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January 19, 2021

Opinion, October 2nd

Voting for SLVWD New Board Candidate
As you know, due to the CZU fire, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District faces many challenges in the years ahead. Clean drinking water is something many of us will never again take for granted. This November, voters will be faced with seating new members on the SLVWD board. Now more than ever we need someone like Gail Mahood.
           Gail, recently retired Professor of Geology at Stanford University, has the technical background in hydrology, geology, and climate patterns to make the best decisions that will ensure that our water system continues to provide households with clean water. Post-fire safety of our water supply will require a long-term program to ensure clean water. Gail’s experience at Stanford as a member of the university’s budget and planning group will be a major asset.
          Gail has become involved with SLVWD in the past several months by attending board meetings and has joined the SLVWD’s Engineering Committee. Being familiar with workings of the governing body will mean a seamless transition.
         This position requires many hours of study, attending numerous board and committee meetings as well as meeting with constituents. It is a huge time commitment and I am thrilled that Gail Mahood has stepped forward to represent the water interests of our valley.
Her extensive scientific background will serve our valley well and help build towards a better future. Please join me in voting for Gail Mahood!

Nancy Gerdt, Felton resident

Covering the CZU Fires
While the last couple of weeks coverage of the fires has been great and informative the paper seems to only concentrate on Boulder Creek Fire department and it’s chief when in fact there are several fire departments in the San Lorenzo Valley that worked just as hard. Ben Lomond fire department was sent out everywhere including up to Boulder Creek while fighting the Empire Grade- Alba Rd fire area that was headed into Brookdale and Ben Lomond.  Their wildland fire crew was under the command of Cal Fire fought everywhere Calfire went.
When Calfire had to move on several retiree volunteers showed up at the BL firehouse and moved in working along side the younger firefighters. Volunteer firefighters, everywhere, are a great group, they work tirelessly putting out fires while worrying about the safety of family and friends and loosing wages from everyday jobs they have to give up. We owe them more than THANKS.  A special thanks go out to Morgan Scarborough and the Scarborough family who opened up their BL store to provide extra equipment to the departments.  Morgan was on the fire lines also.  Yes most of the fire was in Boulder Creek but Ben Lomond, Felton, Zyante and Scotts Valley were there assisting them in saving the Valley and surrounding areas.  All need to be recognized.

Sharon Burgess, Ben Lomond

Voting for SLVWD New Board Candidate
I am writing to explain why I am strongly supporting Gail Mahood for one of the two open positions on the Board of Director for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District. Gail has over 40 years of experience studying and teaching about earth sciences, including hydrology, geology, and watershed management. Gail’s extensive scientific experience in both geology and water issues would be a huge asset, as the SLV Water Board grapples with how to balance water supplies from surface and ground water and works to manage the aftermath of the CZU fire. Many readers have certainly read about the potential for massive debris flows following the extensive areas that burned, and having somebody on the board who deeply understands erosion processes and risks will be invaluable as our forests and community recover. In addition, Gail is gifted in communicating complex issues about water infrastructure, water quality, and erosion in an understandable way to people with a range of scientific backgrounds, which is key for this position. I encourage you to read for yourself her discussion of important topics for the water district at https://www.friendsofsanlorenzovalleywater.org/2020-election-gail-mahood.
Gail also brings extensive leadership, budget management, and teamwork skills from her many years as a college professor and is experienced working with people with divergent views on complex issues. She is committed to working with other SLVWD Directors to improve the efficiency of decision-making and to focus discussions on the issues that have the most important fiscal and environmental effects on SLV residents. She will work with her fellow Directors to improve the sustainability of our water supply system and do so in a way that minimizes costs to ratepayers

What would it tell voters in a local election if one candidate was endorsed by some of the most high-profile Republican, Independent, and Democratic leaders in the area? What kind of unifying individual might inspire that type of support?
Gail Mahood, who is running for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District’s Board of Directors, has achieved exactly that.
In addition to our County Supervisor and State Assemblymember, Gail is endorsed by the past president of the SLV Water District Board of Directors and multiple members of the SLVWD’s Environmental Committee. She also has the support of people who’ve served on our school board and in firefighting roles along with local business owners, faith leaders, and general community members. Why are such a wide range of people signing on to support her?
As a recently retired geology professor with 40 years’ experience at Stanford University, including administrative work on major budget decisions and human resources issues, Gail’s qualifications are unparalleled. Some of her supporters are drawn by her fiscal responsibility and budget chops; some by her scientific understanding of watersheds, hydrology, land use and climate issues. All her supporters recognize how valuable her post-fire recovery knowledge is – including her deep understanding of natural hazards like post-fire debris flows and the science of how fires can affect water quality. And if you’re like me, you’ll find her level-headed, solution-focused leadership style a breath of fresh air.
Our community needs to elect a candidate of Gail’s caliber to help steward our water district through the challenges we face right now. To learn more about Gail’s priorities and qualifications, check out her website: Gail4SLVWD.com
Thank you for voting responsibly to keep SLV Strong!
Joni Martin, SLV resident since 1990