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City’s new utility advisers bring decades of experience

Boulder City’s new utility advisory committee officially has its members, and they want to provide expertise and transparency for the council and community.

The seven-member committee, established in April, will advise the City Council, utilities director and city manager on the operation of the city’s utilities: water, wastewater, electric and waste management.

At its meeting May 28, the council appointed Greg Todd, Howard Analla, Ned Shamo and George Rhee for two-year terms and Eileen Wilkinson, Larry Karr and Keith Bacon to one-year terms.

“I thought I could help the city out with my expertise,” said Todd, a retired Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee, who has worked as a high-voltage electrician and supervisor.

Todd was also an area supervisor and specialized in electrical substations and distribution, and he has experience with water utilities.

He said he hopes he is able to help lower the rates and make a more efficient utility system through a “better utilization of employees and staff.”

Analla said he hopes to offer insight to the city into making good and cost-effective decisions for the utilities.

“I have worked for utilities throughout my career and felt that the utility advisory committee would be a good fit,” he said. “It will allow me to serve my community using my experiences to advise the city on utility issues.”

Most recently, Analla worked for Henderson as its wastewater supervisor.

Shamo worked for the city for 32 years in the electrical department. He was promoted to the position of electric utility administrator before he retired in 2009.

“I feel that in light of my years of experience working for the city … I could offer some in-depth understanding of the city’s electric utility and perhaps provide some unique insights and suggestions concerning proposed system expansions and improvements offered up by city staff,” he said. “Also, my understanding of the various issues pertaining to power supply contracts may be helpful in helping to secure future power supply agreements.”

Rhee is a scientist who has experience with renewable energy and climate change. He teaches about both subjects at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“I applied because I’m interested in water and energy issues,” he said.

Rhee said he wants to focus on positive solutions to issues.

“People are very vocal about what they don’t want,” he said. “I’m trying to make the conversation more positive and ask what do you want?”

Also, he said he wants to help the council members, city staff and community better understand the utility issues and explain why the rates are what they are.

Bacon said he applied for the committee because he wanted to give back to the city as it has been good to him and his family. He has 20 years experience in the utility industry and said he wants to learn more about the opportunities and challenges with the city’s utility portfolio and help create the right solutions.

Karr and Wilkinson also have experience in the utility industry.

Karr was a longtime employee at the Bureau of Reclamation, where he worked as public utilities specialist for 21 years.

“I would like to help the city review and analyze the processes, costs, revenues and rates related to the various utilities and help improve or streamline any of them,” he said.

Wilkinson moved to Boulder City three years ago after working for Lincoln City, Oregon, for 29 years, including 27 years with its finance department, where she was in charge of the billing for water and sewer.

She said she felt like she had a balanced position with her utility experience and knows what it’s like to live on a fixed income, as she is retired.

“The main thing is transparency. … I want to be a bridge between the citizens and the city,” she added.

City Clerk Lorene Krumm said the committee will start meeting after the members complete training.

“After every municipal election, POOL/PACT comes to Boulder City to offer training on open meeting law, good governance, ethics, etc.,” she said. “Every committee/commission member is strongly encouraged to attend as well as any new council members. This usually takes place at the end of June or sometime in July. We are also trying to determine a day which would work best while considering other committee/commission set meeting dates.”

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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