In a letter to EW (“NIMBY Strikes EWEB,” 6/17), Steve Mital, a former EWEB commissioner, accused another former commissioner, Sandra Bishop, of NIMBYISM over her opposition to the installation of two gigantic water storage tanks adjacent to her home in South Eugene.
First of all, why is it ethical for an ex-commissioner to publicly express his personal views on the motives of a former colleague, especially on a contested project of this significance? I toured the proposed site with Bishop, and she was very clear about the need for the tanks, but not the recent decision to build them both at the same time with all the noise and destruction that would entail. That decision, made without public input in the midst of the pandemic, smacks of an attempt to avoid protesters, although EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson has since apologized for the abrupt change in plans.
Even so, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the new schedule will require the removal of some of Eugene’s oldest remaining trees as well as the blasting of bedrock. As recently as January, EWEB was on the record to put in one tank then move on to tear down the aging College Hill Reservoir 607 before a catastrophe occurred there, and finally return to install the second tank in 10 years or so. Among other advantages, this sequence has the potential to give some of the largest trees 10 more years of life. Even installing one tank will create a continuous stream of heavy machinery and monster trucks rumbling by the popular Tugman Park for weeks, affecting hundreds of families, not just Bishop’s.
Two at a time is over the top. Is over the top the dominating philosophy in Eugene?