Make no mistake: This is the most crucial period in recent memory for BART, given the severe budget uncertainty caused by the steep ridership decline during the COVID-19 pandemic. The future of the agency as we know it might well hang in the balance in the coming years.
San Ramon Valley voters need to help elect a District 1 board representative focused on prudent fiscal decision-making while also committing to achieve Tri-Valley priorities. That candidate is incumbent Director Debora Allen.
A Clayton resident with management and financial experience professionally, Allen has been an assertive voice for District 1 during her first term on the board while making decisions focused on fiscal sustainability, public safety and restoring community trust -- which really should be priorities throughout BART's nine districts. Her approach of voting for commonsense solutions, while always having an eye on budget realities, is necessary for BART to survive and thrive during the next four-year term.
Challenger Jamie Salcido, a health care marketing manager who also sits on her hometown Walnut Creek Transportation Commission, has good campaign priorities including improved reliability, collaborative governance, cost-effective solutions, making it easier to get to BART and a comprehensive approach to public safety. We commend Salcido for entering the election to further her ideas for BART, but she lacks the range of experience and proven track record of independent decision-making of the incumbent.
The other challenger on the ballot, Walnut Creek educator Emmy Akin, appears to be not running much of an active campaign other than submitting a brief candidate statement for the voter information guide. We also note that she did not respond to our news coverage and endorsement inquiries. District 1 needs a director committed to engaging the public on BART matters; Akin has demonstrated otherwise this election season.
For the future of BART, re-elect Director Debora Allen for Board of Directors District 1.
We are also recommending voters elect newcomer Mike Wallace in District 5, which includes Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore. Read that editorial here.
Editor's note: The DanvilleSanRamon.com editorial board reached its decisions based on email interviews on endorsements, and our review of past reporting and research.