There's a wide-open contest for one seat on the five-member Marin Municipal Water District board. In Ross Valley's 3rd Division, appointed incumbent Liza Crosse of Woodacre is opposed by Fairfax Vice Mayor Larry Bragman.

Given the limited number of contested elections on November's ballot, what's normally a low-profile contest for the $175-per-meeting post will be one of Marin's marquee races.
Crosse's full-time job is as Supervisor Steve Kinsey's administrative aide. Bragman is a civil and criminal defense attorney.

Typical in evergreen Marin, both candidates boast serious environmental credentials.
While it's a nonpartisan election, California's Green Party website is touting Bragman.
Longtime Democrat Crosse also will seek her party's support. That effort should be aided by Crosse's campaign manager, Paul Cohen, Marin Democratic Party chairman. 
The MMWD manages seven reservoirs that supply 75 percent of Central and Southern Marin's water needs. A pipeline from Sonoma provides the balance.
Water scarcity is a continuing factor in Marin's intense debate over growth and regional alphabet agencies' demand for more housing.

The district's customers face a conundrum. MMWD has successfully pursued water conservation, yet per-gallon rates haven't declined — they've gone up. The reality is that the district's fixed costs don't decrease when water usage drops.

MMWD manages 21,500 acres of pristine watershed, guaranteeing top-quality drinking water while providing fire flow for Marin fire hydrants. Its spectacular acreage is a recreational amenity prized by hikers and bikers — who are frequently at each other's throats — and environmentalists determined to protect is biodiversity.
The latter's goal can conflict with one of the water district's most daunting responsibilities, making certain that the tinder-dry watershed isn't the origin of a potentially fatal wildland fire.

The dilemma is that 50,000 Marinites who live in the urban-wildland interface demand prompt cost-effective action.

That imperative comes up against green activists passionately opposed to using pesticides or controlled burns to eradicate the invasive species plague. Their preferred alternative, hiring workers to remove accumulated brush by hand, is fabulously expensive.
It's a classic Marin conflict and will be a subtest to much rhetoric surrounding the Crosse-Bragman campaigns.