1 ,1 i it,
* TIMES TUESDAY. MARCH 21. 1995 3
intensifies water wars
A proposal to put -
litigation against Swiftmud
on hold while the parties
work on a solution to the
water shortage is rebuffed.
y JeAN HMLLER
CLEARWATER A proposal
for a cease-fire in the region's wa-
ter wars only intensified the battle
Monday after one member of the
board of Tampa Bay's principal wa-
ter supplier accused another of
"collusion" with the enemy.
County Commissioner Chuck
Rainey, Pinellas' representative on
e bod the board of the West Coast Re-
gional Water Supply Authority,
charged that Hillsborough's repre-
sentative, County Commissioner
Ed Turanchik, had somehow con-
spired behind the backs of the
board members to make a deal with
the region's water regulator.
Turanchik was pressing a pro-
posal that all parties to the most
current water dispute back off until
Oct. 1. The proposal calls for the
Southwest Florida Water Manage-
ment District (Swiftmud) to stay its
emergency order limiting West
Coast's well-field pumping to an
average of 116-million gallons per
day over a year. In return, litigation
by West Coast and Pinellas County
against Swiftmud would be put on
hold and all parties would work
toward a solution to the chronic
regional water shortage.
But Rainey wouldn't budge.
"There seems to be a certain
amount of collusion here," Rainey
said, asking Turanchik how great a
role Swiftmud played in creating
the peace proposal.
"Since when is talking to a re-
gional agency collusion' Turan-
chik demanded. And he insisted
Pinflas' rep antotive,
Chuck Rainey, left, accused
Ed Turamhik, ight, of
conpiring behind the backs
of board nmtrobs.
that Swiftmud played no part in
developing the compromise, that it
came entirely from a public meet-
ing of the Hillsborough commis-
"You're making your own
* deals," Rainey replied.
Then the Pinellas commission-
er attempted to extend to West
Coast board members and virtually
all West Coast staff the same gag
order he has already slapped on all
Pinellas County employees: Do not
talk to anybody from Swiftmud at
any time about anything.
Rainey excepted only West
Coast's general manager and legal
counsel, who have scheduled a
meeting with Swiftmud officials to
discuss the very compromise that
infuriated Rainey in the first place.
Rainey reiterated his position
that the courts should decide the
validity of the pumping cap issue.
"In my view, the people of this
community are sick of litigation,"
Turanchik snapped. "It's an abdica-
tion of (our) responsibility ... (to)
throw away democracy and repre-
sentative government and give it
all to the lawyers."
\ Rainey's motion lost on a 3-2