Council Appoints Jeff Johnson To Utility Board

Los Alamos County Council appointed Jeff Johnson during this evening’s meeting in Council Chambers to fill a vacancy on the Utilities Board. Screen Shot/LAC

DPU Board candidates, from left, David Schiferl, Kerry Harms and James Nealy Robinson. Screen Shot/LAC

 

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
In a first round 4 to 3 vote, the Los Alamos County Council selected Jeff Johnson from a pool of four candidates to fill a vacancy on the Department of Public Utilities Board.
 
Johnson has lived in Los Alamos for 23 years and is an engineer and project manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The other candidates include David Schiferl, Kerry Harms, who recieved one vote and James Nealy Robinson who garnered two votes.
 
Under a new selection process, which debuted with this DPU board vacancy, an interview panel met with each candidate and ultimately recommended Johnson to Council.

In a telephone interview with the Los Alamos Daily Post this evening, Johnson spoke about his interest to serve on the DPU board.

“I’m very happy to be selected and really pleased with the application and interview process,” he said. “I thought all the candidates had great answers to the questions so I’m honored.”

During the interview process, the candidates were asked several questions including why they wanted to serve on the DPU board. Johnson said he thinks that public utilities are entering a transitional phase.

“The emergence of site power generation, like residential rooftop solar, coupled with increasing demands for renewable power is going to change the traditional role of the public utilities,” he said. “This is a topic that greatly interests me, I believe its solution has global implications and it’s happening now. I want to be involved in helping resolve some of the issues associated with this paradigm shift, and potentially making the DPU a leader in developing economically and socially viable solutions to these challenges for the utility industry.”

When asked what he would like to accomplish during his tenure on the board, Johnson said he thinks the DPU is already fairly customer oriented and provides tremendous service so he doesn’t think he would focus his efforts there, Johnson said.

“I would like to make the billing structure more transparent and help secure long-term infrastructure improvements,” he said. “I would be interested in developing more renewable power generation, modernizing the County’s physical and administrative challenges to increased residential solar, securing the County’s San Juan Water  rights, and trying to figure out an equitable fee arrangement for residential solar users that both encourages installation and provide a fair payment to the DPU for the infrastructure use.”

The DPU Board includes:

  • David W Powell
  • Paul O. Frederickson
  • Stephen G. McLin
  • Andrew M. Fraser
  • Timothy R. Neal

Board members serve until replaced. Council Vice Chair David Izraelevitz is the council liaison and Utilities Manager Timothy Glasco is the staff liaison.

The DPU board has such membership qualifications, duties and responsibilities as set forth in the County Charter. Composition of the board is 5-year staggered terms, beginning July 1 and ending June 30. The board meets at 5:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month in Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. The meetings are open to the public.

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