Three candidates are on the November 2016 ballot for two seats on the McCloud Community Services District board of directors: incumbents Chuck Ott and Anne Simons and Michael Rorke.
Rorke, a resident of McCloud since 2000, says he was inspired to seek office on the CSD board because of the concerns he's heard expressed in the community about the “many problems facing the McCloud area.” He states, “With my previous diversified experience, I feel I can provide a different perspective and viewpoint to the MCSD Board of Directors to help in resolving these issues.”
Ott and Simons both point to the importance of the water bottling agreement that has been in the works.
Simons, seeking a third full term on the board, said she is seeking reelection “in the hopes of supporting the water agreement through completion, to continue working on ongoing District issues, and support current staff.”
Ott said he wants to see the water laterals projects get completed and “find ways to make it easier for the community to pay for the services that we have.”
Rorke’s background includes serving with the Heritage Junction Museum Board of Directors and the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He has worked with the McCloud Community Services District on projects including the Long Range Planning Committee, Area Plan Committee and community representative to the District’s Strategic Planning process. He was also a founding director and president of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway and its associated nonprofit management organization.
“As the Scenic Byway is multi-faceted and covers several states, I worked with multiple federal, state and local agencies, communities and groups which led to a successful project,” Rorke stated in an email response to questions submitted from the newspaper. “Currently, I work with my wife who owns a small business in McCloud.”
Asked what he sees as the main issues the CSD is dealing with and will need to deal with in the next four years, Rorke replied: “As with all communities statewide, the McCloud Community Services District will have to work with and adapt to a variety of national, state and local changes in rules and mandates that will impact all areas of our lives. It will be imperative that leaders accurately assess these issues so they may be able to make decisions to benefit the McCloud area. These issues include preservation and development of natural resources, environmental concerns, fiscal challenges and changing demographics.”
A softspoken man of few words, incumbent Chuck Ott says the big issues facing the McCloud Community Services District are the water bottling company agreement, water infrastructure with the laterals, obtaining updated equipment, and the yearly financial audit.
During his first term as a board member, Ott says the District’s successes include: getting the bond issue cleared up, the water bottling agreement, the worms and fish in the sewage ponds saving the District thousands of dollars to haul that sludge off, the jail/courthouse project and establishing water rights.
He said he now has four years experience, starting with the water bottling plant, which is a work in progress, but he is pleased with the progress that’s been made on the contract.
Ott has 20 years experience working with the McCloud Post Office and 22 years pastoring in the McCloud community, which he says “has given me a lot of understanding about our community and its needs.”
He has experience as president of the Community Resource Center and experience with the Salvation Army and the Food Bank in McCloud.
Ott said he wants the water agreement contract and EIR to help get what’s best for the McCloud community. “I want to see the water laterals completed. And I want to find ways to make it easier for the community to pay for the services that we have.”
Incumbent director Anne Simons says the many issues facing the McCloud Community Services District include completion of the in-town water infrastructure replacement project, reserves replacement, replacement of the upper and lower Elk Springs line, water rights retention, the jail renovation project, and costs controls such as street lights and medical insurance costs.
She said she has chosen to run for the board again “in the hopes of supporting the water agreement through completion, to continue working on ongoing District issues, and support current staff.”
“I think the water agreement is very beneficial to McCloud,” Simons said. “The agreement says the bottler can use a maximum of 200 gallons per minute. They are going to pay us a per gallon fee and 1% of their gross revenue as well. They are going to donate a half a million dollars towards the pipeline and loan us the remainder at a very low interest rate. There are a lot of protections for the District in case of a drought of catastrophe.”
Along with her nine years of experience on the board and in postal service management, Simons cites her “calm and sound logic, and the ability to delve into issues in a manner that brings a different perspective.” She points to the following “successful programs” that have been completed while she has been on the board: sewer pond repairs, a water bottling plant agreement, a fire tax approval, park improvements funded by grants, debt reduction, equipment purchase (sewer vacuum and loader), several union agreements, and adoption of a preventative maintenance program.
The 68 year old Simons is married to Dan Simons. They moved to McCloud in 1992 when she became postmaster. They co-owned the McCloud General Store and Building Supply, have five children and seven grandchildren. She is also on the board of the McCloud Community Resource Center, belongs to a local Bunco club, was a founding member of the McCloud Lions Club, and belonged to the McCloud Chamber of Commerce.