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Ross Valley School district meet about policies, goals

Wednesday, August 15, 2007
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
district headquarters at 110 Shaw Drive.

School district will talk about policies, goals
Staff Report
Article Launched: 08/11/2007 09:42:18 PM PDT from

Ross Valley school officials meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday to discuss policies and goals.
Trustees meet at district headquarters at 110 Shaw Drive.

The session is open to the public.

Ross Valley School District
The Ross Valley School District serves the elementary educational needs of the children from Fairfax, San Anselmo and surrounding unincorporated areas or Marin ... - 13k - Cached

Seven people are vying for a vacant seat on the Ross Valley Sanitary District Board of Directors that became available when director Brian Oliva resigned.
Applicants for the position, to be appointed by the district board, are Robert Ahern of Fairfax; Lowell Dwyer of Fairfax; Thomas Gaffney of Ross; Marcia Johnson of Fairfax; Kenneth Mayer of Fairfax; Scott Schneider of Fairfax; and Lee Taubeneck of San Anselmo.

"I was surprised to see we got that many," said interim District Manager Paul Causey. "We're very pleased."

Directors meet Monday night and will set a date for interviewing the candidates.

The district is coming off two years of problems and an election in which voters tossed out incumbents in favor of a newcomer and a long-time employee who had resigned, then received a $275,000 settlement over allegations of a hostile work environment. The district is the largest sanitary district in Marin County, covering Fairfax, San Anselmo, Sleepy Hollow, Ross, Kentfield, Larkspur and Greenbrae.

The Marin County Civil Grand Jury severely criticized the board for its handling of a 475,000-gallon waste water spill that occurred during the Dec. 31, 2005, flood, spending ratepayer money for alcohol and cigars on trips and



neglecting the system's pipes.
After the upset election and subsequent resignation of the district's long-time attorney, the new board responded with promises to improve its sewage spill reports and explore a possible bond measure that would pay for a major upgrade of the district's aging pipe system. It also set up a policy allowing for the removal of board members who fail to participate in meetings and ended a long-standing compensation practice in which directors received close to $200 each time they signed employee paychecks.

Oliva, who missed many meetings but received thousands of dollars in compensation, resigned in May, citing health issues. His term ends June 2008.

The candidates for Oliva's seat have a wide variety of experience in local politics, building and business.

Ahern is a former member of the U.S. Air Force who attended Eastern New Mexico University, is a member of the Environmental Forum of Marin, graduate of the Environmental Training Program and touts extensive experience working on water quality-control issues.

Dwyer is a Ross Valley native who has a bachelor's degree in geology and a master's in business administration from Santa Clara University, a long list of jobs working in finance and real estate, and two children in college.

Gaffney is a financial expert who has consulted for more than 300 sanitation districts in California, including the Ross Valley district. He was raised in Marin. holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in finance from the University of California at Berkeley, belongs to the Marin Emergency Radio Authority, represented all Ross Valley towns on the Marin County Solid Waste Local Task force and served as co-chairman of a committee that recently passed a bond measure for the Ross School.

Johnson attended Boston University and is the controller of the Marin Country Club, where she is responsible for $21 million in projects and creating budgets. She has served in volunteer positions with the Fairfax Park and Recreation Commission, the Family Law Center of Marin, National Women's Political Caucus, Fairfax School District School Site Council and the Ross Valley Sanitary District.

Mayer is a Corte Madera native who graduated from the University of Nevada at Reno with degrees in economics and animal husbandry, earned credentials in math and science, owns a general building contracting business and is a former member of several government committees in Fairfax. He also serves on the Tamalpais Union High School District Career Technical Education Advisory Committee, teaches construction classes at Redwood and Novato high schools and received a Golden Bell Award this year.

Schneider has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Davis and a master's degree in civil engineering from California State University at Sacramento. He works for the city of San Rafael's Department of Public Works Engineering Division, supervises nine employees who are in charge of capital improvement projects, and previously worked as a consultant who designed water and sewage pipeline systems.

Taubeneck has a master's in environmental engineering from UC Davis with an emphasis on water quality. He is a state-certified waste water treatment operator, worked for the Regional Water Quality Control Board in the Central Valley and serves as deputy director of the California Department of Transportation's District 4 in Oakland.

Causey said directors receive $202 for every day spent conducting district business. Current directors must appoint a new member by July 23.

"Otherwise the Board of Supervisors can make the appointment," he said.

Read more San Anselmo stories at the IJ's San Anselmo page.
Contact Tad Whitaker via e-mail at twhitaker [at]

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