Recall Necessary



As a former Payson Roundup reporter whose beat assignment for seven years was the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID), I applaud the PSWID recall committee for their efforts to entrust the future and fate of the district to voters.

Although committee members are facing an arduous, time-consuming and controversial recall task, they’ve had the courage to forge ahead with their convictions that some board members have not been responsive to water users, have made decisions that were not in the best interest of the townspeople of Pine and Strawberry, and have run meetings that were both chaotic and unproductive.

The committee’s “Grounds for Recall Demand” recently filed with the county in Globe, spells out the reasons members believe Chairman Ray Pugel, Vice Chairman Gary Lovetro, Treasurer Ron Calderon and Secretary Richard Dickerson should be recalled.

It is my opinion, the reasons the committee expressed for the recall are mostly all valid.

Even more reasons could have been added had the recall committee chosen to include the events of a contentious three-hour board meeting in June 2010 that was turned upside down when some board members accused staff of conspiracy and demanded the resignations of the board’s president and general manager.

In the end, the district lost its hydrologist, engineer and customer service supervisor. Later the board chairman and general manager resigned.

The resignations struck a blow to the struggling water district, which was battling contending views on how to provide water to residents and move forward with improvements.

Somewhat ironically, it was the then-board treasurer who made the most noise at the meeting questioning the service manager’s competence and calling for the resignation of the board chairman and general manager.

In 2012, that treasurer resigned after weeks of mounting pressure that centered on his misuse of a district credit card.

The tumultuous 2010 meeting was only the first of several combative and belligerent ones that followed.

Just last week, a PSWID board member (not Sam Schwalm) told me during a chance meeting in the Pine post office that he believed the recall was necessary because it will give voters a voice in the district’s future.

I whole heartedly agree.


Max Foster


Bernice Winandy 3 years, 2 months ago

The people want a voice in the future of PSWID. They have told the present board that they, the public, want more say many times. The present PSWID Board has chosen not to listen. Therefore, the recall became necessary.

A tape of the November 14 PSWID Board meeting is now available on Please listen to keep yourself informed.


arnold mcclellan 3 years, 2 months ago

My wife and I have attended many meeting that only have 5 or 6 people there. So if the public want more say they should attend the meetings.


Ric Hawthorne 3 years, 2 months ago

Mr. McClellan, I do not doubt you have attended many such meetings as you describe... My question to you is where were you in the meetings late last year and this year where turnouts were so large that the meetings had to be held at the community center... where many residents and weekenders voiced their opinions and gave voice to carefully thought out ideas which were then ignored wholesale by this board? Where were you when this board attempted to cover up the malfeasance of Mr. Mike Greer? Where were you when the community members got tired of the acrimony and hostile tone of the board and saw that all the talk in the world would do no good against the entrenched obtuseness? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, and sometimes apathy is a response to being repeatedly ignored.


Bernice Winandy 3 years, 2 months ago

I went to PSWID meetings at one time. However, I found the acrimonious tone of some of the PSWID board members very upsetting. In fear that I would start behaving in a similar matter, I stopped going to meetings. I, do, however, listen to the recordings of the meetings. While, I might get upset, no one will see me kicking the chair. :-)


Michael Warren 3 years, 2 months ago

The quote:

"Winners never quit, and quitters never win"

Seems appropriate for the quitters.



Jane Wilcox 3 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Warren, your quip in no way resembles nor is it appropriate for the amount of time, effort and energy that these board members DONATED to the community.


Michael Warren 3 years, 2 months ago

Ms. Wilcox - if you think these people DONATED their time without expectations, you're inappropriate and you're out of touch.

Example: the former Chairperson SOLD resources to PSWID and THEN held the chair?

Tune.In. Get a clue. Take an ethics class.


Jane Wilcox 3 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Warren, I beg to differ with you. YOU are the one out of touch. You have NO CLUE what went into Mr. Randall's and Mr. Pugel's struggle to find water, then TRY and get Brooke Utilities to connect it to the system, saving us all water hauling charges.

I suggest you speak to Mr. Pugel, himself, and just ASK HIM how many millions of dollars he and Mr. Randall made for the effort their well cost them. He even brought his tax documents to a water meeting. Do you want truth or a mangled version of it?

As for education? Trust me, I have plenty; which includes Ethics.


Sue Green 3 years, 2 months ago

Mrs. Wilcox, I don't believe anyone has said Mr. Pugel and Mr. Randall made millions, but they did make money. Mr. Pugel is in real estate do you think he would buy a piece of property with out an appraisal, I think not. But that's how the well was purchased with out an appraisal at a large expense to the people. Oh and don't forget the water meters 52 of them that Mr. Pugel also received in the purchase agreement.


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