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January 5, 2018


The Board meeting of the Columbia Irrigation District was called to order by President Shawver at 1:00 pm.  Present at the meeting were:

Vincent Shawver, President Howard Ellison, Manager
Neil Martin, Vice President Pat Loftus, Operations Foreman
Dallas Ayde, Director Lila Freshment, Recorder
Jim Gose, Director
Sherri Thackham, Director

Guests: Jim Young, Skidmark Geomembrane, Stan King, Donna Gose


Director Thackham mentioned that RCW 5.28.010 stated the Oath should be administered by a Judge or Notary.  Jim Gose took the Oath of Office for the position of Director for Division #4.  Sherri Thackham took the Oath of Office for Division #5.


A motion was made by Director Gose and seconded by Director Martin to nominate Director Shawver for the office of President.  Nominations were closed.  The motion passed unanimously.

A motion was made by President Shawver and seconded by Director Gose to nominate Director Martin for the office of Vice-President.  The motion passed unanimously.



Jim Young from Skidmark Geomembrane presented a slideshow on his heavy rubber canal lining product.


Minutes, December 1 and December 19, 2017
The minutes of December 1st and 19th were presented to the Board for approval.  Director Gose pointed out that Jim Christopherson was omitted from the guests list of the December 1st minutes.  Director Thackham called attention to page 2 of the December 1st minutes where Director Gose asked President Shawver to add protecting equipment as a line item on the January 5th meeting agenda.  Director Gose asked that it be added to the February 2nd agenda since it wasn’t added the agenda for today’s meeting.

Director Shawver said there had been a question about whether a witness is needed on absentee ballots.  The RCW states there be a witness but does not state it couldn’t be a spouse.  He expressed the need for RCW’s pertaining to Irrigation Elections to be updated and suggested board members contact legislators.

Director Martin motioned the minutes be approved as amended and Director Thackham seconded the motion. Motion approved.

December Vouchers

Voucher 01 Reimburse Revolving Fund $191,538.23
Voucher 02 SePro Corporation $106,215.40

The Board reviewed and discussed the December Vouchers.  Director Martin made a motion to approve the Vouchers as submitted and Director Ayde seconded the motion.  Motion approved.

November Financial Statement
The November Financial Statement was reviewed and discussed by the Board.


Board of Director’s Policy
The Board discussed whether there is a need for a Board of Director Policy. A meeting was set for Friday, January 26th at 1:00 pm to discuss policies.

Director Gose stated he has been approached about changing the Board of Director’s meetings to evenings so patrons can attend without taking time off work.  Due to scheduling conflicts it was decided the meetings would remain at 1:00 pm.  He also mentioned a patron had approached him about putting gravel down on the ditch between Haney Road and 2093 PRSE.  Pat explained treated weeds left bare ground in areas District wide.  CID is planning to put down pit rock from the County as time allows.

Work Orders by Division
There were no work orders to review.

Information from the Manager
Manager Ellison showed pictures of sluffing on the canal road bank by Elite Sod which is being repaired by Ray Poland & Sons.  Ellison said it isn’t known what is causing the sluffing, but it will need to be watched.  Manager Ellison also showed pictures of the areas where Poland is replacing the cement liner.

Director Martin asked if there had been any response from the Columbia Center Mall on the drainage issue.  Manager Ellison reported that the District’s attorney had not received a response yet.  He stated something needs to be done before water season.

Manager Ellison reported there will be a hearing on Jan 15th to decide who will have jurisdiction over the Aquavella rulings.

Director Martin asked about the drainage issue at the Benton County Fairgrounds.  Manager Ellison informed the Board that the City of Kennewick will be working with the County on a solution to keep the water within the fairgrounds.


WSWRA Annual Meeting
President Shawver reported on the 2017 WSWRA Conference held at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane.  Both Director Shawver and Director Martin attended the conference.    Attendees had the opportunity to meet representatives from The Department of Ecology, State Legislators, representatives from other Irrigation Districts, as well as vendors.  Director Shawver reported he had the opportunity to speak to an Ecology representative about possible grant money for canal lining.  Although most grant money available is for fish and conservation, they will check into opportunities that could accommodate CID’s needs.  Among the topics of discussion at the conference were The Columbia River Treaty and The Columbia Basin Project. President Shawver felt it was a valuable experience and recommended all Directors and the Manager attend if it can be fit into their schedules.

Operations Report
Operations Foreman, Pat Loftus reported Operations Staff had begun cleaning out Lateral #2 on Bryson Brown from Haney to Finley Road.  They have removed 80 loads or approximately 800 yards of material since work began on Monday.  President Shawver asked Loftus his opinion on the Skidmark Geomembrane lining.  Pat said that there are certain places it can be used and others where it can’t.  Liner must be concrete where silt builds up because equipment would damage the rubber liner. Director Martin asked about the possibility of applying for a grant to fund lining the canal.  Manager Ellison said that to get grant money the District must put up 50 percent.  He suggested the District budget for lining a small portion of the canal each year.  Pat noted when the concrete liner downstream of Valley View was installed were received and concrete was cheaper than the Geomembrane product.

