Zone 7 director Bill Stevens resigns, creating vacancy on board

Board will accept applications for residents interested in filling available seat

Zone 7 Water Agency is in need of a new official to serve on its Board of Directors, after longtime board member William "Bill" Stevens abruptly retired earlier this month after more than 20 years at the position and less than nine months into his sixth term.

Stevens, who was re-elected last June after finishing fourth in a five-candidate race for four available seats, submitted his letter of resignation on March 11, ending his current term that was slated to last through June 2022.

“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 I have been on the Zone 7 Board since 1999 and feel my contributions may be outdated.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 of resignation.

In his letter Stevens also took the time to list 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 longtime 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 the 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 Agency Board President and Vice-President three times, 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 is vital 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 in a staff report.

To fill the vacancy left by Stevens, the Board of Directors will consider filling the available seat by their own appointment, and are asking interested residents to submit an application for review.

The new director would serve until the end of Steven’s term, which would be on 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. The board meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Zone 7 offices, 100 North Canyons Parkway, Livermore.

Applications for appointment will be made available in the coming days and will be due no later than April 22, at 5 p.m.

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