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Recall filed for Heceta Water District commissioners

Posted: Friday, Apr 16th, 2010

A spokesman for a group calling itself the Heceta Recall Committee announced this week that steps are being taken to unseat three of the five commissioners on the board of the Heceta Water District.

Gene McDermott of Florence has filed petitions with the Secretary of State’s and the county elections offices to recall Robert Hursh, Debbie Todd and Jim Sievers, all of whom were elected to the commission. Hursh’s and Todd’s terms of office end in July 2011. Sievers’ term ends July 2013.

Each petition states that the reason for recall is that the commissioners “exhibit a lack of financial oversight.”

Last May, water commissioners approved a rate hike that drove customers’ bills from an average of about $26.50 per month to about $48. Because of a tiered rate structure, big water users, such as Buck Lake RV Park, were particularly hard hit with the increase. The board has also been embroiled in tense discussions with the City of Florence regarding the 2010 Comprehensive Plan and the city’s stance on annexation as well as an intergovernmental agreement to share water resources.

McDermott, who currently serves on the water district’s budget committee, said that his concerns lay with how the district is spending its funds. “This is a financial situation,” he said.

He did not file recall petitions against Commissioner Wendy Rohner, who was appointed to a vacated seat last October, and Commissioner Jerry Nordin, who has a record of voting against the rate hikes.

Future steps in the recall process include determining the number of voter signatures required for the petitions, obtaining the signatures, and the commissioners being notified of the recall effort and offered the option of resigning.

For the complete article see the 04-17-2010 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-17-2010 paper.

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