Taylor keeps seat on water district

HEPPNER - It wasn't a close race, but any race is unusual for a seat on the Morrow County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Incumbent Joe Taylor retained his Zone 1 seat with 1,594 votes to 583 for challenger Pat Suter. Both live in the Boardman area. Taylor is an alfalfa and grass seed farmer who's served as chairman of the board the past four years. Suter is a rancher.

It was the first contested race in the district in local memory.

Two other candidates were uncontested: Brian Doherty for Zone 4 and Judy Barber for Zone 5.

Rec district election process unchanged

HEPPNER - A proposal to simplify the election process for the Morrow County Unified Recreation District Board of Directors was rejected by voters Tuesday.

Had it passed, members of the recreation district board would no longer have represented zones. All would have been elected to at-large positions, meaning they could live anywhere within the district.

The measure was defeated with 899 yes votes, or 31 percent, to 1,777 no votes, or 60 percent.

Board Chair Cyde Estes said before the election the move would have saved the county time and money.

The district was formed in 1995. It contracts with the school district to provide co-curricular activities and also works with nonprofit groups to provide activities such as Fourth of July festivals and music performances.

Boardman council OKs bid proposal

BOARDMAN - A plan to build new City Hall will proceed if Boardman's attorney OKs the agreement.

At its Tuesday night meeting, the Boardman City Council voted 4-2 to accept a maximum bid proposal by contractor Prancing Horse to construct the new city administration building. Cost for the project is estimated at $1.67 million.

Controversy over the appearance of the building was the reason behind the two no votes.

"I'm all for the City Hall project, but I never have liked the roof design," Councilman Ray Michael said.

Councilman Jim Hollandsworth said he felt the same way.

Councilman Michael Tallman was absent at the time of the vote.

Once the project gets the green light, construction could begin by the end of November. The project is expected to be finished by July 2003.

Concerns raised about air quality

PENDLETON - The Pendleton Air Quality Commission (AQC) is urging residents to think about air quality during the fall and winter wood-burning season.

With the onset of cold temperatures and stagnant air conditions, smoke hangs in the valleys. The AQC has noted elevated particulate matter readings in the Pendleton area in recent days, which could cause health problems for some residents.

The group urges residents to burn smart by referring to the daily air quality forecast, available Monday through Friday at 966-0327 and on Page 2A of the East Oregonian.

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