Water district board names Richard Santos as 2018 chair

SAN JOSE—The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors has chosen long-time member Richard P. Santos to serve as the 2018 Chair of the Board, and Linda J. LeZotte as Vice Chair.

The unanimous vote on Jan. 9 concluded Chair John L. Varela’s tenure and marks the third time Santos will have served in the position. A board member since 2000, he previously served as chair in 2005 and 2010 and as vice chair in 2004, 2009 and 2017.

LeZotte served as vice chair in 2011 and as chair in 2012.


Santos takes the helm at a time when the agency has $218.3 million in capital projects – out of a $501.2 million total budget – including flood protection projects along a variety of creeks throughout Santa Clara County, as well as the maintenance and repair of aging infrastructure, including the retrofit of Anderson Dam in its largest capital project ever.

In the past year, Santos has been a voice for emergency preparation, and a strong supporter of partnering with other government agencies and the community to accomplish common goals. He plans to continue this in the year ahead.

“I’m ready to get to work. We need to be ready for floods and other emergencies, but at the same time, we have to be prepared for drought,” he said. “We also need to continue working with our partners locally, at the state, and at the federal government level to ensure we have support for our projects to protect the people of Santa Clara County and our water supply.”

Santos, a retired firefighter and native of Alviso, is the director representing District 3, which includes Alviso, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Milpitas and Berryessa/Alum Rock.

LeZotte is an attorney and served for eight years on the San José City Council. She represents District 4, which includes the City of Campbell and parts of South and West San José, including Almaden Valley.


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