Donald L. Dear was elected to the West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) Board of Directors in November 2000. He is currently serving his fifth term after being re-elected in November 2016. He represents the Division V cities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Lawndale and the unincorporated Los Angeles County area of El Camino Village.
Director Dear came to the Board with a vast array of experience in public service, serving on the Gardena City Council from 1970 to 1974 and again from 1978 to 1982, as well as serving as the Gardena mayor for nine consecutive terms from 1982 to 2001. He retired with 27 years of total service to the City of Gardena. Director Dear is currently serving as the Secretary of the Board and Chair of the Ethics Committee. He previously served as one of two West Basin representatives on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California from 2013 to 2018
In 2004, 2008, 2012 and again in 2016, he was elected as one of the representatives for the Los Angeles County Independent Special Districts on the Local Agency Formation Commission of which he currently serves as First Vice President. In October 2011, the West Basin Board paid tribute to Dear’s distinguished public service by naming their Carson Headquarters the Donald L. Dear Building.
Director Dear’s years of experience have given him a deep first-hand understanding of the roles, responsibilities and challenges facing local governmental institutions. He served for 24 years as a Trustee of the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District, and for 19 years on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles County Sanitation District No. 5. He also served as President of the South Bay Cities Association (now known as South Bay Cities Council of Governments), on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Cities Joint Powers Consortium and is a member of the Sierra Club.
As a former teacher at Stephen White Middle School in Carson for 38 years, he is well known and widely respected by his former students, colleagues and members of the community. In 1983 he was “Teacher of the Year” for Region A of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Dear’s professional affiliations include his service as a member of the National Council for Social Studies, board member of the Political Action Council of Educators, and six terms of service as a member of the House of Representatives of the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA).
His civic affiliations include the Association for Retarded Citizens – South Bay, El Nido Services, Gardena Elks, Gardena High School Booster Club, Gardena Jaycees, Gardena Valley Cultural Arts Corporation, Gardena Valley Friends of the Library, Gardena Valley Music Association, Gardena Valley Red Cross, Gardena-Carson Family YMCA, Hollypark and Gardena Valley Lions Club, Kiwanis Club of Gardena Valley, Serra High School Advisory Board, and the University of Southern California San Pedro Peninsula Trojan Club.
Director Dear has also distinguished himself through his outstanding work with youth, not only as a noteworthy educator, but also for his 30 years of unselfish dedication as a coach for more than 70 teams in three sports through the Gardena Recreation Department Youth Sports Leagues.