“Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war.” Skip the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this season – even the drama of Julius Caesar can’t hold a candle to the sturm and drang of Shady Cove Water District meetings.
Tuesday’s budget meeting/water district meeting found the incumbent district members center stage, a collective “Caesar” to a packed house of “Roman conspirators”. In a subtle show of solidarity the District members were even in costume – each wearing a shirt in varying shades of aqua (short for aquamarine: Latin for water).
Police Chief Rick Mendenhall played the part of Centurion and scribes were present in the form of at least 3 various news organizations.
The buzz in the room quieted as the President Dee Hawkins called the budget hearing to order. The budget was reviewed and there was no public comment – at that time.
The budget meeting adjourned and the regular meeting began. The budget was approved with a comment from Manager Jim Collier reaffirming that there is currently no money in the budget for a previously discussed water contract with the Corps of Engineers. He advised (as in the previous budget meeting) that should money become available the budget could be revised and the contract re-considered.
A few items of new business were discussed, including the need of the District to vacate their current offices, store supplies and find new office space. Partway through the third new business item John Burgess stood, announced his name and address and was advised he was out of order. Mr. Burgess advised he would speak, again President Hawkins advised him he was out of order and that this was not a public hearing. Mr. Burgess got out only a couple of words, and was then escorted out of the building by Chief Mendenhall.
Over the low buzz of the crowd the meeting proceeded to a quick adjournment. As the gavel hit the table the low buzz grew to a din – with a few excited utterances rising in volume above the rest, these included: “What about the new Board coming in?”, “This is so illegal!”, “This is absolutely ridiculous!” and “That’s bull! You were voted out.” There were no official replies given to these cries of havoc.
It was evident the crowd did not get what it hoped for from the meeting. It is unknown how and when this play will end. It is not even known at this time when the next act will begin. Mr. Collier stated that there is no date, time or location presently set for the next meeting. He advised once known, the information will be posted in the papers and a notice will be on the front door of the Masonic Hall.
Under the heading of “Post Election Procedures” the Election Law Summary for the State of Oregon outlines the tally of votes, the duties of the county clerk and the issuance of proclamations of winning candidates. It does not discuss what to do if incumbents do not step down. It would seem the next act will star petitioners and attorneys.
By Christy Pitto
Of the Independent