Candidates answered questions about improving city council transparency and citizen involvement, bringing fiber optics to the community, cannabis businesses in Weed, their stances on Measure H, and their thoughts on a bottled water tax and water supply improvement fund initiative were some of the questions presented to the candidates.

Set in Weed’s Historic Palace Theater, Weed City Council candidates responded to questions during a forum sponsored by the Siskiyou Progressives group Wednesday, Oct. 12. An audience of 27 spread out in the large theater.

Questions about improving city council transparency and citizen involvement, bringing fiber optics to the community, cannabis businesses in Weed, their stances on Measure H, and their thoughts on a bottled water tax and water supply improvement fund initiative were some of the questions presented to the candidates.

Incumbents Bob Hall and Chuck Sutton, and candidate Dave Pearce attended the forum. Candidate Sue Tavalero was unable to attend, but wrote replies that were read by moderator DeLeon Grabowski. The four candidates on the November ballot are vying for two available seats on the city council.

Candidates were asked about their feelings on the current issue between the City of Weed and Roseburg over the water rights to Beaughan Springs and supposed sale of more water to Crystal Geyser Roxane by Roseburg.

Sutton said, “Currently I think we need to explore all our options that are available to the City to find our own source of water. Nobody has shown me a document that states that we have legal rights to this water.” He said he’s just heard hearsay about Roseburg wanting to sell more water to Crystal Geyser Roxane and doesn’t know if that is true.

Pearce said, “The main reason I’m running for the council, I’m going to fight for our rights to that water, and to make sure we get it and we don’t have to put wells in.”

Tavalero wrote, “I would like for the city to stop spending tax dollars for an attorney on the water rights issue. Just move forward to solve the problem. I am also sure that it is just rumor that Roseburg is selling more water to Crystal Geyser Roxane. They are receiving the same amount they always have.”

Hall said, “I did a lot of research, and I can't help but have to follow up on this. It's a moral issue for me.”

He said, “Originally the Weed Lumber Company was given a stewardship, or a trust for the water for the community of Weed and that's been transferred down, and the use for that is domestic and municipal use.”

“There hasn't been a [court] decision yet. Everybody I talked to from the water master to Siskiyou-Shasta Water board, they all say the same thing. ‘You have to go to court.’ This being something that's going to last forever. I really feel it's my responsibility to make sure that I give the citizens of Weed the best I have on this. There has to be a decision. It’s not something we can just roll over and say, ‘Oh, Oh well.’ This is something Weed needs to fight for. And fight it in a civil way too. We really need to understand, let’s be neighbors. We have a neighbor with Roseburg. We want Roseburg in our community. We want to work together.”

Hall said he thinks “we all have a moral responsibility with this. We’ve used this water for 107 years and there’s many ways we can work together. The water was definitely designed for us. It wasn't given to one company. It was given to the community of Weed.”

Hall said, “It’s a moral issue for me. I really feel it’s my responsibility to give the citizens of Weed the best I have on this.” He said there hasn’t been a court ruling, and he wants to at least see it go to court. “We want Roseburg in our community. We have to work together.”

The forum lasted an hour and a half with three questions from the audience before the meeting ended.