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It’s a critical time at the Contra Costa Water District.
The agency, which provides water for about 500,000 customers in Central and East County, is planning for the expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir, which could serve water districts throughout the Bay Area. And it’s preparing to replace its aging 22-mile main canal with a piped system.
View of the spillway at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir. Expansion of the reservoir near Brentwood is one of the key issues facing the Contra Costa Water District board. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
It’s all complicated by the challenges of the statewide drought, aging infrastructure and water treatment costs tied to rising prices for energy and chemicals. Meanwhile, customers have faced water rate increases of 57% over the past decade.
The district needs elected directors keenly focused on the tasks at hand with the technical and financial acumen to help lead through challenging times. Unfortunately, neither of the two candidates running in the Nov. 8 election for the only contested seat on the five-member board meets those criteria.
We reluctantly recommend Patt Young for the Division 1 seat representing much of Concord, Bay Point and Pittsburg. Just appointed a few months ago to fill a vacancy on the board, Young is now running for a full term.
A community health educator by profession, Young wants to ensure that underserved and marginalized community members understand the services the district provides. It’s an important and laudable goal.
Unfortunately, as a member of the Los Medanos Community Health Care District board in Pittsburg, Young participated in the costly, misguided and ultimately unsuccessful fight for the preservation of that district. Without a hospital to operate, the district was spending more on administration than on the health-related grants and programs that were the only benefit it provided the community.
Nonetheless, Young brings more commitment and passion to her water board campaign than her opponent, Mariah Lauritzen, who is running after serving just half of her first four-year term on the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District board.
Lauritzen, a chemical engineer, seemed ill-prepared when she ran for her current post in 2020. And she seems ill-prepared now. She says, if elected, she would push for more use of recycled water — an important goal.
But, she said, the main reason she wants to jump elected positions is because the water district board meeting …read more
Source:: The Mercury News