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By Kristina Pritchett

The Dana Point Times asked each candidate running for the South Coast Water District (SCWD) to introduce themselves in 250 words.

SCWD is a five-member elected board of directors that oversees policy-making, financing, rate-setting, capital programs and long-term planning for Dana Point, South Laguna and areas of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

This election six candidates are running, but only three seats are open.

The SCWD’s candidates’ responses are in the order they will appear on the November ballot.

South Coast Water District

wayne-rayfield-head-shot-copyWayne Rayfield, Incumbent

Thank you for your ongoing water conservation efforts and for considering my candidacy for Director, South Coast Water District. I hope to build on my eight years on the board (seven as President). Serving our community is vital to me, and I would like to continue my 20-plus years of service in elected as well as a volunteer positions.

My priorities include:

●     Continuing to provide safe, cost-effective and reliable water delivery services

●     Protecting ocean-water quality by environmentally safe conveyance of wastewater

●     Expanding the availability of recycled water to new areas

●     Developing local, reliable and environmentally sound sources of potable water including ocean water desalination and other options

●     Keeping our rates as low and fair as possible consistent with state law and needs of our aging infrastructure

●     Continuing attention on emergency preparedness for natural and man-made disasters

●     Most importantly, listening to you, our customer(s)/owners

Please vote for me this November so that I may continue initiatives on many fronts including Doheny Desalination, expanded recycled water infrastructure, increased emergency preparedness, additional operating efficiencies and environmental protection. We at South Coast Water District want to provide the highest value, reliable and healthiest set of water services possible.

If you have suggestions or questions please feel free to email me at or call me at 949.922.0744. For information about my record and background, please visit my website,

Again, thank you for considering me and for all you have done to conserve our precious water resources.

rick-erkeneff-headshotRick Erkeneff, Dana Point Business owner/Incumbent Director

Water is precious and I’ve committed every effort in the last four years to ensure our District has an adequate supply for the future. I applaud the conservation and efficiency commitment made by our residents, businesses and municipalities. Protecting our coastal environment is my top priority.

As SCWD Board Vice President, I’ve supported repair of aging infrastructure through cost-effective solutions. Previous Boards had deferred maintenance that forced this Board to make necessary repairs for the reliability of our systems. I continue to support expansion of recycled water, which saves millions of gallons. Additionally, I support the continued study for responsible ocean desalination and the project having regional partners.

The SCWD’s “30-Acres” adjacent to San Juan Creek, has been a great source of income to help offset our rates. I will continue to support the beneficial use and upgrade of this property.

I am an Orange County native, Dana Point resident for over 40 years and a DHHS and CSULB alumnus. For over 10 years, I’ve served the community as Chairman, Surfrider Foundation South OC, devoting thousands of hours in educating, promoting responsible water management and protecting our coastal environment.

My leadership and teamwork will be the path forward in helping our community navigate the drought and continue our reliable services. All my decisions are open and transparent.

Thank you for your vote to support my commitment to our District and I will be honored to continue serving you in our local water management. Please contact me anytime,

boboakleyBob Oakley, Retired Project Manager

My name is Bob Oakley and I ask for your trust and vote for the position of SCWD Director. As a former business owner and Project Manager at a major public utility, I bring broad knowledge of the challenges faced by California’s water districts. I educated hundreds of elected officials about our state’s hydro-electric facilities including reservoirs, tunnels and infrastructure as well as renewable energy and Catalina’s Ocean Desalination facility.

Protecting the environment, increasing reliability and protecting water quality are my priorities. Aggressive efficiency measures, visionary strategic planning and strong focus on customer service will benefit ratepayers. I will make my policy decisions based on these priorities.

I advocate using renewable and low emission energy sources to power both new and existing facilities.

An earthquake affecting our imported water supply could leave us without adequate water for months. With only a seven-day supply of drinking water on hand, we will partner with other agencies and explore all options to ensure that we have the water we need.

