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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Ballot and voting information for Alameda County.
This is an archive of a past election.

DirectorAlameda County Water DistrictNovember 8, 2016California General Election

Special District
November 8, 2016California General Election

Alameda County Water DistrictDirector

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Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (165/165).

About this office

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Who’s Running?

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Director, Alameda County Water District
52,798 votes (27.18%)Winning
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  • Balanced Budget and full payment of retirement obligations. Unfunded employee retirement obligations exceed $112-million (net present value)
  • Community engagement through the establishment of a Foundation, to promote conservation, emergency response/preparation; and assistance to the economically disadvantaged
  • Reliable water supply by achieving unrestricted operation of the South Bay Aqueduct.
Profession:Attorney
University of Santa Clara Juris Doctor, Law (1975)
University of Arizona Graduate Studies, PhD Candidate, Water Resources Administration (1973)
Eastern New Mexico University Master of Business Administration , Finance (1972)
University of Santa Clara Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering (1968)

 John Weed has served as an elected Director for the Alameda County Water District since 1995.  He has served as a Council Member representing Region V of the Association of California Water Agencies since 1998.  He is the Alameda County Water District Director of the Joint Power Insurance Authority of the Association of California Water Agencies.  He is a member of the Federal Affairs Committee of the Association of California Water Agencies.   

 John Weed represents the Alameda County Water District on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency.  The Alameda County Water District supplies water to over 81,000 customers in the cities of Fremont, Newark and Union City.

 Weed has served as Commissioner of the Utility Services Agency of the Association of California Water Agencies.  From 1977 to 2010, he served as an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the Ohlone Community College District.

Weed is an attorney at law with a practice in Fremont.  He is President/Secretary of Niles Properties, Inc, which develops and manages mixed use commercial/residential properties in the historic Districts of the City of Fremont.  He was formerly the Special Assistant to the Division Manager, Ordnance Engineering Division, FMC Corporation in San Jose.  He was a Graduate Research Associate in the Department of Agricultural Economics of the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.  Weed was also an Engineer-Technician in the Planning Division of the Santa Clara County Water District.   He was a Recreation Leader, City of Fremont.

 In 2000, Weed retired with the rank of Colonel, Civil Engineering Officer, United States Air Force Reserve.  From 1969 to 1972, Weed served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer and Munitions Maintenance Officer.  He is a Viet Nam veteran having served with the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing and 14th Special Operations Wing, January 1970 to January 1971.

 His civic activities have included:  Member, Heritage Task Force, State of California; Chair, Historical Architectural Review Board, City of Fremont;  Member, Regulatory Reform Committee, City of Fremont; Chair, Alameda County – City of Fremont Library Study Committee;  and President, Washington Township Historical Society. 

 

Director, Alameda County Water District
50,612 votes (26.05%)Winning
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  • Continue to ensure a safe, clean, and reliable water supply at a reasonable price.
  • Complete the establishment of a process to assist low and fixed income with their payment for their water bills simliar to other LifeLIne rate programs.
  • Ensure the programs to upgrade the aging infrastructure continue.
Profession:Director, Alameda County Water District
Supervisor, Transit America Services Inc. (2012current)
Director, Alameda County Water District — Elected position (1995current)
Supervisor, Amtrak (19972012)
Facility Supervisor, Smith Environmental Inc. (19941995)
Officer, United States Coast Guard (19811993)
U.C. Berkely Extension Program Certificate, Hazardous Materials Management (1993)
Unitied States Coast Guard Academy Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Ocean Engineering (1981)

