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Director Richard Santos - Biography


Director Richard P. Santos, District 3, is a native of Alviso, California, and he served in Korea with the
1st Calvary Armored Division until receiving an honorable U.S. Army Discharge in 1965. In 1968 he was hired as
a San Jose Firefighter, promoted to Fire Engineer, Fire and Arson Inspector and retired with 33 years of Service
as a Fire Captain in 2001. During his tenure at the San Jose Fire Department he served as the elected Fire Representative
on the San Jose Police/Fire Pension system for 12 years, and was a labor representative of the San Jose Firefighters
Local 230 union. Director Santos is currently elected and appointed by the Mayor and San Jose City Council as the Retiree
Representative on the San Jose Police/Fire Retirement Pension System.

While working full time Director Santos attended educational classes and earned an AA in Police Science and AS in Fire
Science. He also has a lifetime teaching Fire Science credential from the California Community College system, where
he taught Fire Science at Mission College. Director Santos earned his BS Degree in Public Administration from
Farelston and Nova Colleges.

Director Santos has volunteered in the Alviso Community and Santa Clara County for the last 50 years. He was
instrumental with the development of Alviso Library Project Fundraising Committee where he served as Chairman and
received recognition from the San Jose Public Library in 1999. He has received a number of awards over the years,
including: City of San Jose Fire Department, Special Recognition Award in 1985; Santa Clara County Black Firefighters
Association 1995 Award of Excellence for Fire Employees; the Northern California Los Bomberos of San Jose Award in
1995 for his 12 year tenure as Vice Chair on the Police/Fire Retirement System; City of San Jose Commendation
in 1998 for serving as a member of the Alviso Task Force Committee. In 2004 Director Santos received the Distinguished
Service Award for his 20 years of active volunteer services with the Santa Visits Alviso Foundation which provides
numerous services and educational scholarships for low-income students, and where he continues his 32 year tenure as
Chair with this non-profit organization. Director Santos was recognized by the Berryessa Citizen Advisory Council as
"Citizen of the Year" for 2006. Also in 2006 he received the City of San Jose Commendation for Community Service
Award; in 2007 the City of San Jose awarded him a City Commendation for providing college scholarships for youth. In
2011 the Santa Visits Alviso Foundation awarded Director Santos with the Board of Directors Award for outstanding service
for the community. In 2014 Director Santos was recognized by the volunteers of the 9th Annual Santos Family Free Car
Show, for his efforts in raising funds for youth scholarships. In 2015 the NAACP awarded Director Santos with the Dorothy
Irene Height Community Service Award.

Director Santos serves by appointment on the 28 member South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Committee.  He also serves on
the Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan 37 member task force as San Jose Mayor and City Council appointee.

Director Santos was elected in 2000 to represent District 3 - Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Alviso community, Milpitas, and
Berryessa/Alum Rock communities. Director Santos has served on the Board of Directors as Vice Chair in 2004, 2009, and
2017, and as Chair in 2005, 2010 and 2018. His current term is through December 2020.

Director Santos may be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (408)234-7707. 

Correspondence to the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Members may be sent via
e-mail to: [email protected].