How has your experience prepared you for this position?
During my tenure as Commissioner for District 2 I have actively engaged and educated myself on the complex issues involved in every critical policy decision made at the PUD. Skagit PUD has been recognized by our neighboring utilities, and utilities across the Pacific Northwest, as a model of operation and efficiency. Receiving the official nod as one of the best operated, best managed and best water delivery systems in the state is certainly a badge that I wear proudly, but nothing is achieved without hard work and knowledge of your issues. For me, as a candidate for the District 2, my knowledge of, and dedication to the representation and preservation of the Skagit PUD, and what it represents for this County, is unrivaled and spoken for in the projects and developments I have helped propose and oversee since first taking office in 2001.
What will be your top three priorities for your PUD District?
Continuing to advance and enhance the quality and morale of Skagit PUD employees by ensuring structure and calculated plans for growth and forward progress.
My fellow Commissioners and I have collaborated with PUD management and employees to develop a 5-year strategic plan for the PUD. This plan will help guide decision-making at an elevated level throughout the organization.
This strategic plan was developed with input from every department and employee and identified the top three issues that will serve as priority criteria for the PUD:
- Maintaining pace with continuing population growth and development;
- Water sustainability;
- Proper long-term asset management.
I have aligned my priorities to those also identified by PUD Staff and Management as the critical needs for the Utility and the District. By working with the expert staff and management of Skagit PUD it ensures that there is no agenda other than what is best for You and the PUD.
How will you encourage your customers to conserve the resources for which your district is responsible?
Conservation is a personal priority and one I strictly adhere to as a principled Commissioner. It is remarkable to see the community response when the PUD does ask for voluntary conservation.
When Skagit PUD introduced a 3-year conservation plan, customers responded with over 15 gallons per day savings, beating the PUD’s expectations by over 3 gallons per day!
Skagit PUD does not have police authority to install mandatory conservation, such as the County Commissioners and City Councils have, but we do offer resources and information to make conservation a regular part of the day. The PUD provides rain barrels for outdoor use, shower timers so only the necessary amount of water is used to soap up and rinse off. There are many conservation and water savings tips on the PUD website, http://www.SkagitPUD.org, that can help provide large savings over the course of a month or year!
How will you address the one issue you consider the most urgent?
Addressing the growth that has already begun in and around Skagit County is the most urgent issue facing the PUD. The cost of maintaining a rapidly growing water infrastructure system puts stress on every part of the operation – water resource protection, rising utility and material costs, aging infrastructure, and maintaining a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Managing demand and priority equally, while still maintaining a high level of fiscal responsibility, takes knowledge, skill, and experience within the water utility industry. As the population growth continues at its current pace so does the demand for greater infrastructure needs. The PUD will find ways to maintain infrastructure planning while remaining fiscally prudent and sensitive to the impact any rate increase would have on customers. Thankfully the PUD adheres to a 10 year Capital Improvement Plan and has recently completed and approved a 5 year strategic growth plan, which guides the work of the PUD.