On Monday, January 2 at 10:00 a.m., the Lewis County PUD held a Special Meeting in which they terminated General Manager Chris Roden's contract. The Lewis County PUD has served Lewis County residents for many years and recently there has been talk that their spending was out of control. The following day, January 3, they hired Chehalis resident David Plotz to fill the general manager role.
On Tuesday January 3, 2023, the Lewis County PUD Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution offering the general manager position to David Plotz of Chehalis. Plotz is a well-respected, long-standing member of the Lewis County community, a graduate of W.F. West High School, and actively involved in many community-based groups.
"We knew we were looking for a candidate who understood and connected with the community and was ready to lead," said Ed Rothlin, Board President of Lewis County PUD Board of Commissioners. "We have found an excellent candidate to lead the utility in our mission of providing the community with safe, reliable, and affordable services."
Plotz, who graduated from Washington State University with degrees in both finance and accounting and holds a CPA from the state of Washington, has vast financial industry experience including various managerial roles within Citibank and has served as Power Supply Manager for the PUD from 2009 to 2012.
In his return to the PUD, Plotz will bring a community and service-based approach. "I am excited to take this position as general manager and work together with PUD staff and do my very best for the organization in service to the families of this county," said Plotz of his return to the PUD.
Plotz's goals for the organization include keeping rates low for families and businesses, running the organization as efficiently as possible, ensuring a strong and safe infrastructure, and focusing on improving financial reserves for the utility. Plotz knows these are achievable goals for the utility and believes they can be accomplished while continuing the strong traditions of the PUD to provide excellent service to the customers.
In his first action as general manager, Plotz will be forming an independent organizational review panel, with former PUD managers and respected business community members. David Muller, retired Lewis County PUD Manager will be part of the review panel. Muller has been credited as being a conservative fiscal responsible manager. The intent of this panel is to take a fresh look at the management structure and operations of the PUD to provide possible recommendations to improve the organization in meeting the goal of a lean operation providing excellent service and low energy rates.
Michael Kelly, PUD Commissioner #1, states, "I see a bright future full of new opportunities in 2023 and beyond here at the PUD. I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners and new manager to achieve many great things for the PUD rate payers of Lewis County."
PUD Commissioner #3 Mike Hadaller stated, "During my campaign I made it clear that I thought the PUD was spending too much money. Our new manager and his group of experienced advisors are now reviewing all PUD operations. Gathering the facts will take some time. Until then, we all have to be patient."
The Lewis County PUD has decided that they are not raising rates for the 2023/2024 budget. With a new manager on board and changes coming, it is exciting to see what is new for the Lewis County PUD.