The Snowbowl Debate
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Snowbowl and the City Of Flagstaff are in the middle of a highly emotional debate over whether or not the City should sell water to Snowbowl for snow making. I won’t go into the history of the situation because it is long and beside the point of this post. For those who are not familiar at all with what is going on, you can find some background here:
Until now, I have been fairly silent on the issue. I have sent a couple messages to my friend Jeff Oravits who is on the water commission. As I told him, I am opposed to the new water deal for several reasons but the primary reason is the 11 million dollars that the federal government has promised Snowbowl if they use drinking water to make snow.
As many of you know, I am a supporter of business and growth and realize that businesses like Snowbowl strengthen our economy by creating jobs and bringing revenue to Flagstaff. That said, they should clearly do it with their own money. No more handouts. No help from the federal government.
I find it funny how businesses complain about federal rules and regulations all the time but they jump at the chance to accept federal dollars. You can’t have it both ways and it is important to remember that federal funds always come with strings attached.
Last night’s tea party meeting was an interesting experience. A member got up to speak about why she supported the deal and a clear split became evident. There were a few comments about using precious water to make snow at a time when many claim there is a water shortage in northern Arizona. There were lots of questions. Most of all, there was an outcry against the 11 million dollars the federal government was offering Snowbowl.
The man sitting next to me said “Let Snowbowl use their own damn money.” A guy across from me said something along the lines of “The tea party cannot complain about government spending and support this deal at the same time.” The majority of the people around me did not buy into the argument that the federal government would spend the money somewhere else so they might as well spend it in Flagstaff. That concept clearly went against what many of us believe the tea parties are about…cutting spending, limiting government and reducing dependence on unconstitutional federal programs.
The Snowbowl debate is still heating up and we will be hearing much more about it in the days to come. I would encourage tea party members, conservatives, and anyone else who is concerned about federal overstretch to be consistent and realize that limiting federal spending and cutting the federal deficit must start in our own back yard.