Salas Wins IID Special Election
Juanita Salas won the special election held on Tuesday of this week to fill an empty Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors seat. The election was to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Division 1 Director Matt Dessert. He left to take a job as head of the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District earlier this year. The winner will fill the remainder of Dessert’s term, which ends in 2018. Division 1 includes the El Centro area and parts of Calexico.
Numbers show that a little over 16 percent of eligible voters in the district cast ballots. The election saw more than its fair share of controversies. Salas is alleged to have misused her authority as a trustee on the Imperial Valley College Board of Trustees to make a presentation during a college class and ask for volunteers for her IID campaign. The IVC board president appointed an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter after a student complained but it isn’t expected to report back until the June 20 board meeting at IVC.
Salas denied any wrongdoing in a statement released last week and said the investigation was politically motivated. Dessert helped with Snively’s campaign and he was reportedly videotaped removing a competitor’s advertising flyer from a residence. This took place while he was leaving one of Snively’s door hangers on the front porch of a home in Brawley.
Salas received 754 votes, or just over 44 percent. Snively received 590, or 34.5 percent. Other candidates were Tony Gallegos with 189 votes and Blake Miles with 176. There may be a small number of absentee and provisional ballots to be counted but they shouldn’t have any effect on the results. The county elections department still needs to certify the results and present them to the board of supervisors to make them official.