With two seats on the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors up for election during the Nov. 3 Consolidated District Election, potential candidates have already begun filing their intention to run.
Those elected to the TID Board of Directors currently receive $1,000 per month and are eligible to receive the same health benefits as full time employees for the duration of their elected term.
The TID Division 1 Board Member seat, currently held by incumbent Michael Frantz, a farmer from Hickman, is being challenged by Tracy Sunde, a retired educator from Turlock. Incumbent Division 4 Board Member Rob Santos, a local veterinarian from Turlock, has also filed his statement of intention, but is currently running unopposed.
TurlockCityNews.com reached out to Frantz, who has not yet filed for reelection, but does have on file with the Stanislaus County Elections Office a FPPC Form 410, Campaign Organization document, which is required for candidates raising or spending more than $1,000.
Frantz, who was not aware of a challenger at the time, said that he has greatly enjoyed his six years on the TID Board and has the experience to tackle the tough issues the district is facing.
“The District is facing an unprecedented number of challenges: drought, relicensing, and keeping rates affordable while integrating ever more costly green power mandates to name just a few,” said Frantz. “Some of the threats, like the State Water Resources Control Board new flow proposal, threatens our entire community's way of life.”
Frantz, a Board member since 2009, co-owns Frantz Wholesale Nursery, LLC in Hickman, which employs over 100 people. Frantz sits on several statewide industry boards and serves as a Director for the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, and on the Stanislaus Workforce Alliance Board. Currently, he also serves as TID’s representative for the Don Pedro Recreation Agency Board of Control, TID’s Pension Investment Committee, and Power Supply Risk Committee.
“I appreciate the broad support I have received, and am grateful for their calls urging me to run again for the board seat,” said Frantz last week. “This is certainly a time for experienced leadership. I will be making my decision in the next few days.”
Sunde, a retired educator of Turlock, has officially filed to run for the seat. Sunde did not immediately respond to TurlockCityNews.com’s request for comment.
Santos, who was first seated to the TID Board of Directors in 2007, last ran unopposed in 2011 and may do so again this year.
“I’m excited to announce that I will be seeking another term for the TID Board of Directors,” said Santos.
He is president of Valley Critter Care, Inc., which operates Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital, Community Veterinary Clinic, and Family Pet Mortuary in Turlock and was previously a part-time instructor at Modesto Junior College Agriculture Department. Santos is a member and past president of the Chatom School Board.
Additionally, Santos has helped to establish the Turlock Historical Society and is past president of the Turlock Downtown Association, Northern San Joaquin Veterinary Association and the Turlock Exchange Club. Santos serves as a representative on the Drinking Water Committee and serves as the District representative to the San Joaquin River Group Authority.
“The past eight years have been challenging but fulfilling,” said Santos. “I will continue to fight the Governor from taking away our Tuolumne River water and moving it to restore the Delta from the effects of his twin tunnels. This is so important since water is the lifeblood of our local economy. As always, I will continue to be fiscally conservative and keep our electric rates as low as possible and not have large rate hikes. I look forward in serving another term as director while representing my constituents.”
Prospective candidates for either TID Board seat or one of the Turlock Unified School District seats up for election have until Aug. 7 to declare their candidacy.