Our View: Indian Hills can move ahead

The Indian Hills General Improvement District Board has a chance to start fresh, which was largely the idea behind Tuesday's recall election.

In the vote, two members - Joanne Riekenberg and Renee Haskell - were removed from the board. A third member, Dick Fairfax, who had been targeted by recall petitioners, already had resigned.

Unfortunately, few residents of the district voted Tuesday. We suspect that many had been discouraged by the bickering that has gone on for months among some board members.

It was difficult to sort fact from fiction in the argument over whether to build a community center or join the Sunridge development in building an office complex.

Clearly, the board blundered by surveying residents, who said they wanted a community center, and then voting instead in favor of the office complex. The main result of that vote was to send a message to residents that the board didn't really care what they thought.

Riekenberg, Fairfax and Haskell were the three votes against the community center.

General-improvement district trustees aren't expected to be politicians or necessarily expert managers. Nevertheless, the board was also deeply divided over the performance of the district's manager, Jim Bently.

To outsiders, however, the most disturbing aspect of the entire board controversy was how acrimonious and unproductive the board's meetings had become. It was obvious not much was being done by the board itself to actually resolve the issues facing the district, and too often the meetings simply degenerated into long-winded arguments.

That's why the recall election now gives the board a chance to put the personality clashes behind it and move on to the business of serving Indian Hills residents.


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