Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

September 19, 2013

Water board avoids Nov. ballot

The Centerville City Council Monday night voted 3-2 to not pass a resolution calling for a city election to allow the citizens to decide if the Centerville Water Works Board of Trustees should be dissolved in order to allow the city to assume direct control of its operations.

Voting against approval of the resolution were Councilmen Rob Lind, Edwin Brand and Richard Smith. Voting in favor of passing the resolution were Councilmen Jay Dillard and Darrin Hamilton.

Lind argued it would be better to wait until the election in 2015 in order to be able to formulate a fair assessment of the water board. Lind said the city and water board should be able to work out details to make the water board and water department more efficient.

Hamilton argued a lot of people have told him they want it on the ballot.

Dillard argued it would be better to allow the voters to decide if they want to keep the water board. Give them an opportunity to speak.

“At the end of the day, they’re the boss,” Dillard said. “So we would want to hear their feedback on this.”

Patrick Antonen, city administrator, said communication between the water board and City Hall has been lacking and meetings were repeatedly rescheduled. He offered changes are coming down the road but he didn’t go into specifics.

“Whatever comes of this, something will change and if it’s going to change, hopeful for the better, whichever way it goes,” Antonen said. “The issue has been made known.”

Carl Cisler, water board chairman, said not once has the council come to the water board to present their issues.

He asked for the opportunity to work with the city administrator so he can help them make decisions.

One reason why the issue made the agenda was papers have to be filed with the county auditor by Sept. 19 in order to be included on the next city election ballot, Antonen said.

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