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Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Special District

San Lorenzo Valley Water DistrictCandidate for Director

Photo of Beth Thomas

Beth Thomas

Retired/Education Director
3,728 votes (16.47%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • There are many important issues facing our water district right now, first and foremost is recovery from the wildfires and rebuilding critical water infrastructure that was destroyed in those fires.
  • The district must make decisions both in the short and long term, that will safeguard our water system, update the infrastructure, protect the environment and our precious watershed all aimed toward creating a 21st century water system.
  • A collaborative relationship among board members and staff as well as a commitment to provide active and open communication with ratepayers is what I will bring to the table.



Profession:Retired Education Director
Child Advocate, CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates — Appointed position (2017–current)
Director of Education and Training, SEIU Local 521 (2008–2016)
San Lorenzo Valley Middle School - Librarian, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District (1979–2008)

Community Activities

Board Member, Ben Lomond Quaker Center (2020–current)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Bob Fultz, Past Vice-president - San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board of Directors
  • Rick Moran - Director, San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board of Directors

Elected Officials (1)

  • Steve Swan, President San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board of Directors

Questions & Answers

Questions from LWV Santa Cruz County (2)

Over the next year, what do you see as the two biggest challenges to be addressed in this office?
Answer from Beth Thomas:

There are many important issues facing our water district right now, first and foresmost is recovery from the wildfires and rebuilding the critical water infrastructure that was destroyed in those fires.  Many important decisions will be made during this time of rebuilding and restoring.  these decisions will include both temporary measures for getting our system back on line and ready for the winter and others that will permanently replace and improve our water infrastructure.  I will work to ensure that in both cases, those decisions provide for the highest levels of safety for water users and that we maximize FEMA and other funding sources that will help us rebuild now and for the future.

The district is currently mid-way through its participation in the Santa Margarita Groundwater Agencey development of a state mandated Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) which will govern the use of the Santa Margarita Basin, providing water for the county well into the future.  We need to have strong and forward thinking board member representatives at that table to protect the district's and the San Lorenzo Valley's water interests.

What in your background, personal or professional, has prepared you to meet these challenges?
Answer from Beth Thomas:

I have been a resident of the San Lorenzo Valley for forty years.  I have raised four children in this community and worked for twenty-seven years in public education in the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District.  My roots are deep here and I have a committment to the community and the precious resource that is our watershed.

I spent eight years working in senior management as Director of Education and training for Service Employees International Union - SEIU Local 521, a 40K member public sector union.  I arrived at a time when the state's mega-locals were being formed requiring a complete organizational change process, blending five disparate locals from all over the state of California into one cohesively organized and effective body.  In leading this process I learned how to foster and support the kind of real organizational change which includes all voices and utilizes the talents and abilities of all participants.  The SLV Water District in 2018 began to successfully restore a healthier organizational structure and relationship within the community and I believe that my experience and leadership will support and strengthen that change.

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