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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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December 17, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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December 17, 2014
 

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6A Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 Feather River Bulletin Three Indian Valley Community Services District directors resign Miriam S. Cody Staff Writer mcody@plumasnews.com The board of directors looked a little lean walking in to the Dec. 10 meeting of the Indian Valley Community Services District. With only three directors present, the resignation letters of Mike Yost and Blake Shelters were read early in the meeting. Jane Braxton Little later resigned from her seat on the board, reading her own letter during the directors' report section. She did this after she presented General Manager Jesse Lawson and Maintenance Manager Don Silva with a commendation for their excellent work in fixing a massive leak at the water plant in November. Shelters' letter was short and simply stated his intention to resign. Yost's letter went into further detail, and mentioned "the hostility and acrimony that the board faces at every monthly meeting." Yost . wrote he found the grounds for recall presented by the Citizens for Responsible Government in Indian Valley, the group that organized the recall, "offensive." The grounds for recall list consists of 11 bullet points, which make allegations against the conduct of three IVCSD board members. These include ignoring counsel from the grand jury, failing to maintain a system of checks and balances, and allowing over $600,000 to be stolen from the district through felony embezzlement. Yost's letter went on to defend the performance of the board, noting improvements in water quality, service to the people, and function of water lines. He mentioned that sewage leaks into Wolf Creek are no longer occurring. The petitions for recall were approved in November. They requested the recall of Yost, Little and director Brad Smith. Shelters was not petitioned, but opted to resign. The special election will give voters the opportunity to decide for themselves if they want to recall Smith, the only board member up for recall who has not resigned. Voters will also choose replacements for Little and Yost. The Dec. 10 meeting was adjourned abruptly after . "1 signed the petition for recall because I thought it was best. That doesn't make you any less of a man," Pete McAtee Indian Valley community member to Indian Valley Community Services District Director Brad Smith Little read her resignation. She read, "My focus has always been solving problems. Together with other board members, Jesse (Lawson) and his staff, and many of you, we have resolved issues that seemed unsolvable, mounted hurdles we thought were too high. Solving problems is a continual commitment... I have always thought of this office as public service, not politics. That is my naive mistake." She addressed the new board in her letter, saying, "We have maintained civility in the face of pointless, pants-on-fire vindictiveness and you should expect more of the same. I thank you for devoting hours and hours of volunteer labor to a community that has too often not appreciated the effort." As soon as she was finished reading, there was no From Our Family to Yours- Merry Christmas! quorum to continue and the meeting ended. In a recent interview, Mina Admire, spokesperson for Citizens for Responsible Government in Indian Valley; said, "People don't appreciate the efforts of people who are trying to squash property owners' rights, refuse to listen to the concerns of community members, and allow people who question them or anything they are doing to be raked over the coals." Admire said she still feels the board was unresponsive and unwilling to discuss controversial issues openly with the public. "Had these board members 'been willing to answer any of the questions we asked, things might fiave been different," she said. According to IVCSD secretary Jeff Titcomb, the recall election will go on as planned for all three seats. The Plumas County Clerk-Recorder's Office told Feather Publishing the election is likely to be held March 24, 2015. The election could cost the district $7,000 or more, according to the clerk-recorder's office. The financial responsibility falls on IVCSD. Forms are available at the IVCSD office in Greenville for those who are interested in becoming a board member. District Supervisor Kevin Goss brought forward the matter of appointing a replacement for Shelters at the county Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday. That appointment was not yet confirmed when the paper went to press. Following the appointment of a third director, the board will appoint two more directors to serve until the recall election is held. During the shortened Dec. 10 meeting, community members expressed gratitude to the board for their years of service. One Greenville resident said, "Michael Yost is an iptelligent and well-educated man, a necessity and a boon for a small town running its own community services district.., his only interest was in helping this community." Distaste for the animosity generated over the events of the past several months was expressed. "To you with your manic reaction to the mere mention of water, and to the newspaper that has polarized this community with its unfounded quotes and cheap sensationalism, you should be ashamed of yourselves," read a community member from a document prepared beforehand. Indian Valley resident Pete McAtee stood up to say to Smith, "I signed the petition for recall because I thought it was best. That doesn't make you any less of a man." To Little, he said, "I disagree with your decisions." He explained that was why he signed, and said he didn't believe he had been treated fairly by the board. People from both sides of the issues faced at the IVCSD meetings lately have told Feather Publishing they just want to see things move forward. Admire said, "I personally look forward to getting dedicated individuals on the IVCSD board that will listen to and encourage community members to have a vested interest in the IVCSD and to participate in the political process locally." ' She said on' behalf of the citizens group, "We are aware of the current challenges citizens of Indian Valley face on a daily basis due to the economic times we live in, and it is our goal to improve the quality of life for everyone that lives here." IVCSD General Manager Jesse Lawson is staying positive, too. "All I can do from my position is try and move forward, and I'm going to do that, and make sure the directors are prepared to effectively lead this community," he said. 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