Big Bear, Ca, December 7, 2010, 9:00am – There was a true changing of the guard at the CSD meeting on Monday night as new board members James Smith, Paul Terry, and John Green were sworn in, replacing John Day, Marge McDonald and Barbara Beck. Beck left office due to health issues nearly a year ago. Jeff Newsome was the only incumbent reelected this past November making him and Rick Ollila the only board members eligible to be board president, under a CSD election rule. Discussion about the board president stretched for nearly an hour and included public and board comment, of which the majority proclaimed, “the public has spoken” referring to what they described as the need for something new. Most of this discussion was connected to the president’s roll in committee assignments and most of that discussion was about the Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency or BARWA. Newsome followed by Ollila were nominated which triggered a debate between the two men as to why they why they should serve. But the discussion kept creeping back to what Newsome described as the “prestigious BARWA appointment”. As described by Ollila, a multi-term CSD president and BARWA board veteran, “they want to raise rates and implement water recharge”. Jeff Newsome then responded “water recharge is a dead issue at BARWA because of it’s high cost” although commented board member John Green “recharge is now being implemented throughout Southern California”. In the end it was unanimous, Jeff Newsome CSD President and Rick Ollila Vice Chairman. Newsome later told the audience “this is the first time, that he can remember, that these positions were filled by unanimous vote” perhaps ushering in something new at the CSD. As for BARWA, President Newsome appointed himself and then his next move surprised a few by next naming Ollila to sit on BARWA perhaps as a gesture of reconciliation and signs of a new beginning at the Big Bear City Community Services District.
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