This is a report on the Farm to Market LLC vs EWUA lawsuit hearing.

Written by the Concerned Eastsound Water Users*


On July 3, 2024, the San Juan Superior Court held a nearly two-hour hearing on the flawed 2023 EWUA director election process.  At the close, Judge Kathryn Loring said she will take time to deliberate and may issue a ruling in the next week or two.

Judge Loring did not find the suit by Farm to Market LLC as frivolous, as Teri Nigretto of EWUA had declared prior to the hearing. Instead, the Judge took the claims of election manipulation seriously.

Nigretto had issued a press release libelously accusing Directors Carol Anderson and Ron Claus of violating the law when they submitted affidavits to the Court. At the hearing, however, EWUA attorney Rochelle Doyea did not object to the affidavits being added to the record. And the affidavits were adopted by Farm to Market LLC. Those affidavits can be found at

The affidavits show that the EWUA Board appointed Jim Cook to the open seat created by the botched election and that Nelson, Nigretto, and Cleveland then prevented Cook from voting so that Leith Templin could be added to the majority. This process occurred in closed session, and there are no Board-accepted minutes memorializing these appointments. Judge Loring took special note of these flagrant omissions.

The election and the board appointments were obviously manipulated. This is now a part of the open record. The dominant Board faction had a bad day at Court.

Nigretto has stated in the press: “If Farm to Market wins the case, Eastsound Water will be required to throw out November’s election results which would … invalidate all the items that were approved by the Board over the past 8 months, including member water membership applications, taxing approvals, financial decisions and more.”

There are alternative solutions that the dominant Board faction has refused to consider. Alternative remedies are possible. Such remedies would, for example, maintain sales of water memberships while invalidating multiple Board actions that are not in the EWUA membership’s best interests and not recorded in the minutes.

Less than $200 was spent to run the 2022 election of directors. EWUA spent about $2,000 to run the 2023 election. To date, the dominant Board faction has spent close to $80,000 in member money to argue that no one, not even the Court, has the right to correct the numerous irregularities. EWUA – a member-owned, private cooperative – is under the control of an illegitimate majority that is desperately trying to keep anyone from looking at the books.

No matter what the decision is by the judge on the election lawsuit, the recall is still necessary.

* Carol Ann Anderson, Robert Austin, Ron Claus, Jim Cook, Tenar Hall, Fred Klein, Keith Light, Mike Parnell, Michael Riordan, Jennifer Smith, Steve Smith