Four candidates who ran as a team to change the balance of power on a local water district board won their races Tuesday night.
In contests for director positions on the board of the West Dakota Water Development District, Ronald Koth beat incumbent Ken Moss 52-48 percent in District 1; Dan Driscoll beat incumbent Michael Mueller 58-42 percent in District 3; Steven Rolinger beat incumbent Ernest Getty 58-42 percent in District 5; and Linda Harris beat Wyatt Rogers 69-31 percent in a race for an open seat in District 9.
The three incumbents had all cast votes at the board’s Oct. 9 meeting in favor of authorizing up to $7,500 in legal fees to fight the local regulation of septic systems. The vote in favor of the motion was 6-3.
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The board’s action was urged by George Ferebee of rural Hill City. He is not a member of the board but is an outgoing Pennington County commissioner who has devoted much of the past eight years to opposing the septic laws of the county and Rapid City. He has also been publicly accused of working behind the scenes to stack the West Dakota board with members who are sympathetic to his crusade.
The Oct. 9 action by the board sparked a public backlash and prompted Koth, Driscoll, Rolinger and Harris to run together as an alternative to the board’s existing power structure.