By CHRISTIN COYNE
ANNETTA - Shortly after the Annetta Water Advisory Committee - comprised of Deer Creek water system residents who live inside and outside city limits - submitted a report outlining a list of recommendations, the Annetta Town Council removed two members, including the chairman, who led recent annexation efforts.
With council members Chuck Sheridan and Richard Machak opposing, council members Larry Wood, Bruce Moore and Farrar Patterson voted in favor of removing Traci Fambrough and committee chair Dennis Thompson from the board appointed in 2012 to advise the council.
Both former committee members recently led annexation efforts that garnered signatures from 500 affected residents seeking to be added to the city. Proponents have said they feel disenfranchised because the majority of users on the system cannot vote in town council election. Concerns have recently surfaced after council members discussed taking over management of the water system, currently contracted to Hudson Oaks, and building a new city hall, which water system users are concerned would be paid for primarily with water system funds.
However, a majority of the council declined to schedule public hearings to discuss the annexation issue.
“I want to discuss the water advisory board because I sat through a meeting on Monday night,” Wood said. “And according to the ordinance that set up the water advisory board, it was given a very specific task.”
Governed by ordinance 125, the water advisory board was established for issues surrounding water and water rights within the town’s CCN, Wood said. “It doesn’t say anything about making recommendations about city hall ... it doesn’t say anything about whether the city should take over the water system. It says issues surrounding water and water rights, OK?”
The town council was “bashed around” during the previous meeting of the water advisory committee meeting for wanting to look at building a city hall and wanting to take over management of the system, Wood said, adding that Hudson Oaks and Aledo manage their own water systems while Annetta lets someone else manage theirs.