The Oro Loma Sanitary District includes parts of San Leandro – which parts, I’m not actually sure. They have contracted with Waste Management for garbage collection, so if you live in San Leandro and get your bill from WM, you are in the Oro Loma district. Oro Loma has an elected board of directors, and this year five candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for three seats. I have sent all candidates a 3-question questionnaire based on the fact that I assume others, like me, know very little about sanitary districts.
Here are the answers and candidate statement from Timothy Becker, an incumbent who’s been on the board since 2007.
1) What does the Board of Directors of the Oro Loma Sanitary District do and why are you best suited for that position?
The formal answer to this question is on our website and in practice is the same with several other activities related to the various committees that are chaired by individual board members.
The Board of Directors makes all policy determinations through the enactment of ordinances and resolutions, and has final authority in the implementation of these policies. The Board determines how the District will obtain and spend funds, and reviews and approves the District’s Operating and Capital Budget. The Board also appoints the General Manager and Legal Counsel, as well as the members of the District’s five standing committees. As a part of its policy foundation, the Board and staff collaborate to establish a Ten-Year Vision for the District.
I feel I am best suited for this position because my education includes a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master of Science degree in geology coupled with 28 years of environmental consulting related to wastewater, solid waste, and recycling. As I’m sure you know, the treatment plant relies on scientific principles for optimum operation and performance. My experience as a business owner and executive in the environmental industry also provide a valuable perspective when evaluating the risks, benefits, and drawbacks of new projects or partnerships.
2) What will be the most important issues facing the Board in the upcoming four years, and how will you tackle them?
As there are a number of issues facing the Board in the upcoming four years, I will provide an example that is emerging and one that is continuing. The emerging issue comes from a concern within the wastewater community that the San Francisco Bay may be reaching a tipping point related to nutrient (primarily nitrogen) loadings. Up until now, the Bay has been resilient to higher loadings and associated phytoplankton (algae) blooms that have impacted estuaries around the country. New regulations are being considered that would require treatment plants to increase their treatment to a higher level. Currently, we are actively partnering with state regulators, environmental stakeholders, and the San Francisco Estuary Institute to perform a research and modeling effort to better understand the potential problem as well as appropriate solutions to emerging nutrient concerns.
Another example that is ongoing and will continue through time is our responsibility to keep our infrastructure up to date and in good operating order. One of many ways we accomplish that goal is through our capital improvement projects. We are committed to keep that program moving forward because a well planned approach maximizes the public’s existing investments and provides proper environmental protections.
3) When the contract with Waste Management expires, will you consider contracting with California Waste Solutions or another company that does not have its transfer station in San Leandro?
Because we have a long term contract in place, that issue is not expected to arise in the near future. However, at the time the contract is being considered for renewal or to have another company provide the services needed, all companies will be considered. As we evaluate potential future partners, we will seek to provide our rate payers with the best service, the least environmental impact, and highest value for the services provided.
Timothy P. Becker
Oro Loma Sanitary District
I have served the Oro Loma Sanitary District as a Director since August 2007. As a result of the decisions of very capable and efficient District staff and other Board members, sewer rates remain the lowest of any other sewer district in the state of which we are aware. Additionally, all long term district bonds have been paid off leaving the district debt free. The District is solid financially and otherwise. I have been fortunate to be elected to the California Association of Sanitation Agencies Board of Directors giving Oro Loma meaningful influence at the state level. I have lived in the Fairview area of Oro Loma for over 28 years. I am a Vietnam era veteran, have a business degree from UT El Paso, a Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of Oregon, and 28 years of experience in the environmental services industry, including work related to wastewater, solid waste, and recycling. I feel my experience and education allow me to continue to be a positive influence for the District into the future. I would appreciate your vote. Feel free to contact me at 510.581.3597 or firstname.lastname@example.org