News

Santa Clara Valley Water District candidates focus on a sustainable water future

Incumbent Gary Kremen and challenger Rebecca Eisenberg differ on who should pay for planned water purification plant in Palo Alto

Two incumbents on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors, Gary Kremen and Tony Estremera, face challengers this November.

Kremen, whose district 7 includes Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and southern parts of San Jose, is going head-to-head with Rebecca Eisenberg, a Palo Alto attorney.

Valley Water is confronting multiple challenges as it tries to develop a workable strategy to keep water flowing, protect streams and control flooding now and into the county's future. The district is facing a historic drought, a federally mandated infrastructure rebuild that has sidelined Anderson Reservoir – the county's largest – and an astronomical cost increase for its planned desalination plant in Palo Alto.

While the district does not provide water to Palo Alto, which is a customer of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, it funds water-related infrastructure projects in and affecting the city. The district's annual budget is $917 million.

Kremen, a businessman, engineer and founder of the dating website Match.com, first won a seat on the board in 2014. As chairman of the district board, he worked with the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (SFCJPA) to complete the first phase of the San Francisquito Creek flood control project in East Palo Alto in 2016.

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He also supported the indefinite extension of the water district tax, Measure S, in 2020, which brings in $45.5 million annually for the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection program. The program uses the funds for flood control, seismic upgrades and wildlife protection. Voters approved the tax measure by 75.06%.

He has supported and advocated for alternative drinking-water sources, such as purified water, to expand the county's water supply.

Gary Kremen. Photo courtesy Gary Kremen.

Kremen has also gotten into some hot water. He also voted to put Measure A on the 2022 primary ballot, a measure to extend the limit on board members' terms from three to four; the misleading ballot description drew criticism for stating the measure would "limit" the number of terms, not increase the existing number allowed.

He pulled out of the election for county tax assessor this year and temporarily removed himself from the board's chairmanship after allegations of sexual harassment. A campaign staffer accused him of sharing photos of himself and his partner nude from the waist up in bed. Kremen said on Wednesday the photo was a breastfeeding photo.

Kremen has said in news reports that the photos were part of a large Dropbox dump used to store campaign-related photos. He has said he hadn't checked to see if any were of an intimate nature. Other staffers have also accused him of bullying. He requested an independent ethics investigation to clear himself, and a preliminary summary is expected in early October.

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Eisenberg has cited her long career working on business and financial teams and her work for community good as some of her qualifications for the board. She took PayPal public in 2002, merged Flip Video with Cisco in 2008, and spun Reddit off its former parent company in 2012. On the nonprofit side, Eisenberg helped launch charitable organizations including the Craigslist Foundation and Kiva.org, an international microfinance lending nonprofit.

She describes herself as a team player, "forward thinker" and a problem solver.

Rebecca Eisenberg. Photo courtesy Rebecca Eisenberg.

Growing up near the shores of Lake Michigan, Eisenberg said she has been a passionate water advocate and environmentalist her entire life. In 1983, while in high school, she conducted experimental studies on the eutrophication of Lake Michigan that became a part of the University of Wisconsin's growing body of research, she said.

The following summer, she spent three weeks in Israel working on a kibbutz at what was then the world's leading manufacturer of agricultural drip irrigation products, which gave her hands-on experience with water technologies in desert conditions.

At Stanford University, she completed the newly launched human biology curriculum, which taught pre-med biology within the context of sociological and ecological consequences of human actions, she said.

The Weekly asked both candidates for their views on four topics related to their qualifications, drought mitigation, future water planning and paying for the desalination plant in Palo Alto. Here, edited for length, are their responses:

Q: Why do you think you are the best person for the job?

EISENBERG: I have a 30-year record of successful accomplishments in Silicon Valley, working on diverse teams to achieve mutually beneficial goals. My work has changed lives by creating economic opportunity, well-paid jobs, greater equity, sustainability and fairness to employees, residents, businesspeople, and communities. Additionally, I am known for my integrity, honesty, transparency and work ethic. I am a team player, forward-thinker and problem solver who approaches challenges with a perspective of positive long-term consequences and community benefit.

