Lake Delhi leader steps down from LDRA Presidency - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lake Delhi leader steps down from LDRA Presidency

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DELHI (KWWL) -- Looking at Lake Delhi now, it's hard to imagine it filled with water, and full of life. But Jim Willey pictures a future with both flowing freely in the Maquoketa River banks.

"This is where we live, this is who we are, this is important," he told KWWL.

Friday morning, Willey, one of the most visible leaders of the Lake Delhi recovery, stepped down as President of the Lake Delhi Recreation Association. Since the Maquoketa River flooded in July 2010, destroying the dam owned by the LDRA, Willey has worked to get federal and state disaster recovery assistance. He said his actions have been met with criticism from other board members.

"The board put me in a position where I'm sure they knew I wouldn't continue under the circumstances."

A handful of actions on Thursday night led Willey to resign. First, at its regular meeting, the Board of Directors voted to restrict Willey's public communication, and elected a new Director of Communications.

Pat Dede told KWWL in an emailed statement "We appreciate the extensive commitment Jim Willey has made," and that "as these types of situations evolve over time, it is understandable the limit that one individual can contribute".

In a separate move, she said the board "passed a formal resolution of support for the efforts of the LDWC." The Lake Delhi Watershed Committee is a fairly new organization. They refer to themselves as a "Grass Roots Coalition," but are registered with the Secretary of State as an LLC. Its this designation -- as a corporation, not a non-profit -- that concerns Willey.

"The accountability I was looking for was to have that organization be accountable to all of the lake, insuring who they are, who their officers are, how their funds are spent."

Above all, Jim wants to make it clear, he's not trying to make any sort of grand statement. He said, he's stepping down so someone else can lead the community in the direction the LDRA wants to take the recovery effort. All he wants is to see his lake, and his community, restored. And he plans to be involved in the lake's future, just like everyone of his neighbors.

"I resigned from the Board of Directors, not from the lake," said Willey.

Dede said the LDRA and the Lake Delhi Taxing District are looking forward to working as a team with the LDWC.

Willey is looking forward to focusing on other state committees he serves on, and plans to live on the lake for a long, long time.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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