Edwards Aquifer Protection Program (EAPP) and the Greenway Trails programs need your help!
San Antonio is fortunate to have one of the most prolific karst aquifers in the world under our feet. But, the Edwards Aquifer and its Great Springs are highly vulnerable because of their unique geology and hydrology. Has San Antonio spent what is needed to protect our primary source of water? What will passage of competing sales tax initiatives mean for the City’s efforts to protect the Edwards Aquifer?
Dr. Ron Green, member of the City of San Antonio’s Edwards Aquifer Protection Program Scientific Evaluation Team, joined Annalisa Peace, Director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, to discuss the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program, how and where the Aquifer recharges, and what is needed to protect this marvelous resource. You can watch this discussion in its entirety here, or view selected portions below the City Council contact list to the right.
Unfortunately, our Mayor and City Council members have declined to hear this presentation and are set to vote on eliminating sales tax support for this important program without having all the facts. With the San Antonio City Council set to vote on the compromise ballot initiatives by August 17th, we have a short window of time to urge City Council to include the EAPP on the November 2020 ballot, as it has been for at least the last 15 years. If City Council representatives don’t hear from constituents regarding this proposal, the prospect that the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and the Greenway Trails will be permanently defunded is very real. Please reach out to your friends and allies and ask them to let City Council know that these programs are important and worthy of their support.
Our friends at the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA) have given us a sample letter to use when contacting City Council:
I’m writing as a concerned citizen who resides in District (Your District#).
The recent plan announced by the city to have PreK 4 SA and a shared sales tax between COSA and VIA without regard to Edwards Aquifer Protection Program is simply wrong. To the best of my knowledge, there was no discussion or presentation to the broader city council at this last meeting by anyone representing the EAPP view point whereas there were presentations made by the other interested parties. To leave the EAPP completely out of the discussion is unconscionable.
Although you have declined the opportunity to be briefed on the need to continue the EAPP, you can learn what the Scientific Evaluation Team members and experts have determined by watching this presentation.
To not give the voters of San Antonio a complete range of choice regarding where to allocate COSA’s portion of the sales tax is even more egregious. The purpose of the sales tax is to benefit the citizens of San Antonio and the citizens deserve to have a fair choice among ALL the options.
There are some fundamental assumption flaws at play here.
- That PreK 4 SA is unassailable. Though this is a laudable initiative, San Antonio is using sales tax dollars to supplement the deficiencies of Texas education policy and funding. PreK education is important but is a function our public education that we pay property tax dollars to support.
- That voters are unable to choose between competing initiatives. The voters deserve an opportunity to weigh in on all the alternatives, not just the ones the City Councils wants to put forth.
- That the choices are mutually exclusive. Why can’t we equitably split the full 1/4 cent sales tax (currently 1/8 to PreK 4 SA and 1/8 for VIA) across all important initiatives: EAPP, workforce development, VIA, and PreK 4 SA?
The irony here is that there is a simple way to successfully pursue all three initiatives. I urge you to include the Edward Aquifer Protection Program in the proposition voters will consider in November 2020.