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LeZotte, Kwok elected chair and vice chair of water board

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Contact: Marty Grimes
Office: (408) 265-2607, ext. 2881
Mobile: (408) 202-4398

Date: Jan. 10, 2012

San José, CA – Today, the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors unanimously elected District 4 representative, Linda J. LeZotte, to serve as board chair for 2012. Director Patrick S. Kwok, P.E., representing District 5, was elected vice chair.

In her opening address, Chair LeZotte thanked outgoing chair Don Gage for his collaborative approach to leadership and expressed her intention to lead with a similar tone.

“I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues and staff this year in moving the district forward in a very positive direction. It’s my intention to be inclusive and to be open to ideas not only from employees but also from my colleagues. We face challenges with the district in keeping the district fiscally sound, and we need to keep our eye on the ball.”

LeZotte will be presenting a State of the District address at the Jan. 31 water district board meeting and will lay out some of the priorities she hopes to accomplish in 2012.

Director LeZotte was elected in November 2010 to represent District 4, which includes the City of Campbell, portions of Willow Glen and the Cambrian, North Almaden Valley and Blossom Hill areas of San José.

LeZotte is a local attorney with 30 years of practice specializing in the areas of land use, environmental and municipal law and corporate development. For eight years, she served as a distinguished member of the San José City Council leading the green building/sustainability policy discussion, and six years as a San José Planning Commissioner. Linda is one of a select group of Silicon Valley and California attorneys who are accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional) in New Construction.

LeZotte chaired the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Sustainable Buildings Initiative, and serves on the Bay Area Climate Collaborative-Green Building Group, the Santa Clara County Cities Association Green Building Collaborative as well as the Advisory Board of Sustainable Silicon Valley. She served as a member of the Envision 2040 San Jose General Plan Task Force.

The board of directors appointed Patrick S. Kwok to the district board in 2007 to fill a vacancy. In 2008, voters elected Kwok to represent District 5 which, with the recent redistricting, now includes the cities of Saratoga and Cupertino, and parts of Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and west San José.

Director Kwok was elected to the Cupertino City Council in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. In 2004, the council elected him mayor, and he twice served as vice mayor.

He currently represents the district at the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, Stevens Creek Trail Committee, Guadalupe—Coyote Resource Conservation District, and Groundwater Resources Association of California. In addition to his elected office, Kwok has also served on numerous water-related boards and committees. These include the California Water Environment Association, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Santa Clara Recycling and Waste Reduction Committee. He is currently a board member for Region 5 of the Association of California Water Agencies.

Ending his term as the 2011 chair, Director Don Gage reviewed key accomplishments during his year as chair, including a reduced budget, greater accountability and 12 capital projects which are generating between 900 and 1700 local jobs. “My accomplishments as the chair were really the result of all this whole board working together to make great things happen.”

He also acknowledged the work of staff and the sacrifices they have made in recent union contract negotiations for the financial stability of the district and community. “[I], and I think this whole board, really appreciate their hard work and effort and their sacrifice. We are fortunate to have talented, knowledgeable, and competent staff who provide expertise on complex water issues.”

District Chief Executive Officer Beau Goldie recognized Director Gage’s accomplishments during the year. “It was your leadership in pulling this board together and pulling the staff together to be able to accomplish all these things.” Goldie pointed out that Chair Gage participated in 289 meetings during his tenure in addition to 44 board of directors public meetings.