Clackamas River Water Commissioner Pat Holloway will face a recall election in March, but fellow Commissioner Grafton Sterling escaped the recall through a petitioner’s clerical error.

Chief Petitioner Naomi Angier turned in 4,846 signatures on Jan. 31 to prompt the recall election. Last week, county Elections Manager Steve Kindred announced that there were more than enough valid signatures to meet the 3,039 minimum required to order the election. Although Angier also turned in 4,864 signatures for Sterling on the deadline day, Kindred said that 421 of 607 signature pages had an incorrect petition number inserted.

“The state Elections Division has agreed with our determination,” Kindred wrote to Angier explaining the reason Sterling’s recall effort would not continue.

Angier argued that Clackamas County should print the sheets with a petition number to avoid future errors, but she was otherwise pleased with the election moving forward.

“Once we get Patricia Holloway off the board, there’ll be a big improvement, even though he’ll still be there, and maybe he’ll become a better commissioner having seen her go through the recall process,” Angier said.

Both campaigns received more than $10,000 of in-kind contributions from an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, Working America, whose members collected signatures door-to-door for the campaign. The water district’s non-managerial staff are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which voted Nov. 17 to support the recall effort.

Holloway argued that the election will give CRW voters their opportunity to “tell AFSCME and the AFL/CIO it’s not OK to spend $30,000 out of voter pockets to fatten the union piggy bank by attacking incorruptible commissioners.”

Angiers said that, while AFL-CIO members were working in solidarity with AFSCME, no CRW workers contributed time or money to the campaign.

“She was harassing district workers, and there’s no reason that the hard-working folks at Clackamas River Water should have to put up with this,” Angier said. “They’ve had seven managers since she’s been on the board, and there’s something wrong if that’s happening.”

Holloway denies that she has done anything wrong and asserts that her critics can only fault her as a CRW watchdog.

“I will continue to demand forensic audits, transparency and accountability — that includes demanding that CRW Commissioners Sowa, Humberston and Kalani join Grafton Sterling and me in making CRW General Manager Lee Moore pay back over $27,000 of ratepayer money he paid to a personal attorney in violation of a board vote,” she said.

Angier said she didn’t know about the payment but hoped that voters would decide Holloway’s fate.

“This is just a volunteer board, and this is not like we’re taking away her job or her livelihood,” Angier said.

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