Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Electoral Contest for BWD Directors


Last updated 10/9/2020 at 1:02pm

There are three candidates running for two positions on the Borrego Water District Board of Directors this fall.

The candidate list can be found on the Registrar of Voters website: Go down to “More Information” and click on “Candidate List” to view the races taking place in the November 2020 election. Of the three Borrego Springs races, only the BWD is an election.

Read their bios below:

Tammy Baker

I’m running for the Borrego Springs Water Board because I believe that everyone in Borrego should have clean affordable water. I will work hard to protect our limited water supply from those who would intentionally or by accidental oversight take water they are not entitled to. I also pledge to spearhead and support conservation efforts to help ensure that there will be water for future generations of Borrego Springs families.

Affordable good quality water is essential for everyone and it’s a cause where I can and want to help. Much of running a water district is engineering–pipes, pumps and planning, and my career in engineering and as an engineering manager gives me the background to support our water district team. Just as important is preparing for our future water needs and my work as a vice president for over 15 years has given me experience in financing, long range planning, contract negotiations, and responding to government regulations, all essential to ensuring our water is safe and affordable for years to come.

I’m from a small town outside Cincinnati, OH and I’ve spent most of my career working in companies small enough that I made a point to learn the names of everyone there. I feel very much at home here in the Borrego community and I love how everyone looks out for each other. My husband and I have been coming to Borrego Springs for vacation since 2012 and this year we decided to make it permanent, buying a home.

I have been actively engaged at the Borrego Water District (BWD) and WaterMaster board meetings for almost half a year, had numerous conversations with the BWD Directors and our BWD general manager, Geoff Poole, and, if elected, will hit the ground running as I’m up to speed on the important water issues facing our community.

I have a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and an Executive MBA from Northwestern University. Since 2009, I have served as a charter member of the advisory committee for Silicon Valley Code Camp (software developer conference). I’m a trustee on the board of The Gow School.

Community, building collaborative relationships and working for a cause have always been what drives me. I look forward to hearing your needs and concerns so I can work collaboratively to find solutions that meet the goals of our community.


Bruce Burgener

I have two (2) primary concerns with many moving parts:

- Immediate

Sustaining our aquifer (costs, 70% reduction in use, agricultural and residential use)

- Long-term

Proposal to bring Colorado River water to our aquifer (costs, practicality, water quality and treatment).

I am a retired oceanographer. My wife and I became full-time residents in Borrego in 2017. My father lived here in the 1960s. I was a teenager then, but remember he and his friends talking about our great aquifer and that water (even though we live in the desert) should never be a problem for Borrego. We have always been good water conservationists. I am sure there are many like us who will now find it very difficult to cut back an additional 70% on our already conscientious use.

I was born in Chicago and grew up in San Diego. I have a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, a master’s degree in Physical Science, and postgraduate studies in Oceanography. Related to my science background, I have worked at the Naval Electronics Lab in San Diego, Oregon State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Marine Ecological Consultants, and Ecosystems Management.

My wife Gloria and I have been married for 40 years. She had two full careers, one as a marine biologist and the 2nd as a Registered Nurse. We have three adult children. Gloria and I love the peace and quiet of living our retirement years in Borrego. I am all for giving back to our community and feel my life experience could be beneficial to our Borrego Waterboard.


Diane Johnson

I have served in a formal function in groups concerned with water issues in Borrego Valley for three years. Currently I am a member of the Board of Directors of the BWD, since August 2019. Before that, I served for about two years on the Advisory Committee (AC) to the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin: Borrego Springs Subbasin, Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) (whew!). I represented the Borrego Valley Stewardship Council there. I moved to Borrego Springs in 2003 and over many years have closely followed the water situation here. Also, because I am a retired reference librarian, I have used the web to find and read many studies, newsletters, conference reports, blogs, etc. on water in California.

Serving on the BWD Board is a challenge – a major responsibility. Providing safe, dependable and affordable water suitable for drinking is a public health necessity and requires vigilance over expensive wells, storage tanks, and miles of pipelines. The wastewater treatment function adds another dimension of costs and regulations. SGMA has added huge complications – both new opportunities and thorny issues. Borrego Springs is at an inflection point, due to the conjunction of starting SGMA-mandated implementation of water use reductions, the prospect of updating the Borrego Community Plan, and community-wide discussions related to both the new Stewardship Council and SD County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond’s Revitalization Committee. All these factors make these complicated but oddly satisfying times in which to work.

I believe in the power of team-work, which fellow members of the Boards on which I serve can attest to (Borrego Village Association, Rotary Foundation, the Art Institute, the Borrego Ministers’ Association, St. Barnabas Food Bank). I am particularly concerned that all voices be heard when problems or programs are discussed. Through my work with various organizations over the years, I have gained a fair familiarity with the Hispanic community in Borrego and have been active in encouraging its engagement in the groundwater sustainability planning process and other civic efforts.

I have lived and worked in many regions in the United States, and feel incredibly fortunate to live in Borrego. It’s gorgeous, wide-open yet somehow also sheltering landscape drew me initially (as it does most of us who choose to live here). Then when we start to meet others, we realize that the community is also both wide-open and sheltering. The skills, experience, and passions of our people are broad and deep, and they are brought to bear on an incredible variety of efforts.