Only eight candidates filed for the seven seats on the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District board prior to the deadline.
That means at least seven of the eight candidates will gain a seat on the troubled water district board in the May 20 election.
However, would-be write-in candidates still have until March 5 to submit their paperwork to the county.
As of the Feb. 17 meeting of the Gila County Board of Supervisors, eight candidates had submitted nominating papers. If only seven hopefuls had turned in petitions, the supervisors could have simply appointed them to the board and called off the election. Since, eight filed, the election will go forward.
Filing for election: Lawrence H. Bagshaw, Russell Brock, Richard James, Trent McNeeley, Paul Randall, Sam Schwalm, Don Smith and Tom Weeks.
The election will cost an estimated $18,000. At least three of the newly elected board members will then have to run again in November, which will cost the district another $5,000.
Former PSWID board members Ray Pugel, Gary Lovetro, Ron Calderon, Richard Dickinson and Michael Claxton all submitted their resignations Nov. 15, 2013. Only Claxton wasn’t facing possible recall. The resignations effectively disbanded the board, since the two remaining board members — Tom Weeks and Sam Schwalm — did not constitute a quorum and therefore could not take any action. The Gila County Board of Supervisors has assumed oversight of the district, acting as its board of directors.
Residents in the PSWID who cannot yet vote have until April 21 to register, according to Eric Mariscal of the county elections office. The election will be through mail-in ballots he said.
More on PSWID
County manager Don McDaniel is the county staff member assigned to work with the PSWID. At the Feb. 17 meeting of the supervisors, he told the board a couple of issues have come up to be dealt with in the water district. The information was presented during the “current events” portion of the agenda, so the supervisors could take no formal action.
• One of the district’s large tanks (300,000 gallons) needs maintenance and repair work at an estimated cost of $200,000.
• Additionally the budget and district’s cash flow need attention, he said.
• The audit called for earlier this month can’t start until the county finds an auditor, McDaniel said.
McDaniel said he would be in Pine this week to address the issues with the PSWID office and management staff.