Sewer district board member resigns to pursue job within district

Benson first elected to Dublin San Ramon Services District board in 2010

Dublin San Ramon Services District board member Dawn Benson resigned from the board this week to apply for an employment position within the district, which provides wastewater services to Pleasanton.

Benson is applying for a job as the district's executive services supervisor, and she said it would be inappropriate for her to continue as a part of the district's governing board while she pursues a job within the district.

She announced her "abrupt and difficult decision" to resign in a letter to her fellow board members Wednesday.

"This promotional opportunity doesn't come up very often in the special district agency network, and I just can't pass this one up," she said wrote in her letter. "This decision is probably one of the most difficult for me to make, as I sincerely enjoy being on the Board and value each of you dearly."

Benson was elected to the board in 2010, re-elected in 2014 and served as board president in 2013.

"We thank Dawn for all her contributions and her deep love of serving this community. We'll miss her," board president Ed Duarte said in a statement. "As a District committed to transparency, we will keep the public informed of the process we use to fill this vacancy."

The board will decide at the next public meeting Sept. 1 what process to use to fill Benson's seat.

The board can choose to appoint a new board member whose term will run through 2018, hold a special election for a board member or do nothing, Stephenson said. If the board chooses to do nothing, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors can choose to appoint a board member or hold a special election.

The board is comprised of five members who are publicly elected to four-year terms. Registered voters who live within the DSRSD jurisdictional boundaries are eligible to vote for board members, according to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters office.

The job of executive services supervisor, for which Benson is applying, is a mid-management position. Duties include overseeing administrative staff who prepare budgets and minutes for DSRSD board meetings, meetings of a joint authority board that manages recycled water in San Ramon and meetings of a board that manages and oversees a pipeline that removes sewage from the valley area, spokeswoman Sue Stephenson said.

A candidate is expected to be chosen for the role by October from the many applications that have been received, she said.

The next DSRSD board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 1 at the district office, 7051 Dublin Blvd.

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49 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 21, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

This is an action making new or secret information known?

Is this a slam dunk, "resign and the job is yours"?

Dawn Benson in your words, this is a "promotional opportunity"?

Who are the other candidates for this position?

What are the qualifications for this position?

The district "is committed to transparency" Per Board President Ed Duarte.

43 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 22, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Hmmmm, any bets on who is getting that job??? People don't resign from one position without some kind of a guarantee of another position! Keep an eye on this one PW, I'm thinking something sneaky is going on.

10 people like this
Posted by Annalee
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 27, 2015 at 8:24 am

Im sure Ms Bensen is a knowledgeable and capable individual but on face it seems inappropriare from a potential conflict of interest standpoint. At least the bylaws should require a minum separation time between board election and employment to avoid such.

9 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 27, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Like I said, " keep an eye on this one" there's going to be a little soft shoe razzle dazzle, a little behind the closed door voting and the magic happens---- poof, benson is in, what a surprise!!

8 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 29, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

This position, district executive services supervisor reportedly pays well, over 125K year, plus benefits, pension, etc., all of which had to be approved by the board on which Dawn Benson served.

It is my opinion Dawn Benson should withdraw her application. There are better qualified people out there that can manage and execute this position.

The potential salary salary is what a master degree can and should earn.
Dawn has a bachelor's degree?

3 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 31, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Bachelors degree today is like having a high school diploma, almost everybody has one!!! If this job pays that well along with full benefits let's set our goals a little higher on getting somebody to fill that position. Still watching for that "behind the curtains" magic trick!!

3 people like this
Posted by I agree with Michael Austin
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Dawn Benson should withdraw her application. This is an incredible lack of judgment on her part to even contemplate such a move in her position as a Board Member. I am not sure what her responsibilities would be in the new position but if they require any judgment on her part I would not count on it being very good.

Like this comment
Posted by What do you know
a resident of Dublin
on Oct 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm

So the dust has settled on this one. Map's paranoia did not pan out. Benson did not get the job and she did not get back onto the board.

Like this comment
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 8, 2015 at 7:04 pm

No paranoia here, been on this planet a long time and have seen a lot of slippery characters fall into positions they have no business being in, that includes local, state and federal. People with enough money and "friends" can pretty much buy any position they want.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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