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- Adams, Kellstrom differ on reaction to water accord. Councilman opposes dam removal, supports bill’s intent
by HOLLY DILLEMUTH, Herald and News 12/5/14
     While the Klamath Falls City Council voted to support Senate Bill 2379, one councilman wants to make it known the vote doesn’t reflect unanimity.

   Mayor Todd Kellstrom and Councilman Bill Adams each submitted a letter to U.S. Congressman Greg Walden, and U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkely and Ron Wyden this week regarding the Klamath Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act. The letters were sent on the heels of a 3-2 vote by members of council to support the bill, which is currently on its way through Congress.

   Ultimately, both letters show support for the bill’s intent, if not overall content.
    by members of our agricultural community, I believe it is only because they have their backs against the wall,” Adams said in a separate letter to legislators. “The majority of the community does not support this bill because it requires Dam Removal.”

   Adams then asked legislators in his letter to remove the term “dam removal” from the bill, and to make some changes to the Endangered Species Act.

   Despite some concerns with the bill, Adams emphasized a need for it overall.

   “We do need parts of the agreement to maintain irrigated agriculture in the Klamath Basin,” Adams also wrote, “and I think the majority of our citizens would agree.”

   Councilman Bud Hart also voted no on submitting a letter of   support to legislators.

   “I recommended at the meeting we not take a position,” Hart said. “I wanted to remain neutral.

   “Sometimes, the vote is the vote; you just move on.”  

   In his letter, Kellstrom stated members of council supported the bill without detailing the vote.

   “I don’t want to squabble, council voted to support it,” Kellstrom said. “The majority ruled.”

   Councilman Bill Adams felt it necessary for the letter to clarify the mixed views of the vote.

   “I think they need to know it wasn’t a unanimous vote,” Adams said.

   “I didn’t see a need to do that,” Kellstrom said. “We’re a council where majority rules. I’m not going to split hairs with it.”

   Kellstrom called the bill critical to the “very existence of the agriculture community in the Klamath Basin.”

   “When faced with the prospect of endless litigation and expanding chasms between neighbors and ethnicities, your leadership brought our people, upper and lower basin farmers   and the Tribes, together to craft agreements that will ensure the stability of our economy and environment,” Kellstrom said in the letter. “SB 2379 and the Klamath Settlement Agreements are key elements in making this historical and unprecedented collaboration a reality.”

   Adams shared his perspective on the bill through his letter to legislators.

   “While there is mixed support  




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