by Pam Zubeck
Once again, there's trouble on the east side of Colorado Springs, with voters submitting sufficient numbers of signatures to hold a recall election for three Cherokee Metropolitan District board members: Jan Cederberg, David Hammers and William E. Beahan.
Haven't we heard this song before? Oh, yeah. Back in December 2010, voters in the district, which basically serves Cimarron Hills, recalled Robert Lavoto. They elected Larry Wayne Keleher to replace him.
People were sore when the board ousted former general manager Kip Peterson, as well as the district's attorney, and replaced him with general manager Sean Chambers and another lawyer of their choosing.
According to the recall petition for Lavoto, he was accused of a bunch of stuff, such as concealing board meeting issues from the full board and public; simultaneously being a member of Woodmen Hills Water District Board; and increasing water rates by 146 percent in his six years on the board, among other things.
Lovato countered by saying, in part, that he grew up in the Cherokee district and runs a business and owns property there. "I feel that water is a regional issue and is not limited to one jurisdiction, which allows me to serve unbiased on CMD’s Board and on Woodmen Hills Water District Board," he wrote. He also noted he helped open the new Waste Water Treatment Facility for future water reclamation.
The election is set for May 22, despite protests by those being recalled. Here's El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams' ruling on those protests:
Cederberg says she and the others don't deserve to be recalled and outlines her argument in an e-mail to the Indy:
My name is jan cederberg. I am on the board of Cherokee Metro Water District. Dave Hammers, Bill Beahan, and I are being recalled by the concerned citizens: Gayle Jones, Andy Anderson, Dave Hacker, Ken Emricson, and Clyde Depew. (The concerned citizens are the same people who sued the Cimarron Hills Fire Department. And have so far cost the fire district over $300,000.) The charges include secret meetings, bonding issues, and getting rid of previous management. There have been no secret meetings. The previous management resigned of his own free will, it is in the board minutes. We are in the process of applying for bonds to pay for a pipeline for water we have bought. But the amount is not excessive. We have protested the recall petitions in front of wayne williams. We have witnesses that said they werent told about the recall, even one of the paid circulators was heard saying she never told them about the recall. We have witnesses that were told if they signed their water rates wouldn't go up. That was not listed on the petitions. They were suppose to be told only the things on the petition. But Wayne Williams approved them anyway. Wayne Williams attended our last board meeting on the 13th to try and get us to combine the recall election with our regular election on May 8. We choose May 22.
Since I have been on the board, I have been accused of taking bribes by Steve Hasbrouck and Larry Kehler, current board members who are members of the concerned citizens. I was cleared of all charges. The concerned citizens delivered the information to all the news stations. Last June Steve Hasbrouck and former board member Kurt Vandenboogaard harrassed my family so much that I had to call the sheriff's department. Yesterday Dave Hammers, Bill Beahan, and I had to call the sheriffs department because Steve Hasbrouck was calling all of us and threatening us.
I am on the cherokee metro water trying to fix the things the previous board, previous management, and previous legal teams have done to the district. We have lost water due to missed deadlines. Cherokee paid out $600,000 for water that wasnt there. We have inflitration ponds (where we put the cleaned waste water) that we bonded money for, that do not work. We are paying hundred of thousands to fix them. We are filing malpractice charges against the old lawyers. We are trying to figure out who is ultimately responsible for messing up the ponds so we can file against their insurance. We have bought water and putting in a pipeline. To replace the water that the previous administration lost cimarron hills.
I am an average person who is trying to do the right thing. We are trying to fix the mistakes of the previous people and make cimarron hills a better place to live not one everyone makes fun of. This is why they are going after us. I live in this district with my family. I want cimarron hills to have water and be a better place for my children.
I believe this is news.