Past Board of Directors

For more information about the past Park District Board of Directors, contact Yolande Barial Knight, Clerk of the Board, at 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), extension 2020, or by email at

Carol SeverinCarol Severin

Ward 3 Board Member
Term: 1994 - 2014

Ms. Severin was elected to the EBRPD Board of Directors in November 1994, and served continuously for 20 years. Previously, she served as a Board Member of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD) for 14 years,  from 1980 to 1994. 

Ms. Severin received her Bachelor's degree in recreation from Washington State College and her Masters degree in parks and recreation from San Francisco State University.  She joined SFSU's recreation faculty in 1961 and taught there for 40 years. She was honored as SFSU Professor Emeritus for her distinguished and meritorious service to the University and community. Ms. Severin also served on the Board of Directors of California Association of Recreation and Park Districts (CARPD), California Special Districts Association (CSDA), California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS).

Ms. Severin was the recipient of the prestigious Pugsley Award and the Fellowship Award in the Professional Service award series for lifetime significant contributions to the California parks and recreation profession. Ms. Severin passed away on July 9, 2019, at age 90.


Diane BurgisDiane Burgis

Ward 7 Board Member
Term: 2014 - 2016

Diane Burgis was elected to the EBRPD Board of Directors in November 2014 and served for two years. She was elected to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor in November 2016. Previously, Ms. Burgis served as councilwoman for the city of Oakley from 2012 to 2014. Since 2007, Ms. Burgis has been the Executive Director of the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed, a grassroots East Contra Costa County nonprofit organization that focuses on water quality, habitat restoration, community service, environmental education, and advocacy.

Before joining the Park District’s Board, Ms. Burgis served on the EBRPD Park Advisory Committee and the Regional Parks Foundation Board. In 2011, Ms. Burgis received the Watershed Champion Award from the Contra Costa County Watershed Forum for her leadership in protecting, restoring, and enhancing watersheds, and for her collaboration in projects that address conservation issues in Contra Costa County.

In 2012, she was named Assembly District 15 Woman of the Year, recognized by State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan for her extensive work with Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed and her contributions to the community. Ms. Burgis has three sons and lives in Oakley.

Doug SidenDoug Siden

Ward 4 Board Member
Term: 1992 - 2016

Elected to the EBRPD Board of Directors in November 1992, Mr. Siden served continuously for 24 years. Prior to his retirement in 1999, he was Executive Director of a successful program to provide environmental education and recreational experiences to youth, children, families and adults for over 20 years. Mr. Siden holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters Degree. He also received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the American Baptist Seminary of the West for his leadership.

His community service included being president of the Alameda County Chapter of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA), past chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center in Oakland, vice chair of the Waterfront Action, and chair of the Alameda Rotary Club's Community Grants Committee. Previously he served as advisory commissioner for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and the Point Reyes National Seashore. Mr. Siden, a resident of Alameda, is married with two children.


John SutterJudge John Sutter

Ward 2 Board Member
Term: 1996 - 2016

Judge John Sutter was elected to the EBRPD Board of Directors in November 1996, and he served continuously for 20 years. Previously Judge Sutter served as Oakland Vice Mayor, Oakland City Council member (elected three terms), and Deputy District Attorney. He was appointed by former Governor Edmund G. Brown to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) at its inception; and he was appointed by former Governor Jerry Brown as Alameda County Superior Court Judge where he served for 14 years.
He also held the office of President, People for Open Space (now Greenbelt Alliance), and served on the boards of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), Sierra Club (local group), YMCA, Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal (OCCUR), Oakland Shoreline Committee, BART Trails Committee, Oakland Arts Council, and the Oakland Cultural Affairs Commission. foot of the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

The Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline, located at the foot of the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, was dedicated on Oct 21, 2021. It was named in honor of Judge Sutter for his vision in 1967 to acquire and turn this former Oakland Army Base land to a park to expand public access to the Bay shoreline. He also advocated for the protection of land around San Pablo Reservoir in the 1950s and in the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline in East Oakland.

Judge Sutter, born and raised in Oakand, was a graduate of Oakland High School, Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School. In 1956, he married Elouise “Ellie” Conte and they raised three daughters. Judge Sutter passed away at 92, on May 10, 2021. His beloved wife passed away a month earlier, at 96, on April 13, 2021. 


  • 2016: Greenbelt AllianceChampion Award - Founding Board Member and former President of Greenbelt Alliance, Environmental Pioneer, and Parks Advocate
  • 2016: California Association of Recreation and Park Districts (CARPD), Award of Distinction for Outstanding Board Member
  • 2013: American Academy for Parks and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), Cornelius Amory Pugsley Award
  • 2012: League of Women Voters (LWV), Making Democracy Work Award - Street Level Health Project

Ted RadkeTed Radke

Ward 7 Board Member
Term: 1978 - 2014

Elected to the EBRPD Board of Directors in 1978, Mr. Radke served continuously for 36 years. He received his Master's Degree in Social Science from California State University at San Francisco in 1969 and before retiring in 2004, was a political science professor at Contra Costa Community College.

He served as an academic consultant to the State of California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training, Command College, Center for leadership Development. Mr. Radke was a co-founder of Contra Costa Ecology Action and Eco-info. He also served on the Martinez City Council and on the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). Mr. Radke, a resident of Martinez, was married with three children. Mr. Radke passed away on August 28, 2016, at age 71.


Whitney Dotson

Ward 1 Board Member
Term: 2008 - 2019

Whitney Dotson was elected to the Board of Directors in November 2008, and he served for eleven years. A long-term resident of Parchester Village in Richmond, Mr. Dotson was a well-known community activist who served as president of his neighborhood council and later, as Vice Chair. He was the president of North Richmond Shoreline Open Space Alliance, a group of community and environmental organizations and individuals working to save access to the open space along the northern shoreline of Richmond.

Mr. Dotson also served as the Associate Director of the Neighborhood House of North Richmond, a non-profit agency that provides services to North Richmond residents, and was Vice Chair of the Community Advisory Group monitoring the cleanup of Campus Bay and UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station. Prior to being elected to the board, he served as an appointed member of the Park District Park Advisory Committee. Mr. Dotson passed away on January 8, 2020