Ruby Moppin, Corey Hahn and incumbent Philip Pierpont are the standout candidates we recommend for the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) Board of Directors.
With six candidates in the running for the open board positions, including all three incumbents seeking reelection, the contenders come with a diverse set of skills and experiences that made the decision tough. However, after conducting our research, reviewing past reporting and responses to our email interview questions on endorsements, we are confident in our conclusion.
Moppin, Pierpont and Hahn are all parents of young children, which is an advantage they share since this is one of the key demographics served by LARPD programs and services.
Additionally, Moppin's professional background in nonprofit fundraising will benefit LARPD and LARPD Foundation as the organizations work toward diversifying funding sources. She has already put her skills to use in Livermore as the director of fundraising for Friends of Joe Michell School, raising more than $70,000 for athletic uniforms and other needs.
In a past interview with Livermore Vine, LARPD General Manager Mat Fuzie identified funding as one of the current challenges facing the park district and has caused delays in completing certain infrastructure improvements such as replacing irrigation systems and equipment at some of the older parks. Moppin's proven ability to spearhead effective fundraising initiatives is a strength that will serve well on the board.
Having served on the LARPD board since 2017, Pierpont has the experience and knowledge of the board's policies and goals to continue serving the district. As a Livermore native who is active in the community, he's also demonstrated a commitment and passion for keeping the city a desirable place to live and play. He also displays the quality of effective leadership as a local business owner, a member of the Livermore Downtown Board of Directors, and as an LARPD board member.
Hahn – who works professionally as a business consultant in corporate insurance – may have only lived in Livermore for five years, but in that time he has immersed himself into the community and contributed to improving recreational spaces.
Hahn led the recent fundraising and rebuilding of the basketball court in Bill Clark Park, where he is the park ambassador and community impact advocate. Through this effort, Hahn has already built relationships with LARPD and LARPD Foundation as well as other community members who use and care strongly about the parks and programs maintained and provided by LARPD.
Incumbents Maryalice Summers Faltings – who joined the board in 1994 – and David Furst – who was first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2014 – have shown notable dedication to the community and LARPD through their extensive tenures serving as board directors. It is clear their experience is substantial and they each bring a wealth of historical knowledge to the district. However, the board would benefit from the diverse, innovative, fresh perspectives and revitalized energy we believe Moppin and Hahn would bring.
Robert Sanchez is the only contender who has professional experience with LARPD as a former employee, and we appreciate that he highlighted growing, guiding and working with LARPD staff among his campaign priorities in statements to us and on social media. He also has embraced innovative ideas, like blending technology and recreation by incorporating virtual reality into some programs. His behind-the-scenes knowledge and the relationships he has built with LARPD staff are valuable advantages that would likely serve him well on the board.
However, of the three newcomers in the race, Sanchez has not demonstrated the level of direct, on-the-ground community involvement his opponents have, which is underscored by the fairly quiet campaign he has been running with very little online presence and no campaign statement in the county voter guide.
We encourage Sanchez to increase his community engagement and build more relationships outside of the LARPD organization and return as a board candidate in the future.
Vote Moppin, Pierpont and Hahn for LARPD board.