DISCOVERY BAY -- As the town looks at millions of dollars in water and wastewater system improvements over the next few years, five men are vying for spots on the Community Services District board to lead the process.
Incumbents Mark Simon, Ray Tetreault and Jim Mattison are running for three seats on the district board against challengers Michael Temby and Bill Pease. Mattison, Simon and Pease are running for two four-year seats, while Tetreault and Temby square off for a two-year seat.
Discovery Bay is looking to improve its aging water capacity and distribution system, moving to sell about $14 million in municipal bonds for a new water well and five wastewater projects. The added water capacity will also help accommodate the growth the far East Contra Costa community is anticipating once the housing market returns.
Simon, 62, is seeking re-election because wants to be continue to lead the district through the "pivotal" water projects. The board has also improved its relationship with the community over the past four years compared with the "fractured, ineffective" one it was in 2008, he said.
"The board right now has five personalities that are opposites of each other, but works well together," Simon said. "We all have our opinions, but can come to a common ground."
Simon says he has a tendency to play devil's advocate and ask questions about "What if everything goes wrong."
"I think it actually becomes a positive thing. It seems to work," Simon said.
The next few years are going to be pivotal in Discovery Bay as developers start building again and the town grows, he said.
Since being appointed in April, Mattison says he's learned a lot about the functions of a community service district and that the Discovery Bay board was far less contentious than he had heard it was in the past.
"It's been a really neat experience," he said.
Along with the need for improving the old water system, Mattison, 53, said he wants to continue to work to create a good parks and recreation program in Discovery Bay, something the town is currently lacking.
He hopes to look at how the town as a "water-based community" could possibly create a beach and venues to rent kayaks and other watercraft.
Mattison, an 18-year resident who works in commercial real estate, also hopes to make progress on a long-sought community center and create other activities for youth and seniors.
"It's a good time to move forward a little bit on stuff that have been talked about for years and years," he said.
Pease, a retired business owner who has owned a home in Discovery Bay for 12 years but started living in town permanently the past year-and-a-half, is running because he says he has the time, ability and desire the guide the district.
The former Fremont city councilman from 1996 to 2004 says he believes in contributing to the community where you live.
"I think I can bring a common-sense approach to the district's decision making," Pease said. "We need to make sure that expenditures are done prudently and in a fiscally responsible manner."
Pease, 63, says most residents probably don't even realize that the town is raising as much money as it is through bond proceeds for the water improvements.
"We can't just say 'Let's go ahead and get this,' but we have to talk about all the bells and whistles and justify them, so we get done all that we need to get done," he said.
Discovery Bay must also be more thorough in the hiring process for project contractors, he said.
Tetreault is seeking re-election to the two-year seat after again being elected to the board in 2008. He served on the board six years before losing in 2006.
"I still have that fire in the belly," he said.
Tetreault, 65, says he's been involved in working with the district's budget during his time on the board.
Discovery Bay has made a lot of strides in the past four years, Tetreault said, including contracting with Veolia to manage its water and wastewater system, improving town landscaping, adding recreation amenities and hiring a new general manager,
"We wanted to get the district to a new level of professionalism," he said. "We've made some really good end roads and I'd like to continue at that."
Temby, a local Realtor, says he is passionate about the town and wants to be involved with helping shape the growth that is expected in Discovery Bay over the next few years.
"There are a lot of builders gearing up, and we need to be able to handle that growth," Temby, 54, said.
The 23-year resident, who raised his family in the town and is active with the Patriots Jets Team, points out that the board is specifically responsible for parks, landscaping, water and wastewater and not other matters in Discovery Bay.
"I don't want people to confuse or convolute (the district's role) with anything else," Temby said.
Having reliable water and wastewater is important to the quality of life of town residents and local property values, he said.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.