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March 4, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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March 4, 2015
 

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12A Wednesday, March 4,2015 Feather River Bulletin II rn in In II Miriam S. Cody Staff Writer mcody@plumasnews.com In political debates, people tend to take sides. This was no more apparent anywhere than in Indian Valley last week, where two distinct groups of people battled to be heard. Citizens for Responsible Government in Indian Valley is a group formed in 2013 in response to Leanna Moore, former general manager of the Indian Valley i Community Services District, stealing money from the district. It has also been suggested that the recent recall petition started with a highly controversial proposed water transfer from Round Valley :Reservoir. C4RGIV ipetitioned to recall three of the district's directors: Brad Smith, Jane Braxton Little and Mike Yost. Yost and Little have since resigned and been replaced, but the recall election, approved with sufficient signatures in November 2014, i will continue. : Indian Valley voters will be !receiving ballots in the ,coming weeks if they haven't i already -- ballots were mailed Feb. 23. March 24 is the official day of election. Voters have the option to ivote yes or no on the recall, ,and then vote on whom they want to elect. Two candidates, Lee Anne Schramel and Wayne ,Dannemiller, have been ',appointed and are currently i serving on the board. The :other four candidates are Robert Heard, Mavis Somers, :Mina Admire and Philip Shannon. !Yes or no? : C4RGIV is urging the public to vote yes on the recall. The recall petitions :claimed the board members in question ignored council from the grand jury about red flags in the district, failed to maintain a system of financial checks and balances and violated public trust by habitually ignoring inquiries from concerned citizens. While only one member of the board that was in place during Moore's embezzlement is still in office -- Smith -- C4RGIV President Rick Deacon said, "C4RGIV is striving for a new start in bringing a sense of fairness, accessibility and accountability to the Indian Valley Community Services District by presenting the best possible choices of candidates to the voters. "We believe these candidates will provide all community members in Indian Valley with courteous, honest and transparent service. They have a clear understanding that they work for the people in Indian Valley and have a responsibility to protect their fiscal well-being and uphold their constitutional rights as promised when sworn into office," Mavis Somers, who is the spouse of district Chairman Smith and is running in the election, has launched an anti-recail campaign consisting of signs with question marks on them posted throughout Indian Valley. Somers also organized a "parade of questions" Feb. 26, displaying question mark signs, hats and banners. "Question this pointless recall," read the signs. "Vote no on the recall,* others said. Somers has also distributed fliers that state: "We now have three newly appointed board members. They are competent and have completed the three-day course required, an expense for the district.., now here comes this special election for recall, costing the CSD, not the county, approximately $8,000!" Somers said she thinks it is "ridiculous" for a fmancially strained district to keep spending money on elections and trainings while it is still recovering. She said she doesn't really care if she wins, because she doesn't want the election to happen at all. But since it is, she is voicing her stance. That is: ? What's with the question marks? C4RGIV members and other supporters of the recall spoke out on Facebook and contacted Feather Publishing to express concerns about the legality of Somers' campaign, which started anonymously. One sign was posted on Forest Service land in the Greenville campground, and the question on social media sites was the legality of campaigning on federal land. Ken Donnell and Indian Valley Community Services District candidate Mavis Somers march in protest of the recall election to be held March 24. Somers told Feather Publishing she is only running to "prove a point": that the recall is pointless. Photo by Miriam S. Cody According to the Plumas County clerk-recorder, however, Plumas County does not have any local ordinances that address the placement of signs. "If anyone is committing a crime by posting on private property without permission or any other activities addressed in the (local campaign) law, then anyone can file a complaint with the District Attorney," said Clerk-Record Kathy Williams. Another concern about this campaign raised by Mina Admire, another candidate in the election, is that committees must put "paid for by" disclaimers on campaign advertising, which Somers and her group of supporters have not done. Then again, nor have they fried as any type of official committee or publicly identified the question marks as part of a campaign. C4RGIV also has not filed any paperwork with the Plumas County clerk to make it an official campaign committee. It has not been determined whether either campaign is in violation of the law. Groups campaigning without following Fair Political Practices Commission rules can be fined up to $10 per day for not being in compliance. Form 410 must be fried within 10 days of raising $1,000 or more, which is the threshold for qualifying as a committee. Fliers distributed by the Citizens for Responsible Government in Indian Valley express the committee's pro-recall stance. The committee petitioned for the recall of three Indian Valley Community Services District directors whom they claimed unfit for the board, Photo submitted ~,w,n~ ~~. ,~~ .~l~ml~'j~ ~ ~. t~da,