While many may be focusing on the presidential primaries in June, a local race is also set to take place during summer elections.
Three Zone 7 Water Agency board members are up for re-election on June 7, the same date as Democratic and Republican primary elections in California.
Board members Sandy Figuers, Angela Ramirez-Holmes and Dick Quigley plan to run for re-election on the seven-member board, which handles water distribution and flood protection policy matters for Zone 7.
Zone 7 is a water wholesaler for much of the Tri-Valley, selling the water it buys from the state to Pleasanton, Livermore, Cal Water's Livermore division and Dublin San Ramon Services District. Zone 7 is also tasked with flood prevention, so it is in charge of maintaining manmade channels that funnel water through cities, among other duties.
While some voters may not have heard about Zone 7 when they scan down their presidential primary ballot in June, voting on the agency's board members is important on a local level.
The board approves the agency's budget, decides when to implement rate increases that affect cities' water costs and makes other decisions about how the agency should run.
For example, the board votes on the annual water rate, which affects how much communities such as Pleasanton pay for water. Increases mean the city of Pleasanton will likely charge its customers more for water.
The Zone 7 board decided late last year to increase the rate from January forward. The board stated in deliberations that the increase was long overdue, and financial advisers stated the district would be hard-pressed to avoid financial ruin if it continued with funding construction projects and maintenance without passing a rate increase to bring in additional revenue.