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RVTD director facing recall resigns

One of six Rogue Valley Transportation District board members facing a recall election has resigned.

Stan Druben handed out confidential letters informing other board members of his decision after the board's August meeting.

I've made a judgment and accepted the fact that for me life must go on as a private citizen and not as a member of the RVTD board of directors, Druben wrote.

Although Druben wrote that his resignation was effective immediately, the RVTD board must vote on Wednesday whether to accept it.

During Wednesday's meeting, the board will likely discuss appointing a replacement for Druben, said board Chairwoman Eva Avery.

Druben was appointed to the RVTD board in March 2001. To keep his seat, he would have to run for election in March.

Whoever is appointed to fill his seat must also run in the March election.

A phone call to Druben's residence was not returned Monday.

According to voters pamphlet information, Druben is a retired Ashland resident and former computer programmer-analyst and management consultant.

His government experience has included a seat on the Northern Area Transportation Advisory Council in Maryland in 1978-79.

In his resignation letter, Druben didn't list reasons for his departure. However, he included well wishes for the RVTD board, staff and General Manager Sherrin Coleman.

It has been a privilege trying to represent the people of the district, Druben wrote. I only regret that circumstances have prevented my doing so as I would have wished.

Druben was one of six board member that RVTD employees are attempting to recall during the November election. Petitions are circulating to place the recall initiative on the ballot. More than 6,000 are needed by Sept. 30, and RVTD recall supporters report they must gather at least 2,600 more.

Recall supporters have said the six did not act in the best interests of the district when they voted to reject Coleman's contract renewal without discussion in June.

Druben never publicly commented on his reasons for rejecting Coleman's contract renewal.

Avery on Monday described Druben as an intelligent and hard-working board member who went out of his way to research public transportation issues.

We will miss him terribly, Avery said. He just felt strongly about the need for public transportation in the Rogue Valley.

Druben has been criticized by RVTD staff and audience members regarding his behavior during public meetings, which included sarcastic comments and spirited arguments.

During a June meeting, Druben asked that then-Chairwoman Kay Harrison make member Edwin Chapman stop staring at him. Druben then requested permission to move his chair so he and Chapman weren't facing each other.

Reach reporter Jill Briskey at 776-4485, or e-mail

Board meeting will be at office

People who want to attend Wednesday's Rogue Valley Transportation District board meeting should arrive early if they want to watch the proceedings.

Only 42 seats are available at the district office, and seven of those will be taken by the board of directors. The meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.

RVTD meetings since June have attracted more than 100 people each. But the district boardroom at 3200 Crater Lake Highway has a maximum seating capacity of 42. That number was set by the state fire marshal.

To accommodate the crowd, board members in July moved to hold monthly meetings in larger facilities.

August's meeting took place in Ashland, and September's was scheduled to take place in White City.

But instead it will take place at the district office, board Chairwoman Eva Avery confirmed on Monday.

That's because board member Susan McKenzie is scheduled to host a presentation analyzing July's financial reports.

Avery said it didn't make sense to lug the equipment for McKenzie's presentation to White City.

Actually, it's a courtesy to staff, Avery said. That overhead is a bundlesome thing.

RVTD employee and recall organizer Julie Brown said she's upset regarding the location change.

It's going to mean that staff (and) employees are not going to attend because the general public needs to attend, Brown said. To me, that's a way of them trying to control the public.

Brown said the White City area has several meeting facilities with equipment to accommodate McKenzie's presentation.

If they make a motion to do something, they need to stick by it, Brown said. It's very confusing to people.

In addition to McKenzie's presentation, other items to be discussed at the meeting include board member Stan Druben's resignation and staff retirement and deferred compensation plans.

The RVTD board will also discuss its position concerning the Regional Transportation Plan.

In April, the board reached a consensus that it would not support the RTP, which serves as a blueprint for local improvement projects.

The Rogue Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization requested an explanation regarding the board's decision. RVTD was the only agency with the planning organization to cast a negative vote on the plan.