KREMEN: With 12 years of water leadership and being both an engineer and a business person, I have a demonstrated track record of standing up for Palo Alto residents on water issues. An accomplishment includes jumpstarting the downstream repair of the flood prone San Francisquito Creek after a 19-year delay. Another accomplishment includes stopping the destruction of Palo Alto creeks by increasing creek cleanup while rehousing the homeless who live in these environmentally sensitive areas. Yet other accomplishments include fighting southern California/Big Agriculture water grabs, increased funding for conservation and water recycling including a $16 million direct grant for Palo Alto's wastewater treatment plant for salt removals so the water can be used for Palo Alto's redwood trees.

Q: We are in a serious drought. What is your vision for keeping the water flowing now, and into the future?

EISENBERG: The current drought is unlikely to end any time soon. Meanwhile, our existing natural water resources are quickly depleting. In California, as elsewhere, we are depleting water from rivers, aquifers, reservoirs and the ground at rates that are exponentially faster than what can be replenished. We are running out of water, and most efforts to increase short-term water supplies come with great risk to our environment and communities.

To preserve water availability for future generations, we must materially improve the way we use our existing resources. For example, currently, other communities and countries recycle the majority of their wastewater. Israel, for example, successfully recycles almost 95% of its wastewater. The technology exists to follow in their footsteps, and Valley Water has the budget to make these infrastructure improvements. But we must get to work now.

Water recycling, recapture and re-use is the most proven step forward in our drought conditions. We recognize that diverting and conveying water from elsewhere leads vulnerable and wealthy communities being deprived of water resources they rely on to survive. Tunnels, dams and other means of diversion cost billions of taxpayer dollars, potentially greatly increasing water bills while at the same time offering minimal benefit. They also irreparably harm fragile ecosystems, increasing our drought conditions by contributing to climate change. Better management of existing resources is a proven path forward.

KREMEN: The first part of my vision is to continue to expand funding for water conservation for Palo Alto residences, businesses and nonprofits. The second is being sure we have emergency water supply, which I led our board in obtaining ahead of the drought and ahead of other water districts. The third is to implement net-zero water conservation codes for new construction.

Q: What is your position on developing alternative water sources? What does that look like?

EISENBERG: I strongly favor immediate material investment into transitioning current infrastructure to modern infrastructure that will enable recycling and reuse of the majority of our wastewater.

I also believe that we need to urgently invest in infrastructure that will better enable the recapture of lost water runoff. Regrowth and regeneration of canopy and native plants also are essential elements of that process, as is, of course, vastly improved protection of existing native plants and trees.

Also, desalination has potential promise, but desalination must be done without creating harmful impacts on our natural environment and ecosystems.

KREMEN: I strongly support developing alternative water sources such as water recycling, desalination and conservation. I have voted for funding all of the above-mentioned projects (conservation and water-recycling funding; the wastewater treatment plant for salt removal, etc.) while keeping water rates reasonable. In addition, I negotiated a unique arrangement, which is in no other city in Santa Clara County, for a backup water supply for Palo Alto.

Q: The cost of building a desalination plant in Palo Alto recently rose from $20 million to an estimated $53 million. The district was to pay $16 million and Palo Alto and Mountain View would share the balance of that sum – 25% and 75% respectively. Should the district take on more of the cost? What would you envision to get the project built?

EISENBERG: I believe that the Water District needs to pay for this plant entirely and also pay for all other water treatment facilities and infrastructure. We are in urgent need of upgraded infrastructure to enable water recycling, recapture and reuse. We are running out of water, and water is not something we can make. Our best path forward is to take advantage of existing technologies that have been proven to enable better use of existing resources.

The district needs to pay in full for these projects for a number of reasons. First, infrastructure always by definition benefits the community at large far more than it benefits any specific individual or town. Second, it wastes valuable time and resources to put cities and communities in situations where they are forced to negotiate with each other for financial resources and benefits.

