"It is time that I resign and let someone else take my spot on the board. I have been on the Zone 7 board since 1999 and feel my contributions may be outdated. There are several personal reasons why I am resigning, and I apologize for not fulfilling my sixth, four-year term," Stevens wrote in his letter.
Stevens also took the time to list in the letter what he saw as important long-term goals that the board should continue to focus on in his absence, adding that "these goals are mainly intended for the next two or three generations of the populace, and some may not be popular in the near-term."
He recommended that his board colleagues, as well as his successor, focus on establishing water rates with at least a 60% fixed component, maintain reserve levels and AMP funding, drop consideration of desalinization as a water supply option, take part in the Los Vaqueros expansion project, pursue total financial independence from Alameda County, address pension responsibilities, accept responsibility for flood control of the entire Zone 7 territory, and combine Zone 7 with DSRSD and the cities of Livermore and Pleasanton into a single agency.
"When I was a new director in 1998, I did not know much about water supply, treatment and delivery, and flood control. It took me over 10 years to learn the complexities of Zone 7. We recently issued bonds to fund improvements to our two water treatment plants, and to reduce our financial costs to our drought water banks, which we relied on heavily in the summer of 2016," Stevens said.
During his tenure on the board, Stevens served as the board president and vice president three times each, and served on the Administrative, Finance, Liaison and Water Resources committees as well as numerous ad hoc committees.
He also played a key role serving on the Livermore Valley Water Financing Authority, which plays a vital role in the financing of long-term Zone 7 improvement projects.
"In addition, his forethought for long-term water supply in the Valley endures today as he fought tirelessly for many years to support the California WaterFix which is critical to protecting and restoring the Valley's water supply reliability by upgrading the aging infrastructure thereby reducing the State Water Project's vulnerability to seismic events in the Delta and climate change impacts," Zone 7 officials wrote of Stevens.
To fill the vacancy left by Stevens, the Board of Directors will consider filling the available seat by their own appointment, rather than calling for a special election.
Zone 7 is asking interested residents to submit an application for review. The new director would serve until the end of Stevens' unexpired term, which runs until June 30, 2020.
The Zone 7 Board of Directors is responsible for setting goals and policies for the approximately 220,000 people living in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and, through a special agreement with the Dublin San Ramon Services District, the Dougherty Valley area.
Applications for the board seat, which are open to anyone who lives in Zone 7's Alameda County service area, are available now on the Zone 7 website (www.zone7water.com) and are due no later than April 22, at 5 p.m.
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