After nearly nine years on the Board of Directors for the Big Bear City Community Services District, Marge McDonald was elected CSD’s president in their meeting last night. Current Directors John Day, Jeff Newsome and Rick Ollila have each served two terms as president in the last six years, so this is the first round for McDonald in CSD’s top post. Outgoing President John Day opened nominations by saying, “I’m going to do this a little differently than in the past, because I believe we have multiple nominations.” He then went on to ask each of the other four directors, which also includes Barbara Beck, who returned to the Board in 2009, if they would like to nominate themselves. Both McDonald and Beck opted to run, and Day then put the vote to a secret ballot. McDonald was named president in a 3-2 vote, and, as Board Secretary Mary Reeves subsequently shared with KBHR and other media, McDonald’s votes were from Day, Ollila and herself; Newsome and Beck voted for Beck. The selection of Day as vice president was open and unanimous. Before the change was implemented, Day told those in attendance at the January 4 meeting, “This has been a good year. We’ve tried to be positive and professional, and I think that’s been key to this last year. This has been enjoyable.” For her part, new President McDonald thanked the Board for the honor and said, “I promise to do the best I can.” She also asked constituents to continue their support of the District with attendance at CSD’s first and third Monday meetings, as well as those of other agencies within the Big Bear Valley. “Ask your neighbors to please come to our board meetings,” she urged, “and let us know if we’re doing the job you elected us to do.” As compensation for their time and efforts on the CSD Board, directors receive $100 per meeting, not to exceed six in any calendar month.
Update: Since we first aired this story on January 5, CSD Vice President John Day has called KBHR to acknowledge that the secret ballot election was illegal, so directors will hold another, open election at their next meeting, which may not be until February, given the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on January 18.