The district has more than ample budget to cover these expenses. Putting in context of the $2.9 billion Pacheco Dam project that my opponent and his allies on the Water District Board continue to champion, the cost of this water treatment is de minimis. Valley Water's budget has been described as $1 billion on the low end, and $10 billion dollars on the high end by sitting board directors. Add those sums to the billions of dollars of federal and state funding that was newly created by the recent Inflation Reduction Act and last year's Infrastructure Act, and it is highly likely that large grants are within reach, especially when earmarked for sustainable green infrastructure projects. Green infrastructure and green jobs are at the center of both our president's and our governor's official water policies, and we are not just able to obtain funding for these improvements, but we are instructed to do this work.

I favor a Green New Deal approach, which creates new local jobs, upgrading infrastructure to enable water recycling, recapture and reuse, and also preserving existing ecosystems and regenerating new growth where ecosystems and trees have been destroyed.

KREMEN: In the past, getting additional funds for the Palo Alto desalination plant has been challenging as the majority of the board is San Jose-focused and north county gets neglected. The good news: I think I have convinced a majority of current board members to support additional funds for Palo Alto. I am working very hard to raise even more additional money for the desalination/salt removal/pollution reduction project, including lobbying the federal and state government for additional funds.

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Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Santa Clara Valley Water District candidates focus on a sustainable water future

Incumbent Gary Kremen and challenger Rebecca Eisenberg differ on who should pay for planned water purification plant in Palo Alto

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 28, 2022, 4:45 pm
Updated: Wed, Sep 28, 2022, 6:02 pm

Two incumbents on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors, Gary Kremen and Tony Estremera, face challengers this November.

Kremen, whose district 7 includes Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and southern parts of San Jose, is going head-to-head with Rebecca Eisenberg, a Palo Alto attorney.

Valley Water is confronting multiple challenges as it tries to develop a workable strategy to keep water flowing, protect streams and control flooding now and into the county's future. The district is facing a historic drought, a federally mandated infrastructure rebuild that has sidelined Anderson Reservoir – the county's largest – and an astronomical cost increase for its planned desalination plant in Palo Alto.

While the district does not provide water to Palo Alto, which is a customer of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, it funds water-related infrastructure projects in and affecting the city. The district's annual budget is $917 million.

Kremen, a businessman, engineer and founder of the dating website Match.com, first won a seat on the board in 2014. As chairman of the district board, he worked with the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority (SFCJPA) to complete the first phase of the San Francisquito Creek flood control project in East Palo Alto in 2016.

He also supported the indefinite extension of the water district tax, Measure S, in 2020, which brings in $45.5 million annually for the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection program. The program uses the funds for flood control, seismic upgrades and wildlife protection. Voters approved the tax measure by 75.06%.

He has supported and advocated for alternative drinking-water sources, such as purified water, to expand the county's water supply.

Kremen has also gotten into some hot water. He also voted to put Measure A on the 2022 primary ballot, a measure to extend the limit on board members' terms from three to four; the misleading ballot description drew criticism for stating the measure would "limit" the number of terms, not increase the existing number allowed.

He pulled out of the election for county tax assessor this year and temporarily removed himself from the board's chairmanship after allegations of sexual harassment. A campaign staffer accused him of sharing photos of himself and his partner nude from the waist up in bed. Kremen said on Wednesday the photo was a breastfeeding photo.

Kremen has said in news reports that the photos were part of a large Dropbox dump used to store campaign-related photos. He has said he hadn't checked to see if any were of an intimate nature. Other staffers have also accused him of bullying. He requested an independent ethics investigation to clear himself, and a preliminary summary is expected in early October.

Eisenberg has cited her long career working on business and financial teams and her work for community good as some of her qualifications for the board. She took PayPal public in 2002, merged Flip Video with Cisco in 2008, and spun Reddit off its former parent company in 2012. On the nonprofit side, Eisenberg helped launch charitable organizations including the Craigslist Foundation and Kiva.org, an international microfinance lending nonprofit.

