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March 5, 2013 > Santa Clara Water District: Three new directors bring change to the water district

Santa Clara Water District: Three new directors bring change to the water district

By Richard Santos

For the first time ever, there are three women on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. In December 2012, Nai Hsueh and Barbara Keegan joined District 4 Director Linda J. LeZotte, who is now in her third year on the board. Also noteworthy is that this year marks the second consecutive year that we've had a woman board chair. In January, the board unanimously voted to elect District 5 Director Nai Hsueh as the chair to follow Director LeZotte's run.

Director Hsueh represents District 5, which includes the cities of Cupertino and Saratoga, as well as parts of Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and west San Jose. She has 30 years of experience working for the water district on water issues, including large construction projects. In her role, she designed a rolling five-year capital improvement program.

Director Keegan, a civil engineer, represents District 2, which includes central and downtown San Jose, portions of east San Jose, and Willow Glen. She worked for 19 years for the city of San Jose's Public Works Department, where she rose to the level of division manager. Keegan subsequently became the city engineer and assistant director of public works for the city of Sunnyvale. She spent the last two years of her career at the water district.

The end of January brought more change to the board when I, and the full board of directors, voted unanimously to appoint Dennis Kennedy to replace former District 1 Director Don Gage, who left the board after being elected mayor of Gilroy. As former mayor of Morgan Hill, Kennedy brings both a South County perspective and political experience to the board. District 1 includes the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy, the town of San Martin, the Evergreen and Silver Creek neighborhoods of San Jose, parts of south San Jose, and the hills east of San Jose and Milpitas.

He led the city's efforts to advance the Upper Llagas Creek Flood Protection Project. He has served on the water district's Environmental Advisory Committee and Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan planning committee. A graduate of Santa Clara University, Kennedy is a registered professional mechanical engineer.

The three new directors are joining me, Director Richard Santos, and my fellow board members, Linda J. LeZotte, Tony Estremera and Brian Schmidt. For those who don't know me, I was elected to the board in 2001 as your District 3 representative, serving the areas of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, Alviso, Milpitas, and the north San Jose and Berryessa communities.

Director LeZotte was elected to the Board in 2010 to represent the City of Campbell, portions of Willow Glen and the Cambrian, North Almaden and Blossom Hill areas of San Jose. Director Estremera was appointed to the board in 1996 to represent District 6, which includes San Jose areas north of Capitol Expressway, east of Highway 280, south of Highway 280 and as far north as the Alum Rock community. Director Schmidt was elected to the board in 2010 to represent District 7, which covers the western side of the county and extends as far south as Almaden and Calero reservoirs and borders Saratoga heading as far north as Palo Alto.

For more information about the Santa Clara Valley Water District and its board of directors, please visit our website There you can ask questions or provide feedback 24-7 through Access Valley Water, our online customer communications service.

As always, I am available for questions or comments as your District 3 representative for the northern areas of Sunnyvale and Santa Clara; Alviso; Milpitas; and the north San Jose and Berryessa communities. Feel free to contact me at (408) 234-7707.

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