‘Bean counter’


Recent developments at GDPUD have raised some concerns regarding the GDPUD leadership. I understand the appointment of Ms. Capraun as the interim general manager, given the sudden resignation of our interim general manager Gary Hoffman. What concerns me is board member Bonnie McLane’s quote in the paper stating: “…they would even consider a general manager who doesn’t have water district experience as long as he or she is a ‘bean counter.’”

I can appreciate the need to watch the pocketbook of a public utility. However, accounting skills are one leg of a three-legged stool that forms the foundation of a qualified general manager for a water utility. The other two legs would be solid schooling and experience in business management, and intimate knowledge about the workings of a water district.

When I say intimate knowledge I am not referring to knowledge of GDPUD specifically. I’m referring to intimate knowledge about what it takes for a water district to function properly. Knowledge about the equipment, infrastructure, demand cycles, projections, local/state/federal regulations and the requirements of the personnel to run the operation.

Settling on a “bean counter” is short-sighted and could/will ultimately end up hurting the district and by extension us the customers. Hiring a “bean counter” does nothing to ensure the safe operation of our water utility, and certainly calls into question the suitability of a board member who would focus on a single quality.

It also raises the question: “Is the board acting in the best interest of the community it serves?” I would encourage the GDPUD board to reach out to our most recent interim general manager Gary Hoffmann and ask if he would please consider serving as an advisor to the board, specifically to vet the final candidates for the general manager position.


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