She describes herself as a team player, "forward thinker" and a problem solver.

Growing up near the shores of Lake Michigan, Eisenberg said she has been a passionate water advocate and environmentalist her entire life. In 1983, while in high school, she conducted experimental studies on the eutrophication of Lake Michigan that became a part of the University of Wisconsin's growing body of research, she said.

The following summer, she spent three weeks in Israel working on a kibbutz at what was then the world's leading manufacturer of agricultural drip irrigation products, which gave her hands-on experience with water technologies in desert conditions.

At Stanford University, she completed the newly launched human biology curriculum, which taught pre-med biology within the context of sociological and ecological consequences of human actions, she said.

The Weekly asked both candidates for their views on four topics related to their qualifications, drought mitigation, future water planning and paying for the desalination plant in Palo Alto. Here, edited for length, are their responses:

Q: Why do you think you are the best person for the job?

EISENBERG: I have a 30-year record of successful accomplishments in Silicon Valley, working on diverse teams to achieve mutually beneficial goals. My work has changed lives by creating economic opportunity, well-paid jobs, greater equity, sustainability and fairness to employees, residents, businesspeople, and communities. Additionally, I am known for my integrity, honesty, transparency and work ethic. I am a team player, forward-thinker and problem solver who approaches challenges with a perspective of positive long-term consequences and community benefit.

KREMEN: With 12 years of water leadership and being both an engineer and a business person, I have a demonstrated track record of standing up for Palo Alto residents on water issues. An accomplishment includes jumpstarting the downstream repair of the flood prone San Francisquito Creek after a 19-year delay. Another accomplishment includes stopping the destruction of Palo Alto creeks by increasing creek cleanup while rehousing the homeless who live in these environmentally sensitive areas. Yet other accomplishments include fighting southern California/Big Agriculture water grabs, increased funding for conservation and water recycling including a $16 million direct grant for Palo Alto's wastewater treatment plant for salt removals so the water can be used for Palo Alto's redwood trees.

Q: We are in a serious drought. What is your vision for keeping the water flowing now, and into the future?

EISENBERG: The current drought is unlikely to end any time soon. Meanwhile, our existing natural water resources are quickly depleting. In California, as elsewhere, we are depleting water from rivers, aquifers, reservoirs and the ground at rates that are exponentially faster than what can be replenished. We are running out of water, and most efforts to increase short-term water supplies come with great risk to our environment and communities.

To preserve water availability for future generations, we must materially improve the way we use our existing resources. For example, currently, other communities and countries recycle the majority of their wastewater. Israel, for example, successfully recycles almost 95% of its wastewater. The technology exists to follow in their footsteps, and Valley Water has the budget to make these infrastructure improvements. But we must get to work now.

Water recycling, recapture and re-use is the most proven step forward in our drought conditions. We recognize that diverting and conveying water from elsewhere leads vulnerable and wealthy communities being deprived of water resources they rely on to survive. Tunnels, dams and other means of diversion cost billions of taxpayer dollars, potentially greatly increasing water bills while at the same time offering minimal benefit. They also irreparably harm fragile ecosystems, increasing our drought conditions by contributing to climate change. Better management of existing resources is a proven path forward.

KREMEN: The first part of my vision is to continue to expand funding for water conservation for Palo Alto residences, businesses and nonprofits. The second is being sure we have emergency water supply, which I led our board in obtaining ahead of the drought and ahead of other water districts. The third is to implement net-zero water conservation codes for new construction.

Q: What is your position on developing alternative water sources? What does that look like?

EISENBERG: I strongly favor immediate material investment into transitioning current infrastructure to modern infrastructure that will enable recycling and reuse of the majority of our wastewater.

I also believe that we need to urgently invest in infrastructure that will better enable the recapture of lost water runoff. Regrowth and regeneration of canopy and native plants also are essential elements of that process, as is, of course, vastly improved protection of existing native plants and trees.

Also, desalination has potential promise, but desalination must be done without creating harmful impacts on our natural environment and ecosystems.

