Santa Clara Valley Water District candidates focus on a sustainable water future | September 30, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 30, 2022

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

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

by Sue Dremann

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

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Email Staff Writer Sue Dremann at [email protected]

Comments

Posted by peppered
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 29, 2022 at 10:45 am

peppered is a registered user.

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.


Posted by rita vrhel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2022 at 11:53 am

rita vrhel is a registered user.

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.


Posted by Claude Ezran
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 29, 2022 at 3:28 pm

Claude Ezran is a registered user.

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.


Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2022 at 3:39 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

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.


Posted by Frank
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 29, 2022 at 4:01 pm

Frank is a registered user.

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.


Posted by FixTheCreek
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 29, 2022 at 4:09 pm

FixTheCreek is a registered user.

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.


Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2022 at 6:10 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

@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.


Posted by Palo Alto Madiha
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2022 at 7:28 pm

Palo Alto Madiha is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 29, 2022 at 8:18 pm

Resident is a registered user.

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.


Posted by Resident of Palo Alto
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2022 at 10:27 pm

Resident of Palo Alto is a registered user.

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.


Posted by Sameoldthing
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2022 at 12:27 pm

Sameoldthing is a registered user.

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!


Posted by Local Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 4, 2022 at 10:17 am

Local Resident is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Local Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 4, 2022 at 11:40 am

Local Resident is a registered user.

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.


Posted by Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2022 at 4:33 pm

Resident is a registered user.

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.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2022 at 4:44 pm

Annette is a registered user.

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.


Posted by Rebecca Eisenberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 17, 2022 at 11:42 pm

Rebecca Eisenberg is a registered user.

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.


Posted by Sameoldthing
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2022 at 1:32 pm

Sameoldthing is a registered user.

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?
Web Link


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