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Published: Tuesday, 4/24/2001

Waterville leaders get recall vote warning

An effort to recall Waterville elected officials is moving forward even as some village residents are rallying around the village leaders.

The village has been mired in controversy for several weeks, ever since a covert video surveillance apparently caught Waterville's solicitor George Runner stealing coffee, creamer, and paper from village supplies.

Mr. Runner was not charged, but he resigned. Shortly after, Lance Martin, the village's longtime police chief, resigned. The former chief said he was sharply criticized for not getting authorization before setting up the hidden cameras and has said that Thomas Mattis, municipal administrator, told him that it was time for him to leave.

The theft and the fallout from it were discussed by a standing room only crowd at a village council meeting last night.

Robin Madigan of Waterville said in an interview that she has hired an attorney who is putting the recall petition together. She is forming a political action committee, she said, because “so many people are pledging their financial support” for the recall effort.

Other residents echoed her views, but some said they support the village leaders.

Village resident Karen Knepper told council it has the support of many people. Mrs. Knepper, wife of Dale Knepper, the village's financial officer, described Waterville's controversial coffee caper as an unfortunate incident the media blew out of proportion.

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