Five candidates are vying for three seats on the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District's Board of Directors.
And, according to reports, three of the five have family ties to the firefighters union, which is currently in negotiations for a new contract.
Danville resident Matt Stamey, whose resume describes him as a retired general manager of a Fortune 500 corporation, is the only incumbent seeking reelection. Two others, Roxanne Lindsay and Tom Linari opted not to seek another term, opening the way for two newcomers.
Also running are Alameda County Fire Captain Gordon Dakin, a Danville resident; veterinarian H. Jay Kerr of San Ramon; Stephen Mohun, a certified public accountant who lives in Alamo and Gerardo Peniche, who works in information technology at Chevron and lives in San Ramon.
But reports say Dakin, Mohun and Peniche all have links to the Board through family: Dakin is cousin to Matt Dakin, a member of the union's executive board; Mike Mohun, president of the firefighters union, is the brother of Stephen Mohun and Peniche is related through marriage to firefighter Erick Hubbard.
All three have received the endorsement of the International Association of Firefighters Local 3546, the union that represents firefighters in the San Ramon Valley district.
Adding another level of complications, reports said, is that the Board of Directors is in negotiations with the union and that the district has been using reserves to balance its budget, with salaries and pensions making up the largest portion.
Kerr and Stamey are the only two candidates who have filed voter information documents with Smart Voter, the election site maintained by the League of Women Voters.
Kerr's position paper filed with Smart Voter stated he is committed to maintaining services while balancing the budget without raising taxes, presumably by holding the line on pay increases for firefighters.
Stamey's goals for the fire district include "a balanced budget, no parcel taxes, and a policy of fiscal responsibility." He said in his statement that he wants to maintain public safety "while keeping retirement costs at a sustainable level."
The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District employs 190 people and maintains 10 fire stations, although one of the is staffed by volunteers. It provides fire, rescue and emergency medical services in Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo, San Ramon, the Tassajara Valley and part of the Morgan Territory.