The LAVWMA board, he says meets once every other month and meetings last about 15 minutes. He suggests the work of that agency could be handled by others with the Tri-Valley cities it serves sharing the workload and expenses. Another joint-powers agency, the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) already handles maintenance work on the 16-mile wastewater pipeline that LAVWMA operates from Pleasanton to San Leandro where the effluent is discharged into the Bay. LAVWMA's facilities span from Livermore to the Bay for the sole purpose of pushing the wastewater through pipelines over the Dublin grade, through Castro Valley, San Lorenzo and into an outfall owned by the East Bay Dischargers Authority (EBDA), another agency that adds to a consumer's bill for water and sewer services.
Although Livermore and Pleasanton council members sit on the LAVWMA board, Pleasanton has no representation on DSRSD, which is also funded by business and household consumers. Years ago, when Pleasanton found itself woefully understaffed and under-funded in operating its own sewage treatment plant near where the Senior Center is now located, it contracted with DSRSD to handle the load. As a contractor instead of a member partner of the organization, Pleasanton has no representation on the DSRSD board, which is run by elected representatives from Dublin and San Ramon. Thorne suggests taking another look at that arrangement and, in the meantime, wants residents to show up at meetings to let the DSRSD management know we're watching what they do and how much they spend.
Also part of the rising cost factor for Pleasanton water is the Zone 7 Water Agency, a more visible water supplier whose president is Dick Quigley, a Pleasanton resident. Its seven-member board of directors is elected by the area it serves and provides strategic guidance for a staff of engineers, program planners and finance officers. Pleasanton water customers receive 82 percent of their water from Zone 7 which, as Thorne says, is yet another agency and board and staff financed by residential and business water customers. From Zone 7, water responsibility moves to the Delta with all of its financial issues and to the State Department of Water Resources, a major state agency that assigns water sourcing and delivery volumes.
Thorne wants Pleasanton to take the lead in streamlining the water and sewage disposal process, possibly moving toward a single agency that would do it all. As it is, with little control over all the costs associated with water, it's the City Council that has the responsibility and takes the blame when supply and delivery factors well beyond its control cause rates to rise, which it then gets blamed for. Thorne wants to change that.