Controversy engulfs Stagecoach election |

Controversy engulfs Stagecoach election

— Three seats on the Morrison Creek Water District board of directors will be decided in a district election Tuesday, with the main campaign issue centered on how to expand water and sewer lines in the Stagecoach Development.

This is an important election because the district will be debt-free in August for the first time since it declared bankruptcy in 1978, and is expected to have $300,000 in reserves.

“This is an important time in the life of Stagecoach and Morrison Creek,” said incumbent candidate Rich Saterdal, who has been on the board for five years. He is an engineer in Denver and owns a lot in Stagecoach.

Saterdal, Scott Eggleston and Roger Kenworthy’s seats are open and all are running for another term. Challengers Greg Hermann, Bill Maynard and Seann Smith also will compete for the three spots, which include two four-year terms and one two-year term.

The challengers’ campaign literature argues that the district needs new blood on the board, and said they would represent lot owners with only a few properties in Stagecoach.

“It’s time for change,” said Hermann, a local engineer who has owned property in Stagecoach for a year.

In his campaign literature, Hermann includes the names and biographies of Smith and Maynard as if the three have a unified view of the issues.

Among other things, the literature challenges claims that the district actually has not been in bankruptcy since 1982, citing court documents uncovered by Stagecoach landowner Brown Thompson.

Though the Stagecoach Property Owners Association (SPOA) and the water district have legal documents that refute the claims and were presented to Hermann and Thompson, the literature has continued to be distributed, SPOA President Steve Watwood said.

“This is a moot point right now,” Saterdal said.

The district is paying off its debt and will be ready to explore different options for expanding the water and sewer lines.

All candidates agree that the cost of the expansion should be paid by those who would benefit from it. One means of doing this would be to create special subdistricts that would pay for any expansion in their areas.

Smith, who grew up in Steamboat but now lives in Aurora where he is an urban planner, owns three unimproved lots at Stagecoach.

“I haven’t been comfortable for a long time with the leadership in Stagecoach,” Smith said. “The biggest reason I’m getting involved in the election is so people can hear the truth and I don’t think that’s been happening.”

The burying of electric lines has also come up as an election issue.

Hermann wants the district to bury all electric lines in Stagecoach.

“The underground conversion is for the benefit of all the landowners,” he said, adding that residents would have to authorize funding for the project through the ballot.

Saterdal would like to see the lines buried, but he doesn’t think it’s an issue for the water district. “To me, that’s a manufactured issue,” he said.

Maynard sees the electric lines as an issue that should be taken up by the SPOA, not by the water district, even though the literature that carries his name states the contrary.

Maynard, a real estate broker and general contractor who lives in Stagecoach, has taken a number of positions that differ from those of the other challengers.

“My main interest is in the expansion of the water and sewer district,” he said.

Hermann’s campaign literature accuses board members of hiding the bankruptcy issue and catering to large landowners. It also takes a position against condo development, reflecting the views of Brown Thompson.

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything he’s (Brown Thompson) saying,” Maynard said.

Incumbent Eggleston referred to the challenger’s campaign literature as “garbage.”

He supports the district moving forward with infrastructure expansion, but wants to make sure it is financially secure before doing so.

“Why would you want to head towards bankruptcy,” he asked?

All the current board members have been accused of having a conflict of interest.

Eggleston, who’s been on the board for four years and owns land in Stagecoach, is a real estate broker and does business in the Stagecoach area. Saterdal is the son of a major shareholder in the company that owns the second largest collection of lots at Stagecoach.

“The things I have done out there follows the master plan,” Eggleston said. “I don’t see it as a conflict of interest unless people want no growth.”

Saterdal said he’s supported everyone who has wanted to build on their lots. He said that every board member who could have a conflict of interest with the Stagecoach issues has stated it for the record.

Saterdal has been involved with Stagecoach from the start, with his father selling most of the land in the ’70s to Woodmoor Corp., which eventually went bankrupt.

Roger Kenworthy is out of the country and couldn’t be reached for comment. He has been on the board for four years and owns a home in Stagecoach. He’s a ski instructor and a concrete worker.

SPOA President Watwood said he Kenworthy is a good representative for the single lot owners.

A special district election will be held Tuesday to elect three people to the Morrison Creek Metropolitan Water and Sanitation District board of directors on Tuesday. Eligible voters must be registered to vote in Colorado, live within the boundaries of the district or have their name or a spouse’s name on a title of a property in the district. To vote, go to the Morrison Creek District sewage plant on the south side of Stagecoach Reservoir from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Signs pointing the way will be put up.

— To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User