|Sewer recall official|
|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Friday, 23 May 2008 12:49|
A grassroots recall effort against two members of the Camp Verde Sanitary District Board became official last week when the Yavapai County Elections Department confirmed enough legitimate signatures had been collected.
The targets of this effort are board members Rob Witt and Al Dupuy; both recently gave up their respective titles, chairman and vice-chairman, in part because of the recall.
The recall was initiated earlier this year by members of the Sanitary District Fairness Group, an organization of citizens primarily from the Salt Mine Road area who have expressed concerns over the direction Witt and Dupuy were leading the district.
Over the course of several meetings, citizens in favor of the recall accused Witt and Dupuy of financial mismanagement and railed against exponential tax increases to support a sewer system they don’t connect to.
The recall effort need 133 signatures to get it on the ballot in November and the group collected over 200 for both Dupuy and Witt, said the fairness group’s president, James Strava. The county stopped verifying signatures once they authenticated more than 170 for each board member.
One, they can resign. Two, they can issue a statement to be placed on the ballot in their defense. Three, they can do nothing and see where the chips fall in November.
If they choose to take the matter to the election, any other candidates looking to replace them will get their chance. The interested candidates can fill out the paperwork to run for the seats starting Thursday, May 29.
Applications are available from the county office complex in Prescott.
Witt, who had no comment on the recall being official, said earlier that he was elected by the people, so he’d let a majority of the people in the district decide his future with the board. As of press time, Dupuy was undecided and instead issued the following statement to the voters:
however, I would like to inform the group that has initiated the recall that they are not being fair to the CVSD residents. The CVSD is currently at a crucial point and to force a working board member to resign at this time will cause a hardship on the remaining board members and potential added expenses to the CVSD residents.
“I am actively involved in the negotiations with the design engineers and am starting negotiations with ADEQ. These are critical negotiations that could save the CVSD the potential $4,000 day ADEQ penalty and possibly keep all parties involved in the tank failure from going into litigation. Should this matter go into litigation it could stop the project and cost CVSD residents an undetermined amount of money.
“I have repeatedly asked some members of the group to join the CVSD board and been turned down every time. Now I’m asking them to do the fair thing for the ‘other’ people that live in the CVSD and allow me to do my job during the next crucial months; or I’m asking them to step up and take my position — now. It will involve numerous meetings in the Phoenix area, Cottonwood and Camp Verde every week and dozens of daily phone calls. The CVSD board has the experience to deal with the myriad of problems and forcing board members to resign at this time will only harm the CVSD residents.
“I have publicly refuted all charges the group has made with facts and had no response from them.
“At this time I’m undecided if I will allow myself to go through the recall election and defend myself again. I’m absolutely positive that I will not allow the CVSD residents to pay for the recall election, which is mandated by law, so once again I’m asking the group to look at the whole picture and be fair. We [myself and the group] have until Thursday, May 22, to make our decision.”
Mark Lineberger can be reached