OAKLEY -- Two incumbents and a challenger appeared to have won three open seats on the Ironhouse Sanitary District, according to unofficial results released early Wednesday morning.

Michael Painter and David Contreras had 23.90 percent and 23.18 percent of the vote, respectively, with all precincts reporting. Doug Scheer came in third with 19.07 percent of the vote, followed by Aaron Meadows, with 16.81 percent and Michael Burkholder with 16.79 percent

The sanitary district processes wastewater for Oakley and Bethel Island residents as well as some in the surrounding unincorporated areas.

Contreras, 57, was appointed by the board to finish the term of Don Lew, who died in April 2011. He now is campaigning for his first elected term in office.

Contreras is the retired manager of another sanitary district.

Painter, 57, has worked as a chiropractor in the past and is making his bid for a fourth term on the board.

The three challengers were Meadows, a 42-year-old real estate broker; Scheer, 52, who owns a security alarm business; and Burkholder, 30, who is listed on the county elections department's website as a small business owner.

Board members manage a $10.8 million budget and oversee operations of the special district's $55 million wastewater treatment plant, which opened in October 2011.

Ironhouse Sanitary District serves approximately 38,000 ratepayers.

The district recently has been the focus of public debate over the size of directors' stipends and whether the level of health insurance coverage they receive is justified.


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Board members currently receive $170 per meeting for a maximum of six meetings per month.

Early last month, directors voted to reduce the amount the district spends on health benefits for them and future board members. They agreed to establish a two-tiered system that took effect Nov. 1.

Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her on Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.