Incumbents in the Talent Aqueduct want to rush to hire managers before the election

The longest-serving directors of the Talent Regional Water District want to push the election of a new general manager, the agency’s chief executive officer, before voters can potentially take on new leadership on the board. ..

general manager Jim Oliver retires 35 years after leading the Talent Regional Water District. His resignation and the election of three large seats on the board provide the greatest opportunity to supply more than 2 million people with approximately 120 billion gallons of raw water and give the overseeing agency a fresh perspective. To do. $ 1.17 billion Panther Island project.

The March board of directors chose Austin-based Lehman Associates to look for a new general manager. The list of job seekers is not publicly available.

Jack Stephens, president of the board and the longest serving director in 17 years, intends to hire a new general manager on the Star Telegram editorial board before board members take office after the May 1 election. He said there was. That view was in contrast to other candidates, including incumbent director James Hill, who said the decision should not be rushed.

Hill, Stevens and Rear King have been campaigning for another four years. Voters elect three general members to the Tarrant Regional Water District Board of Directors. From a list of seven candidates, including Mary Kelleher, Jeremy Raines, Charles “CB” Team, and Glenda Murray Thompson. Directors Jim Lane and Marty Leonard have not run for election.

In an interview with the candidate’s editorial board, Stevens claimed that the current board “knows what needs to be done and knows the personalities involved.”

When asked if he thought it would be a good idea to hire a new general manager and keep him a candidate for a new board, Stevens said the board was unlikely to change significantly.

“We don’t put them in the hands of another board,” he said before pausing. “Because Marty and Jim are there, we’ll be two. And, uh, if I’m reelected, I’ll be three. Plus, someone who knows what’s going on. I’m going to hire you. “

Stevens later said he had never seen the list of applicants.

Hill, who was first elected four years ago, said the board was systematic in choosing a new general manager and thought that no one should be hired before the election.

“We don’t want to do this in a hurry or try to make decisions in any kind of politically motivated time frame,” Hill said. “I do not endorse any kind of approval, either pre-election or pre-swearing.”

In an editorial board interview, former directors Thompson and Kelleher, who also ran for 2019, said they thought the one elected in May should make a choice. Mr Rains said it would be wise for the board to wait to avoid the impression that hiring was swiftly pushed for political reasons. The 2019 team called hiring on behalf of Oliver a “very difficult task” worthy of a national survey.

Lane did not participate in the editorial board interview because he did not run for election. He didn’t answer the call for comment on Wednesday.

Leonard said King and Leonard formed a search committee and both had met with contractors several times. She said that promoting recruitment before the election was never discussed and no list of applications was provided. Leonard believed that the current board’s choice to replace Oliver would benefit from having the most knowledge of the district, but will the candidates be scrutinized at the April 20 meeting? He said it was unclear.

“If you want to know the truth, I don’t think it’s a problem either way,” she said. “It’s just a matter of going through the right process.”

King said he wants to scrutinize the list, which includes internal and external applicants. She didn’t say how long the process would take.

“I don’t even know if there is a time frame,” she said. “Run the process.”

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