DUBLIN -- Three seats are up for election in November on the Dublin-San Ramon Services District board, with two incumbents being challenged by two newcomers.
Incumbents Dwight L. Howard and Rich Halket are facing Edward Duarte and Scott Hayes, political newcomers who have never been elected to public office.
Three of the four candidates reside in Dublin -- only Duarte is a San Ramon resident.
As challengers to the incumbents, Hayes and Duarte believe they could bring a fresh perspective to the decision-making process and help improve the district's spending.
Hayes said he is the only candidate who is committed to making sure that "pay for performance" bonuses never happen again in the district. He said the program creates a conflict of interest and that management bonuses were a huge distraction for the organization.
"I have no personal or political ties to the board," said Hayes. "My independence would allow me to make the best decision possible for the ratepayer."
Hayes would also like to push for term limits on the district board -- term limits don't currently exist -- as well as start televising the meetings.
Hayes added that he would push for no more rate increases to fund the public-sector bonuses, which he said he believes create a conflict of interest.
"That is a huge distraction from the real work that needs to be done," he said.
Duarte said that if he was elected, he would like to push for more financial transparency and better efficiency of operations at the district.
"The district has made decisions in the past that I am certainly not happy with and if I were on the board, I would have voted in a different direction," he said.
An engineer by education and a public works contractor by vocation, Duarte said his 45-year experience in the business would give the district insight other candidates would not have.
Incumbent Howard said if re-elected, he would like to expand the use of recycled water throughout the Tri-Valley.
Howard said he would also like to increase cooperation and integration of water and wastewater utilities within the area.
Halket, also an incumbent, did not return attempts for comment as of press time.
Halket is the current president of the board of directors.
Once elected, directors will join current board members Dawn Benson and Georgean Vonheeder-Leopold.
Contact Katie Nelson at 925-847-2164 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.
Occupation: Semiretired general engineering contractor
Education: B.S. in civil engineering, CSU Fresno
Civic Involvement: Incumbent, elected to the Dublin-San Ramon Services District in 2004.
Education: B.S. in geology, Stanford University; M.A. in hydrogeology, Washington State University
Occupation: Financial analyst
Education: B.A. in business, University of Texas at Arlington; M.A. in business, University of Notre Dame
Dwight "Pat" L. Howard
Occupation: Retired mechanical engineer
Civic Involvement: Incumbent, elected to the Dublin-San Ramon Services District in 2003.
Education: B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering, UC Berkeley; M.S. in engineering management, Santa Clara University