DSRSD board member resigns to pursue job within district

Benson was first elected to the board in 2010

Dublin San Ramon Services District board member Dawn Benson resigned from the board this week to apply for an employment position within the district, which provides water and wastewater services to parts of San Ramon.

Benson is applying for a job as the district's executive services supervisor, and she said it would be inappropriate for her to continue as a part of the district's governing board while she pursues a job within the district.

She announced her "abrupt and difficult decision" to resign in a letter to her fellow board members Wednesday.

"This promotional opportunity doesn't come up very often in the special district agency network, and I just can't pass this one up," she said wrote in her letter. "This decision is probably one of the most difficult for me to make, as I sincerely enjoy being on the Board and value each of you dearly."

Benson was elected to the board in 2010, re-elected in 2014 and served as board president in 2013.

"We thank Dawn for all her contributions and her deep love of serving this community. We'll miss her," board president Ed Duarte said in a statement. "As a District committed to transparency, we will keep the public informed of the process we use to fill this vacancy."

The board will decide at the next public meeting Sept. 1 what process to use to fill Benson's seat.

The board can choose to appoint a new board member whose term will run through 2018, hold a special election for a board member or do nothing, DSRSD spokeswoman Sue Stephenson said. If the board chooses to do nothing, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors can choose to appoint a board member or hold a special election.

The board is comprised of five members who are publicly elected to four-year terms by registered voters who live within the DSRSD jurisdictional boundaries.

The job of executive services supervisor, for which Benson is applying, is a mid-management position. Duties include overseeing administrative staff who prepare budgets and minutes for DSRSD board meetings, meetings of a joint authority board that manages recycled water in San Ramon and meetings of a board that manages and oversees a pipeline that removes sewage from the valley area, Stephenson said.

A candidate is expected to be chosen for the role by October from the many applications that have been received, she said.

The next DSRSD board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 1 at the district office, 7051 Dublin Blvd.

DSRSD provides water service to the Dougherty Valley and wastewater service to southern San Ramon.

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Like this comment
Posted by Voter
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 21, 2015 at 6:46 am

Most unusual indeed. Thanks for the pledge of transparency Mr. Duarte. How did this opportunity arise for her? Did someone retire? Secondly, how much does her new job pay with fully loaded benefits. Lastly, if her predecessor did indeed retire, at what age and what will be his/her annual retirement income?
Thank you!,

Like this comment
Posted by Call me a cynic
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 21, 2015 at 1:39 pm

And I would bet the deal is the remaining board will reappoint her if she doesn't get the job

Cronyism at its best!

1 person likes this
Posted by San Ramon Observer
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 21, 2015 at 6:06 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Dawn Benson is very qualified for this job. She worked at East Bay MUD in similar positions for many years. She lives in Dublin and this will be much more convenient for her. I hope they will appoint a new member and not hold an election. I wouldn't run again after losing twice (2004 and 2010). I shouldn't even consider applying, but I might.


2 people like this
Posted by Reply to Roz
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 21, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Roz, that's not the point. Sure she may be qualified, but so are a lot of other people.

Does not pass the smell test when she puts in for a job that she recently approved the salary for, the health benefits for and the duties of the job

5 people like this
Posted by Ethics Matter
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 22, 2015 at 7:24 am totally missed the point. She is basically appointed to a position she supported as a Board member. How many other folks applied and were interviewed? We all know the the history of this service district over the years. I could not find this position on their salary website....if this is a new position she approved..."one that I just couldn't pass up"...any objective review would say this was a questionable process and potentially a sweetheart deal for Ms Benson.

2 people like this
Posted by Nuf Said
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 22, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Politics and politicians never cease to amaze!

9 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2015 at 11:02 am

I live in Dublin and met Dawn once. Although she seems to be a very nice lady, she is not very smart. I asked her about a specific issue at DSRSD and was struck by the fact that she had such a poor grasp of the issue and could not back up her position AT ALL.

I went on the DSRSD website and looked up the salary for Exec. Services Supervisor. The starting salary is $10,755!!! (I don't make that kind of money and I have a master's degree.)

Given my conversation with Dawn and having looked at her letter of resignation, I would have to ask about Dawn's level of education. Does she possess a bachelor's degree? A bachelor's degree (or equivalent?)is required for the Executive Services Supervisor position.

Although the drought is such a critical issue, most people are too busy with their own lives to put in the time to see what DSRSD is doing. I think our community should pay better attention. I have not been impressed by most of the DSRSD board members I have met. Key district positions such as the Executive Services Supervisor position should be filled by qualified applicants.

4 people like this
Posted by Anthony
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 24, 2015 at 8:28 pm

$10,755 to $13,072 PER MONTH is an excellent salary. Is Ms. Benson's current position at East Bay MUD comparable to this one? I didn't think it was. I also would like to know more about Ms. Benson's background. She certainly does not write well.

4 people like this
Posted by Louie
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2015 at 9:03 am

Hmm. And, yet, teachers' total compensations packages are considered, by many, to be too high.

Like this comment
Posted by And your point is?
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 28, 2015 at 6:28 am

Nothing is stopping you from applying for the job, Louie - maybe she is more qualified than you?

Throw your hat in the ring and let's see

2 people like this
Posted by San Ramon Sam
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 30, 2015 at 10:03 pm

The point is she should look for a job outside of the district she serves as a board stupid/blind are you ?

2 people like this
Posted by Raul
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Even with her resignation, Ms. B. should not be hired for the position. It does not pass the smell test.

I want to see what is happening with the vacant board position.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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