Citizens Overcome Local Government in Yorbalinda
Recall successful in Yorba Linda water board; City Council adding two new faces
Water district politics dominated the Yorba Linda election this year. But voters Tuesday also elected two newcomers and one veteran to the City Council, according to unofficial returns as of Wednesday morning.
As reported by the Orange County Register, Yorba Linda Water District board members Robert Kiley and Gary Melton were losing the recall vote prompted by a community group wanting to recast the board it has challenged over rate increases. About 70 percent of voters, as of Wednesday morning, supported ousting the two following a bitter battle triggered by a $25-a-month rate increase.
Brooke Jones and Albert Nederhood are set to replace the incumbents, finishing the remaining years of their terms on the five-member water board. Both were backed by the Yorba Linda Taxpayers Association, which collected the signatures that forced the recall. “That was the result that we were looking for, to see both Kiley and Melton recalled,” Jones said Tuesday night. “We want people to pay a fair rate. … But I think that the current board has gone way out of balance in that direction.”
John Wayne Miller and Andrew J. “Andy” Hall were leading in the voting for the two regular four-year terms also on the ballot. Incumbent Ric Collett trailed the field of four with about 17 percent of the vote. With four new faces on the board, the water district would see an almost complete turnover.
Yorba Linda residents had seven candidates from which to choose to fill three seats on the City Council. Newcomer Tara Campbell was leading the race with 19.9 percent of the vote. She was followed by incumbent Eugene Hernandez with 17.1 percent and Beth Haney, a business owner, with 15.5 percent.
Campbell, 23, celebrated her win with about 100 friends and supporters Tuesday night at the Yorba Linda Country Club. “I’m excited that going door to door in Yorba Linda and talking to so many residents paid off,” she said Wednesday morning. “I think Yorba Linda is ready to move forward and have a bright future for our city.”
She said one of the main concerns she heard was the disconnect between residents and City Hall.