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Barbs fly in advance of CRW recall election

Clackamas River Water Commissioner Patricia Holloway submitted her 200-word “statement of justification” on why she should stay in office, as Chief Petitioner Naomi Angier offered clarifications on the role of CRW employees in the recall effort in advance of the March 19 election.

Ballots were mailed Friday, Feb. 22. Meanwhile, March 21 is the deadline for candidates to file for the May 21 election of three seats on the CRW Board. Larry Sowa, Hugh Kalani and Kenneth Humberston, board members appointed in November by Clackamas County commissioners, are expected to file.

The board was also scheduled for an emergency meeting this week to consider retaining additional legal counsel for Holloway’s Oregon Supreme Court appeals of the Clackamas County Court decision on the appointments.

Angier acknowledged that “there were a number of CRW employees who worked on the recall effort during their own time.” Angier declined to identify them, but public records show that employees who collected signatures include Raelene Garrison, CRW General Manager Lee Moore’s executive assistant.

Angier also clarified the significance of the more than $32,000 of in-kind contributions that came from a union not affiliated with CRW employees.

“It was a little misleading to say that, because it sounds like the CRW employees don’t care about the recall, and they do,” she said.

CRW’s union members voted to support the recall effort, and someone placed a “Recall Holloway” sign outside of district offices. Holloway, upset about the signs on public property, alleged CRW’s violation of a state law that forbids public employees from soliciting money or promoting a candidate or a cause on public time.

Counting four, rather than seven, general managers since 2007, Holloway corrected Angier for a comment criticizing general-manager turnover while she was on the board.

In Holloway’s statement, she reaffirmed her opposition to any loss of local control through a partnership with Sunrise Water Authority, which she sees as debt-ridden (“Joint proposal stirs up water board,” Aug. 22, 2012). She also issued rebuttals for all seven arguments of recall proponents and complained to the secretary of state’s office.

“The recall petition was full of false and misleading information,” Holloway said. “Intimidation, character assassination: The daily fare for CRW commissioners and staff who speak up against waste, mismanagement, handing off CRW assets and more. ... The current board majority, Sowa, Humberston and Kalani, must have big plans because they just outvoted Commissioner Sterling and me (on Feb. 14) so they could pay a minimum of $96,000 annually to the lawyer who directed all that expensive failed litigation CRW filed against whistle-blowing commissioners.”

Angiers said she wasn’t worried about Holloway and Sterling’s complaints from the beginning.

“I called the secretary of state’s office, and they said as long you put down what you reasonably think to be true, you’re in no danger of being prosecuted,” she said. “Once they open the huge package, they’ll realize that it’s time to dismiss their complaint.”



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