Meeting future needs of the SCWD, my priorities of clean, affordable and reliable water depend on continued strong fiscal policies and sound management of our water resources.

As a veteran and proud resident of Dana Point, I pledge to you my voice and experience to benefit our beautiful community.

juliesimerJulie A. Simer, Attorney

I first learned the critical importance of water to a community’s health and prosperity growing up in a tiny farming town in central Illinois. I still remember gathering with neighbors in church to pray for rain, since water supply frequently meant the difference between economic survival or devastation for most of our farm families. The need to secure a safe and ample water supply in the SCWD service area is no less crucial than it was in that small Midwestern town, especially during this severe and unprecedented drought. My credentials and close to three decades of experience as a prosecutor, national health care lawyer, and public health professional will let me effectively navigate the confounding maze of governmental regulations and daunting array of technical challenges that will control and influence the hard choices SCWD directors will have to make in the coming years. I will also work hard to upgrade SCWD’s consumer experience so that ratepayers will receive water bills they can understand and will have improved access to service when they need it. Finally, I am eager to help de-mystify the many technical matters about water supply and wastewater disposal that only engineers can understand so that ordinary people may help their elected directors make the soundest policy decisions for all concerned. Luckily, we now have better options than simply to pray for the sky to open up, but we do need to make the best possible use of them. Please vote Julie for Water District on November 8.

doug-erdmanDouglas Erdman, Civil Engineer

Douglas Erdman is a longtime resident of Capistrano Beach and graduate of San Clemente High School and UC Irvine. He is a Registered Civil Engineer with over 24 years of professional experience, currently working for the city of Lake Forest as a Principal Civil Engineer in charge of the city’s Capital Improvement Program.  Prior to this Doug worked for seven years at city of Dana Point designing and constructing capital projects within the city.  Douglas was previously a Director at SCWD during the period of reorganization where several water and sewer agencies merged to form the district that exists today. He and his wife, Kris Jones, enjoy participating in competitive BBQ events, including the Dana Point BBQ competition, as the Moo! Cluck! Oink! BBQ team.

Why I’m running for SCWD:

I want SCWD to be an effective, efficient and reliable water/wastewater utility that listens to what customers want. That means a clear and straightforward focus on water and wastewater issues with particular attention to local partnership opportunities. District rates are on the rise and I’m concerned about the District’s current capital project list that seems bigger than this community needs or can afford. I will use my local knowledge and engineering problem solving skills to guide the District to practices and policies that make sense, provide reliability and keep rates in check.

bobmooreRobert W. (Bob) Moore, Retired Business Owner

Robert Moore, how lucky can you be! Forty years living in Dana Point.

Now, once again, Robert (Bob) Moore asks for your vote to be your public servant helping ensure your having needed water every day. Making sure your dollars are spent wisely. He has done it before, and with your help, will do it again.

Bob and his late wife, June, built their home Dana Point in 1976. He volunteered  helping organize the incorporation of city of Dana Point, members Dana Point Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce, 20 years volunteer in law enforcement locally. Robert is a Lifetime Member, Past Commander of Dana Point Veterans of Foreign War.

Accountable and dependable. Getting the right things done, the right way, the right time.

Business man: Robert Moore Enterprises manufactured furniture; CEO for companies like Ritts Company, Divisional CEO for R.C.A., and Price Club.

Water. You depend on your governing bodies to make sure water comes out of the tap. The state of California is experiencing a five-year drought. End? No one knows. Best predictions I’ve heard from climatologists is mixed with “what ifs.”

Our problem is not “water.” It’s salt. That ocean at our doorstep has plenty of salty water.

Bob’s immediate goals when elected (I have faith in your wisdom) are: ocean desalination and new additional reservoirs. The ratepayers own the land necessary for both projects. Your dollars need to be spent wisely. Get our drinking water now!

Last name on the ballot, Robert W. (Bob) Moore.

FB: @bobmoore4director or email


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