Livermore voters this fall will choose candidates to fill three open seats on the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) Board of Directors.
The seats to be filled are for four-year terms from December 2022 to December 2026.
Six candidates are in the running for the five-member board, including all three incumbents whose seats are opening up this year – David Furst, Philip Pierpont and Maryalice Summers Faltings.
Their challengers are resident and mother Ruby Moppin, employee benefits consultant Corey Hahn and human resources analyst Robert Sanchez.
Furst was elected to the LARPD board in 2002 serving until 2010, and was re-elected in 2014.
With 16 years of experience on the board, Furst has advocated for adding land to Sycamore Grove and initiating the creation of various trails, such as the Harrier, Cattail Pond and Valley View Loop Trails in Sycamore Grove. He also helped guide the LARPD through economic downturns and a pandemic, in addition to helping to hire two general managers and a grant writer, according to his campaign statement.
Furst is a former university professor who has taught sport psychology, sport sociology, fitness and swimming, among other courses. He also helped coach an elite youth swim team and women's and men's university track and cross country.
Since moving to Livermore in 1994, he has volunteered with a number of groups such as the Tri-Valley Conservancy, the Pedrozzi Foundation, the Sierra Club and Friends of Open Space and Vineyards.
Before being elected to the LARPD board, Furst served on Livermore’s ad hoc Bikeways and Trails Committee, the Growth Review Committee, the Beautification Committee and the Library Board of Trustees. Furst was also appointed by former Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty to the county's Park, Recreation and Historical Commission and the Public Health Advisory Committee.
"As a working mom of two young boys, my family and I have benefited greatly from multiple LARPD programs such as ESS, their summer camps, and their facilities," Moppin said in a statement.
"I’m running because I want to bring more to the Livermore community, especially Livermore families," she added.
In addition to having children who currently participate in LARPD programs, Moppin said she has experience in fundraising and advocacy for Bay Area nonprofits, which she plans to use to help bring in more funds to the LARPD Foundation for new or expanded programs.
"By bringing in more funds, we increase opportunities for our Livermore community to sign up and participate in the many diverse programs, for which they may not have the budget for," she said.
Moppin's campaign website expands on some of the local fundraising initiatives she's been a part of.
"Through my roles as the board member for Granada Little League and director of fundraising for Friends of Joe Mitchell, I spearheaded fundraisers bringing in $70K+ for my neighborhood school to go toward sports uniforms and other learning needs. In addition, through my strong advocacy, I successfully got my employer to grant monies to two Bay Area nonprofits: My New Red Shoes and Abrazos and Books. I will do the same for Livermore Area Parks and Recreation," she said.
To learn more about Moppin and her campaign, visit www.rubymoppin4larpd.com.
Hahn is a five-year resident of Livermore and a business consultant within the health care and risk management industries, according to his campaign statement.
With a background as an elite college athlete, theater actor, coach and mentor, he has helped build programs both internationally and locally.
Most recently, he led the fundraising and rebuilding of the basketball court in Livermore's Bill Clark Park.
Hahn said he is passionate about uniting a diverse Livermore, through strong community programs for individuals, families and the youth. He said he believes strongly that "the parks play an integral part in the overall health and wellbeing of our community members."
His goal is to help build safe communal spaces and programs for people to play, create and evolve individually and collectively, his statement said.
Hahn's wife, Roxanne, is a local hair stylist and they have three children ages 15, 4 and 1-1/2.
Pierpont first joined the LARPD Board of Directors in 2017, according to the district's website.
Pierpont is the owner of outdoor and sporting goods store Sunrise Mountain Sports located in downtown Livermore. He is also an experienced backpacker, climber, skier, paddler and trail runner.
After growing up in Livermore, Pierpont returned to the area in 2001 and has been a resident ever since.
His experience includes raising funds and volunteering for a number of local environmental and community organizations and he's an advocate for trails and open space.
In addition to serving on the LARPD board, Pierpont is also a member of the Livermore Downtown, Inc. Board of Directors.
"I have the knowledge and experience offered by an incumbent with the fresh perspective of an active community member (a parent of young children, a small business owner, a volunteer, and an enthusiast for all things Livermore)," Pierpont told Livermore Vine in an email.
Maryalice Summers Faltings:
A Livermore resident since 1992, Faltings first joined the LARPD Board of Directors in 1994.
She volunteers at various LARPD events and has taught a performing class for the ESS program. Faltings is also a regular park user and takes classes with the district, according to LARPD's website.
Faltings is currently retired from her professional background in parks and recreation, historic preservation and church administration.
In addition to being the incumbent who has served the longest on the LARPD board, Faltings is also currently the chair.
Sanchez is a longtime Livermore resident and former LARPD employee who is looking to return to the district as a board member.
After earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Chico, Sanchez returned to Livermore and began working in LARPD's human resources department while continuing his education and pursuing a master's in human resource management.
"I worked for LARPD for a little under six years and in that time, I've had a unique opportunity to understand the behind-the-scenes, speak directly to staff that are on the front lines and develop procedures and policies to make LARPD better. That's why I'm running." Sanchez wrote in a post on his campaign Instagram account.
Although he no longer works for the district, Sanchez said that he cares about the community and LARPD's potential. "I want to continue to help LARPD grow, this time as a director guiding the path for staff to take," he said.
Prior to his tenure with LARPD, Sanchez also worked for the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District as a custodian at various school sites while attending community college.
To learn more about Sanchez and his campaign, visit www.instagram.com/sanchez4larpd/