This is an update on the progress of the Recall of the Foresthill Public Utilities District (FPUD) Directors Neil Cochran, Patty Wade and Mark Bell. Our valid signatures are still in play as they work their way through the court system at snail’s pace.
Linda Cholcher did not win her bid for re-election in November, so she has been dropped from the recall. Citizens of Foresthill elected Robert Palmeri along with Jane Stahler. These new additions to the FPUD Board is a start to restoring integrity on the Board.
The recall was initiated last spring over growing concerns among Foresthill residents that the FPUD Board was not fiscally responsible. A perceived arrogance, along with ignoring constituent concerns at Board meetings, fueled the recall effort. Water rates were rising with no rational reason, and the phantom meters were not addressed. Constituents exposed the violation of Proposition 218. And so the recall effort began.
To qualify for a recall election 962 valid, registered voter signatures were required. Unfortunately for us, the virus pandemic hit along with shut-downs, and we fell short of the necessary signatures given the two month time frame.
We followed the lead of several other petition gathers throughout the nation who filed a request with the Courts to grant them an extension. Based on our research, all requests were granted—EXCEPT OURS. Our case was heard on September 10, 2020 by Superior Court Judge Charles D. Wachob. He denied our petition, followed by his insulting and unprofessional writing at the beginning of his explanation for denial.
Judge Wachob has deep ties to our community of Placer County over many years. It is my contention that Judge Wachob was not objective, and I can only speculate as to why. He ignored precedence set in other states including CA which we described in our petition to the court. There can be no other explanation as to why he denied our request other then he held a bias against our recall drive.
Next, we then sent our petition to the Court of Appeals. Last week (week of December 21, 2020) the Appellate court sent our case back to Placer County Superior Court for a new hearing. We will be requesting a different Placer Superior Court Judge. And so we wait for a hearing date. Our request again will be asking for an extension of time to continue signature gathering.
Our recall efforts are still in play, and we hope this time the court system will not fail us. I will continue to keep you posted. The integrity of our FPUD water Board is important to us!
Concerned FPUD Customer