KREMEN: I strongly support developing alternative water sources such as water recycling, desalination and conservation. I have voted for funding all of the above-mentioned projects (conservation and water-recycling funding; the wastewater treatment plant for salt removal, etc.) while keeping water rates reasonable. In addition, I negotiated a unique arrangement, which is in no other city in Santa Clara County, for a backup water supply for Palo Alto.

Q: The cost of building a desalination plant in Palo Alto recently rose from $20 million to an estimated $53 million. The district was to pay $16 million and Palo Alto and Mountain View would share the balance of that sum – 25% and 75% respectively. Should the district take on more of the cost? What would you envision to get the project built?

EISENBERG: I believe that the Water District needs to pay for this plant entirely and also pay for all other water treatment facilities and infrastructure. We are in urgent need of upgraded infrastructure to enable water recycling, recapture and reuse. We are running out of water, and water is not something we can make. Our best path forward is to take advantage of existing technologies that have been proven to enable better use of existing resources.

The district needs to pay in full for these projects for a number of reasons. First, infrastructure always by definition benefits the community at large far more than it benefits any specific individual or town. Second, it wastes valuable time and resources to put cities and communities in situations where they are forced to negotiate with each other for financial resources and benefits.

The district has more than ample budget to cover these expenses. Putting in context of the $2.9 billion Pacheco Dam project that my opponent and his allies on the Water District Board continue to champion, the cost of this water treatment is de minimis. Valley Water's budget has been described as $1 billion on the low end, and $10 billion dollars on the high end by sitting board directors. Add those sums to the billions of dollars of federal and state funding that was newly created by the recent Inflation Reduction Act and last year's Infrastructure Act, and it is highly likely that large grants are within reach, especially when earmarked for sustainable green infrastructure projects. Green infrastructure and green jobs are at the center of both our president's and our governor's official water policies, and we are not just able to obtain funding for these improvements, but we are instructed to do this work.

I favor a Green New Deal approach, which creates new local jobs, upgrading infrastructure to enable water recycling, recapture and reuse, and also preserving existing ecosystems and regenerating new growth where ecosystems and trees have been destroyed.

KREMEN: In the past, getting additional funds for the Palo Alto desalination plant has been challenging as the majority of the board is San Jose-focused and north county gets neglected. The good news: I think I have convinced a majority of current board members to support additional funds for Palo Alto. I am working very hard to raise even more additional money for the desalination/salt removal/pollution reduction project, including lobbying the federal and state government for additional funds.

Comments

peppered
Registered user
Community Center
on Sep 29, 2022 at 10:45 am
peppered, Community Center
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 10:45 am

All current members of the current board who put that extremely misleading proposal on the ballot, "limiting" their terms when they were actually increasing them, should be booted out (not just voted out). Especially Mr. Kremen, given his dubious character.


rita vrhel
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2022 at 11:53 am
rita vrhel, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 11:53 am

i will vote for Eisenberg. She will shake Valley Water up with her intelligent questions and demands for action.

Several years ago, as a member of Save Palo Alto's Groundwater, I attended numerous meetings at Valley Water requesting that Valley Water limit or at least charge for groundwater extraction 2nd to commercial or residential basement construction.

No budge. No change. Staid. Plenty of nice people but not forward thinking, I am sad to say. Could have made a positive change years ago, but did not.

Finally realized I was wasting my time and stopped going.

Brian Schmidt was defeated by Kremen; sad day for Palo Alto.


Claude Ezran
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 29, 2022 at 3:28 pm
Claude Ezran, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 3:28 pm

My experience with Rebecca Eisenberg when she was running for the Palo Alto City Council was that, although well-intentioned, she has a tendency to make many off-the-wall, greatly exaggerated, claims with zero facts to back them up. In addition, on NextDoor, she also often criticizes the Palo Alto Police Department without any proof to back her statements. She has made it clear that she would like to "defund the police", a very unwise and politically suicidal position. I will definitely not vote for her.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2022 at 3:39 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 3:39 pm

Observation: Mr. Kremen has served us pretty well in his time on the board. I haven't seen evidence that the charges mentioned here were substantiated. Rebecca Eisenberg may be bright, but she is combative and often rude to those who disagree with her. I don't think she has the temperament needed to move people with different views toward consensus that is always necessary to garner support for creative solutions and projects we want. That is what we need on this democratically-run board. If you want to see an example of what I am talking about, watch the videos of her interviews for a Palo Alto Planning & Transportation Commission seat. Whether you agree with her points or not, her conduct is often inappropriate.


