer could pay for the infrastructure (in spite of all the evidence that this developer has no intention of doing that) 2. Assuming further that the pipes for water are laid, how in good conscience can you say there are adequate water supplies. GBRA can only do so much in the absence of rainfall. Further, how in good conscience can anyone advocate this kind of high density development over such sensitive land.

    HERE’S YOUR INSANMARCOS EMAIL

    From: IN San Marcos
    Date: November 29, 2012 12:12:18 PM CST
    To: IN Group San Marcos
    Subject: Ref: City Council Meeting – Lazy Oaks Ranch

    BELOW INFORMATION IS TO INFORM YOU AND REQUEST YOUR INVOLVEMENT TO BRING A GREAT INVESTMENT TO OUR CITY

    The Lazy Oaks Ranch project located adjacent to San Marcos Academy will be on the City Council agenda next Tuesday, December 4th. The item will be listed as a public hearing, so that will be the time to speak. We encourage you to speak for yourself providing information you are passionate about on this project. We were told months ago at one of our meetings by our Mayor and City Manager how much San Marcos needs this project. Now we have the opportunity to speak out with our positive words. There will probably be negative words, but this is well. This is your chance to bring balance to the democratic process in our City.

    For too long many of us have allowed the vocal minority to have their voice heard over our silent majority. It is now time to raise our voice and move our City forward rather than backward and stagnant.

    Below and attached are some points that you may use to help move this project forward and with a positive outcome for us all.

    Thank you and we will see you on December 4th.


    inSanMarcos
    P.O. Box 506
    San Marcos, TX 78667

    inform.involve.invest
    “insanmarcostx@gmail.com”

    inSanMarcos Council Discussion Points

    Overall Project Summary

    Benefits to the City:

    · Authorizes annexation of property upon development.

    · Authorizes the regulation of development as though property were inside City limits. (Would not otherwise be able to regulate.)

    · Allows for a variety of high quality housing products and lot types that are needed in the City of San Marcos

    · Provides detailed and enhanced architectural design standards

    · Project will be connected to City utilities

    · Environmental and water quality standards that exceed City and TCEQ standards

    · Setting aside significant amount of open space and providing for connectivity throughout development

    Specific Project Items/Details

    Project Density

    · Maximum of 1,750 units represents an overall density of 1.25 units per acre

    · City’s current Comprehensive Master Plan envisions 3 units per acre in this area

    · Other developments that have been approved by the City (Paso Robles and C&G Development) over the recharge zone have not been restricted by density

    · Development far exceeds the vision of the Comprehensive Master Plan and other recently approved developments

    Environment/Water Quality/Open Space

    · Providing for removal of pollutants to a level that exceeds requirements of City and TCEQ for developments over the recharge zone

    · Setting aside 460 acres as open space which represents approximately 1/3 of the property that will remain in its natural condition

    · Parkland and Open Space areas will be connected through system of facilities that will provide connectivity to future extensions of Purgatory Creek Greenspace as well as internal connections for residents

    Architectural Design Standards

    · All structure will be high quality design that will complement the Hill Country setting

    · Residential restricted to 80% masonry with no Hardie-Plank and a variety of required design standards

    · Nonresidential restricted to masonry with no Hardie-Plank and variety of design standards that will compliment neighborhood

    Lot Types and Housing Products

    · Development provides a wide variety of lot sizes which will offer a variety of housing products that are needed in San Marcos

    · Development is located in a desirable area for quality higher value housing products

    · Subdivision entry road, property views and quality housing products will provide for appearance and feel of a higher end community that is attractive to businesses and employers looking to locate in San Marcos and that is otherwise not available in any other subdivision in the City

    Process/Procedure Issues

  27. Intrepid—-As most of us know, calling it a “talking point” doesn’t make it true, factual or accurate. Such is the case here. Interesting that the author referred to the “silent majority” , a term made famous by none other than Richard Nixon, a person not known for truthfulness. I forgot, most of the InSanMarcos crowd is part of the Grand Old Party, just read the list.

  28. I don’t hate it Intrepid, I find it interesting that they feel they are they can’t remain in the background anymore and must use the same public forum “regular” citizens use to make their case. They even submitted a petition as we did all those months ago.

    Why is now the time for a push to go from the silent “majority” to being vocal and participating in the democratic process?

    Meetings should become much more interesting in the weeks, months and years ahead. Perhaps we can all learn a few things from each other if people go into the democratic process with an open mind on the city level and not become so polarized as we have on the national level.

  29. These issues transcend party politics, as I have ascertained over the past year it is only the party of greed that appears to rule over the decisions being made locally that will bear consequences for generations to come. Anything short of less dense developement and CASH up front for what could cost in the millions to provide wastewater service to this area. I would guess as is the SOP they will put the cart in front of the horse and try to figure out the solutions after the problems/ challenges are created. Why must density and maximum profits rule our city, instead of quaility and perhaps harmony with residents that have already invested in our area? I find it a quite arrogant that some in this world simply think that they know what is best for others, typically driven by ambitions of monetary gain. 🙂 jlb

  30. The GOP was meant to be funny dig given the use of a term most often thought of in conjunction with the disgraced President. I would venture to say that our neighborhood is fairly evenly split politically but 100% united in its opposition to this project. We don’t mind neighbors but we don’t need a future Sagewood or it’s ilk.

