After months of inertia there was quite a lot of action last week surrounding the Shady Cove Water District, much of it illuminating the SCWD as the epitome of small town politics. That particular animal which has folks who are friends, neighbors and members of various boards and committees together facing each other on opposite sides of a courtroom.
That was Tuesday. On Monday the SCWD held its regular meeting; one consisting mostly of updates. There was no change to the Treasurer’s report from the previous month. President Phillip Keith asked that the minutes be amended changing the title of Ruth Keith to “Budget Officer” from “Budget Overseer”. The Aug. 9 budget public hearing and subsequent water district special meeting to consider adopting the budget were announced. The impending Tues. 8/6 court hearing on the matter of James Collier vs. the SCWD was discussed. The case would be heard by Judge Harris in his Medford court room. The case would decide whether or not the SCWD would be responsible for repaying Collier’s alleged circa $20,000 loan made to the previous board when he served as that board’s manager. The timing of the judge’s decision would dictate whether or not the measure to dissolve the SCWD could be put on the November ballot. Judge Harris would have 30 days from the Aug. 3 court date to make a decision either way, so there was a possibility getting the measure on the ballot would be a close call.
That was Monday. On Tuesday Court convened, friends, neighbors and attorneys faced off and by 1:30 p.m. the judge’s decision – months in the making – was set down. Collier’s suit was dismissed; the SCWD is not responsible for repayment of the alleged loan. The SCWD’s attorney James Franell still needs to write the order for the decision and Judge Harris still needs to sign it, but for all intents and purposes this phase of suits and countersuits has come to its end. So too may the SCWD come to its end in November; only time and the voters will tell.
By Christy Pitto
Of the Independent