SCV Water moves vote to decide on empty seat

Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency

Officials with the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency announced Friday a decision to cancel their previously scheduled Tuesday night special meeting, postponing the discussion and possible vote on what to do with one of their two currently vacant seats.  

The seat that was previously set to be discussed this week was formerly filled by former Division 2 Director Jerry Gladbach, who died on July 13. The seat’s boundaries include most of Saugus, as well as northeastern portions of Valencia and northern portions of Canyon Country.  

The reason for the cancellation, according to Kathie Martin, a spokeswoman for the SCV Water Agency, is due to the expected availability of the SCV Water board of directors on Tuesday.  

“They are just postponing the discussion to the regular meeting the following week, as not all board members were available tomorrow night,” said Martin in a statement sent to The Signal on Monday. “It compresses the time frame a little, but that was preferred over having someone not be able to participate in the process.” 

Last week, the board had voted to appoint someone to one of the director seats for Division 3 due to the resignation of longtime board member BJ Atkins, who moved out of district and therefore became ineligible to hold the seat.  

The decision on what to do with Gladbach’s vacant seat is likely to garner some debate among the board of directors, the minority of whom have already decried the number of appointments the board has made, or could possibly make, this year for positions that are normally decided by voters.    

When a vacancy comes up for the water board during that former board member’s term, the directors are given three options: appoint someone to fill the vacancy, hold an election at a future date, or do nothing and allow L.A. County to make the decision.    

In March of this year, former Director Dan Mortensen resigned after he had been found guilty on a single charge of domestic violence. The board later approved the appointment of Director Maria Gutzeit to the seat.  

If the board decides to select someone to fill Gladbach’s seat, it will be the third appointment they have made this year and their selections, as opposed to allowing public elections to decide, will make up three of the 12 available seats, or 25%.  

The board of directors is slated to next discuss what to do about Gladbach’s seat vacancy during its Aug. 2 regular meeting. For more information on how to view or participate in public meetings for the SCV Water Agency board of directors, visit

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