  31. Really, Charles, it sounds more like NIMBY. Seems like some prole only get concerned about things when they think it’s going to land in their backyard or on their doorstep.

  32. Not at all. People have built homes and lives in the Settlement and Fox Ridge. We have great respect for the land . Each has a reason they are here. The developer was told by Commissioiner Conley to contact our residents and he didn’t. He learned about only this fall. His development adviser is Ed Theriot, formerly of the city of San Marcos and he and his client were both quiet as church mice. NIMBY, hardly, we welcome quality development and homeowners who understand the fragile nature of the area, not packed in cluster communities that end up looking like Sagewood or many of the others in town. As to my recent involvement, I think that my record of involvement in my community and state is more than adequate. However, as to my own property, I will fight and work with my neighbors to protect our homes and lives from developers who are only interested in salvaging bad investments.

  33. NIMBY is a derogatory term. But the term originated with the neighborhood of Love Canal. Would we hurl insults at the people of Love Canal today?

    But if not for people like this – who become involved in their government for whatever reason, San Marcos would be overrun by land developers and others who are only interested in profits generated by higher densities and maximum use of the land. And you will, in practical terms, see taxes rise as a result of these developments in order to pay for sewer, water, drainage, roads, police, fire schools, etc.

    There are other such terms that have developed since then. But I don’t see them being used by the people who are concerned about the future of San Marcos and its resources.

    I think Intrepid should change their name. Someone who posts anonymously and hurls nothing more than insults and name-calling could hardly be considered fearless, bold, or adventuresome.

  34. Unforunately quality developements do not translate into maximum IMMEDIATE profits, and realizing that the lions share of the construction primarily goes to contractors from other regions at cut-rate bids, since they are typically building projects as cheaply as possible, I have no sympathy for them if their pipe dreams are unwanted by the residents of our region. Contrary to the mis-information provided by more than one of our elected officials, via the PDD process license is given to developers projects before the infrastructure, utilities, environmental issues, etc have even been thoroughly engineered, and often solely dependent on the developers designs, etc. Our region is undoubtedly a desireable place to live and invest in a home, until OUR INVESTMENTS, HOPES AND DREAMS ARE ADULTERATED BY KNEE JERK PLANNING AND THE SHORTSIGHTED DISREGARD FOR THE VERY ATTRIBUTES THAT INSPIRED US TO CHOOSE THIS AREA TO LIVE IN THE FIRST PLACE! The past year has taught me that national politics do not matter in these affairs, it all comes down to people speaking up for the basic quality of life that any body of people would expect, and the fair protections of it. 🙂 jlb

  35. Why should we allow developers destroy a beautiful area by the river when there are parts of town that are abandoned and prime for development (like thorpe ln)

  36. Some new names! Welcome to the discussions, Stevo and Reyna. This month the city council will probably be discussing and voting on several large projects in town. Tomorrow night there is public comment about Lazy Oaks- west of town, over the recharge zone, and probably later this month Cape’s Camp will come up on the agenda.

    If you have concerns or comments on any of these, I’d encourage to write in to council or speak at the meetings. The more new faces, the better; the group of people concerned about sustainable, responsible development is most definitely NOT a “vocal minority”. Bring your friends too : )

  37. Though I appreciate all of the perspectives presented here, I want to get back to the point of the article for a minute. Mr. Scott serves in the “Upper San Marcos Coordinating Group a stakeholders board overseeing the study of water quality in the watershed of Sink Creek, the uppermost tributary of the San Marcos River.” To me this translates into him bearing the responsibility of taking what he learns there and sharing it with his colleagues in City government as well as his constiuency and, apparently, the developers he supports. It appears that he has taken something out of context and twisted it to support further development along the sensitive river lands when in fact that is not at all what the information provided was intended to support. At best it is completely irresponsible of him to disseminate information in this manner and the authors of this letter are politely pointing out to him that he not only misused their references to data but also has completely misinterpreted their intent. It is frightening to me to see that someone with so little regard for the precious resource we all know and love is in such a position of influence to both obtain information and then relay it to others in positions of power. Why was someone with so LITTLE understanding of water quality or the impact of development chosen to be a liason between the city and this group, or any other entity for that matter, when questions of impact arise? Again, it is frigtening. The professors were absolutely right in their request that he retract his ill-conceived statement but rather than take a deeper look and possibly see the error of not only his words but views, he maintains that he is “not wrong”. It makes no sense whatsoever to glean from that letter that wildlife are the main contributors to river pollution and that development decreases it. OFCOURSE if you take water samples immediately below retention drains and the like the water in THAT spot may have less levels of waste, but go twenty feet out stream further and test or a hundred feet downstream and it is likely different results. It certainly doesn’t mean that development of these natural states is better for the river, environment or community as a whole. If I am to understand him correctly, is he saying that if we get rid of wildlife (e.g. pave the land and build on it) that we resolve the flow of nasty runoff from their feces? The whole notion presented by him is ABSURD. I cannot believe that he wields the authority that he does in this lovely city.

  38. This has been a very interesting thread but it is also very academic. Where were these learned men a month ago? Where were they when Mr. Scott made his statements? It would have been more productive if they had cut down some of the ivory that had grown over their towers and engaged when it could have made a difference.

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