By Roz Rogoff
Scott HayesUploaded: Sep 7, 2012
As I mentioned in my Update on Stories blog, Scott Hayes, candidate for the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD), contacted me last week to discuss what's right or wrong with DSRSD. Mr. Hayes is the father of a new baby and a toddler almost two years old. He knows DSRSD Director Dawn Benson from the Children's Museum. She suggested he contact me.
We met at Athens Burger across the parking lot from Rays Auto where my Maverick was back for starting problems. Scott emailed me the photo accompanying this blog, but he's better looking in person.
I asked him why he is running for the District. He told me at lunch he was originally interested in running for the Dublin City Council but realized that it would require too much time. He turned his attention to the Dublin San Ramon Services District after reading about it in the Around Dublin Blog.
He repeated some of the attacks and exaggerations from the "Pigs at the trough" story last year. Hayes considered the bonuses a "a spectacular lapse of governance," and felt "the current board had gotten too friendly with management and it was probably time we had some turnover "
This is one reason why I was hoping there wouldn't be an election. I didn't want the Around Dublin blog repeating their misinformation and personal attacks against the Directors running for reelection, which now of course they are in their current article supporting Mr. Hayes.
I told Mr. Hayes that the Around Dublin Blog is not to be believed or trusted. The whole bonus issue was blown out of proportion and distorted for sensationalistic purposes. The Pay for Performance program was originally implemented in 1998, which was six years before Directors Halket and Howard were elected to the Board. They voted for a contractual obligation that they did not start.
I have always been opposed to these bonuses. Directors voted for them every year, but last year was the first one in several years where enough surplus cash was available to pay them. The hostility whipped up by the Around Dublin Blog resulted in cancellation of Pay for Performance earlier this year. The program was out of date and should have been cancelled years ago.
Another reason Scott is running for DSRSD is to add his business experience to the Board of Directors. "I think my private sector business background and fresh perspective will add greatly needed diversity to the current board. If elected I will be the only MBA on the board."
I asked if he would have time for the meetings, especially since DSRSD's meetings start at 6 pm and Gallo is located in Modesto, which is a two hour commute. Scott said he's an exempt employee (not hourly) and could adjust his weekly schedule to make Board meetings and any subcommittee meetings required during the day.
He told me he "spent a good deal of time reading through the board minutes, DSRSD's website, and their financial report. There is a wealth of information out there on DSRSD."
There's a lot more information on the DSRSD website now than there used to be. Still he has a steep learning curve to catch up with the incumbents who have been on the Board since 2004.
He's making an effort to read the material available and meet with General Manager Bert Michalczyk and other staff members, but it seems like a crash course with such a short time to the election.
Some of his issues are my issues. He wants to represent the rate payers, to listen to and keep rate payers informed. "I will listen to you," was the slogan on my yard signs, but I still lost.
Scott says residents who wrote emails or contacted the District were ignored. ". . . they have forgotten who their customer is (the rate payer, not management!), and I'd like to bring this back."
He's also for controlling costs and would like to consolidate all of the regional agencies duplicating services. He said Alameda Country LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) wasn't exercising its power to combine these agencies. I told him it would be easier to bring all these agencies together if Zone 7 could be separated from Alameda County.
So it was an interesting lunch. Scott is smart, articulate, engaged, and ambitious. He would bring youthful energy to the DSRSD Board, but he still has a lot to learn. A business can be run like a business, but Government agencies are built on mountains of State Code that often doesn't make much sense.
I'm not supporting or opposing Scott Hayes or the two incumbents. I plan to endorse Ed Duarte and I will interview him in a follow up blog before the election. San Ramon really needs at least one representative on the DSRSD Board of Directors. Scott Hayes, Pat Howard and Rich Halket can fight it out for the two remaining seats.