Services District is up for grabs
Local elections can be won by such small margins — with lasting effects on boards more traditionally filled by incumbents, appointees, and the usual known suspects.
During times of uncertainty, there is opportunity for change. Locally, four of five board seats at the Humboldt Community Services District (HCSD) are open for this November 2020 Election.
HCSD provides water, sewer, and street lighting services to areas outside and adjacent to the city of Eureka.
Three of the four HCSD board seats will be open due to term limits.
The fourth and last seat will be open since a member stepped-down due to a moveout of the service area. (HCSD Board members must be HCSD ratepayers.) The appointee who fills this vacated seat will have to run in the November 2020 election to keep the seat.
It is noteworthy that former board member Desiree Davenport won the 2018 HCSD election by only 45 votes. Local elections can be won by such small margins — with lasting effects on boards more traditionally filled by incumbents, appointees, and the usual known suspects.
HCSD has a history of incumbents who run unchallenged, therefore, they do not usually have to run in an election. Instead, they have mostly been appointed (and reappointed) by each other.
While one may argue appointing board members is an efficient process, board members appointing board members can lead to closing the leadership loop and narrow the kind of diverse thinking necessary for community inclusiveness and resiliency.
HCSD’s current board members who decide issues important to ratepayers (like water rates, termination of water services for inability to pay, and water infrastructure like the failed Martin Slough Intercept) currently consist of: one current and one retired general contractor, one former mortgage lender now an economic development manager, and a realtor/property manager.
They will soon decide on extending services to the controversial McKay Tract development. Additionally, a petition for HCSD to expand services for the creation of open space and public parks—similar to what Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District (HBMWD) and the Manila Community Services District have done — will soon be submitted to HCSD.
HCSD board members commit to four-year terms. They meet at 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, for which they get paid $100 per meeting and receive full health insurance with $20 co-pays for family members. It’s more than fair compensation compared to other boards.
Humboldt County Elections Office (HCEO) has the following 2020 deadlines with fees.
Candidacy papers are available starting July 13, 2020. The filing deadline is Aug. 7, 2020, with an extension to Aug. 12, 2020 if incumbents do not file for candidacy at HCEO, 2426 Sixth St., in Eureka. (Check your water bill to confirm if you are an HCSD ratepayer.)
Humboldt County Elections Office
Humboldt Community Services District
https://humboldtcsd.org/ home 707-443-4550
(HCSD is not the same agency as the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, even though their names may be similar. Both do increasingly important work as water becomes a more precious resource.)
Vote. Run for office. Be part of the change. Four of five HCSD seats will be open for the November 2020 election. You only need to be an HCSD ratepayer to run for this opportunity.