President Shawver moved the meeting into Executive Session at 3:20 pm for a period of 20 minutes to discuss personnel issues.  Director Gose came out of the meeting at 3:40 pm to extend the session for 15 minutes.

President Shawver recessed the meeting at 3:56 pm and will reconvene the meeting on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 1:00 pm.



January 5, 2018 Adjourned to January 26, 2018

Vincent Shawver, President Howard Ellison, Manager
Neil Martin, Vice President Lila Freshment, Recorder
Dallas Ayde, Director
Jim Gose, Director
Sherri Thackham, Director

President Shawver reconvened the meeting of Friday, January 5, 2018 on Friday, January 26, 2018, at 1:00 pm for the purpose of policy review.

Executive Session
President Shawver moved the meeting into Executive Session at 1:05 pm for 30 minutes to discuss personnel.  At 1:35 pm President Shawver extended the session for 10 minutes.  Director Gose requested an additional 10-minute extension at 1:45 pm.

The Board moved back into open session at 1:59 pm.  President Shawver addressed three concerns with Manager Ellison.

President Shawver stated that it had been previously decided the manager is only to contact the attorney about ongoing business.  According to the latest invoice Manager Ellison contacted the attorney about an election matter.  Director Gose had notified the District of patrons he had chosen for the Election Board.  Manager Ellison contacted different patrons.

President Shawver stated Manager Ellison had contacted him about the grader purchase.  It was decided that Manager Ellison would inquire about renting with an option to purchase.  Shawver instructed Ellison to contact Vice-President Martin to discuss the issue with him also.  Shawver stated Manager Ellison contacted both Director Martin and Director Ayde going against his instructions.

The Board presented a photograph of alleged District equipment sighted in the Manager Ellison’s home driveway.  Ellison stated the allegation was untrue.  He continued to explain his grandson and granddaughter had both plowed his driveway using equipment from the companies they work for.  The Board accepted the managers explanation.

President Shawver asked Ellison to address the first 2 concerns.

Response from the Manager:

  1. Manager Ellison stated he did not contact President Shawver for approval of the $44,000.00 which was transferred from remaining funds of the previous year’s budget to use for the grader purchase. Ellison explained he contacted Shawver to inform him of what he had done. He said according to his research and speaking with attorneys, this within his authority.  Ellison stated he followed the law and told Shawver he would not speak to more board members than he was told to in the future.
  1. President Shawver asked Howard to address the Board’s concern about him contacting patrons to serve on the Election Board and cancelling out Director Gose’s prior selections. He also asked Ellison to respond to the concern that he recruited candidates to run for election.  Ellison responded saying he contacted the attorney about the correct process for choosing the Election Board.  He was instructed by the attorney where to find this information.  It is up to the Board of Directors to assign the members of the Election Board prior to the election.  Ellison said that it was legal for him to do this since the Board of Directors had not addressed it. President Shawver stated he had instructed Manager Ellison to contact the patrons he had asked and let them know they would not be needed to serve on the Election Board.  He also instructed Ellison to contact Director Gose’s choices and tell them they were approved to serve on the Election Board.

Director Gose made a motion to rescind Resolution 12-4-2012-01 regarding attorney contact.  Director Martin seconded the motion.  Motion approved.

Director Shawver gave Manager Ellison approval to contact the attorney regarding the number of votes allowed per parcel in Director Elections.

Director Gose asked Ellison if he contacted Jim Christopherson to run against him in the 2017 election. Ellison responded he did not.

Manager Ellison stated that he had asked in a previous meeting for any discussions involving him to be done in an open meeting.  He requested the Board review the RCW regarding Executive Sessions.

Executive Session
President Shawver moved the meeting into Executive Session at 2:27 pm for 15 minutes.

President Shawver moved the meeting into open session at 2:44 pm.

The Board requested a policy stating the manager will never seek, endorse or promote any candidate for election to the Board and to also require notice of the election in the newspaper.  It was decided to address a policy regarding contacting the attorney at a later date.

Director Thackham motioned to have an investigation into the transfer of $44,000.00 to cover the grader purchase to determine if it was properly handled.  The motion was seconded by Director Gose.  Directors Gose, Martin and Thackham voted for the motion.  Directors Shawver and Ayde opposed.

Director Gose motioned for an investigation into the concern that Manager Ellison sought out a candidate to run against him in the 2017 election. Motion seconded by Director Thackham.  Directors Gose, Thackham and Martin voted in favor of the motion.  Shawver and Ayde opposed.  Motion passed.

The District received notice that Cowan Moore Law Firm PLLC is terminating its contract effective thirty days from receipt of the letter.  Director Gose motioned to accept the resignation.  Director Martin seconded the motion.  Motion passed.   Manager Ellison stated the District will request an ad be published in the newspaper for attorney’s.

The Board reviewed and discussed the Draft Board of Directors Policy.  Director Thackham made a motion to do away with the Board Policy.  Director Gose seconded the motion.  Directors Thackham and Gose were in favor.  Directors Martin, Ayde and Shawver opposed.  Motion failed.  The subject was tabled until a later date.

There being no further business to bring before the Board, President Shawver adjourned the meeting at 4:15 pm.