CASTRO VALLEY -- Two incumbents seeking re-election to the Castro Valley Sanitary District board are facing two challengers in the Nov. 2 election.

Incumbents Harry Francis and Ralph Johnson are seeking to retain their seats. They'll go against David Silva, a financial manager, and Hera Alikian, a real estate manager who also ran for the board in 2008, losing to three incumbents.

The district operates and maintains the sanitary sewer collection system within the unincorporated community of Castro Valley.

Both Francis and Johnson say their top priorities, if they are re-elected for another term, would be to continue current efforts to reduce the area's waste by both recycling and composting.

Francis said one way to accomplish such a goal would be to continue to provide environmental education programs within the Castro Valley schools. He said he also would like to provide local disposal sites for tires, electronic waste, pharmaceuticals, household paint and document shredding.

Johnson said he would like to reduce, recycle and compost at least 75 percent of all discarded materials generated within Castro Valley.

Both said they believe those kinds of goals to reduce waste are possible while attempting to hold future rate increases to a minimum.

Garbage rates are one of Alikian's top campaign issues.

She says the current board has not taken into consideration the effects that raising fees have on seniors with fixed incomes, and small-business owners and property owners in Castro Valley.


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"The current board has taken direction from staff that recommends what is easiest for staff to administer, instead of looking at ways to be more effective and efficient with current revenue streams," Alikian said.

In addition, "I hope to bring to the board a more diverse business background by breaking into a historically all-male board," Alikian said.

Silva, likewise, said he would bring a "fresh, fair approach to issues" and try to bring public awareness and clarification of what the board does to residents and business owners -- especially when it comes to fee increases.

Silva said the board must mitigate the rising fee costs in order to help Castro Valley continue to grow.

Candidates for
castro Valley Sanitary District

Hera Alikian
Age: 35
Occupation: Real estate manager
City of residence: Castro Valley, 35 years
Local businesses/properties owned: Refused to answer
Family: Refused to answer
Education: Attended UC Berkeley
Elected positions held: None
Other experience: Treasurer of Columbia Community Home Owners Association.
Party affiliation: No response

Harry Francis
Age: 77
Occupation: Furniture refinisher
City of residence: Castro Valley, 63 years
Local businesses/properties owned: Castro Valley home; Francis Refinishing.
Family: Married with three adult children.
Education: Graduated from St. Elizabeth's High School, Oakland
Elected positions held: Board member, Castro Valley Sanitary District
Other experience: Appointed to Hayward Area Recreation and Park District board; Alameda County Fire Commission member; member of Alameda County Parks, Recreation and Historical Commission.
Party affiliation: Democrat


Ralph Johnson
Age: 63
Occupation: Semiretired civil engineer
City of residence: Castro Valley, 35 years
Local businesses/properties owned: Castro Valley home
Family: Married with two children
Education: Bachelor's in civil engineering from UC Berkeley
Elected positions held: Board member, Castro Valley Sanitary District
Other experience: Worked for the Alameda County Public Works Agency and retired in 2000 as deputy director of public works.
Party affiliation: Democrat

David Silva
Age: 59
Occupation: Financial manager
City of residence: Castro Valley, 54 years
Local businesses/properties owned: Edenvale Professional Building
Family: Single
Education: Information technology computer degree
Elected positions held: President, Castro Valley Ski Club
Other experience: Managed professional staff of five to 25 people
Party affiliation: Democrat