Measure A, a term-limits law for Valley Water, is called deceptive by opponents

Daily Post Staff Writer

Santa Clara County voters are deciding on a measure that will allow longtime Valley Water board members to stay on beyond term limits that were passed in 2010.

The ballot measure — Measure A — is opposed by critics for being a “deceptive” power grab because of how the ballot language is worded.

The measure asks voters if Valley Water should “limit board members to four successive four-year terms.” The current rules, approved by 75% of voters in 2010, limit board members to three terms in a row.

Two board members were in office at the time, and they’re now reaching their three-term limit. Three board members will term out in 2024, unless Measure A passes.

“The politicians supporting this power grab aren’t telling you the truth: they call their deception to extend their terms a ‘limit’ because they’re so desperate to cling to office,” the argument against Measure A says.

Two Valley Water board members, Linda LeZotte and Nai Hsueh, and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo signed the argument against Measure A.

The measure could benefit LeZotte and Director Tony Estremera, who are both termed out in November.
Estremera has been on the board since 1996. Since term limits didn’t take effect until voters passed a measure in 2010, Estremera hasn’t been impacted until now.

Three more board members — Hsueh, Barbara Keegan and Richard Santos — are halfway through their final term.

Santos has been on the board since 2000.

Election will cost $3.2 million

The board first discussed term limits in December, and then put the measure on the ballot in February on a 4-3 vote. The election will cost the district $3.2 million.

Board members in favor of another term, including North County representative Gary Kremen of Palo Alto, said having the same leaders would help the district face unprecedented challenges.

Valley Water CEO Rick Callendar said longer term limits would help the district face issues from climate change, such as drought, sea level rise and more intense storms. Complex projects, like the replacement of the Anderson Dam seismic retrofit, are underway.

Callendar said new board members could change course on big projects mid-way through, costing taxpayers “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The district is using the same ballot language that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors used in 1991 to go from a two-term to a three-term limit, Callendar said.

$59,000 salary

Valley Water board members receive a $59,000 salary plus benefits, including pet insurance, according to opponents of Measure A. However the pet insurance option comes at no cost to the taxpayers.
The San Jose City Council took the unusual step of opposing another jurisdiction’s measure when they passed a resolution opposing the measure in April.


  1. The article neglects to mention that all 3 women Board Members; Barbara Keegan, Nai Hsueh and Linda LeZotte, voted to oppose this self-serving and deceptive ballot measure. All 4 male Board Members voted in favor of spending more than $3 million dollars of public money to place this on the ballot.
    Please don’t be fooled. Vote no on Measure A.

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