Navarro takes the stand to address Clean drinking water concerns

Last Tuesday, Frances Navarro took the podium at the Devine City Council meeting with drinking water safety concerns. Navarro was given only five minutes to talk, but said quite a lot while she was up there at the podium.
With so much funds potentially going into the huge drainage bond if passed, she asked council to consider their priorities.
“Wouldn’t you agree that safety and cleanliness of our drinking water would take priority over water drainage issues since it affects the community as a whole?”she asked.
“You Ms. Randall stated that we have clean water. Are you aware that in 2017 the EPA named Devine and one other municipality in the entire state of Texas and I will quote, ‘higher than allowed asbestos level in their water that year. Testing from January to July reveled fluctuations of asbestos levels, 14,17,18 million parts. City officials did not believe this was a serious danger…only a mere testing issue that’s all!”she stated.
“The asbestos line pipes are the foundation of our water municipality and have exceeded their lifetime as many other things. So, no Ms. Randall I disagree, we do not have clean water as you stated in prior discussions. And where in the lineup of this wish list does the safety and cleanliness of our drinking water fall? The community deserves a response, “ Navarro stated.
She also was worried that the city was asking the taxpayers to bank roll the drainage/flood bond project, while tying up the funds for 20 years when there is a problem finishing the water line project right currently.
Randall asked to respond and Mayor Thompson said “If you respond its part of the time (Navarro’s 5 minutes).”
Randall confirmed, “Yes, I’m aware of the 2017 asbestos. I was out there with y’all because I wasn’t on council then, I was screaming and yelling also. But that’s what this $9 million project is for and doing right now to guarantee quote ‘safe drinking water’. However our samples have come out within the guidelines and not with the spikes of asbestos,” she said.
They argued back and forth whether the city was just testing for bacteria or other things too.
“If we are not in normal guidelines we have not been informed about it”, said Randall.
“ You were notified in 2017”, said Navarro.
“Well, we do them every month”, said Randall.
“I haven’t seen any letters to notify us of what is being tested or not. I would have paid attention especially since my street located in District one has house after house, at least 13 people with cancer related issues. One just died two weeks ago. So our commonality is not anything other than the common denominator– the drinking water”, said Navarro.
“I understand what you are saying”, replied Randall.
Then the Mayor said, “Debbie we’re out of time”.
Navarro said, “Thank you for your time” and left the podium.
Ritchey immediately asked Attorney Tom Cate, “Tom is there anything we can do legally as a council to extend the amount of time people have to speak during this public hearing?”
“Vote on it”, Cate replied.
Ritchey made the motion to extend the her time, and other citizens, to speak to 20 minutes or until time ran out for the night, Pichardo seconded it. Espinosa and Randall voted no.
The mayor then had the opportunity to vote, to break the tie-breaker.
“It’s a tie, motion fails,” called the Mayor.