Truckee utility broadband chief resigns |

Truckee utility broadband chief resigns

Jenny Goldsmith/Sierra SunGeneral Services Manager Alan Harry packs up Wednesday at the Truckee Donner Public Utility District. Harry starts at the Tahoe City Public Utility District on Monday, Jan. 28.

Even as Truckee’s utility district moves forward with plans to offer broadband Internet service, the telecommunications manager hired to coordinate the project has announced his resignation.

After eight years with the Truckee utility, General Services Manager Alan Harry said he has decided to pursue other career opportunities.

Harry will leave the Truckee Donner Public Utility District on Friday, Jan. 25, and the following Monday begin his new position as administrator of planning and public works with Tahoe City’s utility.

“The position I’m taking is truly a step up from what I’m doing now in relationship to the number of people I will be supervising and the volume of responsibilities I will take on,” Harry said Wednesday at the district office as he prepared to leave.

Assistant General Manager Cindy Gustafson of the Tahoe City Public Utility District said Harry’s duties will include overseeing utilities engineering and technical services.

“We’re very fortunate to have found a professional of his abilities to join our team,” Gustafson said. “His background in Truckee and in town government gives him great experience to deal with the issues we face.”

The Truckee utility district hired Harry in 1999 to facilitate the district’s entry into the world of fiber-optic broadband services. He brought with him eight years experience in the telecommunications business as former manager of WestStar Cable in Truckee.

Although the district’s efforts have encountered several unexpected obstacles, including litigation and market uncertainty, the board of directors continues to explore how to offer its customers broadband Internet service and other possible options.

Harry said he has agreed to assist the district with the transition of a new general services manager as it relates to the broadband project.

“I believe that the Truckee community deserves a state-of-the-art broadband system,” Harry said of his continued involvement. “There is no question that I would like to see it succeed.”

However, board Vice President Pat Sutton said the district’s directors have yet to discuss Harry’s replacement.

“I believe it will depend somewhat on how the board decides to pursue the broadband project,” Sutton said. While Sutton has been opposed to the project from the beginning, she said she is saddened by Harry’s departure.

“I was a watchdog with the broadband project so we sometimes had different opinions, but we maintained a friendship,” she said.

Harry said he will continue to reside in Truckee, and will remain active with the community, particularly with the Truckee Rotary.

“I consider myself blessed because I’m given the opportunity to transition from one well-run, well-respected organization to another,” Harry said. “It’s not easy to leave, but at the same time, this is an exceptional opportunity.”

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