Frank
Registered user
Green Acres
on Sep 29, 2022 at 4:01 pm
Frank , Green Acres
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 4:01 pm

Ms. Eisenberg's comments regarding canceling current projects including water storage are foolhardy and pound foolish. We will continue to be faced with long-term drought conditions and will need as much storage as possible. Our infrastructure is badly in need of repair and cancelling contracts would put the district at high-risk for litigation. I don't believe she has a grasp of the magnitude of projects and political implications that the water district takes on.


FixTheCreek
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 29, 2022 at 4:09 pm
FixTheCreek, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 4:09 pm

Kremen got Water Board funding for the first actual fix of San Francisquito Creek. We have been waiting 19 years for this. The Water Board (like most of the government in our County) is very San Jose focused. A great example would be VTA - they took at the money to San Jose.

Getting money so our neighborhood don't flood like in 1998 is a miracle - unless you like getting sandbags.

With respect to Ms. Eisenberg, we watch Palo Alto City Council meetings and she is always there. As far as my calculations show she made comments at 61 of the last 133 meeting and at 15 of 56 of the last PAUSD meeting. I would like to know how City Council people feel about Ms. Eisenberg and if any have endorsed in the race.


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2022 at 6:10 pm
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 6:10 pm

@peppered,

“All current members of the current board who put that extremely misleading proposal on the ballot, "limiting" their terms when they were actually increasing them, should be booted out (not just voted out). Especially Mr. Kremen, given his dubious character.”

I liked Rebecca Eisenberg for City Council when she ran last election, and thought we would be lucky to have her, a breath of fresh air from those who use terms “confrontational” for women and get along in their tight cliques but can’t tell when something is sinking.

Ms Eisenberg has my vote.


Palo Alto Madiha
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2022 at 7:28 pm
Palo Alto Madiha, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 7:28 pm
Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on Sep 29, 2022 at 8:18 pm
Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 8:18 pm

Gary Kremen has done an excellent job of representing Palo Alto on the Santa Clara County Water District Board. He has made progress on much needed flood control projects for San Francisquito Creek. He has shown that he can work constructively and cooperatively with other Board members to get things done. He deserves our support and our vote.


Resident of Palo Alto
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2022 at 10:27 pm
Resident of Palo Alto, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2022 at 10:27 pm

I support Gary Kremen because he gets results. We have flood protection for the San Francisquito Creek in progress thanks to his leadership. The tide gate is being fixed due to his leadership. His leadership was instrumental in getting the purified water plant funded by Valley Water, and he will get money for the increased cost if he stays on the board.

In contrast, Rebecca Eisenberg does not understand that Valley Water is a wholesaler and that retailers have water meters that do not differentiate indoor use from outdoor use. She speaks at plenty of meetings, but asks overly detailed questions that will slow down decision-making.


Sameoldthing
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2022 at 12:27 pm
Sameoldthing, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2022 at 12:27 pm

Rebecca Eisenberg is the change we need. Water reuse, recycling and work on infrastructure is the way forward. The current regime is costing us more and more at the tap. Why does everyone want to pay more?

Valley Water, a wholesaler, has increased water rates continuously. The current rate increase is 15%, which means increases at your water tap. The Pacheco Dam project has increased over 100% to $2.5 billion dollars. The amount raised for this, which Kremen constantly points to, will not cover 1/3rd of that amount. That means everyone here will be paying for it. The truth is under Kremen we will be paying more and more for antiquated systems. Even recycling plant championed by Kremen, which he presented to the Palo Alto City Council has more than doubled. Why? At the council meeting VW said it was because they based their projections on a San Diego model. Huh? And who pays--us. VW is also dreadfully behind nationally and state wide in recycling and reuse.

