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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pomona : Armstrong on Water Board

June 08, 1989

Seven months after finishing last in the vote for a spot on the Three Valleys Municipal Water District's board of directors, Pomona resident Robert V. Armstrong joined the board this week with a landslide victory.

Armstrong, 65, received 845 votes, or 67%, Tuesday to defeat Margaret Szczepaniak , who received 415 votes, or 33%. Armstrong received almost 4,400 votes in November, but this was only enough for a third-place finish behind incumbent Sandra Baldonado and former Pomona Mayor G. Stanton Selby.

Only voters in the district Armstrong will represent, about half of Pomona, took part in the balloting.

When the board voted to expand from five to seven members in January, Director William Koch successfully pushed to have a June election for a new seat in Pomona, enabling Armstrong to run. Under the district's original realignment plans, Baldonado would have represented this area until 1992. Baldonado supported Szczepaniak in her bid for the board.

Once sworn in, Armstrong said his first priority will be to investigate "frivolous" lawsuits filed by the board, particularly a suit against Koch alleging that the director received $4,700 for attending meetings for which he should not have been paid. Armstrong described the suit as a power move, adding that the district has already spent more than $10,000 in legal fees on the effort.

Armstrong is a former Pomona planning commissioner and member of the 1987-88 Los Angeles County Grand Jury, which investigated the water district's loss of $1.5 million through investments with E.F. Hutton.

Diamond Bar resident Randy Vogel will also join the board, having run unopposed for the other newly created seat.

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