Thurston PUD seeks new commissioner

rboone@theolympian.comJanuary 11, 2013 

The Thurston Public Utility District will make applications available today to fill the District 2 commission opening created when Alan Corwin resigned before the end of the year.

Applications can be found at thurstonpud.com or can be picked up at the PUD offices, 921 Lakeridge Way SW, Olympia.

District 2 includes Lacey, Rainier and Yelm. Commissioners serve six-year terms.

Commissioner Chris Stearns and newly elected commissioner Linda Oosterman approved a timeline Tuesday to swear in a new commissioner.

Applications are due to the PUD by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 23. After applications are reviewed, finalists will be selected at a public meeting Jan. 29. Interviews will be scheduled by Feb. 4, followed by the announcement of the new commissioner Feb. 12 and the swearing-in ceremony Feb. 26.

Commissioners receive $1,300 a month, plus per diem and reasonable expenses, according to the PUD. The new commissioner will have the seat until 2014, when he or she will have the option of running for election. Corwin had four years left on his term; he could not be reached Thursday.

Oosterman and Stearns said Corwin’s resignation came as a surprise.

“He didn’t give any warning at all,” Oosterman said, adding that Corwin had served the PUD for a long time, bringing a financial background that was valuable to the water utility.

Corwin is a former financial adviser for Dean Witter, later to become part of Morgan Stanley.

Oosterman expects a number of well-qualified people will apply. Two people showed interest in the seat at Tuesday’s meeting, although Oosterman declined to name them before they apply.

“I look forward to a viable, vibrant board,” she said.

Stearns echoed Oosterman’s comments, saying Corwin lent prestige to the PUD because of his background. He helped the PUD bridge the gap from commercial bank financing to bond funding, Stearns said. He added that he is looking for someone knowledgeable about water, as well as a younger voice on the board, pointing out that he is 56, Oosterman is 69 and Corwin was in his early 70s.

Stearns also said the commission lost someone with regulatory experience when Paul Pickett resigned last year.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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