The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors today elected new officers to lead the agency’s Board for the next two years, beginning Oct. 1.
Mark Weston, who represents the city of Poway on the Water Authority’s Board, will serve as chair. Mark Muir, representing the San Dieguito Water District, will serve as vice chair. New Secretary Jim Madaffer is a Board representative from the city of San Diego.
“The Water Authority serves a critical function for this region, and I’m honored to be part of its legacy of leadership,” said Weston, a retired general manager of the Helix Water District. “This will undoubtedly be a challenging tenure in light of the ongoing drought, which has shown no signs of abating. But the San Diego region is a statewide leader in water conservation, and I have no doubt that our residents, businesses and civic leaders will once again pull together to save more water.
“It also is an exciting time as we look forward to the Carlsbad Desalination Project coming online in late 2015. Advancing that concept over the past decade illustrates this agency’s vision and courage,” Weston said. “It also underscores the need for our region to continue developing new local resources such as potable water reuse, and to sustain the investments that we have made over the past two decades to improve our water supply reliability and become more resilient to droughts.”
The incoming chair also said the Water Authority will keep insisting that the region’s largest water supplier – the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – stop overcharging San Diego County ratepayers and set legal rates that reflect the cost of service.
“The Water Authority won the first phase of our rate lawsuits against MWD when the judge said MWD’s rates don’t comply with state law,” Weston said. “We will continue pressing MWD to return tens of millions of dollars in overcharges as we fight for it to set legal rates in the future.”
Weston replaces Thomas V. Wornham, a retired bank executive, who led the Board for the past two years and was honored at today’s meeting for his service during a particularly active period in the Water Authority’s history.
Weston joined the Water Authority Board in December 2011. He has served as vice chair since January 2013, and currently sits on the Water Planning Committee and the Administrative and Finance Committee. Previously, he had been chair of the Water Planning Committee and vice chair of the Legislation, Conservation and Outreach Committee. Weston became the chief engineer for Helix in 1998, and three years later was promoted to general manager. During more than 40 years in the water, wastewater and municipal engineering industries, he also worked for the states of California and Montana, the County of San Diego, and the cities of Poway and Helena, Mont.
Incoming Vice Chair Muir joined the Water Authority Board as a representative for the San Dieguito Water District in 2013 and currently serves as the vice chair of the Imported Water Committee and as a member of the Legislation, Conservation and Outreach Committee. Muir represented the Olivenhain Municipal Water District on the Board from 2003-2011. A career firefighter, Muir was fire chief for the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas and Solana Beach from 2009-11 after being promoted through the ranks.
Newly elected Secretary Madaffer, a member of the Water Authority Board since 2012, is currently the vice chair of the Water Authority’s Legislation, Conservation and Outreach Committee, and a member of the Water Planning and Audit committees. He is president of Madaffer Enterprises, which specializes in public policy and government relations. Madaffer is a member of the California Transportation Commission, a past president of the California League of Cities, and a former city councilmember for San Diego.
The San Diego County Water Authority’s 35-member board, representing 24 retail member water agencies, holds its regular meetings on the fourth Thursday of each month January through October. The November and December meetings have been combined this year on Nov. 20. Board meetings are at the Water Authority’s headquarters, 4677 Overland Ave., San Diego. Board documents and webcasts of Board meetings are at www.sdcwa.org.