The new District 3 Board member is Rob Shirley, who retired in September 2019 as General Manager of the Beatty Water and Sanitation District.
Rob will fill out the unexpired term of Rick Johnson, who resigned from the Board in late August for health reasons. District 3 includes Beatty, Sarcobatus Flat and Scotty’s Junction. Rob’s term will expire in 2021 when elections will be conducted in the district.
Rob’s utility experience, his community involvement in Beatty and his interest in helping move VEA forward as a Co-op all will serve him well as a Board member. Rob also serves on VEA’s Finance Committee.
“I am encouraged by the direction the Cooperative is now headed, and I look forward to working with the current Board members to continue that momentum,” Rob says.
In September, Rob retired as the head of Beatty’s Water and Sanitation District, a position he had held since 2014. During his time as General Manager, Rob helped improve a financially struggling organization through a series of initiatives aimed at making the utility more efficient and effective. The initiatives included:
- A financial restructuring.
- Improving SCADA operations. Short for “supervisory control and data acquisition,” SCADA systems are used to monitor and control a plant or equipment at utilities and in other industries.
- Bringing auditing work in house, saving the district more than half a million dollars.
- Enhancing treatment by accurately setting chemical feed rates.
- Improving water production from two wells.
- Overseeing the installation of new water billing and financial software.
Before moving to Beatty in 2014 with wife Linda, Rob worked for the California Rural Water Association to train operators in passing their certification exam and assist small water systems with technical needs.
From 1999 to 2009, Rob served as Water Production Manager at the Department of Water Management in Decatur, Ill. During his career, he also served at water utilities at Benicia, and Santa Clarita, Calif.
Rob said he became interested in the open Board seat after several members in the Beatty area asked him to consider applying for the position.