Letter submitted and published in The Messenger this week:
A ruling was handed down on September 10, by Judge Charles D. Wachob from Placer County Superior Court, dismissing Foresthill water ratepayers petition to accept approximately 50 signatures submitted to the Election Department which were rejected for a variety of reasons. We argued that due the Corona Virus, petition gathers had obstacles to face in acquiring those signatures, and asked for relief from the court. We needed 18 more valid signatures to recall Neil Cochran, 14 valid signatures to recall Mark Bell, 17 valid signatures to recall Linda Cholcher, and 52 valid signatures to recall Patty Wade.
It was apparent, based on Judge Wachob ruling, that he misinterpreted or ignored our argument for “seeking relief.” He gave no weight to the cases we listed throughout the United States, including CA, where courts recognized the obstacles petition gatherers were subjected to, because of the Corona Virus “stay-at-home” mandates by Governors. In multiple cases, the courts ruled for a variety means of relief for signature gathers. But not Judge Wachob! No concern at all that the community of Foresthill is moving through the legal process as the laws provide to hold the Directors of the FPUD accountable for mismanagement. No concern that signature gathering was made difficult because of the pandemic.
Not only did Judge Wachob ignore the precedence set by these cases throughout the nation over the last four or five months, his dismissal ruling had tones of insult by calling our case “…confusing and Hodgepodge….” And to further insult, his court did not notify us that we could call the courts to schedule a telephone conference with the Judge to give oral argument. We found out by accident, and we were able to make the deadline to schedule a conference call by one hour. I have to wonder if this was incompetence on the court system, or is this a case of “the good old boy” connections in Placer County with one particular Placer County Supervisor at the helm!
Under the circumstances, Concerned Citizens of Foresthill believe that Judge Wachob showed lack of concern for the seriousness of our petition, asking for relief and granting us validity of approximately 50 signatures. We believe that he grossly misinterpreted our case and ignored key issues. Therefore an appeal is up for consideration, and readers look forward to learning more about this in the future.
On another note, Linda Cholcher is up for reelection, and our opportunity to remove her as Director. We recommend voting for her challenger Robert Palmeri.
We are recommending Jane Stahler and Robert Palmeri in the upcoming election on November 3, 2020.
The recall effort is still ongoing. We will be filing an appeal with the court tomorrow and will keep everyone updated with the results when we have something to report.