The City of Pleasanton, Calif., represents an example of what can happen when the political leadership - in this case the leadership of Mayor Jennifer Hosterman - and the public works leadership work in concert.
The result has been a shared vision of improved performance, customer service and long-term delivery of safe water to residents.
"That is a huge sum of money and government simply cannot pay for that," Hosterman
Additionally, the regulatory climate, she
argues, is counterproductive to maintaining and improving water quality.
"There are a number of cities trying to keep up with new rules and regulations that do not have the extra resources needed to stay in compliance.
Consequently, money that may have been stockpiled for water and sewer improvement winds up getting spent on attorney's fees and fines," Hosterman
"Worse yet, mayors get called out in the media as being criminal polluters, and that is the last thing we are.
We love serving our communities and we want to help make our communities better places to live and work and play."
As a result, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is engaging the Environmental Protection Agency
and the Department of Justice
on combined sewer overflow and sanitary sewer overflow issues.
Specifically, the mayors are asking for more flexibility in the way consent orders are drafted, including extending the period of time in which the city needs to become compliant, and increased financial support from the federal government.
Hosterman has played a key role in the discussion through her role as co-chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council.
In an effort to ensure water resources are protected in the future, Hosterman
as part of the Local Government Commission
worked to identify economically and politically viable options to sustain local water resources.
The commission's work resulted in "The Ahwahnee Water Principles - A Blueprint for Regional Sustainability."
recapped the 14 Ahwahnee Water Principles (the name derived from the Yosemite lodge at which the commission met) in an article for the U.S. Conference
of Mayors' newspaper as follows:
Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman
Elected to first City Council term: November 2002
Elected to first Mayoral term: November 2004