Recalled Indian Hills trustee is on November ballot | RecordCourier.com
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Recalled Indian Hills trustee is on November ballot

Christy Chalmers

One of two Indian Hills General Improvement District trustees who was recalled could be back in office in January, but she’s not talking about her campaign plans.

Indian Hills voters on Tuesday recalled trustees Renee Haskell and Joanne Riekenberg. While Riekenberg’s term doesn’t expire until 2002, Haskell was in the home stretch of her four-year term and had filed for re-election, and Clerk-Treasurer Barbara Reed said Haskell’s name will be on the November ballot.

She will be competing against Ron Kruse, an incumbent, and Rhonda Pascoe, a challenger, for two terms that are expiring. Reed said the two top vote-getters win the seats.

Haskell and Riekenberg did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment on the recall, so it’s not known if Haskell will actively campaign for another term.

Only 387 of 1,387 voters cast ballots in the recall election, a turnout of about 28 percent. Haskell had 125 supportive votes and 259 seeking her recall, a margin of 67 percent for recall.

Nearly 69 percent of those voting on Riekenberg sought to recall her. She gathered 119 supportive votes and 264 seeking recall.

Recall organizer Art Baer said he hopes the election marked the end of the trustees’ service.

“We’re going to get a chance to put together a functional board of trustees,” he said. “Now we can get a five-member board that can go ahead and argue about the issues and come to a conclusion. I think you’re going to see a great improvement.”

The board had coalesced into two blocs that were deadlocking due to the resignation of Dick Fairfax, a third trustee who was targeted for recall. The four trustees couldn’t agree on a replacement for Fairfax, so the county commission chose one.

The remaining three trustees will now be responsible for choosing two people to replace Haskell and Riekenberg. Six people applied for Fairfax’s seat, indicating a healthy interest in the jobs.

GID manager Jim Bentley said the district will begin accepting applications this week, and a decision could be made Aug. 1. He noted several of the previous applicants have already indicated they will reapply.

The person who takes Riekenberg’s seat will have to petition to be elected and serve the remaining two years of the term because the appointment is only good through December.

While the new board members settle into their jobs, Baer said his group will probably focus on a November ballot question about building a community center in the Indian Hills area. The community center issue was one of the reasons for the recall, with the proponents accusing the trustees of defying residents’ wishes and the trustees saying they were concerned about the fiscal impacts of a community center.

Baer said he anticipates a door-to-door campaign on the community center.

“I’d like to see the community come together and get some of these darn people involved in things,” he said. “It will be on the ballot, and people can vote for it one way or the other.”