News Briefs: Township Salutes Water and Sewer Workers

In this week’s news, a New Jersey township praises its water and sewer workers, a former clerk is charged with theft, California approves emergency water regulations, and Portland Water Bureau seeks new leadership.
News Briefs: Township Salutes Water and Sewer Workers

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Livingston, New Jersey, took the time to recognize the important role its municipal sewer workers play in the township. The health and safety of the community relies on the successful operation of its sewer utility, Township Manager Michele Meade noted.

“If this system isn’t working, it’s an emergency for everyone in town,” she said. “They are just one example of the dozens of productive and competent work teams that provide services for the Township of Livingston. I’m proud to be associated with them.”

According to township officials, the 11 sewer utility employees run and maintain all aspects of the primary, secondary and tertiary treatment system — clocking in at a total of 137 miles of pipe, 4,000 manholes and seven lift stations.

“Sewage may be an uncomfortable topic for discussion, but it is a fact of life,” reads a statement from the Township. “Thanks to the dedicated employees of our sewer utility, residents generally don’t have to think about what happens after they flush the toilet.”

Source: Livingston (New Jersey) Patch

Former Water Utility Clerk Indicted on Theft Charges

Lisa Cipy, former clerk with Watauga River Regional Water Authority/ North Elizabethton (Tennessee) Water Cooperative, was indicted on one count of theft over $10,000 in utility cash collections, which was reportedly taken between March and September 2014.

WJHL News reports that Cipy was accused of stealing at least $11,325 by falsely voiding stolen customer cash payments in collection records, or by never recording the stolen customer collections in the district’s accounting records.

According to a release from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, Cipy removed the bills of customers whose accounts had been manipulated before they were mailed so the customer could not see their current bill was incorrect, and she also removed the related customer names from the monthly cutoff list of delinquent customers.

Cipy resigned her position after Comptroller investigators did a surprise count of her cash drawer, finding it $100 short.

Source: WJHL News Channel 11

California Board Approves Emergency Water Regulations

On May 5, California’s state water board approved emergency drought regulations to support a 25 percent reduction of water use in urban areas. Cities and water agencies will be expected to slash water usage by amounts ranging from 8 percent to 36 percent.

These regulations were put in place to meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate ordering a 25 percent water use reduction in urban areas statewide.

Though the state water board has the ability to issues fines of up to $10,000 to cities or water districts that don’t hit their targets, officials say they would prefer to work with water districts to help reach goals right away. And water agencies have been granted the discretion in determining how they will reach their goals and where the cutbacks will be made. However, these regulations exclude most of the farming industry in California and the use of recycled water, USA Today reports.  

“It is better to prepare now than to face much more painful cuts should it not rain in the fall,” Felicia Marcus, chair of the water board, told USA Today. “I do get all the fears and concerns, but I do think this is a moment to rise to an occasion and an all-hands-on-deck kind of moment.”

Figures released by the board report that Californians reduced water use by 3.6 percent in March compared to the 2013 March figures; water use was reduced 2.8 percent in February and 7.3 percent in January.

Source: USA Today

Portland Water Bureau Seeks New Leader

The City of Portland is looking for a new administrative leader for its drinking water utility, Portland Water Bureau. This position is responsible for managing a workforce of more than 550 employees, and should have the necessary experience for policy planning, leadership direction and operation of the bureau, managing the administration group and overseeing the executive management team. 

The City will accept resumes through June 1, 4:30 p.m., and candidates will be notified of interviews the week of June 8.  The City expects to hold selection committee interviews the week of July 13, and by the first week in August a job offer to be made.

To apply, applicants must submit a cover letter and professional resume online at NeoGov. Emailed and/or faxed applications will not be accepted.

For more information, contact Lynda Lewis, Bureau of Human Resources Diversity, outreach, employment resources manager, at 503/823-3514.



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