LIVERMORE -- After spending years behind the scenes as a political consultant and staffer, Angela Ramirez Holmes is diving into the spotlight of public office.
Ramirez Holmes successfully secured a seat on the Zone 7 Water Agency board last month after no other candidates sought the seat of Christopher Moore, who retired from the board at the end of his term in June.
"I think water is the big topic that everyone needs to pay attention to," said Ramirez Holmes, a Pleasanton resident and co-founder of Alliance Campaign Strategies, a political consulting firm specializing in local candidates and elections.
"I am committed to the community and to learning more about water policy that I have had the opportunity to work with over the years," she said.
Ramirez Holmes, 36, was awarded Moore's seat by Alameda County supervisors after three candidates, including incumbents Sandy Figures and Dick Quigley, applied to run for three seats. Holmes watched the filing period, and, when no one pulled papers, she decided to run.
"It was an interesting decision to decide to run because I have been involved in the community and been asked to run for various things over the years and said, 'no,' " she said. "Zone 7 has not been on a lot of people's radar, and I felt people should show up for that."
Zone 7 is the Tri-Valley water wholesaler that sells water to Livermore, Pleasanton, the Dublin/San Ramon Services District and Cal water.
Her work with Tauscher led to her becoming campaign manager for Joan Buchanan's successful 2008 run for Assembly.
She also served as district director for both Nancy Skinner and Bob Wieckowski and has focused on water issues since her start with Tauscher.
Ramirez Holmes' said her first term with the agency will feature several key issues, including its possible separation from Alameda County, improving relationships with its water retailers and monitoring the situation in the Delta where the agency receives 80 percent of its supply.
Zone 7's bid to separate from the county was dealt two setbacks over the past two months with the Alameda County civil grand jury opining that the risks of separation were far greater than the anticipated $350,000 in savings to taxpayers. The opinion came two months after state Sen. Mark DeSalunier, D-Concord, tabled Senate Bill 1337, that would have facilitated the Zone's split, citing both Contra Costa and Alameda counties concerns over flood control issues.
The Zone is working with both counties on their concerns over flood control issues and officials within Zone 7 said the grand jury opinion lacked critical pieces of information, including the Zone's main desire for separation.
Zone officials say one of their primary reasons for the separation was to clear the way for their approximately 15,000 customers in Dougherty Valley to be able to vote for and run for the Zone's board. Because those customers live in Contra Costa County, they are not currently eligible to serve or run for the board.
"You can't under estimate the importance of some local districts," Ramirez Holmes said. "We need dedicated quality folks at all levels of government."
Contact Robert Jordan at 925-847-2184.