News broke late last week that Pinal County Supervisor Mike Goodman had been sued by Johnson Utilities for trespassing and defamation of character. Today Mr. Goodman has released the following statement regarding the matter.
“First and foremost, thank you for the tremendous amount of support and outreach that has taken place following the press release issued by Johnson Utilities last week. I truly appreciate your kind words and willingness to help.
I would like to make a few comments to address this matter. The utility company has accused me of acting outside my role of County Supervisor to carry out a personal vendetta against George Johnson. Since taking this position a year and a half ago, my office has been inundated with complaints regarding Johnson Utilities and the services they provide. Endless complaints have come via calls, e-mails, and visits to my office, as well as through social media and in public meetings. Complaints are about water pressure, water quality, odors and air quality, sewage spills, billing, and customer service. Many constituents come to me pleading for assistance, stating they have not received help or answers from the utility company or other governing entities.
I took an oath when I entered this office to serve and protect the people of Pinal County. The issue regarding Johnson Utilities happens to be within my District. Water is a basic and fundamental need of our residents, especially in this harsh desert climate. Changes need to take place, and quicker than they have in the past. Individuals and families are tired of the living conditions they have been forced to endure. Just an hour ago I received yet another call regarding low water pressure.
On June 2 a major well went down at a Johnson Utilities facility. This left communities without water pressure for several days. After receiving more complaints and requests from my constituents, 30 days later on July 2, at my request, Rural Metro accompanied me to test fire hydrants across San Tan Valley. In the event of an emergency, we need to be prepared to keep our residents safe. Fire hydrants were tested from the far end of San Tan Heights by Thompson Rd, to several locations in between, including Wal-Mart, Johnson Ranch, Copper Basin, Magma Ranch, and Magic Ranch. Pressure ranges were from 8psi at the furthest point in Magma Ranch, to 15psi at Eduprize near Thompson Rd. Sufficient time has passed for JU to address the pressure issue, and unfortunately, not one hydrant met national fire code requirements. as all of them tested below 30psi.
If listening to the concerns of my constituents, and acting to ensure they are safe is outside of my scope as an elected official, then why are we as taxpayers paying salaries for these positions?”