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GRDA board selects dam authority chairwoman

Updated:
VINITA, Okla. (AP) _ Barbara Conner has been selected as the new chairwoman of the board for the Grand River Dam Authority after a monthlong delay that she said amounted to discrimination.

The nine-member board has a 23-year tradition of rotating the chairman's position based on seniority.

But when it came time to rotate the position to Conner in January, the board decided to form a committee to explore eliminating the rotation system.

She demanded that she be given the chairwoman title, and the board finally agreed to do so on Wednesday following a one-hour debate.

Still, in a 5-4 vote, the board decided that beginning Jan. 1 it would stop rotating through the seniority process and elect the chairman instead.

Conner, who was appointed from the GRDA Lakes Advisory Commission, has served on the board for five years and is up for reappointment to a new seven-year term. She said she is the only board member who represents the interests of the people who live in northeastern Oklahoma and residents who live along Grand Lake and Lake Hudson.

Members appointed to the other eight positions represent utility companies, municipalities, banks and other entities. In addition to producing electricity in the region, the GRDA governs Grand Lake.
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