Truckee Donner PUD to vote on new board member Wednesday night | SierraSun.com

Truckee Donner PUD to vote on new board member Wednesday night

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The Truckee Donner Public Utility District will likely have a new board member by the end of Wednesday.

Board members have been looking for a replacement since June 22 for former Director John Hillstrom, who resigned his fifth director seat because of his anticipation of spending more time in Santa Cruz.

According to the agenda for Wednesday night’s PUD meeting, five candidates and#8212; local residents Jamie Brimer, Josh Susman, Dan Warren, Laura Ferree and Scott Parker and#8212; will be allowed five-to-seven minute statements before taking questions from the current 4-person board. The board will then vote on a new trustee.

Susman and Warren ran for two open seats on the PUD board this past November, losing out to incumbents Ron Hemig and Tony Laliotis. The new trustee will fill the vacancy until the end of Hillstrom’s term on Dec. 7, 2012. Hillstrom was elected in November 2008 for the four-year term.

Brimer is a 14-year resident and local contractor who ran for town council in 2008. He is licensed in real estate and he’s served as the chairman of the Deacon Board at the Sierra Bible Church.

and#8220;One of the common threads of my above experience is learning to negotiate with people and finding solutions to problems,and#8221; said Brimer in his letter of intent to run for the seat.

Ferree, an attorney and newer resident to Truckee, according to her letter, said her understanding of law and legal issues surrounding employment separate her as a highly competitive applicant for the seat.

and#8220;I was an employment defense attorney and am familiar with the typical employment law issues that occur with a large employer,and#8221; she said.

Her newness to the area, she said, will add balance and greater perspective to the board; Ferree worked as an attorney in Virginia and Massachusetts previously.

Parker, an adjunct political science instructor at Sierra College, said his background includes previous employment as a logistics officer in the U.S. Army, a case manager at Sierra County Services and doctoral-level course work at University of Nevada, Reno.

Within his letter, he commits to support of conservation programs and service at low rates.

and#8220;I will work to ensure that the district continues to provide a consistent level of service at the lowest possible cost,and#8221; said Parker, a two-year Truckee resident and previously a 10-year Tahoe resident.

Susman, who finished behind Laliotis and Hemig, respectively, last November, is a former Truckee mayor in 2000 and 2004. He is currently a manager of a local resort. He said he has a proven commitment to the community through his 30-year residency in Truckee.

and#8220;I am committed to fulfill the obligations of a director in a fair, thoughtful and balanced way. I am committed to an effective and collaborative relationship with my fellow directors and PUD staff,and#8221; Susman said in his letter.

Warren, the general manager of the Glenshire Devonshire Residence Association, said in his letter his job makes him highly accessible, and his desire to help district residents and further conservation efforts creates a perfect combination for the position.

and#8220;When you combine all of these factors, it will hopefully bring you to the conclusion that I can be an asset to the district on many different fronts,and#8221; Warren said.

During election forums last year, both Warren and Susman were critical of the board’s decision in earlier in the year to grant a raise to current TDPUD General Manager Michael Holley, who also takes care of water utility director duties for the district.

and#8220;In this economy a 30 percent raise plus benefit package, plus everything else is kind of unconscionable. I don’t blame Mr. Holley for a moment to be handed this raise on a silver platter. Yet, in this economy how many of us have gotten a 30 percent raise recently. It was a tough one to swallow as a rate payer,and#8221; Susman said during a September 2010 election forum at the town council chambers.

Warren shared a similar view.

and#8220;Can (Holley) go without because of economic times?and#8221; Warren asked. and#8220;Everybody else is suffering and#8212; we need to make it so we are not rewarding ourselves when everybody else is having a hard time.and#8221;

Hemig, who sits on Seat 3 of the board, refuted the criticism.

and#8220;What was even harder to swallow was three years before that when we decided not to give our previous general manager a raise and he retired. The cost of replacement was in the hundreds of thousands,and#8221; Hemig said.