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Longtime board member Avery McQueen leaves Woodbridge Irrigation District

Board seeks replacement for Avery McQueen, who is resigning after 10 years

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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 12:00 am

After serving for 10 years on the Woodbridge Irrigation District's board of directors, Avery McQueen has completed his final meeting representing District 2.

District manager Andy Christensen said McQueen turned in his resignation at the April 11 board meeting with nearly four years remaining on his current term.

McQueen listed declining health and hearing loss as his reasons for leaving the board.

McQueen's reduced hearing was getting in the way at meetings, and has become more problematic in the past six months, according to Michael Mehlhaff, McQueen's grandson.

"It's gotten so bad he can't understand what's going on at the meetings, especially being indoors with a lot of voices. He feels he can't do the job he was asked to do," said Mehlhaff.

McQueen was contacted by phone, but passed the call to his grandson due to his poor hearing.

McQueen was first elected in 2000, replacing Adam Van Exel.

Before he served on the board, Christensen said McQueen was among the first growers in the area to use surface water for drip irrigation to water his crops in 1993.

McQueen has been a member of the board for a number of district improvements. That includes construction of the new Woodbridge Dam in 2003, completion of the fish screen in 2007, and the opening of the new office building in 2012.

"He has always been a strong supporter of upgrading our systems. He has been truly dedicated," said Christensen. "He has always had good, sound ideas."

Christensen also noted McQueen's excellent attendance record.

McQueen's resignation means the board needs a new director for District 2. Any landowner who lives in that region is eligible to apply. There is no deadline set to make the appointment.

The remaining directors will appoint a replacement to serve until the next general election in the fall of 2014.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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