“The Inland Empire Taxpayers Association, headed by Chris Mann, a board member with the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency and a Banning resident, had “No on Measure B” signs throughout Beaumont that claimed all homes would pay $112 per month for sewers. The taxpayer group also made calls in the city with the same message.
“The Chris Mann taxpayer group slaughtered us…” BCVWD General Manager Chuck Butcher said about the measure results.”
Voters say no to water Measure B
By Timothy Smith
September 9, 2007
Photograph for The Record Gazette by Timothy Smith
The Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District Measure B water quality vote failed to pass by 192 votes on Tuesday Sept 25.
A yes vote on the measure would have given the BCVWD latent authority powers to start the clean up of nitrate pollution in Cherry Valley. The district’s original plan was to sewer the majority of Cherry Valley to stop the ongoing pollution.
The district offered a nitrate abatement plan after the mail-in vote had already begun. The new plan was late in the game and probably had little impact on the vote.
As of 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday the vote tally had not changed since 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night. 5,348 voters cast ballots on Measure B. That is a 41.6 percent registered voter turnout of the 12,848 voters in the district. No votes totaled 2,535 or 48.2 percent. Yes votes totaled 2,727 or 51.8 percent. 86 ballots were uncountable due to being marked yes and no on the same ballot; several ballots weren’t marked at all according to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters, who handled the election.
The Inland Empire Taxpayers Association, headed by Chris Mann, a board member with the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency and a Banning resident, had “No on Measure B” signs throughout Beaumont that claimed all homes would pay $112 per month for sewers. The taxpayer group also made calls in the city with the same message.
The BCVWD proposal stated that only ratepayers in Cherry Valley that are hooked up to the new sewer mains and treatment facility would pay for the new sewer service.
Beaumont residents already have sewers and pay for the maintenance and operation of the Beaumont sewer system, already.
“The Chris Mann taxpayer group slaughtered us…” BCVWD General Manager Chuck Butcher said about the measure results.
Glen Stull of Cherry Valley Realty said, “I’m glad it was defeated, I’m very happy. He said he’d like to see the district, city of Beaumont, Riverside County and the county health department work together on the issue as the area continues to develop.
Cherry Valley Acres and Neighbors President Patsy Reeley said, “I was a little bit surprised.” Now we have to take another look at the passionate issue, Reeley said.
BCVWD Board Member Will Lash said, “Can you believe it,” when asked about the outcome of the vote.
Beaumont City Manager Alan Kapanicas said he was happy to here that 42 percent of the voters participated. He said he was surprised by the measure outcome. Kapanicas also said he was impressed by the quick tally by the Riverside County Registrar.
The Registrar started processing votes for the measure on Sept. 20. The vote counting should be final on Thursday Sept. 27 Leticia Flores of the Registrars office said. The office needs to canvass the election returns and manually tally 1 percent of the votes to insure accuracy, Flores said.
The Registrar has until Oct. 23 to send a statement of results to the water district. The statement will show the whole number of votes cast, the measure voted on and number of votes given at each precinct for and against the measure.
The Registrar will invoice the BCVWD for the cost of the election on Oct. 25.
For more vote information go to the Registrar’s website www.election.co.riverside.ca.us, or call 486-7200.