By unanimous vote, Kailin Sopoci-Belknap was voted in as Chair of the Water Board. She was in "hot water" right away with some difficult issues to face. (New meeting time proposal, Zebra Mussel issue, and of course, the Evergreen Water contract.) After Samoa Acquisition Group leader Bob Simpson got up and spoke about his general plan of finishing the purchasing process by Feb. 6th, the public spoke and the Water Board stood by their guns (Water guns?) and kept their lien in place on Evergreen, but will let the water services continue while Mr. Simpson does his best to close the deal. It sounded like all stake-holders will be in contact in the interim, and a special meeting would be called to order if any emergency contingency plans were brought to light.
Overall it was an upbeat meeting and it was the most hope the workers have witnessed in months.
The board was challenged by Evergreen Employee Brian Conners early on over their non-scheduled meeting that took place the day after the special meeting of Dec. 30th. Past Chair Bruce Rupp took full responsibility for the decision to put a lien on Evergreen on the 31st of Dec. and said he was doing that in "the best interest of the district." District Counsel David Martinek convinced Mr. Rupp that this was legal. It may have been legal, but it was not good public policy in my opinion. The District could have held another special meeting on Jan. 2nd. But since it is not hindering the sale, I guess this was "no harm, no foul." The Water District seems to have a strong board that works better together than most local boards, so I will leave it at that.
2nd Hoopa Shooting Suspect Charged With Murder - Vincent Ortiz was charged today with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder in a shooting near Hoopa. He pled not guilty. Bail was set at $...
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