Chuck Cordell

Spotlight on the Candidates: IWV Water District

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Chuck CordellChuck Cordell

“I think I can be more sensitive to people’s actual needs here in town. So many people seem to need help in paying the new rates,” said Chuck Cordell, candidate for one of three four-year seats on the Indian Wells Valley Water District Board of Directors.

He is also concerned about the arsenic-removal system and advocates running more efficient rather than more elaborate systems. As an underground engineering contractor, Cordell has helped develop more than 1,000 lots here in Ridgecrest.

He currently owns and runs several businesses here in town, including Cordell Construction and PVC Plumbing and Mechanical.

He is also concerned about the new anti-fire sprinkler systems required in new construction. Larger-diameter lines are required, but he questions whether a larger line is needed in all cases. The larger line necessitates a new meter, which is expensive.

“Right now, their biggest challenge is survivability of their customers. I’ve talked to people who paid $100 a month for water last year and this year are being billed $160. If people can’t pay and really need a hand, we should help them or set up a fund for donations, or anything to help these people out.

“They shouldn’t be without water,” said Cordell. “I disagree with charging a fee for people to pay their bill online. My main concerns are people and quality water.”

He advocates balancing the budget on what the district can bring in, not on what it can charge. “They’ve had the same engineering firm for many years. There needs to be a better system for allowing other engineering firms to submit bids.

“I like all the guys on the board now and am looking forward to working with them to come up with solutions to these problems,” he said.

“I want to present the viewpoint of the people. I’ve gotten a lot of calls from people once I announced I was going to run. I’m excited about working with the ratepayers. Mainly I’d like to do whatever the people want me to do. That’s why I’m doing it, and I’m open for any suggestions.”

Cordell has been a Ridgecrest resident for 57 years. “My dad was a Marine here right after Korea. My family settled here in the early 1950s. My Aunt Rita and Uncle Sherm ran the Drawing Room Restaurant.”

Cordell and wife Denise have been married for 38 years and have two grown daughters and eight grandchildren.

Cordell Construction is building a new building on the corner of China Lake Boulevard and Felspar Street, which, when completed, will house not only Cordell Construction but also the Ridgecrest Area Visitors Center and H & R Block.

Cordell volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and was involved with the first “Blitz Build” in Ridgecrest, where the group built a house in six days. He is also active in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, Burroughs Boosters and Friends of the Fair.

He and some friends started the original “Ridgecrest A Team” which just did an event at Cerro Coso Community College to benefit local food banks.

Story First Published: 2012-09-19