Re “What board candidates say about OID lawsuits and dysfunction” (Page 3A, Oct. 17): Garth Stapley’s recent article on the Oakdale Irrigation District board candidates stated Grover Francis, who is running against Brad DeBoer for the open Division 5 seat, is an “outsider” opposed to what Stapley calls a “water selling philosophy embraced in recent years.” Yet, in the four years that Francis was an OID director (1998-2001), he voted for out-of-district water sales each of the eight times they were considered. Does Francis now regret those votes? If so, why?
Francis also claims things went much smoother when he served, in contrast to the “hoohaw it is now.” Yet, the board minutes of the September 2000 meeting detail a row between Francis and Director Dale Price, accusing Francis of spending 73 percent more than the other directors on board-sponsored travel to conferences and questioning the legality of his practice of volunteering to be “bumped” on return flights in exchange for free ticket vouchers, which he later used for personal travel. The exchange ends with Director Steve Webb calling for “more harmony on this board.”
Francis’s record appears to give voters more of exactly what Stapley laments on the current board. A true vote for change is a vote for Brad DeBoer.
Janie Gatzman, Oakdale