Kevin Graves is a Discovery Bay fixture.
In the 24 years he has lived in town, Graves has worked as a volunteer, founded a nonprofit organization and been active in local politics. This year, he will be leading the town’s community services district (CSD) board as its president.
“This is my ninth year serving on the board, and my third time as president,” Graves said. “We have gone through a lot of changes in the past year, and we have some big projects coming up.”
Graves explained the board and town staff are kept busy trying to stay on top of ever-changing state guidelines for water and wastewater systems. The CSD oversees these systems for the town, ensuring that resident’s needs are met.
“We added de-nitrification filters to the wastewater plant to make our wastewater cleaner, we updated a lot of our processes to meet state and permit requirements and we added a well last year,” Graves said. “We also completed the water meter install project. That was a big one; we’ve been talking about that since I first came on the board, and now it’s done.”
CSD director Bill Mayer worked with Graves on the water meter project last year.
“It was great for me to work with a veteran board member,” said Mayer, who was new to the board at the time. “My early working relationship with Kevin was very positive. Everything was professional, and we came to a resolution. He’s very professional and very determined, with a lot knowledge.”
When he’s not serving on committees or speaking on town business, Graves can be found in his car, driving somewhere in the 10-county region he covers for the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA).
“I work for the CDVA doing outreach for veterans,” he said. “I help veterans get to the resources they need.”
Graves also serves as a staff sergeant in the California National Guard. Working as a chaplain’s assistant, he spends his time in uniform at the armory in Pittsburg. During the fires in Santa Rosa last year, Graves deployed for five days to labor with the rescue workers.
“I was working with the California National Guard to prevent looting,” Graves explained. “It was a dramatic five days, seeing all the devastation. Santa Rosa has a relatively small police department to cover a large area. My job was to provide spiritual comfort to the rescue workers.”
For most people, a full-time job, local political ambitions and part-time National Guard duties would be enough. Graves has added one more ball to his juggling act – he is the president and founder of the Some Gave All, The Joey Graves Foundation.
“The foundation is a nonprofit charity committed to honoring the fallen, supporting those who fight and serving their families,” Graves said. “I started the foundation because of the sacrifice of my son.”
Graves’ son was killed in Iraq in 2006, and Graves began the foundation to help other families who have lost a member who made the ultimate sacrifice for American freedom.
Graves lives in town with his wife, Leianne, and their dog, Sam. Graves plans to continue to spend his busy life working to make this corner of the Delta a better place.