Sunday, May 20 , 2018, 7:29 am | A Few Clouds 53º


Businesswomen Challenging Carpinteria Valley Water District Incumbents

Alexandra VanAntwerp, Polly Holcombe and Shirley Johnson join forces to run as a slate called Carp Water Matters

Water matters to Alexandra “Xy” VanAntwerp, Polly Holcombe and Shirley Johnson, who have joined together as a slate, Carp Water Matters.

They are seeking three seats on the board of the Carpinteria Valley Water District, which has been dogged by controversy, a huge debt and usually high water rates.

Having each managed multimillion-dollar businesses, VanAntwerp, Holcombe and Johnson have strong management skills that can provide the necessary financial oversight of the Carpinteria Valley Water District. They advocate affordable water rates, water conservation, reducing state water expenditures, and diligent oversight of all projects, contracts and activities. They bring solid experience and a fresh approach to addressing these issues.

The public is invited to a kickoff for the campaign from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at 6621 Arozena Lane in Carpinteria.

For more information, call 805.689-9640 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Alexandra VanAntwerp

I’m Alexandra VanAntwerp (known to many of my Carp friends as “Xy”), a fourth-generation Carpinterian and a graduate of Carpinteria High School. My family was a longtime small-ranch grower on Gobernador Canyon Road.

Alexandra Xy VanAntwerp
Alexandra “Xy” VanAntwerp

I am running for a seat on the Carpinteria Valley Water District board because I am concerned about how much we are spending on State Water and our staggering annual debt. We need to address how we can preserve and provide maintenance of our water systems, support water conservation projects and, most importantly, how we can respond to our community’s concerns about their sky-high rates.

A graduate of Cal State University-Bakersfield with a degree in political science and economics, I have raised five children, founded two multimillion-dollar software companies and started another software venture. My entrepreneurial business experience of 27 years has proven my ability to make sound high-dollar decisions based on facts, analysis and resources — which is what’s needed to make successful decisions for Carpinteria’s ratepayers.

As a member of the water board, I intend to ensure water rates are fair for all and support water conversation projects that will meet Carpinteria’s long-term water needs.

Polly Holcombe

Holcombe graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor of arts degree in international relations with double minors in business and French. After graduate work at George Washington University and a stint at the Republican National Committee, where she was considered a fundraiser “high roller,” she began her career in Washington at the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, where she counseled U.S. companies on doing business in Africa, India and Malaysia.

Polly Holcombe
Polly Holcombe

Holcombe spent the next 18 years holding senior positions in corporate America, which sent her back to Asia on three other assignments.

In the past 10 years, she held senior management and budget positions with several U.S. companies, including Unisys and NCR Corporation, where she managed a global team of 100-plus employees and a $20 million budget. She presently has an Asia market development business through which she counsels companies on issues in select Asian countries.

Holcombe, a resident of Carpinteria for the past 15 years. is accustomed to complex environments and making difficult decisions in challenging situations. She has been involved in various local community organizations and volunteers at the Carpinteria Historical Museum, Carpinteria Beautiful and the Carpinteria Valley Arts Council.

She is running for the Carpinteria water board because she recognizes that proper management of water is a paramount issue and one of our most precious resources. Her early experience in government, international trade and later international business has provided her with the experience, teamwork and delicate negotiating skills necessary to address complex, yet critical water issues within the Carpinteria Valley. State water solutions/alternatives, fair rates, fiscal responsibility, environment and conservation are just a few of her priorities. Let’s protect the water table we are so fortunate to have.

Shirley Johnson

Johnson’s professional experience spans more than 20 years in international trade and as an executive vice president specializing in startup turnkey factory installations in China.

Shirley Johnson
Shirley Johnson

She has a bachelor’s degree in humanities and has always embraced a wide range of interests, particularly international business, environmental concerns and natural history. She also served as an official liaison for the president’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) under U.S. Ambassador Robert Zoellick from 2002-03.

Seven years ago, Johnson moved to Carpinteria, where her parents had lived for 30 years, to care for her aging mother. Currently retired, she is an active volunteer with the National Park Service and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary doing island restoration projects, scientific plankton collections and reports and whale photo ID work for Cascadia Research.

Johnson realized her interest in and willingness to serve the water board while engaged in the community fight to protect the aquifer from slant drilling during the Measure J campaign. She became quite engaged in the battle to assist the residents and local ranchers when the water board voted (4-1) to promote the drilling of oil wells through the Carpinteria water basin, which some engineers felt would put our water resources at risk.

Now, she is furthering her studies of water issues — on the local, state and national levels — and wants to protect and preserve water resources in Carpinteria.

— Amrita Salm represents Carp Water Matters.


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