Not to mention the slew of lawsuits VW is being hit with which was reported in PA Online today!

Kremen is costing us more and more money. All the money he is pointing to as raising will not elevate the crushing costs of his programs.

The people of Palo Alto need a visionary like Eisenberg, she is smart, effective and will get the job done. Her website is https://rebecca4water2.com. She is the way forward!


Local Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 4, 2022 at 10:17 am
Local Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 10:17 am
Local Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 4, 2022 at 11:40 am
Local Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2022 at 11:40 am

Rebecca Eisenbergs comments at Palo Alto City Council often combine a combination of trending buzzword themes and poor logic. She is also combative. Watch her recent comments on the Business Tax as an example. I don't think she would be an effective member of the Santa Clara Water District Board.


Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 16, 2022 at 4:33 pm
Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2022 at 4:33 pm

Rebecca Eisenberg has extreme ideas that are not rooted in reality. When she ran for Palo Alto City Council, her platform included "blowing up discriminatory R1 zoning". Whatever you think of R1 zoning, such approach is not likely to bring any agreements or positive results.
During the recent League of Women Voters debate she said that we don't need any more money or infrastructure, and that we can meet all of our needs with just conservation. Of course we need conservation, but it is completely unrealistic to say that it will meet all of our needs. With her idealistic, naive and extreme ideas she is not a good candidate for the Water District Board.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2022 at 4:44 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2022 at 4:44 pm

I often watch CC meetings and have heard Rebecca Eisenberg speak many times. Sometimes multiple times in a single meeting. And I watched the video of her Planning Commission interview. I understand the criticisms. BUT, the status quo that constitutes business as usual in Palo Alto can be extremely frustrating. Ms. Eisenberg is not deterred by that. Sure, she could deliver her comments differently, but the more I watch the more I appreciate those amongst us who are willing to speak up and speak out.


Rebecca Eisenberg
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 17, 2022 at 11:42 pm
Rebecca Eisenberg, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 17, 2022 at 11:42 pm

Hm. "Resident" posted the exact same comments here that they did on another thread. Editor, doesn't that violate your rules? Here is the other article: Web Link

As I wrote there, Resident posts lies. Please watch the debate they reference here. It's awesome: Web Link

A new, bizarre personal insult they make is that I don't understand wholesalers. Having practiced law for 30 years and drafted dozens/hundreds of distribution agreements, I do know that: (1) ratepayers do not have meters because they are not given to them, which they can be; (2) wholesalers always have the legal ability to put restrictions on retailers and on the end user/customer, which Valley Water is doing otherwise in many ways; and (3) Having reviewed a few of VW's distribution agreements -- obtained with a Public Records Request bc they are kept from view -- I already observed some potential concerns. So I daresay that in my professional experience, I understand much better than the incumbent - and will help where he has failed.

As to the statement that I ask questions that are "too detailed" and thus may "slow down" proceedings, Yes! *Absolutely*. Looking closely into a government agency's plans to spend taxpayer money is an essential part of the job! And quite often, plans require slowing or ending. E.g. the President Hotel should not have converted from affordable housing to expensive commercial hotel. Castilleja should not build a commercial underground garage on a residential lot. And Sobrato should not destroy the Historic Fry's building and take away the community's plans to build the affordable housing they wanted. Asking questions to slow things down is a feature, not a bug.

Last, as to combative, my opponent has 11 complaints of sexual harassment and bullying against him. That is combative. Calling women who speak truth to power "combative" is more of the same.


Sameoldthing
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2022 at 1:32 pm
Sameoldthing, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 26, 2022 at 1:32 pm

It is official that Kremen an independent investigation determined that "Gary Kremen, a Valley Water board member up for reelection in November, violated several district policies when he bullied, verbally assaulted and threatened district workers." Is this who we want representing us?
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