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Plakk resigns from Chester Public Utility District board

M. Kate West 
Staff Writer 
1/13/2013
 

The president of the Chester Public Utility District’s board of directors resigned last week. And a CPUD board secretary might do the same.  

The 4 p.m. start of the Jan. 8 CPUD meeting was delayed as directors awaited the arrival of board president Tonu Plakk and secretary Dick Withrow. 

 

Discussion among the members revealed that no one was expecting either member to be absent. Neither Plakk nor Withrow joined the meeting at a later time. 

A partial explanation surfaced during the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 10, when an envelope addressed to the district was opened by interim fire chief and board member Ben Thompson. 

The envelope contained a letter of resignation from Plakk. In his typed comments, Plakk tendered his resignation effective 2 p.m. Jan. 8, the date of the regular district meeting. He did not provide any reason for his resignation. 

At that same time, Thompson questioned how to complete the process for filling a board vacancy. He asked a Feather Publishing reporter, who also sits on a different special district board, for assistance in the matter. 

The reporter called the elections division of the Plumas County clerk. The elections official, upon hearing the call was coming from the CPUD office, indicated she was aware of Plakk’s resignation. 

The official implied that she was also anticipating a resignation from Withrow. She did not say who or what led her to believe that a second board member would be resigning. 

Calls seeking comment from both Plakk and Withrow on Jan. 11 were not successful. No return calls were received by press time. 

Both Plakk and Withrow are consecutive term directors who have served on the CPUD board for approximately 15 – 20 years each. 

In establishing the length of terms for each board member, the elections official said the current terms for Withrow and Plakk expire in 2015. 

Terms for board vice chair Thompson, secretary Gregg Scott and treasurer John Knopp expire this year. 

The resignation of Plakk will add a fourth seat up for grabs in the 2013 election in November. 

The election official explained that when a board vacancy occurs, the person appointed to the board does not fill the vacated term but rather replaces the vacant position on the board until the next special district election. 

This individual, along with board members with terms expiring in 2013, must file his or her intention to seek a position on the board if he or she wants to continue in the position. 

The expiration of four terms also opens the door to any community member to compete in the election for a seat on the board. 

Since July 2012 there has been some interest in a change of directors on the CPUD board. This interest was made clear when resident Wayne Lichti served all five board members with a “Notice of Intent to Recall” during a July 3 CPUD special district meeting. 

The supporters of the recall effort failed to meet the legal process requirements and the effort failed. 

The filing period to enter the election process for a seat on the CPUD board opens July 1. 

More information on the filing and ballot process may be obtained by calling the elections division of the Plumas County clerk.

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