The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)

Delta Council Members

Created by the legislature in 2009, the Delta Stewardship Council is composed of members who represent different parts of the state and offer diverse expertise in fields such as agriculture, science, the environment, and public service. Of the seven, four are appointed by the Governor, one each by the Senate and Assembly, and the seventh is the Chair of the Delta Protection Commission.

The council's work is supported by an independent board of nationally and internationally prominent scientists.

Council members are:

Randy Fiorini
Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council.  Randy Fiorini was born in Turlock, CA, where he was raised on his family’s tree fruit and wine grape farm. After graduation from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1975, Mr. Fiorini returned to Turlock and assumed managing partner responsibilities for Fiorini Ranch.

Interested in agricultural industry affairs, Mr. Fiorini was elected to serve as the Chairman of the California Canners and Growers, Chairman of the California Cling Peach Advisory Board, and was appointed by two Presidents to serve on the US Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Fruits and Vegetables.

In addition to farming, Mr. Fiorini has found time to serve as director on many local boards, including Faith Home Teen Ranch, Hope Unlimited International, and is the past president of Emmanuel Medical Center, Rotary Club of Livingston, and the Merced County Farm Bureau.

Recognized for his agricultural leadership and on-farm achievements, Mr. Fiorini was selected by the United States Jaycees in 1987 as the Outstanding Young Farmer in the United States.

Mr. Fiorini’s public involvement with water issues began in 1992 when he was elected director of the Turlock Irrigation District. He served in that capacity for 16 years. During that time he also served as president of the San Joaquin River Group Authority, president of the California Farm Water Coalition, and as president of the Association of California Water Agencies.

In March 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Mr. Fiorini to serve on the Delta Stewardship Council, and was initially elected to a four year as Vice-Chair of the Council by his colleagues at the Council's inception in 2010. At the conclusion of this term as Vice-Chair in 2014, he was elected Chair.

 

Phil Isenberg
Vice-Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council.  Previously, he served as a Sacramento City Council member from 1971-1974, Mayor of Sacramento from 1975-1982 and as a member of the California State Assembly representing portions of Sacramento, Contra Costa and San Joaquin Counties from 1982 to 1996.  His state legislative district contained major parts of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  His subject area focus as an elected official included land use planning, water and resource issues, state budget and fiscal matters, redevelopment reform and healthcare issues.

Mr. Isenberg holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and a Bachelor of Art in Social Science and Government from California State University, Sacramento. He was in private practice and also served as President of Isenberg-O’Haren Government Relations from 2004 to February 2010.  He is currently an inactive member of the California State Bar.

Mr. Isenberg served as chair of the California Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force from 2004 to 2006 and served as chairman of the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force from 2007 to 2008.  The recommendations of the Delta Vision Task Force provided much of the structure of the major water/Delta policy changes adopted by the legislature in 2009 and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger.

He was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to a six year term on the Delta Stewardship Council, and was initially elected to a four year term as Chair of the Council by his colleagues at the Council's inception in 2010. At the conclusion of his term as Chair in 2014, he was elected Vice-Chair.

 

Aja Brown
Compton, CA, made history in 2013 when she became the youngest elected mayor of the City of Compton in Los Angeles County.  With over 10 years of experience in community and economic development, Brown has concentrated on improving outcomes through policy reform, innovation and strategic partnerships, serving the citizens of Compton.

Brown has made major strides in improving the quality of life for Compton residents. For instance, she has launched several community initiatives including the “Compton Community Policing Task Force.” And she has built partnerships with several of the surrounding colleges and universities to strategize on how to create industry-specific employment training programs and decreasing the City’s unemployment rate.

Brown has received the prestigious USC 2014 Young Alumni Merit Award, participated as the 2013 Pat Brown Institute Distinguished Lecturer and is the recipient of the National Action Network Martin Luther King Award. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy, Urban Planning and Development and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in Economic Development from USC.

Frank C. Damrell, Jr.
Sacramento, CA, is a principal at Cotchett, Pitre, and McCarthy and was a distinguished Federal Judge of the United States District Court, Eastern District of California.

Prior to his appointment as a Federal Judge in 1997 by President Clinton, Damrell was a Deputy Attorney General for California and a Deputy District Attorney in Stanislaus County.  He started his own law firm in 1968 in Modesto and headed that firm until his appointment to the U.S. District Court.

Judge Damrell holds a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley.  He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from Santa Clara University.

During his career he has served as President of the Consumers Federation of California and was appointed to the California State Consumer Advisory Council.  He has also served on numerous collegiate Boards throughout Northern and Central California, on the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and on the Federal/State Steering Committee on Civic Education.

 

Patrick Johnston
Stockton, CA, is the President and CEO of the California Association of Health Plans. He served 20 years in the Legislature, 10 in the Assembly and 10 in the Senate. He chaired the Senate Committee on Appropriations for six years and chaired the Assembly Committee on Finance and Insurance for four years.

Beyond his years in the legislature, Mr. Johnston worked for Health Net in government relations and taught public policy part-time at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of the Pacific. He is an advisory board member of the UC Berkeley Petris Center on Health Care Markets and is a former member of the California Bay-Delta Authority and the California Delta Protection Commission.

Mr. Johnston is a graduate of St Patrick's College and holds a Master's Degree from CSU Sacramento. He was appointed to the Delta Stewardship Council in March 2010 by the Senate Committee on Rules.

Frank "Larry" Ruhstaller
Stockton, CA, is serving his seventh year on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.  He represents the 2nd District which encompasses most of central and northern Stockton.

Mr. Ruhstaller also serves on the Board of Directors of the Health Plan of San Joaquin, as a Board Representative on the Local Agency Formation Commission, and as Chairman of the San Joaquin Flood Control Agency.

Prior to his election as a Supervisor, Mr. Ruhstaller served two terms on the Stockton City Council.  He is a third generation Stocktonian, is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley where he earned his B.A. in U.S. History, and was a Lieutenant J.G. in the U.S. Navy.  He was appointed to the Delta Stewardship Council in October 2013 as chair of the Delta Protection Commission.


Susan Tatayon
Rocklin, CA, has been Associate Director of The Nature Conservancy’s California Water Program since 2006. She has over 30 years of experience in water resources policy, planning and management. In recent years, she has worked with agencies, reclamation districts, and natural-resource managers to design and implement innovative policies and strategies aimed at sustaining healthy aquatic ecosystems and reliable water supplies.

Ms. Tatayon was elected to the Floodplain Management Association board of directors in 2013. From 2011 to 2013, she co-chaired the California Water Plan Update Advisory Committee’s Finance Caucus. In 2009, she served on work groups that helped define the scope of the first Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. In 2007, she served as a member of the stakeholder group advising the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for sustainable management of the Delta.

Prior to working for The Nature Conservancy, Ms. Tatayon managed projects and staff for a multinational consulting firm, where she managed staff working on integrated water management plans and such projects as the Lower American River Flow Regime, the 2005 California Water Plan Update, and offstream storage investigations.

Governor Brown appointed Ms. Tatayon to the Delta Stewardship Council in May 2014. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State University, Sacramento.

 

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IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

To view the Appeals Procedures adopted by the Council on Sept. 24, 2010, please click here.