With the vacant spot on Mesquite’s side of the Virgin Valley Water District (VVWD) Board since Robert “Bubba” Smith left in early July, there are now six residents vying for the position. The VVWD Board will consider which of those applicants would be suitable at a special meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. The applicant chosen will serve in Smith’s place through Dec. 31, 2018.
Of those six applicants, several are well-known throughout the community. The following is a short summation of each applicant based on public information, provided in alphabetical order.
Karen Beardsley was once the President of the Mesquite branch of League of Women Voters. She also briefly ran for the Mesquite City Council in 2013. Although she doesn’t cite any experience in water issues, she has been a resident of Mesquite since 1997 and has followed the VVWD throughout the years.
According to the Nevada Voter Registration Record, James Boarer is a Sun City Resident who moved to Mesquite in 2014. On his application, he stated that he has “over 52 years of experience in Public Works in Water/Wastewater design and construction management.” Prior management positions are mainly throughout the West Coast from Washington through California.
Ben Davis has been a resident of Mesquite since 2008. He is married with three kids, and many in Mesquite know his mother, Cathy Davis, who has been the principal at Virgin Valley Elementary School for the past several years. His reasoning for applying to the VVWD is his determination in getting more involved with the community and local government. His resume offered no relation to water district issues but he has several years of management experience.
Karl Gustaveson is a Mesquite resident who first sat in the spotlight as a councilman for the Mesquite City Council in 2007 when he finished the seat vacated by Susan Holecheck when she was elected to Mayor. He continued serving on the council through the end of 2013 when he chose not to run for re-election. This won’t be the first time sitting in a seat at the VVWD, as Gustaveson was the City-Appointed representative from 2010 to 2013, serving as board president in 2011 and 2012.
Ted Miller misses his role on the VVWD so much he decided to throw his hat back into the ring. He first started with the board in 2006 until he failed to be re-elected for a third term in 2014. With term limits at the VVWD, finishing Smith’s term would theoretically fill the remaining two years, rounding him out to 12 years of service on the board.
The final applicant is Douglas Ramaker, husband of current board member Sandra Ramaker. His application to the district cites previous experience in Oregon at the Rockwood Water P.U.D. in Portland which includes maintenance and repairs to pipes and meters. He also states that he has been a resident of Mesquite since 2008.
Three of the six applicants were present at the August 2 meeting of the VVWD; Beardsley, Boarer and Davis attended to observe the board’s agenda items. The VVWD board will meet on Wednesday, August 10 at 5 p.m. to discuss the applicants and will appoint one of them to the vacant spot.