Frank Mellon was clearly upset last August when an unknown candidate named Nick Harvey qualified for five different races in Alameda County, including a challenge for Mellon’s long-time seat on the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) Board of Directors.
Harvey originally pulled papers for eight seats around unincorporated Alameda County and Hayward. Among the five he qualified for include Mellon’s EBMUD seat, the Eden Health District Board of Directors, Hayward school board, Fairview Fire Protection Board of Directors, and the AC Transit Ward 4 seat held by board director Mark Williams.
Mellon’s animosity returned last weekend after Harvey did not attend a scheduled candidate forum on Sunday afternoon in Castro Valley, that included discussions between the candidates for Eden Health District, AC Transit and EBMUD.
“Harvey is making a mockery out of this election cycle. No candidate statement, no campaigning and, now, no-show for five candidate forums,” Mellon vented on Facebook. According to Mellon, Harvey also skipped forums last week.
“All the time and effort that the League [of Women Voters] puts into these forums was wasted. For People who adjusted their time to be at the Castro Valley Library on a Sunday afternoon–time lost,” wrote Mellon. “And the real shame is that there were people who are committed to their election who didn’t get a chance to be one-on-one with this person Why doesn’t he just do the honorable thing and tell the world he just doesn’t want to participate any further?”
Speaking from Texas, Harvey said.”I thank Frank for his kind words, but I think he should be focused instead on not raising [water] rates 9 percent this year and 17 percent last year.” Harvey confirmed he was participating in a family wedding last weekend in Dallas.
When Harvey’s name showed up on the list of qualified candidate on the day of the Aug. 10 deadline, Mellon called out Harvey on social media and suggested the move by his opponent would cost local districts millions since some of the races, including Mellon’s, would have likely gone unopposed, necessitating districts like EBMUD from paying the county to run their election.
But, Harvey’s move likely cost Mellon a few thousands dollars since the appearance of an opponent forced him to pay for his ballot statement to be included in the voter’s guide.
The EBMUD contest, however, is not the race Harvey has focused his most time. Instead, he has reserved criticism for his AC Transit opponent, board member Mark Williams. Harvey said Monday night that Williams has missed three candidates forum in recent weeks.
Williams is perhaps the most vulnerable of all Harvey’s opponents this November after the state elections watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, initially fined Williams $60,000 for failing to file a campaign finance report for six years. Williams was first elected to the AC Transit seat representing parts of unincorporated Alameda County, San Leandro, and Hayward in 2010.
The fine was reportedly reduced to under $10,000, but Williams has not offered a public explanation or apology for his lack of transparency.