The two newly elected Tri-Valley directors for the East Bay Regional Park District kicked off their four-year terms after a swearing-in ceremony at the board meeting earlier this month.
John Mercurio is now in the district's Ward 6 seat, replacing longtime director and former Danville councilmember Beverly Lane, with Olivia Sanwong leaving her seat on the Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors in order to run for the seat vacated by former Livermore councilmember Ayn Wieskamp's retirement after more than 20 years representing Ward 5.
U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), who was acknowledged for his work with the district, led the oath-of-office ceremony for the two new Tri-Valley directors. Ward 3 Director Dennis Waespi was also sworn in for an additional term at the Jan. 17 meeting.
"At every level of your public service, you have been a leader in supporting this park district, and producing, i.e. funding for this park district," Ward 7 Director Colin Coffey said to DeSaulnier. "As such when future generations look back and assess the legacy of today's East Bay Regional Park District, they are going to see the significant role you have played in the success of this park district and the significant impact and contribution you have made to the success of this park district."
The swearing-in ceremony was followed by a celebration honoring DeSaulnier's contributions to the district and welcoming Sanwong and Mercurio to their new positions.
"I want to thank everyone for welcoming us two to our first board meeting," Sanwong said. "I was commenting earlier that it feels like the first day of school and we're the freshman class here ... I'm really excited to be here and really look forward to the next four years at the parks district."
Sanwong vacated her position as a Zone 7 director -- for which she was elected to a second term in June 2022 -- in December, ahead of her first term at EBRPD. Last year also marked the end of her time on the park district's Park Advisory Committee, on which she had served since 2015.
Mercurio, a former Concord planning commissioner for more than a decade, is also a former Parks Advisory Committee member, having served in that capacity for 17 years. He spent 12 years each on Concord's Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission, and the California Recreational Trails Committee.
"I really do appreciate everything that's been going on, and even before this, the orientation process, program ... the rest of the directors should know that it's very thorough," Mercurio said. "It was very comprehensive and really interesting and rewarding, because no matter what kind of positive things I was thinking about the district after all those years on the BAC, it got even better knowing even more, and that's always a good thing."
Sanwong's Ward 5 and Mercurio's Ward 6 make up the entirety of the district's Tri-Valley presence, with Ward 5 including Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and Sunol, and Ward 6 including San Ramon, Danville, Blackhawk, Alamo and Camino Tassajara. The two directors' terms run through 2026.
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