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 Shelia Young. San Leandro’s Mayor Emeritus is vying to be the first woman ever elected to the Oro Loma Sanitary Board.
What does the Board of Directors of the Oro Loma Sanitary District do and why are you best suited for that position?
It’s important to note what OLSD governance is about, as well as know that a majority of the public agencies in California set policy only – and management implements. OLSD provides wastewater collection and treatment services, and residential and commercial solid waste and recycling services to its customers. And the District stresses on its website that it strives to “Provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost.” I have considerable background in public agency policy work for more than 25 years, as well as prior service as President and/or Chair or member of most of the environmental agencies in the Bay Area that help us reach our goals in recycling and reuse, including air quality concerns. My service areas are well documented in my campaign ballot statement.
What will be the most important issues facing the Board in the upcoming four years, and how will you tackle them?
Working closely with the StopWaste organization, which is tackling some of the tougher issues around food waste recycling, and hazardous waste disposal in both the commercial and residential arenas. This task will bring us much closer to 100 percent of our goals for removing garbage and trash from our landfills. Since OLSD has a seat on that board, I would like to help the board members work with StopWaste but also outreach to the community to assist with those goals.
An important project the agency is working on is the Ecotone project which will seek to work cooperatively with other wastewater treatment plants to support habitat seepage levees; the OLDS project includes a treatment wetland and upland slope for polishing treated wastewater. I’m excited about working on anything that deals with adaptable strategies related to sea level rise, etc.
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?
There are several companies that provide waste management, including recycling and reuse and disposal. Since Waste Management Inc. was just recently given a new contract by OLSD, it’s not clear who or what will be available when that contract is completed. When the time comes, I am certain appropriate outreach will be done to make sure local work, local jobs and money stay local, especially including anything that affects the service area of OLSD. We are fortunate to have 2 transfer stations in San Leandro and know when, where and how our waste is managed.
Occupation: Business/Environmental Consultant
My education and qualifications are:
In 2008 I was named Mayor Emeritus of the City of San Leandro after years of effective
public service. It is time for a new perspective on the Oro Loma Board, one that offers
innovative thinking focused on our future. I possess the knowledge, education and
experience to address our wastewater collection and treatment needs and to provide
innovative and cost-effective solid waste and recycling services. During my years as
mayor, I served as a member and also Chair of the East Bay Dischargers Authority,
a joint powers organization formed to collectively manage wastewater treatment and
disposal services for a population in Alameda County of 800,000. I also served as
President of both the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Source
Reduction and Recycling Board. These agencies are responsible for the environmental
choices and changes that make us so much more conscious of conservation and mindful
of waste reduction and recycling. I would be the first woman to serve on the Oro Loma
Board and have the proven tools to assist the District in decisions regarding our future. I
respectfully ask for your vote.