Alongside voting for governor, state senator and city council members in November, Santa Clara County residents will cast their ballots for local representatives charged with overseeing the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and the Cupertino Union School District.
Valley Water board
Valley Water District board director Gary Kremen – who represents District 7, which encompasses Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View – faces competition as he seeks a third term on the seven-member board.
Rebecca Eisenberg, an attorney and investor, is challenging Kremen for the seat.
Eisenberg told the Town Crier that she had planned a second run for Palo Alto City Council following her unsuccessful 2020 campaign, when her mentors suggested she run for the water board instead.
“I realized how I really am a great fit for this role,” she said. “It brings together so many of my skills, my experiences that I’ve had working for technology companies … and most of all my passion for sustainability, my passion for marginalized communities, my passion for equity.”
Eisenberg first came to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University after studying law at Harvard. She has served as in-house counsel for tech companies from PayPal to Reddit, but now primarily focuses on sustainable investing through Toniic and Netskink Positive Impact Investments.
Her experience living in Palo Alto as a college student, when the foothills she could see from her apartment were green, moving away and then back to Palo Alto with her young family revealed the importance of water policy.
Two things really stood out when she moved back, Eisenberg said: “One was the price of real estate and the other was how the foothills were much, much less green.”
Eisenberg proposes a three-pronged approach to managing the water board: focusing on protecting vulnerable communities; urgent investing in water recycling, reuse and reclamation programs; and improving transparency and processes at the organization.
Kremen, who ran a campaign for county assessor before dropping out of that race in February, is currently embroiled in an independent ethics investigation into his treatment of Valley Water staff. At the board’s June 28 meeting, the board chairperson said a report on the harassment claims against Kremen should be available in September.
Kremen is also a tech executive, best known as founder and CEO of Match.com. He got his start in water policy as a member of the Los Altos Hills Purissima Hills Water District Board of Directors, serving from 2010 to 2014.
“My number one focus is fighting the drought and being sure we always have safe, clean and affordable water,” Kremen wrote in an email to the Town Crier.
His list of priorities includes: protecting people living near Permanente Creek from flood risk and flood insurance costs; continuing repairs and naturalization of Hale Creek; and increasing fiscal responsibility and climate resiliency.
Valley Water is responsible for supplying water to utility companies including San Jose Water and California Water Service Co,, which delivers water to homes in Los Altos. The board manages an operating budget of approximately $850 million.
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Board of Directors race is still undetermined. Ward 2 incumbent Yoriko Kishimoto has qualified for the ballot, but challenger Frank Hattler is not yet verified by the county registrar of voters.
Midpen’s Ward 2 covers Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.
Five candidates have pulled papers in the race for three open seats on the five-member Cupertino Union School District Board of Education, which saw controversy last year after a failed recall effort amid school closures.
Incumbents Jerry Liu and Satheesh Madhathil plan to run again, facing challengers Cupertino Mayor Darcy Paul and high school teacher Ava Chiao. Newcomer Benjamin Lee pulled papers to run but has not yet qualified for the ballot.
For a full list of candidates and measures, visit sccvote.sccgov.org/candidates-measures/november-8-2022-general-election-resources.
The Town Crier Editorial Board will be weighing in with election coverage and
endorsements in all relevant races, beginning in the Sept. 7 issue.
The tentative schedule:
- Sept. 7: Cupertino Union School District Board of Education
- Sept. 14: Mountain View Los Altos High School District Board of Trustees
- Sept. 21: Los Altos School District Board of Trustees
- Sept. 28: Mountain View City Council
- Oct. 5: Los Altos City Council
- Oct. 12: Regional races• Oct. 19: State propositions