LELAND, NC (WWAY) – If it stands, there will be a new majority on the H2Go board of commissioners against the reverse osmosis plant. One of those commissioners though is suspicious about how the election for the board was handled by utility leaders.
“We want to know if that was an appropriate use of our customers money,” said commissioner Jeff Gerken.
Commissioner Gerken wants to look into if money was used by utility administrators to influence the election. His concern came seeing campaign ads and a Facebook post from the utility’s hired public information firm, Water PIO.
“We said it would appear that from the statements that are made within this posting that it would seem that there were efforts made to advance the causes of specific candidates,” Gerken said.
Those candidates being the ones on the pro reverse osmosis plant ticket.
“You read that post there’s not a single thing wrong with it,” said Water PIO president Mike McGill.
McGill wrote the Facebook post and says it was strictly meant to reflect the feelings of the commission he represents. He denounces that it was written to for political reasons, but to show concern of operations changes that could come with now a new anti-reverse osmosis plant majority on the board.
“I didn’t do work for the candidates on the ballot,” said McGill. “All of my work was, well a lot of my work was focused on the plant. The fact that the RO plant that there was a belief that it should be built that it was under construction and that it was good for the customers of H2Go.”
Gerken says he is not targeting the firm. Gerken himself has been outspoken in opposition to the plant and intends to also issue a request that the board terminates the contracts as well as the project if and when Bill Beer is confirmed to join the commission.
“It’s not on Water PIO, that’s on anybody in the H2Go organization who authorized the work, beyond the original intent.”
Gerken plans to bring up his request for investigation within the next board meeting or two.
The recount for the H2Go board ballot happens Wednesday morning.