Westlands Water District has a new man helming its Board of Directors, but not without a contested vote.
Tuesday, during Westlands’ regular meeting, Board President Daniel Errotabere announced he would be stepping down from his post, Water Wrights first reported.
The abrupt announcement, shortly after the start of the meeting, touched off a brief, spirited battle to replace him.
The two directors vying? Harris Farms executive vice president and William Bourdeau and Ferguson Farming’s Ryan Ferguson.
Ferguson was nominated by senior Westlands director Frank Coelho, Jr. Bourdeau received his nomination from freshly-elected Kevin Assemi.
After comments in support of the two candidates, Ferguson prevailed in the voting – receiving the backing of directors Errotabere, Coelho, Todd Neves, Stan Nunn, and Jim Anderson.
Assemi and newly-appointed director Ceil Howe III voted in favor of Bourdeau to take the helm.
“It has been an honor to serve as President of Westlands, and I look forward to continuing to work with my fellow Board members, the District staff, and those served by the District,” Errotabere said in a statement. “Ryan Ferguson is a thoughtful, engaged leader with deep insight into the challenges the District faces, and I know he will lead the Board with great vision and integrity.”
In his own statement, Ferguson thanked Errotabere for his service and focused on the district’s long-term issues.
“I recognize the complexity and weight of the issues the Board will navigate in the coming months and years, and I am committed to building upon the legacy of collaboration and service Dan Errotabere and those who came before him, have established,” Ferguson said. “Dan has served the westside for decades in a wide range of roles and made innumerable contributions to the District and the community at large. I know I speak for the entire Board when I say we are extraordinarily grateful for his leadership and his continued dedication to the families, farms and communities served by Westlands. The District is better off due to Dan’s leadership.”
Editor’s Note: Mr. Bourdeau is the chairman of the Board of Directors for the Valley