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Water District Election Q&A: Len Polan

The newcomer in the race for a seat on the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District board wants to reduce staff and costs while ensuring continued quality water production.

Leonard "Len" Polan is a candidate for the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District board of directors, Division 4, an area which covers the region west of Reyes Adobe and south of Thousand Oaks Blvd, the City of Westlake Village and the unincorporated county area south and east of Westlake Village.

(Though Calibasas residents won't be voting in this election because the city is not part of Division 4, we are including the article on Calibasas Patch because the board as a whole affects all of the water district's customers.)

He is running against Joseph Bowman, the incumbent.

The 68-year-old architect has lived in Westlake Village for 28 years, is married and has three children who all attended Las Virgenes Unified schools. The Navy veteran also has a son in the Navy.

Polan includes among his experiences: owning his own architectural practice, acting as a hotel developer for the Hilton hotel chain and working as a consultant for the Massachusetts Division of Water Pollution Control.

If elected, Polan says he will focus on keeping water rates down while ensuring that "water is available to all forever."

Agoura Hills Patch: What are your qualifications for running?

Len Polan: As a licensed architect, I build consensus for community projects. My experience includes working with many water agencies, including consulting to the Massachusetts Division of Water Pollution Control on waste-water treatment plants.

Patch: Why are you running at this time?

Polan: I am running, because it's business model is broken and must fixed. The district must reduce staff costs and control our rates; the boards' culture restricts participation and information. I want to change or make these things happen.

Patch: What do you offer the board that the incumbent does not?

Polan: I have experience that matters. I bring a willingness to listen to the people in the district and actively seek their comments and input. My experience with large construction and development projects sets me above the skill set of my opponent. Reiterating: I have direct experience in water facilities.

Patch: Are you for or against a rate increase?

Polan: I am against the rate increase. If the district had reduced staff and been more efficient, then the rates would be lower.

Patch: Are you for or against the Westlake Water tank?

Polan: I am against the tank because the district has not provided any concrete reason to build it.

Patch: What do you see as the most important role of the water district board?

Polan: To provide water at a reasonable cost to all. That said, to ensure water is available to all forever.

Patch: If elected, what is your five-year plan?

Patch: To reduce staff and costs which translates to lower water rates.

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