Zone 7 poised to pick new director for empty seat next week

14 people have applied for former director Bill Stevens' vacant position

A new face is expected to be appointed next week to fill a seat on the Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors that’s been vacant since longtime board member Bill Stevens retired in March.

The board is expected to pick their new cohort during a special public meeting on May 2 starting 5 p.m. at the Zone 7 offices at 100 North Canyons Pkwy. in Livermore.

Stevens was re-elected to a sixth term last June but suddenly handed in his letter of resignation on March 11, ending more than 20 years of service as a director and an unfinished term that was supposed to last through June 2022. In his letter, Stevens wrote that it was “time that I resign and let someone else take my spot,” and cited unspecified “personal reasons” for his departure.

The other six board members opted to pursue filling the vacancy by direct appointment, rather than call for a special election.

A total of 14 candidates applied for the empty position by Monday's deadline, according to Zone 7 spokesperson Alexandra Bradley, who said “our admin staff was overwhelmed” by the higher than usual number of applications.

Applicants on the list include former Pleasanton councilman Arne Olson, local vintner Niki Wente, financial analyst Alfred Exner (who ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2016) and fellow past Zone 7 candidate Matt Morrison, a local environmentalist and attorney.

The other applicants are Olivia Angus, Rich Buckley, Alan Burnham, Laurene Green, Jim Horen, Naveed Khan, Michelle Smith McDonald, Sylvia Tian, Robert Tucknott and Randy Werner.

The board hopes to complete the selection process at the board meeting; Bradley said that “because there is limited time to hold a second meeting and meet the requisite paperwork deadlines, the goal is to complete the selection process on May 2.” The board needs to have its appointment decision confirmed and filed with county election officials by May 10.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify the deadline for Zone 7's appointment.

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