Water election brings three new faces

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For the third election in a row, no incumbents were re-elected to the Morrison Creek Metropolitan Water and Sanitation District board of directors.

Instead, Stagecoach voters picked three new faces Tuesday. Among the ousted incumbents was board chairman Gregory Hermann.

"It is interesting. You can read whatever you want into it," said District Manager Steve Colby, who said he would not comment on voters' desires in recent elections to put new candidates on the board.

In both the 2000 and 2002 elections, three incumbents lost to new candidates, Colby said.

William "Jack" Fahres and Ted Allen came in a close first and second, with 137 and 136 votes, respectively. John Dernay received 83 votes, and incumbent Gregory Hermann received 63. A total of 157 ballots were cast, Colby said.

The newly elected members join Ken DePaul and Jon Spiegel. One of the new board's first tasks will be to elect a chairman.

The district has seen contested elections in 1996, 2000, 2002 and this, Colby said. This year, fewer votes were cast than in the past two elections.

The new board faces important work, such as securing water sources and improving infrastructure as the Stagecoach area develops, Colby said.

Spiegel agreed the board has some big tasks because of growth in the area.

Increasing the district's customer base would be helpful, he said, because more customers means the capital-intensive services are more cost effective. For instance, providing water for 100 customers is not more expensive than providing for 1,000.

Spiegel also said he hopes more people take an interest in the water district and decide to run for a board position -- or at least vote.

"Trust me, if it's not run well, and not managed well, they could have some big problems down there with their homes and with their properties," Spiegel said.

"We are very interested in doing extensions and getting people the services they want, but it can't be done for free or by the district. People have to step up to the plate and spend money," he said.

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