My background as U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduate with a degree in Ocean Engineering,  a certificate in Hazardous Material Management , U.C. Berkeley Extension, a  Professional Engineer’s license, twelve years  of service  as a Coast Guard engineering officer and my present job as a Supervisor on the Caltrain Commuter Rail System, provide me the skills,  knowledge, experience and foresight necessary for this position.   During my time serving as a Director, we have built the 10MGD Desalinization Plant in Newark providing us with a new local supply.  We rehabilitated the Quarry Lakes Recharge facility and worked with East Bay Regional Parks for its completion as a new park.  We have performed numerous upgrades to our treatment plant and well fields and established a long-term pipeline replacement program.  We have hardened all of our Hayward Fault major pipe crossings.  Faced with a steelhead fish habitat issue on the Alameda Creek, rather than submitting a court challenge jeopardizing our local water supply, I  promoted a proactive approach working with other government agencies to make the habitat viable.  We were one of the first Agencies to enter into Ground Water Banking agreements for additional dry year supplies.  We utilized our AAA bond rating to secure funds for capital improvement projects which otherwise would have had lengthy deferrals.  Despite severe drought conditions, with your help and the District’s prior good planning, we never had to resort to rationing water.  The future remains challenging but with good direction, we will be solid and strong.  I commit to you my continued promise to provide a safe, reliable, high quality water supply at a fair price. 

  • Judy Huang, Director, Alameda County Water District
  • Paul Sethy, Director, Alameda County Water District
  • Martin Koller, Director, Alameda County Water District
1.
Financial Position

How strong/weak is ACWD’s financial position?

Answer from James Gunther:

The financial position of ACWD is strong.  The District has achieved a AAA Bond rating and has continually recieved excellent audits and reviews.  The drought had a major impact but we will get through that, partly because of previous good planning, as well as through hard work by staff to control expenses.  We have made several changes to our rate structure and have had multiple workshops to address future financial needs and rate structure.

2.
Water for Future Needs

What is your vision for providing adequate water for future needs if climate change affects the district’s present method of obtaining water?

Answer from James Gunther:

I always say Reliabilty is the most important factor in our water supply.  The District has an excellent history of planning for our water supply.  Just since I have been on the Board we have reconditioned our recharge facility, lead the way to require San Francisco to strenthen the Hetch Hetchy Water system, built the Desal Plant in Newark and Upgraded its capacity, and were first in on the Ground Water Banking Programs in the Valley, to name a few programs.  Climate change can and will most likely have an effect on our supplies.  The District Staff has extensively studied the impacts now for several years, but tangible data and forecast are still conjecture. We have looked at the use of Recycled Water and as recently as July presented the possiblity for the use at a Board Meeting, part of a series of water supply studies looking at the economics and gains for the District of various water supply programs. 

3.
Unfunded Liabilities

What is your plan to deal with unfunded liabilities?

Answer from James Gunther:

The District has a long term plan to payoff its unfunded liabilities and is paying for all present liabilities now.  We have made accelerated payments towards the unfunded liabilities but were forced to stop because of the drought financial concerns.  The District Financial statements show the unfunded liabilities, and in all of our rate workshops we discuss possible measures for early payoff.  The main question is, not do we payoff the unfunded liabilities, but rather how quickly do we pay them.  Unfunded liabilities are not only faced by ACWD but almost all government agencies.  My support is for a plan that will pay the liabilities down in a reasonable time frame rather than a rapid payoff at the Rate Payer expense.

A Director at the Alameda County Water District represents all the residents, businesses, and rate payers of the Tri-City District.  We may not always agree but as a Director we have a reasonsibilty to Listen, and Consider the views of Everyone when making the policies for the present and future of the District.  We must also ensure that when setting those policies we do not harm our future just to look good today. 

We must remember water supply reliabilty is number one, our water can be the Cheapest and the of the Highest Quality but if there isn't any then it is then the price and quality mean nothing.  Having served in the U.S. Coast Guard I know what it is like to not have water and I commit to all the people of the Tri-City area that as long as I am a Director I will work to ensure they never have to experience that.

