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Voters pick three for PAWSD board

“I am the actor, the actress, the voter, the politician.” — Walt Whitman.

Three new board members have been elected to the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) Board of Directors, and it was a tight race. Mike Church, Glenn Walsh and Burt Adams will take their seats as board directors at the Tuesday, May 15, PAWSD board meeting.

According to Renee Lewis, designated election official, there were 154 mail-in ballots and 243 walk-in voters.

The final totals were: Mike Church 259, Glenn Walsh 243, Burt Adams 179, Patrick O’Brien 172, Chris Pitcher 170 and Raymond Finney 70.

“The five election judges did a great job sticking it out all day and through the night,” PAWSD district manager Ed Winton, adding, “Renee did a super job making sure the integrity of the system was applied.”

The new board members all were excited about their win, with each knowing that their new position comes with responsibility.

“I’m excited, and I feel like it’s giving back to the community,” Church said. “I want to do the things I said: no new revenue bonds without voter approval, prioritize the new leaks as something that has to be tackled, no more money to be spent on the Dry Gulch project and putting the customers first.”

Walsh, who was only 16 votes behind Church, commended Church on his well-run campaign, and also expressed his joy at being elected on the board. “I’m happy to be on the board, and it will be interesting to see how the board members’ perspectives are on the board. There will probably be some differences that will show,” Walsh said, adding, “It’ll be interesting to see if I can maintain the critical perspective I’ve maintained as an audience member and not too closely identify with projects.”

Adams took the third board member seat, beating out O’Brien by a slim margin of only five votes.

“I hope we bring some sanity to the board,” Adams said. “I’m pleased about getting on the board and am hopeful there will be harmony on board.”

Adams is hopeful that the board will champion fiscal responsibility, a platform that all five board members ran on. Adams’ main hope is that, while he is on the board, rate increases will be minimized.

The next PAWSD Board of Director’s meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, at the PAWSD main offices, 100 Lyn Ave.

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