Occupation: Retired environmental scientist
Why are you running for office?
I am running for re-election as a director of EMD and would like to continue supporting Evergreen Metro District’s ongoing transition to meet the growing challenges of regulatory tightening, climate change and its various manifestations, and cultural changes in Evergreen itself. We are well into the process of updating the strategic plan for EMD, including coordination with West Jeff and Kittredge on wastewater. I want to continue helping bring this update to completion.
Why are you the best candidate for the position, especially governing a district whose operations are technical?
My professional background is technical environmental management, planning, prevention, treatment and remediation, with particular emphasis on pollution of surface and ground water. It’s ideal for leadership in and support of staff and the EMD board. I also have served as CEO of multiple companies and bring administrative and financial experience to EMD. The combination of technical and management experience is an excellent mix for supporting EMD’s operations.
What experience or expertise would you bring to the EMD board?
Technical and scientific: discussed above. Water and wastewater board experience for multiple decades. I was part of the startup of the former Evergreen Central District (El Pinal) in 1976; the operation of North Evergreen District (Hiwan Hills) during the 80s and early 90s; EMD after North merged into EMD. Serving on multiple technical committees regarding water, wastewater and water rights. Experience technically supporting the staff and the board and optimally serving as a director in a local district.
What are the three biggest challenges facing EMD?
- Climate change: Creates water source uncertainty for both quality and quantity, and affects water-use decisions, management of drought conditions, meeting obligations for water releases to other rights holders; also maintaining streamflow for fish. B. Regulatory requirements: EPA: Difficult and expensive regulations on the horizon, particularly for wastewater, but affecting water treatment as well; state engineer regarding water rights and Evergreen Dam repair; ;arge impact on capital spending anticipated; C. Periodic growth issues in Evergreen: coordination among various local, county and state agencies, plus the City of Denver.
How do you propose tackling those challenges?
EMD has been updating its long-term programs for challenges for a number of years, making excellent progress. We have promoted enhanced cooperation with Jeffco Planning/Commissioners; have coordinated strongly with EPRD on water related items (Buchanan Ponds, maintaining Evergreen Lake height, North Trail, etc.); are working with Evergreen Fire Rescue on fire-flow issues. These efforts need to be expanded and continued. EMD needs enhanced communication with the Evergreen community.
What would you do to promote openness and transparency in government?
The tools are there for public participation — open meetings, controls on decision processes, budgets and plans. In the case of EMD, the issue might be the level of interest on the part of the public. We welcome and encourage attendance at our meetings, but it rarely occurs. While some of the issues are technically complex, and problems are often solved incrementally as data are researched and obtained, the board and staff have always been open to the community. We’ve also occasionally used information pieces sent to customers, items on the website and articles in the Courier, which could be expanded.
How should EMD respond to requests for water and sewer for large developments, especially when those developments are usually highly charged in the community?
Growth regulation involves local and county agencies, each with its own responsibilities. Jeffco makes all approval decisions on new projects. EMD’s authority relates to the provision of water and wastewater services. This includes design and installation of infrastructure. EMD believes growth must pay its own way, and developers are required to provide whatever is needed to meet water and wastewater standards and to connect with EMD. EMD also coordinates with Jeffco Planning, Evergreen Fire and Sanitation Districts to support their growth-related management responsibilities. West Jeff manages wastewater collection/treatment, and EMD manages water in El Rancho, for example.
As EMD has seen drought conditions for many years, how can EMD improve communication with constituents, so they follow the rules?
Drought is a major inconvenience to a community used to outdoor watering. The historical design of the water system dating from the 1950s reflects provision of “domestic” water usage: indoor uses for kitchen and bathroom activities primarily, with limited outdoor use. Outside irrigation has always been a discretionary use, subject to limitation in volume or timing, and to temporary shutoff during drought periods. The communication effort is revised annually, with increased success in getting basic information to the customers. This has included using social media, signs, the Canyon Courier, emails, notes in bills and many personal phone calls.
Is there anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
It’s been quite an honor to serve the Evergreen community for many of the 47 years we’ve lived here, mostly in water and/or sanitation districts. It’s not just the great staff and management of EMD, but the chance to visit with my neighbors and friends around town to discuss things they hear or see, and to help them understand how EMD is serving them and can serve them better.