Email guntherjames@aol.com
Industrial Engineer
45,309 votes (23.32%)Winning
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  • Strengthen our water reserves by making use of recycled water and expanding on desalination facilities.
  • Invest in our water storage facilities and infrastructure.
  • Increase transparency on our water rates.
Profession:Industrial Engineer & Alameda County Consumer Affairs Commissioner
Consumer Affairs Commissioner, Alameda County — Appointed position (2013current)
University of Southern California Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Industrial and Systems Engineering, Information and Operations Management, Data Sciences and Operations (2015)

Aziz Akbari is an experienced and passionate public servant. You may remember him as the 18 year-old who ran for mayor of Fremont in 2012. His practical ideas, diligence, and energetic personality made him a political force to be reckoned with, and won him several thousand votes in the election. Over the past two and a half years, he has served as a Consumer Affairs Commissioner in Alameda County – the youngest to ever serve in this capacity. Aziz is a product of our local public schools, having attended Parkmont Elementary School, Centerville Junior High School, and Washington High School. His educational background is in Industrial and Systems Engineering with foci in Resource Planning and Data Sciences from the University of Southern California. Aziz served as a Senator in the Undergraduate Student Government and served on the Board of Presidents in the Residential Student Government while pursuing his degree. He is a member of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the Water Education Foundation, and the Sierra Club.

Aziz has the knowledge, experience, and community engagement that qualify him for this position. He has a cohesive vision, a practical plan, and an unmatched passion for making the Alameda County Water District (ACWD) more productive and effective to ensure that the ACWD can provide safe, clean, and affordable water. Aziz believes that it is time to seriously tackle the drought by strengthening our water reserves, investing in our water storage facilities, and increasing transparency on our water rates.

The ACWD has been failing its constituents for far too long with wasteful spending, a lack of infrastructure investment, and continuous rate hikes. This November, the voters of Fremont, Newark, and Union City have an opportunity to send the Directors a message—by supporting a young, dynamic candidate with a passion for serving his community.

  • Bob Wieckowski, State Senator, California’s 10th District
  • Eric Swalwell, United States Representative, California's 15th Congressional District
  • Kansen Chu, State Assemblymember, California’s 25th District
  • Ro Khanna, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, United States Department of Commerce
  • Kansen Chu, State Assemblymember, California’s 25th District
  • Eric Swalwell, United States Representative, California's 15th Congressional District
  • Richard Valle, Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 2
  • Alan Nagy, Mayor, City of Newark
  • Bill Harrison, Mayor, City of Fremont
  • Bob Wieckowski, State Senator, California’s 10th District
  • Yang Shao, Trustee, Fremont Unified School District
  • Desrie Campbell, Trustee, Fremont Unified School District
  • Anu Natarajan, Former Councilwoman, City of Fremont
  • Ann Crosbie, Trustee, Fremont Unified School District
  • Rick Jones, Councilman, City of Fremont
  • Vinnie Bacon, Councilman, City of Fremont
  • Sue Chan, Councilwoman, City of Fremont
  • Mike Bucci, Councilman, City of Newark
  • Jim Navarro, Councilman, City of Union City
  • Ishan Shah, Trustee, Ohlone College
  • Jennifer Toy Harrison, Director, Union Sanitary District
  • Sarabjit Kaur Cheema, Director, New Haven Unified School District
  • Evolve, A Community Organization
  • Tri-City Democratic Forum
  • Alameda County Democratic Party
  • United Muslims of America
  • Sikh Panchayat
  • Raj Salwan, Former Councilman, City of Fremont, current Chairman of Planning Commission, City of Fremont
  • Moina Shaiq, Human Relations Commissioner, Alameda County
  • David Bonaccorsi, Planning Commissioner, City of Fremont
  • Dana Jones, Police Officer (Ret.), City of Fremont
  • Lee Guio, Planning Commissioner, City of Union City
  • Kathy Kimberlin, Senior Citizens Commissioner, City of Fremont
  • Dax Choksi, Boardmember, Fremont Education Foundation
  • Dr. Mohammed Nadeem, Professor of Business, National University
— October 25, 2016 League of Women Voters

Thank you to the League of Women Voters for hosting an enlightening candidate forum for the ACWD Director candidates. We were excited to discuss our ideas, platform, and vision for the District, and were pleased to hear from many people who resonated with our campaign and cast a ballot in our favor! Let us know what your thoughts are on the forum, and share this video with others so they can hear about our platform and ideas!

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Martin L. Koller

Incumbent
44,704 votes (23.01%)
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