Yorba Linda Water District Officers Face Recall, Will Glendale City Council Members?
An effort to recall Gary Melton and Robert Kiley from their positions on the Yorba Linda Water District board because of the board’s decision to raise rates 380 percent over five years was initiated in March 2016. The effort was launched by Eddy Jackson of the Yorba Linda Taxpayers Association. Jackson said the board used a “deceptive campaign that leveraged California’s water crisis as a means to excessively increase water rates.”
Two other members of the five-person board, Ric Collett and Mike Beverage, are up for re-election in 2016. The recall will appear on the November 8, 2016, general election ballot. Voters will therefore have the option of totally overhauling the board. The board voted 5-0 to increase water rates.
In addition to the recall efforts, the Yorba Linda Taxpayers Association filed a lawsuit seeking to retract the water rate increases. Similar to the lawsuit filed by the Glendale Coalition for Better Government. Jeff Decker, the association’s cofounder, said the board was charging more than was necessary and was not looking out for the taxpayers’ interests.
Gary Melton defended the rates increase. Due to the drought, Yorba Linda was required by the state to reduce its water use by 36 percent in 2015. Because people were using less water, the water district was bringing in less money. “This was the best resolution to keep the district going at least through this water crisis,” said Melton.
Recall proponents had 120 days to collect 9,520 for both Melton and Kiley, which is equal to 20 percent of the district’s registered voters. The recall papers were served on March 10, and the two targets had seven days to file a response. The The Yorba Linda Taxpayers Association turned in the petitions June 9, 2016, and said that they had 11,714 signatures on Melton’s petition and 11,702 on Kiley’s. The county had 30 days to certify the signatures. The recall was approved for the November 2016 ballot