San Lorenzo Valley Water DistrictElection 

November 8 Election: SLV Water District Candidates

California’s General Election is Tuesday, November 8 with mail-in ballots arriving around October 10. 

Here are the candidates running for San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board of Directors.  

The SLVWD Board of Directors is responsible for setting the district’s water rates and policies, as well as overseeing its operations. This is a critical time for the district, as it faces many challenges, including fire recovery, upgrading its infrastructure, and addressing the impact of climate change. The board will need to make tough decisions in the coming years and the community will rely on directors who are up to the task. 

Four candidates are running for three open seats. Note – Jayme Ackemann was appointed to a fourth seat, in lieu of election, as she ran unopposed. 

Bob Fultz

Bob Fultz, CEO/CFO, Incumbent, Boulder Creek resident

Candidate Statement

I was first elected to the water board in 2018 on a progressive platform and seek your support to continue. Delivering on your trust, I’ve led or supported over 30 strategic and positive changes to better position our District for the future, including: eliminating glyphosate use; starting long-delayed infrastructure projects; completely changing board culture to welcome community input; disposing of a lingering expensive lawsuit; curbing giveaway funds to special interests; insistence on rebuilding our reserves which thankfully enabled our District to respond quickly to the CZU fire and, most importantly, greater financial transparency of operating expenses and unfunded liabilities as you are encouraged to think like owners of the District.

Sustainable and methodical infrastructure improvements, including CZU recovery, requires robust and transparent financial planning, including grant funding and operating efficiencies — critical given current economic conditions — a strategy I promote as a member of the Board’s engineering committee.

I believe you deserve a detailed and transparent committed financial plan to enable a fully informed decision whenever we come to you for approval of rate increases. This has not been true of most rate increases of the past, that while promoted for infrastructure, did not go for that goal. I support Bracken Brae, Forest Springs, and Big Basin Water communities who may wish to join us for water security. I do not support consolidation with Scotts Valley Water District, likely coming to the Board again soon.

I support protecting groundwater resources by changing District water rights to more easily use winter surface water system-wide, and am likewise opposed to injection wells (ASRs) as a high cost, high risk, nonviable solution for SLVWD which is currently on the table with the Santa Margarita Groundwater Agency.

I’ve lived in Boulder Creek for 35 years, serving on the school board and in a variety of local volunteer positions. I hold two engineering degrees and an MBA, working professionally over 35 years in product, strategy, finance, and executive roles.

I would be honored to continue working for you on the water board.   

 Jeffrey Hill

Jeffrey Hill, Retired, Appointed Incumbent, Scotts Valley resident

Candidate Statement

I have lived in the San Lorenzo Valley Water District for 34 years. The District is facing some very large challenges over the next few years, as it rebuilds significant infrastructure destroyed during the CZU fire, negotiates proposed mergers with three smaller, neighboring water companies that were heavily damaged by the fire, and continues ongoing maintenance and upgrades of existing facilities to better serve our residents. All this work needs to be accomplished at reasonable cost and with environmental sensitivity and care. It won’t be “business as usual.” My experience as a business executive, manager and owner have given me the financial, program management and strategy skills needed to oversee District operations as a Director during this challenging time. Earlier this year I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board, and I am fully up to speed with the issues. I will do my best to ensure that we continue to provide citizens of the District with reliable, high quality water at fair and reasonable prices.

Alina Layng

Alina Layng, Environmental Scientist, Boulder Creek resident

Candidate Statement

I am Alina Layng, an Environmental Scientist, a parent, a neighbor, and a proud resident of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  My husband Les and I are privileged to be able to raise our son in an area rich in biodiversity surrounded by lush forests.  While it was tremendously painful to watch our street experience such loss caused by the CZU fire, I am forever grateful to have the support of wonderful neighbors and see the resilience of our community rising from the ashes.

I was asked to come to this beautiful area of California to apply my expertise in salmonid survival studies to help better understand how drought conditions affect salmonid migration.  The ability to monitor fish migration and behavior is crucial to understanding the impacts of extreme climate conditions, water operations, and developing management strategies to minimize threats.  Being a public servant my entire career, I felt a strong urge to give back after the CZU fire by lending my expertise to SLVWD where I was appointed to the now combined Environmental and Engineering Committee for the past two years.  During my appointment, I helped bring in 1.1 million in grant funding for the Fall Creek fish ladder and pushed for small design changes that will have a big impact on lamprey passage.  Water security from climate change, rebuilding after the CZU fire, catching up on deferred maintenance, and water equity are issues that are important to me. 

We need people on the Board of Directors that will still be here tomorrow to feel the impact of the decisions that are made today.  Honor me with your vote to keep our drinking water affordable, clean, safe, and reliable for our children and generations to come. To learn more about me, please visit and get connected.

Mark Smolley

Mark Smolley, Retired, Appointed Incumbent, Felton resident

Candidate Statement

I have served as a Director on the San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board since December 2020, after serving on the District’s Engineering committee for two years. My service has given me the opportunity to understand the daunting challenges facing the District: rebuilding after the CZU fire; protecting surface and groundwater resources; and addressing long-term infrastructure needs of a rural water system.

My experience as a Construction Manager (20 years) and as a licensed Professional Geologist in the environmental industry (12 years) enables me to provide valuable input and guidance to the District as we develop strategies for meeting these formidable challenges. My professional work involved projects that are directly relevant to the District. I managed large utility installation projects, including water pipelines, production wells, and groundwater monitoring wells; all of which required environmental permitting.

As an avid hiker and backpacker, I am committed to environmental protection. As a Board member with construction and environmental expertise, my goal is that SLVWD constructs high quality, cost-efficient infrastructure in order to deliver safe, affordable water to our residents. I am excited to use my professional experience to benefit the SLV community, and I ask for your vote to enable me to continue to do so.

For more information about the November 8, 2022 election visit

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