Further Fracturing Impacting Rio Verde Foothills Water Solution

Photo Credit: azcentral.com

The ongoing water crisis at the Rio Verde Foothills has seen a lot of chaos and a lot of bitter struggles (get up to date here). There has been finger pointing, battle lines drawn between Scottsdale Mayor Dave Ortega and the county Board of Supervisors, protests, state representatives taking shots and nearly everyone having an opinion. And that doesn’t appear to be stopping.

Now, as a recent story outlines, there are significant fractures showing up as a logical next step in this issue. Getting any group to stay on message and focused on a singular priority or set of priorities is always difficult. But when that same group has different political leanings, different aims and varying degrees of ego, it is clear that the situation is more complicated than had been originally hoped.

What had started as a protest at Governor Hobbs’s office devolved into arguments over two competing Republican bills and sometimes actively denigrating the one they did not prefer. Rep. Alexander Kolodin’s bill is currently the more pragmatic of the two, with Rep. Gail Griffin’s bill including essentially a mandate for other cities to continue serving water to overbuilt, water-insecure communities, a clause that certainly sounds good to Rio Verde Foothills members but may be a poison pill for those who have been critical of unfettered growth in our state.

And while Rio Verde Foothills residents fight over those competing bills, we have to wonder what happened within the Republican caucus. One would have assumed that they would have met ahead of time and hammered out a preferred bill that they all could agree on; that, or Republican leadership making that decision for them. It is interesting that this didn’t happen and seems to point to egos and a desire for credit from either Kolodin, Griffin or both.

It’s also worth noting that for any upstart movement of critical importance and new attention, there are always dynamics within that group. While everyone may be mostly on board for a similar outcome, statewide and even national attention as well as accessibility to people in power has a way of tainting ideological purity. It is nearly a given that within the community there are some who are looking to seize that opportunity, those who are willing to subjugate the desires of the community for their own. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of any cause that has flown close to the sun of the nation’s attention.

It does seem like the Rio Verde Foothills water crisis may be beset on numerous sides by egos and self-dealers looking to advance their own interests rather than those of the community. Predictable, but unfortunate.