Editorial: Ramirez Holmes, Figuers, Quigley for Zone 7 board | News | PleasantonWeekly.com |


Editorial: Ramirez Holmes, Figuers, Quigley for Zone 7 board

Support also for Smith McDonald, who earned 2-year term unopposed

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Pleasanton voters will join their peers in Dublin and Livermore in casting ballots for three regular seats on the Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors, key elected positions for a local governmental agency whose decisions affect water supply, water rates and flood protection in our area.

The Zone 7 election features three incumbents (Sandy Figuers, Dick Quigley and Angela Ramirez Holmes) and two challengers (Hugh Bussell and Laurene Green) competing for a trio of available four-year terms in the March 3 primary.

After sitting down with each candidate and reviewing their campaigns, we recommend re-election of incumbent directors Ramirez Holmes, Figuers and Quigley.

A Pleasanton resident and political consultant seeking her third term in office, Ramirez Holmes has demonstrated herself as a standout leader on the seven-member board who prioritizes informed decision-making to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for the region.

An advocate for expanding Zone 7 water supply options, exploring new water storage opportunities and prudent budgeting, Ramirez Holmes has also championed important strides for Zone 7 in the areas of public transparency and accountability. Televising Zone 7 meetings, for example, might well have never happened without her strong voice.

Ramirez Holmes understands the issues, engages the stakeholders, listens to the citizens and knows how to lead on the dais.

Count Figuers in the same camp.

Seeking his seventh term overall (four in a row since 2008, preceded by 12 years on the board in the '80s and '90s), Figuers is a groundwater geologist and longtime Livermore resident whose technical expertise and institutional knowledge are vital for Zone 7 as it continues to embark on key post-drought decisions around water supply and water quality.

Figuers is well-prepared to guide Zone 7 through a critical juncture, not only for its internal water goals and those of its retailers, but in responding to new state and federal rules and regulations as well.

Experience with the local and regional water supply is our main reason for supporting Quigley's bid for a fifth consecutive term.

A longtime Pleasanton resident and retired resources manager at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Quigley has shown he understands the intrinsic value in a diversified supply of high-quality potable water, and he has the working knowledge of Bay Area, Delta and statewide water agencies needed to achieve goals around groundwater basin stewardship, new regional storage opportunities, renewable energy in the water treatment process and addressing contaminants.

Across the board, we prefer the strong record of service and Zone 7 experience exhibited by Ramirez Holmes, Figuers and Quigley.

Challenger Green, a water resources engineer who lives in Pleasanton, is a good candidate with a unique insight into certain water issues given her professional background. She makes strong arguments regarding PFAS contaminants and her apprehension to the concept of potable reuse.

But with only a couple of years logged on the city of Pleasanton's Committee on Energy and the Environment, Green lacks the depth of general governmental service experience, let alone Zone 7 specific experience, that we like to see from a newcomer to this sort of position.

The fifth candidate, Bussell, has even less applicable experience. A technical writer from Livermore, Bussell has been involved with boards of CrossWinds Church and UNCLE Credit Union, as well as the Alameda County Republican Party, but he has no elected or appointed tenure in local government in the Tri-Valley.

We'd encourage Bussell to seek out city committee opportunities, or the like, and then return for an election ballot. We had also hoped to hear more specifics from him on key issues facing Zone 7 in the four years ahead.

We want to offer a word of support for Michelle Smith McDonald, the appointed director who was unopposed in her bid for a special two-year term on the Zone 7 board -- and as a result, she's earned the term and won't appear on the ballot.

Smith McDonald boasts an impressive career in communications, including now for the Alameda County Office of Education, which is an important attribute as Zone 7 continues to improve its public engagement. She has hit the ground running in her first nine months on the board and is poised to make informed decisions on water quality, water supply, agency transparency and infrastructure to come.

She also serves as the lone Dublin voice on the board, which is vital for Zone 7's representatives. We look forward to watching her continue to grow as an elected leader in the Tri-Valley.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?


2 people like this
Posted by Time for Term Limits
a resident of Val Vista
on Feb 21, 2020 at 8:27 am

Without Term Limits in place, these water board members stay and stay for decades.
Even our Mayor has term limits. I expect more from the PW Editor than a rubber stamp stating YEARS of experience and NO education in water engineering is a good thing.

I am voting for LAURENE GREEN as a power vote (vote once then stop). Green is the ONLY water engineer in the group, she has experience cleaning up water contamination, and Zone 7 needs her. I can vote for up to 3, but don't want my second or third vote to help a candidate that just runs for office while we still have VERY hard water that smells bad, and then talks about drinking toilet to tap water as an option in a drought. Zone 7's current leader should say NO like I will on March 3. Vote once, vote Laurene Green!

Like this comment
Posted by Superfund
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 21, 2020 at 5:20 pm

Is Laurene a fox guarding the hen house?

Laurene’s qualifications are based on her experience working on water contamination projects for Chevron and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory? You do realize this means she worked for the organizations responsible for contaminating the water in the first place? The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the only Superfund site within our local watershed and this Superfund designation is due to “localized spills, unlined disposal pits and landfills, and leaking tanks...the Regional Water Quality Control Board discovered on- and off- site groundwater contamination in 1983 and the site was listed in the NPL in 1987” (NPL, National Priorities List)

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 21, 2020 at 10:38 pm

Superfund = Ramirez Holmes, Figuers and Quigley. ?

Like this comment
Posted by wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2020 at 5:59 am

replace zone 7 with zone 8 9 or ten. We need to upgrade to a process that works. Zone 7 is a joke. One other thing for the libs and dems in california who want to make college and health care and now home ownership free. Why are we still paying for the most fundamental right and the most basic necessity of life.
FREE WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Free water and no zone 7. win win.

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