The Utilities Board needs you!

The Los Alamos County Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is looking for a new board member; applications are due April 10.

Who is selected is important because the BPU controls county policy for energy, water, and wastewater, which impacts many conservation issues, most notably climate change. Further, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) manages infrastructure throughout county open space and reports to the BPU, so this board has an outsize impact on open space as well.

The board needs a thoughtful person who can articulate their ideas, be persuasive, be a good manager, and is interested in conservation and sustainability. The 5-year term begins July 1.

What it doesn’t need is more of the same. In the recent past, selection has tended to focus on technical expertise, which is a lower priority because the DPU has plenty to offer already, and usually the DPU’s choice of appointee is rubber-stamped by the County Council. A particularly embarrassing situation this led to last year was a board member who is a well-qualified hydrologist but during a meeting encouraged the public to sue the DPU.

Instead, we need independent voices on the BPU who will work effectively with the DPU but challenge them to be a world-class, forward-thinking department. Hopefully this voice is yours!

The county published a brochure on the opening and now has a web-based application form; however, there is a note at the top that you should contact Jamie Kephart at 662-8132 or to apply. Please apply to serve, and do it today because applications are due by April 10.

We plan to work the selection process as it unfolds and will publish updates as needed. Let us know any questions or concerns you have on this matter.