Since I've started to talk to people about running for office, there are two questions that repeat. First, what exactly is the Dublin San Ramon Services District, and second, why do you want to be on their Board?
The Dublin San Ramon Services District (or DSRSD which isn't quite as catchy as EBMUD) is a public agency that provides water, wastewater and recycled water to 173,000 people. The service base is San Ramon, Dublin and Pleasanton.
As for why I want to run - I think my water bill is too high. Each year I conserve more, and it feels like I pay more rather than reaping the rewards. Our residential water use is among the lowest in California at about 65 gallons/day/person. Statewide the average is 85, and 100 gallons/day is not uncommon. So here I am, taking short showers and watching my lawn die only to wonder when the tide (pun intended) will shift.
Honest truth, water rates are unlikely to drop any time soon but that doesn't mean we can't remain vigilant. The DSRSD has a visionary agenda and overall I support their approach. Sound financial planning needs to continue. I understand the regional challenges and while I think we can do even more with the recycled water program, I also want to be a part of the debate over potable reuse. Can I support the Board as a customer - sure. Could I do more at a regional level, becoming a Board Member - yes.
Beyond the pocket-book based reasons there is an ideal. I do not believe that food or water should be taxed. What finally pushed me to get more involved is potential legislation in Sacramento (SB 623). This bill was introduced in September 2017, and the concept of taxing water remained in the budget proposed for 2018-2019. This is a slippery slope. California needs to invest more in water infrastructure and ensure clean supply, but there are alternative ways to fund.
I want to be part of the solution.
Oh, and as for that third question that I hear when I bring up the topic of running for local office: "Are you crazy?" - I'll leave that for another blog post.
If you'd like to know more about the DSRSD, please visit their website at www.dsrsd.com .