John Breninger was removed as chairman of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board meeting April 20.
Board member Don Smith made the motion to remove Breninger due to special interests and conflicts with other entities, according to the unofficial minutes from the meeting.
At a recent meeting of the PSWID's Water Development Committee, Breninger and another board member, Wes Suhr, had a confrontation over the ousted chair's use of authority.
At the April 20 meeting, Suhr said no other member of the board works as hard as Breninger, but "his actions of discipline could be handled differently. John turns things down without treating them as alternatives."
Co-chairman Paul Paul expressed concern over the legality of some of Breninger's actions.
Board member Forrest McCoy said it would be difficult for anyone on the board to accomplish what Breninger has.
"John is doing all the work," said Gary Sherlock, board secretary.
Also expressing support for Breninger before the board vote were Robert Hardcastle and Harold Wirth.
The board voted 4 to 2 to remove Breninger as chairman. Those voting for the change were Barbara Hall, Paul Paul, Don Smith and Wes Suhr. Gary Sherlock and Forrest McCoy were opposed to the action.
Breninger told the Payson Roundup he had no actual comment on his removal, except, "I was aware of what was going to happen."
He then said what he had to say was in his chairman's report to the PSWID board.
Breninger's report provided an overview of the various activities in which he has participated on behalf of the group. Among these were discussions with the geology department at Northern Arizona University to contract the operation of the group's well data base and resource management system, serving as a delegate to the Mogollon Rim Water Resources Management Study group, and discussions with Robert Hardcastle of Brooke Utilities regarding deepening and developing a well on the east side of Strawberry.
Paul Paul will now serve as the PSWID chairman, Sherlock said.
In other business, the WDC members want to review the scope of the committee with Suhr as its new chairman.
The board also reviewed the ongoing discussions with Brooke Utilities, Inc., regarding deepening and developing a well in Strawberry to serve the Pine area.
Breninger did the initial work with Hardcastle on a proposed memorandum of understanding.
Minor adjustments in the language of the MOU were recommended, and Suhr made several suggestions. He would like to postpone work on the well site until a hydrological evaluation is made and all documents have been finalized.