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By Roz Rogoff

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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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November Election

Uploaded: Aug 12, 2012
There's a Presidential Election this November, and a California Senate seat is up for grabs between incumbent Diane Feinstein and her Republican challenger, Elizabeth Emken. Yeah, right.

The new 15th Congressional District gives voters the choice between long-time incumbent Fortney Pete Stark and Dublin Councilman Eric Swalwell. This might be a little more competitive than Feinstein vs. Emken but probably not much.

There's no election for San Ramon City Council this year, because San Ramon's elections are held in odd years; so Mayor Bill Clarkson and two Councilmembers, Jim Livingstone and Dave Hudson, will be up for reelection next year.

I heard a rumor that Mayor Abram Wilson plans to run for Mayor again next year even though he termed out last year. According to my source, Wilson believes his two year break from the office resets the clock to allow him four more two year terms. I suspect there will be a legal challenge over this, but that's still not until next year. So what's up here with this year?

Voters in south San Ramon and Dougherty Valley will find candidates for the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) on our November ballots, but my name won't be there. Nope, I decided not to run, even though I was encouraged to run by two of the current DSRSD Directors.

Director Rich Halket was worried that if a third person didn't file before the August 10, 2012 deadline, Dan Scannell's vacancy could be appointed by the Alameda County Supervisors. That didn't sound too good to me either.

When the option for an appointment came up last April, I preferred to have the opening go to the voters rather than be appointed by the DSRSD Directors. That would have been better than getting a political appointee by the Alameda County Sups, which would probably kill the chance that anyone from San Ramon would be appointed. San Ramon hasn't had a representative on the Dublin San Ramon Services District board for ten years.

Halket told me if I wasn't going to file he wanted to meet with Mayor Bill Clarkson to recommend someone from San Ramon. I thought about filing for a couple of weeks, but I'm no longer interested in being on the Board. Almost everything I campaigned for in the past has been done already. I find I'm more effective as a meddler than actually being on the board. So that's what I'll continue to do.

Last Sunday night, August 5th, I phoned Mayor Clarkson to set up a meeting with Rich Halket. Clarkson told me he had two prospective candidates and wanted to meet with me before giving me any names. So I met Bill at the Peet's near Whole Foods. I always think is a Starbucks. I wish it was. I like Starbucks' lattes better.

Mayor Clarkson told me Ed Duarte is interested in running. Ed is an engineer with years of experience in construction management, which gives him the right kind of technical knowledge to be a Director of DSRSD. I can't think of anyone better than Ed to represent San Ramon.

The other potential candidate is from Dougherty Valley. His name wasn't familiar to me, and I didn't write it down. I tend to forget things I don't write down, which is why I don't want to be in positions of any responsibility anymore. I'm too forgetful.

Even though it would be a good balance to have a representative from south San Ramon and Dougherty Valley on DSRSD, I told Bill I was concerned that the Around Dublin Blog would revive the nasty personal attacks they published against Pat Howard and Rich Halket over their vote on the Pay for Performance bonuses. I disagreed with these bonuses, but the Pay for Performance program was started many years ago, before Rich or Pat were even on the DSRSD Board. They were just following contractual obligations.

I didn't want a nasty, mud-slinging campaign to distract from the real work Directors do and the years of dedication and experience of the incumbents. I suggested to Bill that the person in Dougherty Valley put his efforts into supporting Zone 7's separation from Alameda County. Then he could run for the Zone 7 Board in 2014. Bill liked that idea.

By Friday afternoon the three candidates were still unopposed. I emailed Rich Halket at 4:58 pm on August 10th, "I just checked with Contra Costa County and Ed is the only one to file there. It looks like you and Pat are the only ones to file in Alameda Country. So I suppose that means there won't be an election. Congratulations."

Rich replied, "Look again. Looks like somebody named Scott Hayes pulled papers in Alameda County today. I think we have an election. Actually better for the public."

I couldn't find out much about Scott Hayes or his qualifications for this position. He seems to have popped up out of nowhere (well out of Dublin). So the public will get to vote for three Directors out of four candidates, but vote wisely because DSRSD requires too much technical and regional knowledge for a novice.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Larry, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 14, 2012 at 11:38 am

Roz,

I used to like your blog. For the past year or so, however, it seems like you have been spending an inordinate amount of time making excuses for DSRSD. You are losing credibility on this topic.

Although most of us don't know anything about Mr. Hayes yet, it sounds like you've already made up your mind to vote against him. Even though he lacks a mayoral imprimatur and hails from Dublin, he could be an excellent candidate. Let's give him a chance.

WHOSE INTERESTS DO YOU REPRESENT????? The incumbents you are so anxious to protect (Halket and Howard) have less than stellar records. We deserve better. I am anxious to hear what the challengers have to say. It is too bad that you and your cohorts discouraged the potential candidate from Dougherty Valley (whose name you can not even remember) from running. I like the idea of having two directors from San Ramon.

Larry



 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Aug 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Larry,

At this point I'm not representing anyone's interests other than my own. I present my opinions in my opinion blog. It's perfectly appropriate for you do disagree with my opinions. That's what this blog is about.

I agree that we all need to find out more about Mr. Hayes before making any decision on whom to vote for. I didn't say not to vote for Mr. Hayes. I said to consider the experience and knowledge of the candidates before you vote. If Mr. Hayes has as much experience and knowledge about water and sanitation as the other candidates, he should certainly be considered.

But I take exception to your criticism of the incumbents as having, "less than stellar records. We deserve better." In the first place, how much do you know of their records?

You question my disregard for Mr. Hayes without finding out more about him. How much have you found out about the actual records of Pat Howard and Rich Halket. Howard has been on the board for eight years and Halket for ten years. Have you gone through all of the meeting minutes to see what their records are?

I disagreed with some of their decisions. I even argued with Rich over the bonuses, but just because they approved something I thought was wrong doesn't mean everything they did was wrong. Overall they have done a good job keeping DSRSD's level of service high during tough economic times.

In retrospect I was wrong to tell Mayor Clarkson to discourage the candidate from Dougherty Valley. I was being too protective of the incumbents. Rich Halket isn't trying to duck an election. As he said in his last email to me, "I think we have an election. Actually better for the public."

The candidate from Dougherty Valley didn't have to skip the election because I suggested it. He was free to do whatever he wanted to. Like you say, I'm just giving an opinion. If you don't like it, ignore it. It sounds like you will anyway.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Aug 15, 2012 at 11:09 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

There's an article on DSRSD in the Pleasanton Weekly the residents of the District might find interesting.

Web Link

Roz



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